Likelihood to Recommend
MadCap Flare has its problems, but it serves our team well as an authoring software. This would not be the case if we needed to regularly collaborate on articles, as Flare is prone to conflict issues when another person dares to breathe near an open topic. When working individually, though, it's fine. I'd love to see improvements to design, performance, and stability, but Flare remains one of the best softwares on the market for our needs as an authoring team. MadCap Central is well-suited to internal reviewing when every member is comfortable with Flare (the errors it tends to introduce set aside). SMEs, though, tend to find it hard to use. It's cluttered, some styles don't render, and it just seems like a failed attempt to reproduce Google Docs. I'd love to see improvements there, to help get our SMEs to
want to use Central. Read full review
Microsoft Publisher is well suited for almost any situation. It is something that I'm sure has far more advanced tools than I use or am aware of, but it is also very simple for entry-level users to create professional documents quickly. I have used it for very involved brochures in real estate scenarios and I have also used it for very simple "Construction Zone" signs at a job site under construction. There are so many uses for this program!
Read full review Pros Snippets, variables, and conditioning are all good Once you set it up, updating Help websites is easy. Read full review Business cards Internal memos that use a logo or a little bit of design. Quick and simple flyers for internal events. Read full review Cons The software is often quite buggy, and certain bugs seem to date back nearly a decade and still persist. Customizing shortcuts is often an ordeal. Read full review The greatest shortcoming is large (300+ page documents) that require lots of internal hyperlinks. While it can do it, I can tell, due to the way it bogs down, that I am pushing the program to its limits. I would like to be able to work better with pdf's. I would like the ability to import a pdf of a graph, picture, or some other object directly into a Publisher document. Currently, I have to first convert the pdf to a jpeg and then import the jpeg. I have not found a way around this issue. At one point, I thought I had the option to automatically turn off hyphenation. Somewhere along the way, it seems as if the default for everything is hyphenation is turned on. I detest hyphenation and turning it off on every box I create becomes cumbersome. More options for graphics. Particularly the defaults that allow you to place "frames" and effects around photos. More options. Read full review Usability
MadCap Flare is in desperate need of an overall redesign. It relies heavily on dozens and dozens of tiny buttons that contain dozens of nested features. Clicking the wrong button can cause your software to freeze and crash. Building targets can be an absolute mystery, as far as all the files involved. It also has a tendency to freeze and crash. There's typically a huge learning curve for new hires who've never used it--nothing is intuitive.
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It has a great feature set but does not overwhelm me with its complexity. This is not an entry-level program, but it is also not one of the top of line graphic designer programs, like Abode In-Design. I can use Publisher to do 95% of what I need to get done. The other 5% I farm out to the graphics design person in the organization. It simply works and does so in a simple to use manner.
Read full review Support Rating
While I have not directly used support for Microsoft Publisher, I have used their help files and found them to be useful. I have also found that most answers that I need can be found through simple web searches and chat platforms. In all though, there are very few times when the preloaded help files have not given me the answers that I need.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
I wish Google Docs would work for our purposes, but it doesn't have a lot of the technical writing features we need. Using Google Docs would make reviewing and edits much much quicker, but we need MadCap to house all our documents for our Help website.
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Microsoft Publisher is more for beginners, or for basic needs, anyone with some familiarity with the Microsoft suite should be able to use it easily. If you’re looking to create something more graphic and advanced, you’d probably want to look into something like InDesign, which is not as user friendly if you’re not familiar with it at all. For basic needs the average employee should be able to use Microsoft Publisher with ease.
Read full review Return on Investment Saves time by offering a way to sync documents with other teammates. Often requires time to troubleshoot random errors or bugs that pop up with seemingly no cause. Read full review Allowed us to created our own documents/educational material for patients. In previous practices I have worked we had to buy "pamplets and brochures" which were very costly. Read full review ScreenShots MadCap Software Screenshots