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MadCap Flare

MadCap Flare


What is MadCap Flare?

MadCap Software, headquartered in La Jolla, offers MadCap Flare, a help authoring and technical writing tool featuring onboarding and support from MadCap, and a set of modules for designing advanced guides, aids, and web or application help aids.

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Recent Reviews

TrustRadius Insights

Flare, a documentation authoring tool, has proven to be valuable for a wide range of use cases based on user experiences. Users have found …
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MadCap Central


On Premise
per year

MadCap Flare


On Premise
per year

MadCap AMS


On Premise
per year

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee
For the latest information on pricing, visit


  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting/Integration Services

Starting price (does not include set up fee)

  • $167 per month
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Product Details

What is MadCap Flare?

The MadCap Authoring and Management System (AMS) combines the power and security of on-premises authoring and publishing with the convenience of the cloud to provide a complete solution for content developers.

Maximize content reuse and streamline the creation and multi-channel delivery of self-service support sites and online Help, user guides, instruction manuals, interactive eLearning courses, product training, knowledge bases and more with the most efficient technical writing tools.

Formed in 2005 by industry veterans with decades of experience in the technical communication and content development industries, the vendor states that MadCap Software is now a trusted resource for more than 20,000 companies around the globe.

MadCap Flare Features

  • Supported: Patented XML Editor
  • Supported: Advanced Single-source XML Authoring & Multi-channel Publishing
  • Supported: Import Support for a Rich Variety of Content Types
  • Supported: Responsive Layout Editor for True Responsive Content
  • Supported: Powerful Analysis and Reporting
  • Supported: Content Management and Source Control Support
  • Supported: Multilingual Web and Print Publishing from a Single Project

MadCap Flare Screenshots

Screenshot of Screenshot of

MadCap Flare Video

What do companies like Vernier, Illumina, Senior Sistemas and Perforce have in common? They switched from Word, In-Design®, FrameMaker®, RoboHelp® and other applications to leverage the power of MadCap Flare.

MadCap Flare Technical Details

Deployment TypesOn-premise
Operating SystemsWindows
Mobile ApplicationNo
Supported CountriesAll
Supported LanguagesUI is localized into Japanese, Chinese, French, and German. Our editor supports authoring content in all languages.

Frequently Asked Questions

MadCap Software, headquartered in La Jolla, offers MadCap Flare, a help authoring and technical writing tool featuring onboarding and support from MadCap, and a set of modules for designing advanced guides, aids, and web or application help aids.

MadCap Flare starts at $167.

Adobe Robohelp, Heretto, and Adobe FrameMaker are common alternatives for MadCap Flare.

The most common users of MadCap Flare are from Mid-sized Companies (51-1,000 employees).
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Reviews and Ratings


Community Insights

TrustRadius Insights are summaries of user sentiment data from TrustRadius reviews and, when necessary, 3rd-party data sources. Have feedback on this content? Let us know!

Flare, a documentation authoring tool, has proven to be valuable for a wide range of use cases based on user experiences. Users have found that Flare provides a modern online help appearance without the need for designing custom styles. It enables users to organize and manage their knowledge base effectively, offering robust options for customization and organization. Onboarding with Flare is relatively quick, with a small learning curve for writers to get up and running. Flare integrates well with other MadCap products, allowing for seamless workflow and reporting capabilities. It also simplifies user assistance and troubleshooting by providing different outputs from a single source. Flare's flexibility allows for adapting content to different customer needs through CSS functionality. Moreover, single sourcing with Flare reduces the chance of copy/paste errors and allows for outputting to multiple audiences, resulting in significant time-saving and efficiency in content creation. Whether it's generating online help documentation for major application products or creating product manuals and work instructions, Flare proves to be effective in streamlining documentation processes for technical writers across various industries.

Users recommend the following for this product:

Users find it important to have Platinum support for this product. They suggest taking the training offered and becoming MAD certified. Additionally, they recommend joining the community board on Slack and reading through the documentation before using the product. It is mentioned that the software may crash if not used properly.

For a better customer service experience, users recommend purchasing Platinum support. They suggest that the product is great for content creation, reuse, single sourcing, and publishing, making it a good all-round authoring tool with plenty of support.

Users recommend participating in online training sessions to discover more functions and think that the product is especially great for creating multiple publications based on topics. They also mention that users with experience in other technical writing tools will find it easy to transition to this product.

To ensure smooth integration with TFS, users suggest working with the global administrator. They believe that the product is a great tool for people in the technical writing field. Although customer support may not be helpful initially, after getting familiarized with the software, it provides all necessary tools for creating and publishing documentation.

To fully learn the product, users advise purchasing books and taking courses. The product receives recommendations for its HTML5 output, single sourcing, and managing multiple projects. It is mentioned that there may be a high learning curve initially but the help and resources available are excellent.

The product is considered lacking in integration with TFS and table formatting. Buying Platinum tech support is suggested. Users also recommend learning HTML and CSS for a better experience with the product.

Users suggest having someone dedicated to learning and using the tool on a team as it is a solid authoring tool. However, it is mentioned that Framemaker has tied into Adobe Experience Manager leaving this product behind.

For additional features, users recommend considering Javascript integration and using External GIT for source control. The product is seen as fully featured providing powerful tools for online documentation.

Users advise looking at other CMS and XML authoring tools and weighing the pros and cons. Careful planning of the upgrade process from current authoring software to this product is recommended.

Users suggest doing training early on to get the most out of the product. They also recommend learning the basics of CSS before using it. It is mentioned that the product can be slow, especially with a lot of topics.

Before deciding on another documentation utility, users recommend giving this product a test run to evaluate its performance.

Attribute Ratings


(1-4 of 4)
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⚙ Kate Montressor ⚙ | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our team writes the technical documentation for all products that our company offers. We like the flexibility and control MadCap Flare gives us. We use Flare connected to Git, so we can take advantage of seamlessly sharing files, branching and merging, and content management. We take advantage of many Flare features, especially the powerful search engine and the ability to create filtered searches. We like the ability to customize our docs with our own javascript. Single-sourcing is easy with the ability to output to multiple formats, and using Snippets and Variables.
  • single-source features
  • powerful search engine
  • easy to publish to our website
  • We always need one more thing, but are able to adapt using our own code
We currently use Flare for end-user docs but are in the process of implementing it for our API documentation. Having the content broken down into separate topics makes it easy to edit and add content. The drag-and-drop TOC makes it easy to rearrange topic order. I have also used Flare for writing non-technical books, as the built-in features help keep me organized.
  • Search
  • TOCs
  • Ability to import small projects into one large project
  • None - it's very economical, and we don't need engineers to maintain it. We can design and update within our team.
December 15, 2021

Works, technically.

Cameron Michael Rhoads | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
MadCap Flare is used by the technical writing team at my company. We use it to write and publish all of our documentation.
  • Snippets, variables, and conditioning are all good
  • Once you set it up, updating Help websites is easy.
  • I use it on a mac with windows parallel and it can be so buggy and laggy.
  • I would love it if the software was entirely cloud-based, like Google Docs.
  • Reviewing in Central is not a good experience, need better review functionality.
If you're just building a help website or maybe a lengthy user guide, MadCap is great.

If you're exporting your documents somewhere that doesn't support MadCap integration, there's a chance it'll be more of a headache. For example, we export a lot of our docs to an LMS, and it requires us to build each document on its own. So, even if we update a snippet, we have to re-upload all affected articles.
  • Variables
  • Conditioning
  • The Help website
  • Negative: Wasted hundreds of hours troubleshooting madcap bugs or quirks.
  • Positive: We have a robust Help website we can update with ease.
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.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
MadCap Flare is our primary authoring software as a technical writing team of 8. We use MadCap Central as our source control service, as well as for reviewing internally and for SME reviews. We use MadCap Flare to build and publish our in-product help, as well, which is accessible to all clients as well as the company internally.
  • Using MadCap Flare to create and publish our in-product help is much easier than using the MadCap ZenDesk Connect plug-in to publish to ZenDesk (which we used previously). It allows for more customization (with a lot of know-how) and a much easier publishing process.
  • MadCap Central works well as a source control option with MadCap Flare, aside from bugs that arise. It's fully integrated with MadCap Flare, making it easy to send files for review to other colleagues.
  • MadCap Flare has many single-sourcing tools, I'm a particular fan of snippets and conditioning. Using snippets to create article templates (then converting to text) has been a valuable tool in improving consistency and efficiency.
  • I love being able to set customizable keyboard shortcuts, including using macros to assign shortcuts to complex actions. For example, I've been able to reassign a standard Ctrl + B shortcut to apply our custom bolding style, as opposed to default local bolding. Saves lots of time and effort to use my own shortcuts.
  • I've encountered a lot of buggy behavior with MadCap Central as a reviewing platform. On return to MadCap Flare, spaces will randomly vanish, locally-formatted red text will appear where annotations were, and variables will vanish. It can be hugely frustrating for errors to be introduced as part of the reviewing process.
  • MadCap Flare can be unstable. I am using it on Parallels on a Mac (sadly it's not supported for MacOS). It tends to freeze when syncing, crash if I scroll too quickly, and cause all sorts of other "oh god I hope I saved before that crashed" moments.
  • With an 8 member team, it's not uncommon to accidentally run into merge conflicts. The conflict manager tool is nigh-impossible to understand. I think we all just pick an option to accept or reject all changes, and pray.
  • The support system is very rigid as far as enforcing price vs access tiers, which can be frustrating when you're looking for support. For example, one person has Platinum support for their license key, so only they're authorized for phone support. Tying support to individual license keys without taking into consideration how many licenses our company pays for, and just giving us all the same level of support, is a bit bizarre.
  • MadCap Flare very much feels like a software begging for a total redesign. New features get jammed into an already-crowded toolbar. There's so many buttons that it's hard to find the ones you need. It needs a modern overhaul as well as overall performance upgrades.
  • I'd love to see improvements in MadCap Central as a reviewing tool. More support for rendering custom styles, being able to hide or show conditioned text, fixing the issue of it introducing errors, and making it overall a more pleasant reviewing experience for our SMEs.
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.
  • Single-sourcing, particularly conditioning and snippets.
  • Support for building and publishing our in-product help.
  • Topic-based authoring.
  • MadCap Flare makes it easy for our entire team to work on the same project.
  • MadCap Central is a mainstay of our reviewing process.
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.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use MadCap for all of our technical writing needs. This includes product guides and software user manuals. The software addresses the need of hosting our documentation as well as allowing us to share documents with peers for review before publication. The software also (attempts) to address issues of single-source documentation through features such as Snippets and Variables, though this is often a pain point.

The software does allow for "conditioning" of certain content within a single document, allowing you to publish only certain parts of a document depending on where you're publishing it. For example, an Introduction paragraph might be necessary for learning materials but not in-product help. Conditioning allows for that. This is a feature we put to work quite often within our organization.
  • Organizing articles via an overall project outline.
  • Syncing with teammates.
  • 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.
MadCap is well suited if you have a document that needs to be published in various locations, each with slightly tweaked content. It's easy enough to set certain paragraphs or sections to publish in a specific location but not others. MadCap is difficult to work with teammates. There are a lot of "rules" you have to stick to when syncing work to ensure one writer doesn't overwrite another's work.
  • Conditioning
  • Variables
  • Snippets
  • 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.
MadCap software does offer quite a few more technical features than Google Drive, but the user experience is far inferior. Google Drive is much less buggy to work with, and it's much more accessible. MadCap only being available on Windows operating systems makes it difficult to work with teammates who may not have such a device available.
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