One of the best options on the market, but still plagued with myriad minor issues.
April 09, 2021

One of the best options on the market, but still plagued with myriad minor issues.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with MadCap Software

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.
  • 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.

Do you think MadCap Flare delivers good value for the price?

Not sure

Are you happy with MadCap Flare's feature set?


Did MadCap Flare live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of MadCap Flare go as expected?


Would you buy MadCap Flare again?


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.

Using MadCap Software

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.
Feel confident using
Do not like to use
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Requires technical support
Not well integrated
Slow to learn
Lots to learn