TWTWhen it comes to technical authoring tools, there are two main choices: Madcap Flare or RoboHelp.

We’re trained in both, but the decision on which one to purchase was actually fairly easy. We selected Madcap Flare – even though we both work on Macs – and we’ve never looked back.

It makes our job as technical writers so much easier.

Why We Chose Madcap Flare Over Adobe RoboHelp

Technical writing tools don’t come cheap, and annoyingly, they don’t often appear for the Mac in a usable form. After trying a few cheap Mac alternatives (and a few cheap Windows alternatives too), we decided to invest in the best and grab extra copies of Parallels and Windows 7 to make sure we could always work in Windows when we need to.

My four year old iMac is not too happy about running Parallels with Windows 7, though, so perhaps an upgrade is on the cards.

We decided to invest in the entire MadPak suite so we could also try Capture for screenshots and see how it fares against SnagIt, which is my current favourite tool for screen captures. MadPak is expensive, but we got a great deal with maintenance that will have us set up for a good while yet. (I haven’t actually purchased SnagIt from TechSmith yet, but I’ve been a loyal Jing user for years. I’ve recently found SnagIt much more useful because it allows you to time-delay a capture, meaning your mouse pointer can be included in the shot, and you can open any menus or drop-downs you need to show.)

Mathew has been using Camtasia Studio 7 for most of his screencasting, but has also just completed a project in BB FlashBack Pro, a screen recording package from BlueBerry Consultants. Next, he’s going to try Madcap Mimic which came as part of our MadPak purchase.

Which One Did You Choose?

Let us know in the comments.

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Claire Broadley

Technical writer, blogger, and editor at Red Robot Media
Claire Broadley has been a technical author and web content writer at Red Robot since 2010. She contributes to dozens of websites, focusing on consumer technology, online privacy, digital marketing, and small business topics.
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3 thoughts on “Technical Writing Software: Madcap Flare or RoboHelp?

  1. I am in the same situation as you. I haven’t found a good replacement for Framemaker, Robohelp, or Flare on OSX. I run these on bootcamp and will happily show loyalty to the first that makes an OSX version. I realize FM did in the old days, but there is no plan to continue Mac support. I am hoping Madcap is listening.

    1. Great comment, Philo. We’re about to upgrade our Macs and will most likely ditch the PC laptop which we bought it solely for Flare. That means we will probably switch to Parallels, although I don’t much like it. One thing’s for sure: we can’t justify the cost of maintaining a PC just for Flare. I don’t think either is the right solution really, but Flare is still the best tool we’ve found.

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