10 Jan /12

Going Mad – Well, not quite like the Mad Hatter: Adventures in MadCap

One of the fun things about my job is that you can’t ever really get bored.

Things in this industry change so fast, and especially in the area of the technology things have expanded so much, that it’s nearly impossible to ever have finally learned everything there is to learn.

Not that MadCap is all that new, or that difficult to learn, but it is certainly different than some other tools on the market.

And getting techies to learn it is not a problem anyway: we love “new stuff”.

The difficulty we usually have is getting translator to do it.

And that’s where the fun starts.

Some translators, I’m convinced, would be better off using a typewriter.

Be that as it may, my job is to make sure the project is prepared in such a way that the translators can do what they do best – translate – and don’t have to fuss with technology that they don’t want to deal with anyway.

So we techies learn MadCap and figure out how to make it translatable for translators who are experts in their field, but would rather use a   typewriter. (For the record: I am naturally exaggerating a bit. Still, a translator who is an expert in the field of vision technology is not necessarily an expert in HTMLHelp.)

That means using MadCap’s built-in export feature,  pre-processing those exported files into other formats the translator can handle, then post-processing them back into the export/import format for MadCap, and finally checking everything in MadCap.