Madcap Flare – Adding New Styles to CSS

Flare (with its strict adherence to CSS rules) makes me crazy when I import WORD or FRAMEMAKER documents. I want to be able to easily apply a style to a paragraph,  or map a CSS style to my Framemaker or WORD stylesheet when I do an import. However, Flare will not let you:

  • Select from your full portfolio of styles when your paragraph is already formatted as a paragraph <p>, list <li, ol, ul>, or any other format. It will only show the subset of styles under that category. NOT USEFUL when you have a procedural documents with numbered steps, sub-bullets, sub paragraphs, images, etc. You want to be able to apply the appropriate style when you need it, and you need to be able to SEE that style in your Flare Stylesheet List.
  • Map your numbered styles from WORD or FRAMEMAKER to your list styles.

The following is a round-about solution, but is the only way I have been able to get around this whole issue while remaining compliant with CSS rules:

Create your Style as a Paragraph Class

  1. Open your CSS file in the Flare Stylesheet Editor.
  2. Select the p element.
  3. Click the Add Class option on the toolbar to add a new paragraph class.
  4. Give this new Class a decent name (eg: Numbered1, NumberedCont, NumberedBullet, NumberedBody, etc).
  5. Apply whatever attributes you need associated with this Paragraph Class.
  6. Save all your changes.

This new Paragraph Class can now be applied to any Paragraph in your project, but cannot be applied to content in a list (ul, li, ol), table, cell, , or to any other element that already has a CSS style applied to it. It will disappear from your available styles list when you try to use it against any other element than a paragraph <p>. Thats the URGH part. So how do you make this new style appear on your stylesheet at all times? That is the next step!

Convert the Paragraph Class into a Top Level Class

  1.  Navigate to the Content Explorer and find your CSS file in the Resources>Stylesheet section.
  2. Right-click on your CSS file, and select Open with > Internal Text Editor.
  3. Press CTRL+F, enter the name of your new paragraph class, and press Enter to navigate to the CSS definition for that item.
    • In my case, I had a series of paragraph definitions named p.Numbered1, p.NumberedCont, p.NumberedBullet, p.NumberedBody.
  4. Delete the ‘p‘ in your paragraph class name.
    • This will leave you with just the name of the style. In my case: .Numbered1, .NumberedCont, .NumberedBullet, .NumberedBody.
    • This is basically equivalent to the styles that I had in my WORD and FRAMEMAKER document.  Apparently these are  known as “Generic Styles“.
    • These styles will now show up in your Styles list, no matter what paragraph format you choose. HURRAH!
  5. CTRL +S to save your changes.

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