Create Topics in Bulk with a Plug-in

Note (3/13/2014): A change to the API for version 10 requires adjusting the code in this sample if the plug-in is to be used with version 10. The change is explained in Adjusting Flare 9 Plug-ins for Flare 10.

Sometimes you just want to create a bunch of blank topics all at once and put all of those topics in a TOC.

batch-topics-1

 

batch-topics-2

 

batch-topics-3

 

If you are interested in that sort of thing, you can create a Flare plug-in to add the functionality to MadCap Flare. If you want to play around with the code to create what is shown in the preceding screen shots, here is a sample solution and project: FlarePlugins.zip

 

If you just want to try it, here is a plug-in DLL: BatchTopics.dll and help for MadCap’s Plug-in API. Use the code or the plug-in at your own risk. No warranty is offered. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Edit (9/102013): There is additional information at MadBlog. Also the project and DLL were recently updated to fix a namespace issue.

8 thoughts on “Create Topics in Bulk with a Plug-in

  1. Nita Beck

    Thomas, I just got a chance to try out your BatchTopics Flare plug-in. *Very slick.* Got it work quickly, and I can see how this plug-in can be a real timesaver.

    What might be a nice enhancement is to also prompt for the heading level, rather than to default to H1. For instance, the majority of my topics have their headings set to H2. With your DLL, I have to change all or most of the H1s to H2s. Just an idea.

    Keep your great ideas coming!

    Reply
  2. Nita Beck

    An idea: Would it possible to specify a topic template, not for individual topics but for the whole batch? THAT would be really slick. Say I needed to create a whole bunch of reference topics that all needed to include the same kinds of content in a uniform structure. (Think API documentation!) If I had a topic template, it could already have a lot of boilerplate and placeholder content; all the topics generated by way of the BatchTopics.dll would have that content already in place, ready for further development.

    What do you think? Possible?

    Reply
    1. Thomas Tregner Post author

      Great idea! And the heading level suggestion is also possible as is a field to specify class. Once there are enough additions, I’ll update the plug-in and summarize the changes in a new post. Maybe there could be a way to select a template to use globally and another column in case you want to select on an individual basis. Another change I’m considering is the plug-in should probably make an effort to identify the current project even if that isn’t part of the API. If there is an open topic, there is a way to determine the project it belongs to. Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Jack DeLand

    Note that the latest Norton Security Suite determines the DLL to be a threat on download, but it can be “restored.”
    Is the DLL designed to work with Flare version 8?

    Reply
    1. Thomas Tregner Post author

      Sorry, it only works as of the introduction of the plug-in API in version 9. Good point about anti-malware and DLL downloads.

      Reply
  4. Tom Marshall

    Thanks for this post, Thomas (Nita directed me here). Just to confirm, the DLL available here is the v9 version, and to use it for v10 I need to tweak it according to your linked post, is that right? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Tregner Post author

      I think so. I missed the notification for your comment so sorry about the delay. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

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