I build a lot of context-sensitive help for my clients so I am uber-familiar with the Alias Editor in Flare. We have a love-hate relationship. I love it because it makes my job easier but I hate it because it’s annoying and ugly.

But the new Alias Editor in v7 is wonderful. Upon first glance, it just looks better – and I’m not just talking about the pretty colors. I’m talking about usability (and I do not purport to be a usability expert!). But guess what, it works better too!

Here’s the Alias Editor from v6:

Since I’ve worked with this interface forever, I got used to it but I wasn’t really thrilled with it. The topic selection window on the right was just one long list of topics, albeit you could filter down from the folder selector above it.  And the New Identifier button is at the bottom of the screen instead of top. It had none of the icons that are scattered elsewhere in Flare (New, Delete, etc.)

Obviously, someone at MadCap loves me because here’s the Alias Editor from v7:

Check out the tree structure on the left! Note that this is not the topic list that is standard on the left side of Flare. This is a dedicated tree structure just for assigning topics to CSH tags! No more scrolling through what could be an endless list of topics. It allows for quick assignment of identifiers.

And while the topics without assignments are pretty clear just because that column is blank (see above), I love the green and yellow symbols. Talk about getting a super-fast glimpse of the state of your Alias file!

Even better – the Add New and Delete icons are at the top along with a count of the number of unassigned identifiers. No more boring basic grey Windows buttons. Stop me before I swoon!

Did you notice the Alias Editor change? Are you digging it?

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