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How MadCap software can turn productivity problems upside down

When US-based sensing solutions provider Cognex was struggling to manage the production of documentation across its diverse portfolio, it turned to authoring, publishing and content management software from MadCap.

According to MadCap marketing manager Marisa Delao, the vision systems, software, sensor, barcode reader and automation specialist massively increased productivity by streamlining its approach to technical writing and content– replacing a mixture of content development tools with MadCap’s overarching solution.

“For years they had relied on a combination of documentation tools: Adobe RoboHelp to produce software Help files and Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign and Adobe FrameMaker to publish PDF documentation for customers in multiple languages,” writes Delao.

“MadCap Flare and MadCap Lingo have allowed Cognex to deliver a modern website with HTML5 and PDF versions of its documentation, localised documentation in eight languages and an interactive knowledge base to help customers properly use their mission-critical products.”

Previously, Cognex’s team of content producers had to make and track changes in multiple documents and formats, and when submitting content for localisation by a third party, entire FrameMaker book files and Word documents had to be re-translated at high cost.

Cognex sought to reduce the costs of translating and localising product documentation and make it easier to reuse content and publish quickly across multiple channels, consistently and compliantly — helping the company communicate better with customers.

“Through the adoption of MadCap Software’s solutions, Cognex has been able to cut localisation costs by 68%; cut the development of new product documentation by more than 50%; [and] increase page views by 41% over the original knowledge base site,” writes Delao.

Delao adds that Cognex had migrated documentation for its flagship In-Sight product line to a new single-source publishing methodology using MadCap Flare as well as all Cognex technical documentation. The company has also now launched a ‘knowledge base’ website and documentation portal.

“Switching to modular, topic-based authoring has enabled the team to reuse the same topics for a variety of documents and output types,” Delao says.

“Writers make heavy use of conditions to create many different documents from the same source content. Style sheet mediums allow the team to produce all PDF and responsive HTML5 outputs from a single cascading style sheet (CSS) that is shared among all documentation projects through global project linking.”

MadCap products are also proving attractive in education institutions. Ohio’s Cedarville University has announced a partnership with MadCap that will enable students learn how to create user documentation.

Students will use MadCap Flare as they master techniques for planning, designing and creating documentation through systematic user analysis, task identification and effective visual design, according to the press release.

Texas-based MadCap numbers around 20,000 companies as customers worldwide.

Read more about the Cognex case study here.

(Photo by Judeus Samson on Unsplash)

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