Can I give a custom color a name and add it to the palette?

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Can I give a custom color a name and add it to the palette?

Postby nsemple on Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:11 pm

I am creating a custom color that I would like to identify by a name, such as \"Error Text Color\".
I cannot figure out how to do this in Flare. (I could do it easily in RoboHTMLX5 using Format > Colors > New.)

In Flare, I click Format > Color > More Colors. On the Color Picker dialog box, you can enter the hex or RGB value for a color and there is a button to the the custom color to a \"My colors\" list. However, I do not see a button or field anywhere to give the color a name. (Even though when you browse the \"My colors\" list, one of the columns is titled \"Name\".

Also, I would like this newly defined color to appear on the color palette that appears when you click one of the many ways to open the color palette. When I pause the cursor over the little colored square for my newly defined color, I would like the name I defined for it to appear in the ToolTip text for that colored square.

Anybody know how to get either of these two things to work? (I could do them both in RoboHTML X5)
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Postby KevinDAmery on Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:24 pm

Unfortunately, you can't do either of those in the current version. Best thing to do is submit it as a feature request:

http://www.madcapsoftware.com/bugs/submit.aspx
Until next time....
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Postby nsemple on Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:35 pm

Hi Kevin. Not good. I am trying to define a set of corporate colors built inside a project template that writers can easily select from the palette.

I'm guessing that these two things are simple things for the Flare staff to implement. Surprised they are at version 3 and have not yet done so.

I'll submit a request. (Though I seem to remember doing that when I was first evaluating Flare way back during one of their beta programs for one of the first releases of the product.)

Thanks for replying.
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Postby KevinDAmery on Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:16 pm

Don't get me started on saving colours. For whatever reason, Flare (and the other Madcap products) save them in the system registry instead of in the project. Which makes no sense to me at all (for example, if you re-image your PC or move to a new system, all your colour definitions are gone.... :roll: )
Until next time....
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Postby doc_guy on Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:51 pm

Its also a problem if you are trying to do as nsemple is, and creating a branding scheme to be used by all writers on a project. If the color definitions are in the registry and not the project, then you have to do that on each writer's machine--a less effective method, shall we say. :)
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Postby nsemple on Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:41 am

If the color definitions are stored in the registry and cannot be stored in the project - then that to me is a product defect.

When writers here begin a new project, they will be basing it off of project templates that I have previously set up. I would like the color definitions stored in the project. Writers should not have to define them on their own. The color definitions can vary from project type to project type.

Also, we often have writers working on multiple computers (a computer in their office, on a computer at their homes, and a traveling laptop). They should not have to define the colors on each of these computers.

Do you know if a bug has been logged against this functionality defect?
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I used this (slightly hacky) solution

Postby Dave Lee on Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:00 am

    1. Open the registry and browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\MadCap Software\\Flare\\Default
    2. Open the string CustomColors
    This is the list of custom colours in Flare.
    3. Edit the string to include the colours you want.
    This is in the format #<colour 1 hex value>;#<colour 2 hex value> etc
    e.g. #008469;#40a38c;#7fc1b2;#bfe0d9;#cde6a0;#e6f1d3
    4. Select File > Export and choose to export the Selected branch. Save the registry file.


Now you'll have a registry file that you use to set up the custom colours list (e.g. to reset your own colours list, or distrubute to other users). Double-clicking on the file will import the registry entry, and set up all the colours in the custom colours list in Flare.

(This will also do the lists for recent font families and recent colours.)
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Postby nsemple on Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:04 am

Thanks for the tip Dave,

I will give it a try. Can you specify a name to go along with each color using the procedure you describe or are you limited to just the hex numbers?
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You cannot name them.

Postby Dave Lee on Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:13 am

One question though, and it might seem strange...

Why do your authors need to select colours?

In my projects, the stylesheet defines all the formatting I need to use in the project. I never need to manually apply any formatting (including colours), I just apply the appropriate style (which defines things like colours).
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Postby nsemple on Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:27 am

Styles with associated colors are defined in our css as well, but there are times when authors apply inline styles and they should be able to easily select our corporate colors from the color palette.
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Ok

Postby Dave Lee on Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:33 am

I would still tend to include that in the stylesheet, e.g. have a span class defining the colour.

I've done this because if I need to change the colour later, it's just a change to one reference in the stylesheet, and not changing 1000s of bits of inline formatting in the topics.
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Re:

Postby KevinDAmery on Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:57 am

nsemple wrote:Do you know if a bug has been logged against this functionality defect?


Yes, but please log it yourself as well--apparently the more people complain about something the more seriously Madcap takes the issue. You can log one here:

http://www.madcapsoftware.com/bugs/submit.aspx

When we log bugs this way, we aren't given a tracking number--so just create a new bug report for it rather than trying to tack it on to the existing one.

I would agree with Dave, though, that if at all possible everyone should avoid inline formatting for the reason he mentions. Inline formatting is easier to add initially, but way wayyyy harder to manage if you need to change things later (for example, what if your company changes its branding and you have to change the custom colours? If they're added inline to the topics, someone is going to be doing an awful lot of find and replace work....)
Until next time....
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Postby LTinker68 on Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:18 am

Putting the colors in the stylesheet is fine (I also recommend it), but you're forgetting the part where you have to set the colors in the stylesheet. You have to click on the field to bring up the color chips, and this is what nsemple would like to populate with custom colors. So even if nsemple's group all use spans instead of inline styles, they still have to get to a point where they have to select the color initially.

I also put in a request to be able to name your custom styles, to be able to add custom colors to the chips (a la Photoshop), and to store the custom colors in the project instead of the registry. But like Kevin said, add your voice to the request list. And anyone else who reads this post.
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Postby nsemple on Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:04 pm

Thanks for all the info everyone. I am well aware of issues with inline styles. I've been in the business for 24 years, and as the information designer responsible for templates, I'm often the person telling writers not to use them.

Regardless, as LTinker68 stated, we still have the need for our writers to be able to select our corporate colors from the palette and would like them to be named and to be stored in project template files.

I've submitted an enhancement request and a bug dealing with the various issues. Hopefully, if there are enough people flagging the issue, they will be addressed in the next version of the product...
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Re: Can I give a custom color a name and add it to the palette?

Postby nsemple on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:06 pm

Just to keep folks updated...

I now have Flare version 4.0.

I can't believe it - this functionality has still NOT been added to the product for this release!
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Re: Can I give a custom color a name and add it to the palette?

Postby LTinker68 on Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:40 pm

My guess is there weren't many people who requested that feature so it was low priority for the programmers.
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