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How do I create an animated gif for Flare Project?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 11:02 am
by lgarneau59

I am trying to insert a brief 2-4 step procedure with a 10-15 second animated gif into my knowledge panel micro content so that it plays (and loops) automatically when users view the content. In other words, I don't want the user to have to click on the recording to view it. Do I create/save the gif in Mimic or Flare?

Any links or help you can provide would be generously appreciated!! :D

Many thanks!


Re: How do I create an animated gif for Flare Project?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2022 5:12 pm
by Nita Beck
Neither Flare nor Mimic are designed to create animated gifs. You’ll need to use another tool to create them, and then you can add them to the Flare project so you can use them in topics (with the Insert Media command [I think… I don’t have access to Flare at the moment]. I suggest you search the ‘net to find tools that can create animated gifs. There’s an open source tool called ShareX for doing screencaptures, including animated gifs. I just happened yesterday to play with it and was easily able to create a gif, just fooling around. There’s also a utility called LICEcap (terrible name, IMHO!) that MadCap’s head of documentation Paul Stocklein mentioned in a webinar that he uses to create the gifs that he’s got in the micro content blocks that show up in Flare’s search results and in many topics. Finally, looks like SnagIt, which many of us use, can create animated gifs, too.

Re: How do I Import/Insert animated gif in Flare Project?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 6:49 am
by lgarneau59
Thanks Nita! I created an animated gif in Snagit (so easy! with looped selected) and was only able to insert it into my Flare project as an image. And that's exactly what it did--inserted an image of the first frame of video into my project. I didn't see an Insert > Multimedia option for gif. :cry: This is my last piece of this struggle. Will any other option in that Multimedia menu work?

In Flare's micro content video (15 of 15, how Madcap team uses micro content), Paul Stocklein added an automated gif file as micro content to a set of quick steps in the knowledge panel (via a FAQ proxy, I think--which is what I did). That is where I got this idea, and naturally, assumed there was a feature somewhere in Flare or Mimic for that. Sigh :( I didn't see the webinar where Paul talked about the tool he used to create the automated gif (mine is already created). Does he talk about how to import it into the Flare project so that the video plays automatically when the user sees it?

Re: How do I create an animated gif for Flare Project?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:26 am
by Nita Beck
I've never put animated gifs in my Flare projects -- in micro content or anywhere else -- so I don't have any more advice to offer.

Anyone else here able to help our friend?

Re: How do I create an animated gif for Flare Project?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 11:21 am
by sarrantsvt
I just place the gifs as images. You only see the first frame in the editor. Preview or build the output to view the animation. Or am I misunderstanding what you did?

Re: How do I create an animated gif for Flare Project?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 11:39 am
by lgarneau59
sarrantsvt that is exactly what I did, inserted the automated gif file as an image (with just the first frame showing in editor). But after I did the html5 build and viewed the output, it is still just an image (no video). My default output is IE, which I was hoping was the problem, but I saw the same thing (just an image, no video) when I viewed the output in Chrome. :cry:

I will try filming another animated gif and just keep trying until I figure this out.

Thank you all so much for your help. It is very reassuring to have this wonderful community of support, and to know that I am not alone on this Madcap journey!


Re: How do I create an animated gif for Flare Project?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 5:08 pm
by lgarneau59
Okay, so I got it working. There is currently a bug in Flare where if you resize the gif image inside the topic or micro content editor by dragging the handle in the bottom right corner of the image, the video will not play. That said, it is important to adjust the size of the file in the tool you use outside of Flare (in my case, it was SnagIt), before importing the file into your Flare project. I think this would still be the best recommended method after the bug is fixed. Also, don’t forget to select “Looping” when creating the animated gif so your video replays automatically.

For any others who may run into this issue, the workflow is:

1. Copy the animated gif file into the project Content Explorer > Content > Resources > Images folder.
2. Place your cursor on the line of a topic or microcontent where you want to insert the gif.
3. From the Insert ribbon, click Image > select the gif from the Content / Resources image file path, and then click OK.
The XML editor displays a still image from the first frame of the video.
4. Save your work and do a build.
The Preview and HTML5 output should display your animated gif auto-playing.

I really hope to see an update in the near future where animated gifs can be easily created in Mimic and inserted into the project without having to go through all these external hoops. Whew!!