UPDATE: This article applies to Flare versions 11 and less. A new feature was introduced in Flare 12 to make it much easier to associate topics with a different Master Page (see http://help.madcapsoftware.com/flare12/Content/Master_Pages/Associating_Master_Pages_with_Topics.htm).

What do you do if you want some topics in your project to use one Master Page and other topics to use a different Master Page? That’s the question I had to ask recently, and the answer wasn’t immediately obvious. In Flare 10, the most common way of associating a Master Page with a topic is to associate it with the entire project (via the Target), but doing that applies the Master Page to every topic. I looked around, expecting to find a simple ‘link with master page’ option, but no, there was no such thing. So I went ahead and asked MadCap and got a surprisingly convoluted solution, which you can see below.

Linking a Flare Topic to a Master Page

To apply a Master Page to just one topic, you need to create a new html class in your CSS stylesheet. Yep, that’s right, you’ve got to mess about with CSS. Luckily, what you need to do is pretty easy.

  1. First, create the Master Page that you want to associate with your topic.
  2. Open your stylesheet in the Advanced View of Flare’s built-in editor. Set the editor to Show All Styles.
  3. Find the HTML class. Right-click on it and select Add Class.
  4. Create a new class and give it a name. It doesn’t matter what the name is, but it makes sense to call it something related to the type of Master Page you want to use.
  5. Set the editor to show Property Groups.
  6. Select your new HTML class and expand its Unclassified group.
  7. Find the ‘mc-master-page’ property and associate it with the Master Page you created in step 1.
  8. Save your stylesheet.
  9. Display your topic in Flare’s XML Editor and right-click on the HTML block at the side. Select the Style Class option and then choose the option for the HTML class that you created.
  10. Save the topic. Your topic will now use the Master Page you associated with the HTML class instead of the Master Page assigned to the project.

That’s it, job done.

Hopefully, MadCap will make a simpler mechanism for doing this in future releases of Flare. They agreed with me that it is not as user-friendly as it could be and an improvement request has been made, so fingers crossed.