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Essentials of MadCap Mimic 6


Mimic is a visual authoring tool for creating movies and simulations. What does this mean? For years, software training was text-based... write instructions, add a few screen shots, and voila! The result worked, but how much better might the training be if someone could “walk you through the steps” on the screen? Mimic lets you create that “someone”.

Mimic lets you create movies and software and role-playing simulations quickly and inexpensively. It lets you capture what's on the screen as you perform a task, save the screen shots as a “filmstrip”, add explanatory captions, special effects, even interactivity features to simulate use of the software, and run the result as a “movie”.

Mimic can create movies for use as use as demonstrations, marketing presentations, role-playing simulations, tutorials, and more. The movies are very flexible. They can run locally on users' PCs or from a network drive or web site. And Mimic is quick and easy to learn and inexpensive.

This comprehensive book explains how to use Mimic. It explains the concepts behind Mimic “movies,” covers planning and design, and describes the use of Mimic’s rich feature set to create movies for use by technical communicators, training developers, marketing staff, business continuity staff, and others.

Look for the book on Amazon on or about May 17.



6 Timing Control


Frame Timing

1 Overview

Object Timing and Relationships


Timing Control Tools


Properties Dialog Box

Structure of This Book

The Timeline

2 Mimic Overview

Displaying the Timeline

What Is Mimic?

Controlling Object Display Delay and Duration

Mimic’s Interface

7 Movie-Level Features

Left Pane

Movie End Effects

Frame Pane

Setting Other Movie Effects

Start Page

Working with Skins

Mimic’s Online Help

Creating and Defining a Standard skin

Frame Editor

Creating and Defining an Embedded Skin for Flash

Right Pane

Creating a Custom Toolbar Item

Bottom Pane

Customizing the About Icon and Popup on the Toolbar


Language Skins



Customizing the Interface

Resizing a Movie

Moving windows

Object Anchors

Docking a floating window

Using Object Anchors

Auto-hiding window panes

8 Generating Output

Widening a window

Selecting the Output Format

Closing a window

Mimic Movie Format (MMF)

Working with layouts

Microsoft Silverlight

Closing an Open Movie

Adobe Flash

To close an open movie:

Adobe AIR

Opening and Running an Existing Project


To open an existing project:


Managing the List of Recent Projects

Which Output Format to Use

3 Movie Planning and Design

Scenarios for Output Types


#1: Training for a Windows Desktop Application

Goals – What Do You Want To Accomplish?

#2: Training for a Web-Based Application

Audience(s) – Who Are the Viewers

Specifying the Output Settings

Resources and Constraints – Some Questions

Building the Output


Distributing the Finished Output

Notes about This Phase

Move the Files Manually


Publish the Files

Plan the Mimic Feature Set


Create a Visual Style Guide

Creating a Target

Create an Outline of the Movie

Building Targets

Storyboarding – Formalizing the Outline

9 Frame Interactivity Features

Develop a Writing Style Guide

Demonstrations vs. Simulations

Create a Prototype

Interactivity Features

Conduct a Usability Test

Create a Simulation

Review and Use the Test Results


Notes about This Phase

Creating Buttons


Click Boxes

Record the Screens

Creating Click Boxes

Annotate the Frames

Typing Boxes and Input Boxes

Preview and Modify

Creating Typing Boxes

Generate the Finished Output for Distribution

Creating Input Boxes

Notes about This Phase

Adding Feedback to Input Boxes


10 Advanced Features

Distribute the Movies

Adding Audio

Provide Feedback Mechanisms

Notes and Suggestions About Adding Audio


Some Points About Recording Voice Narrations

Analyze/Review the Feedback

Adding Audio to Objects

Workflow Review

Adding Audio to Frames

4 Recording Movies

Recording Voice Narration

Creating Basic Movies

Editing Voice Narration

Movies vs. Collections

Adding Audio to Movies

How Many Movies Do You Need?

Using Frames From Other Mimic Movies

Backing Up

Copying Frames From One Movie to Another

Recording Screens to Create a Raw Movie

Importing PowerPoint Slides

To record a raw movie as a demonstration:

Creating a New Movie from a PowerPoint Presentation

Saving Your Work

Importing PowerPoint Frames Into a Mimic Movie

Previewing a Movie


Closing a Movie or Collection

Creating Conditions In a Movie

To close a movie or collection:

Applying Conditions

Closing All Open Movies or Collections

Generating Condition-Based Output

To close all open windows:

Deleting Conditions

Opening a Movie or Collection

Using Conditions from a Flare Project

To open a movie or collection:

Work With Variables

5 Basic Frame Annotation

Types of Variables

About Frame Annotation

Creating and Defining a Variable


Inserting a Variable

Creating Callouts

Editing a Variable’s Value

Highlight Boxes

Master Frames

To create a highlight box:

Creating Master Frames


Applying a Master Frame

To create a loop:

Editing a Master Frame


Deleting a Master Frame

Creating Straight-Line Arrows

Adding a Master Frame to a Frame Library

Creating Curved-Line Arrows

Frame Libraries


Using a Frame From a Frame Library

To create a rollover:

Adding a Frame to a Frame Library

Adding and Manipulating Frames

Deleting a Frame From a Frame Library

Adding and Resequencing Frames

Creating a New Frame Library

Editing Frame Properties

Deleting a Frame Library

Adding and Manipulating Images

Making a Frame In a Library a Master Frame

Adding Images


Moving or Resizing Images

Displaying the Palettes Window

Align Multiple Images

Adding An Object to a Palette

Object Trajectories

Adding an Object To a Frame From a Palette

Capturing Mouse Pointer Movement

Adding a Palette

Adding a Trajectory to an Object

Deleting a Palette

Reshaping a Trajectory

Link Browser Window

Removing a Trajectory


Object Groups

Where to Store Templates

Creating An Object Group

What the Templates Should Contain

Ungrouping An Object Group

Creating a Movie Template


Mimic “Collections”


Integration with Flare






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