Author Archive: Maxwell Hoffmann

FrameMaker 11 w/o XML: why upgrade? Graphics & Anchored Frames

If you have had a chance to view the recording of our launch webinar, “What’s new with FrameMaker 11“, you may have noticed a heavy emphasis on DITA and XML. This is the fastest growing segment of our users, but we recognize that many people (a) continue to used FrameMaker w/o XML in unstructured mode and (b) there are many people experiencing growing pains with tech doc in Word who are interested in using FrameMaker 11 w/o XML.

FrameMaker 11 still a great unstructured authoring solution

Over the last several releases, major improvements have been made that save a great deal of time in an unstructured environment. This blog focuses on several features that add new powers in regards to graphics and anchored frames. You can see brief videos on some of this functionality in our AdobeTV show, “New in FrameMaker 11: Rich Multimedia Capabilities.”

Here’s an overview of key new features in this area, and how you might use them in your workflow.

Object styles and Object style catalog

For years, FrameMaker has had powerful control over paragraph, character and table styles. A table “catalog” was added in the last release to make application of styles even easier. FrameMaker 10 also introduced strong “housekeeping” tools for styles, e.g. the ability to search for any paragraph, range of text or table that does not match the catalog definition.

This type of power and control has now been extended to graphics, vector objects and anchored frames through Object styles. This can be used in a variety of ways: Continue reading…

First Look at New FrameMaker 11: 90 minute overview Aug 7

FrameMaker 11, along with RoboHelp 10 and Tech Comm Suite 4 was announced and simultaneously released Tuesday July 24th. August 7th at 10 AM, Sr. Product Manager Kapil Verma will give a detailed product overview of FrameMaker in a 90 minute session. Attend this session to find out why I consider this the most important release of FrameMaker in 10 years.

Go here to register:

http://adobe.ly/Oj0MTK

(Note: if you miss the session, it will be recorded, and this blog will be updated with the link)

For a complete overview of FrameMaker, read Kapil Verma’s excellent blog, “FrameMaker 11 and FrameMaker Publishing Server 11 are here!Continue reading…

The Future of Tech Comm is Here! [Video]

View our recent YouTube video which illustrates the “future” of ┬átechnical communications in a unique way. Watch a speed-ed up white board artist cover just about every component of tech comm that you can think of. Then think about it; the “future” is already here.

Enjoy!

Webinar Highlights: Are You Tempted to Use a Template to Expedite Policies & Procedure Development?

Last week Raymond Urgo, “Mr. P&P” covered a highly useful topic you may not have considered before. If you are authoring or revamping your Policies and Procedures, what considerations should you have around templates? Should you work with boilerplate? Should you have a dynamic “shell” that your staff can easily fill in? There are many choices, and the wrong choice can have consequences down the road. Urgo gave some very sage advice: “Know the rules before you choose the tools.”

You will find a link to the recorded webinar at the end of this blog. It requires a free “Adobe.com” account for log-in credentials to view the recording. Continue reading…

Content Scenarios for exploring new Information Products

Every day technical communication teams are being asked to do something new. Given the rate of change that is apparent in the marketplace, and the expanding array of new devices and venues that will need to be supported, this trend will only accelerate. One question that comes up is how do teams explore the new publishing pathways so that they can determine what changes they will need to their overall content creation and publishing process. Intelligent Content thought leader Joe Gollner recentlly guided us through some proven steps in exploring new information products and refining content processes in our recorded webinar, “Content Scenarios for exploring new Information Products.”

You may review the slides below. This blog provides a brief overview of the insights share in this dynamic webinar.

Highlights from “Designing technical documentation for tablets” Webinar

This week Ellis Pratt of Cherryleaf shared many insights and considerations for creating technical documentation for tablet computers that you may not have thought of before. This blog has a link to the full slide deck below and at the end of the blog, a link to a recording of the webinar itself.

Continue reading…

Resizing Content: How to rethink content for mobile devices

I wrote on this topic back in February, but expanded on the theme for a presentation to the San Francisco chapter of STC last week.

Although it may seem self-evident that a small screen requires shorter sentences, shorter word count, etc., some customers are trying to “squeeze” existing legacy content (created for full page display, replete with complex tables and multi-level nested lists) onto mobile devices.

This blog touches on a few highlights of the presentation, which is fairly self-evident in the slide share above. Continue reading…

When gray scale is better: Getting Real: Electronic Documents in the Field

This blog touches on highlights of Joe Gollner’s excellent co-Webinar with Adobe TCS on “Getting Real”, creating documentation for challenging environments where backlit screens and relatively short battery life for an iPad may not work well. There are a variety of areas, ranging from military to remote construction, where eReaders with opaque, grayscale screens can work better.

 

“I wouldn’t change a thing…” STC President’s thought-provoking quote

A couple of months back, STC’s new President, Alan Houser was on a closing panel of an event, and his answer to a frequent question has haunted me for weeks. The question? “What, if anything, would you have done differently in your tech comm careeer, knowing what you know today.” Read on to find out Houser’s answer. And I think I’ve finally found my answer.

Snow storms and brain storms

This April I represented Adobe at an outstanding STC regional event, STC Spectrum 2012, in Rochester, NY. Despite an unseasonable snowstorm that covered all directional signage at the RIT campus, a capacity crowd showed up for an event that had a wide array of tract and themes. There was a sizable flock of hardy Canadians who are always nonplussed by anything that Mother Nature throws our way.

By the way, I was very impressed with the grasp everyone (veterans and newbees) had on many of the challenges that face us today. The days of spelling out D-I-T-A are definitely a thing of the past.

Continue reading…

YouTube Video on FM10 PDF annotations vs. FM7 manual steps

For a more complete demonstration, click on the video link below