I have moved my Blog to http://rjacquez.com

You may have noticed that your favorite Adobe Blogs are now sporting a new look and this is because we have finally migrated over to the popular blogging platform, WordPress.

With a strong ecosystem around WordPress, this is exciting news because there are so many more themes, widgets, plug-ins and overall community support available.

The more I learn about WordPress, the more I like it, and the more I want to tweak the various settings for a personalized experience. Since Adobe migrated my Blog, I have done quite a bit of research on WordPress, asked questions on Twitter, and watched quite a few video tutorials on YouTube.

One thing has become quite clear in all of this, namely, if I want total control of my Blog (i.e. super-admin rights), I really needed to host my WordPress Blog on my own domain and thus I have decided to launch: http://rjacquez.com.

The move has been exciting and no doubt a learning experience, but one I highly recommend if you are serious about Blogging, and frankly you should be. And although I didn’t take copious notes of the entire process, I have posted an at-a-glance list of what it took me to launch this WordPress Blog on my own domain.

I hope you follow me along as I continue to share my experiences as an Adobe Product Evangelist.

http://rjacquez.com

Analyzing Adobe Captivate 5 Quiz Results posted on Acrobat.com [VIDEO]

A couple of weeks ago, I published a Quiz developed in the new Adobe Captivate 5 software, which included a setting for publishing the results to Acrobat.com.

In this video, I go over how to analyze the Quiz results using Adobe Captivate Quiz Analyzer, an Adobe AIR applications, that ships with Adobe Captivate 5.

Since Adobe AIR applications are cross-platform, meaning they runs exactly the same way on Windows, Mac and Linux, I decided to show this application on the Mac, too.

I hope you like this new functionality in Adobe Captivate 5, and if you enjoyed this video, please share it with your Twitter followers by clicking the pre-populated ReTweet button.

Click the image below to launch the video (07min) in a new window.
Adobe Captivate 5 Quiz Analyzer

Introducing Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2.5, now with Photoshop CS5 and Captivate 5 [VIDEO]

I’m extremely excited to share with all of you that today we are updating our Adobe Technical Communication Suite software to version 2.5.

In version 2.5, we are replacing Adobe Captivate 4 with the brand new Adobe Captivate 5, which includes a brand new user interface, as well as a long list of new features.

Also, we are replacing Photoshop CS4 with Photoshop CS5, which is an amazing new release with exciting new features, such as the new content-aware fill, which allows you to easily remove an image element and magically replace it with details that match the lighting, tone and noise of the surround area, so that it looks like the content never existed.

Here's What's Inside Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2.5:

FrameMaker mnemonic

Adobe FrameMaker® 9

Author and Publish Technical Documents in Print, PDF, XML and DITA

RoboHelp mnemonic

Adobe RoboHelp® 8

Easily create Professional Help Systems, KBs and Policies and Procedures

Captivate mnemonic

Adobe Captivate® 5

Bring your Documentation to life by visually explaining complex tasks via show-me movies and try-it simulations

Photoshop mnemonic

Adobe Photoshop® CS5

Use Content-aware fill to remove unwanted areas from an image and for including Rich-media in Technical Documents

Acrobat 9 mnemonic

Adobe Acrobat® 9 Pro Extended

All the features of Acrobat Professional, plus features for working with 3D images and Video-to-Flash conversion

Presenter mnemonic

Adobe Presenter 7

Rapidly create high-impact Adobe Flash presentations from PowerPoint for inclusion in Technical Documents

Also included: Adobe Bridge CS5, Adobe Device Central CS5, and Adobe 3D Reviewer

To learn about what’s new in Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2.5, I have published the following short Adobe Presenter video. Click the image below to launch the video in a new window.

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The wait is over. Adobe Captivate 5 and Adobe eLearning Suite 2 are available now! [VIDEOS]

I’m happy to share with all of you that Adobe Captivate 5 and Adobe eLearning Suite 2 for Windows and Mac are now available and shipping.  Furthermore, the trials for both applications are also available for download.

For a while now, I have been sharing videos of my favorite new features in Adobe Captivate 5 and Adobe eLearning Suite 2 in an effort to get you ready for when the trials became available (i.e. today).

I wanted to list these videos here in case you haven’t had a chance to watch them:

This is an overview of the brand new user interface (UI) in Adobe Captivate 5, and the benefits it brings to our existing users. The new user interface in Adobe Captivate 5 looks and works the same way on Mac as it does on Windows. Also, with this new UI, Captivate now works like other Adobe products, for example Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and FrameMaker, which means that you will be able to comfortably go from any of these applications to the next without missing a beat.

In rewriting Captivate from the ground up, one of the resulting benefits is the significant speed improvements gained from using newer technologies. In this video, I conducted my own speed tests using a stopwatch and the results are fascinating.

Hands down my favorite ‘integration’ feature in the new Adobe eLearning Suite 2 is the tight integration between Adobe Captivate 5 and Photoshop CS5. This functionality enables one to roundtrip native Photoshop (.PSD) files in Captivate 5 without having to re-import each time one changes the Photoshop file. I go over how to do this in this video.

In this video, I introduce Captivate users to the services of Acrobat.com and provide an overview of the integration we have built for leveraging the cloud services of Acrobat.com in Adobe Captivate 5.

In this video, I talk about how Acrobat.com is used to publish, track and report Adobe Captivate 5 Quiz results, without the need for a Learning Management System (LMS).

Many people have asked me what the experience will be like for Learners taking Captivate eLearning courses, which have this Acrobat.com functionality enabled.

I created a short Quiz and published it to my Blog, in order to enable you to test exactly what the experience will be like for your learners.


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Take this Adobe Captivate 5 Quiz and Publish the results to Acrobat.com

Since we announced Adobe Captivate 5, I have been blogging and posting video on various new features in the new version, and one of the videos, which has garnered the most interest and views to date is, Publishing, Tracking and Reporting Quiz Results in Adobe Captivate 5, no LMS required [VIDEO].

Many people have asked me since then what the experience will be like for Learners taking Captivate eLearning courses, which have this Acrobat.com functionality enabled.

Today I created a short Quiz and published it to my Blog, in order to enable you to test exactly what the experience will be like for your learners.

Here’s what you need to take the Quiz and publish the results to Acrobat.com:

  1. You need to have an Acrobat.com ID and password, which is completely free. This will serve to identify each learner. This is the same ID (email) and password you use to download an Adobe trial, or to participate in an eSeminar, or to sign in to Acrobat.com and Photoshop.com, etc.
  2. Complete all 6 Questions.
  3. Click the “Post Results” button at the end of the Quiz.
  4. When prompted, enter your Adobe ID and Password. This is completely safe and even I will not see or have access to this information. If you don’t have an Adobe ID and password, click the “Create Adobe ID” link to create an account.
  5. Click Sign In after entering your Adobe ID and Password. During this step, Acrobat.com will authenticate you.
  6. The final step is to click the “Send” button.

As illustrated in the video I posted on this topic, I will then use my own Acrobat.com ID and password, along with the included Adobe Captivate 5 Quiz Results Analyzer to generate a report.

Enjoy!

Click HERE to launch the Quiz in a new window.

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An invitation to learn about FrameMaker, CMS, XML and DITA

This Quarter, we are teaming up with our FrameMaker XML, DITA and CMS partners to bring our customers a number of live eSeminars.

I will be adding more events as we finalize them but for now, here are two coming up this month. I hope to see you there:

  • Integrating Adobe FrameMaker 9 with Documentum to maximize content reuse with Linked2

When: Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

Description: Learn how to take advantage of the seamless integration between Linked2, Documentum and Adobe FrameMaker 9/Technical Communication Suite 2 to optimize the reuse of content. Together with experts from Integrated Technologies Inc. and Millennium Consultants Inc., find out how to overcome barriers such as Content Reuse, Search & Retrieval, Creating Reusable Objects, Project Management etc.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


  • Sense out of Confusion: Streamline your Authoring by transitioning from unstructured to DITA XML

When: Thursday, June 24, 2010, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

Description: Learn how to take advantage of FrameMaker’s seamless integration with the SiberSafe content management system to streamline and simplify the use of the DITA XML structure for your technical authoring team. Together with experts from SiberLogic, find out how to overcome barriers such as Legacy Conversion, Topic Authoring, Project Management, Publishing etc.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


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The Essentials of Single Sourcing with FrameMaker and RoboHelp [VIDEO]

Some time ago, I hosted a 2-hour eSeminar on the topic of dynamically linking FrameMaker files in RoboHelp via the Adobe Technical Communication Suite. The recording is also available for onDemand viewing and whenever I get questions related to this topic, I always send people to these recordings.

However, sometimes I find that some people just don’t have time to sit through a 2hr video and would much prefer a shorter video and thus this posting.

The video below is only 14 minutes long, and it walks you through the essentials of single sourcing with FrameMaker 9 and RoboHelp 8 using the Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2.

Having said that, I still highly recommend that if you have time, you go over these two additional recordings, which dive deeper into this process.

Click the image below to launch the video in a new window.

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Using the Windows Snipping Tool with Adobe Captivate [SIMULATION]

There’s a lively discussion happening now internally by members of the Adobe Captivate 5 prerelease program on the topic of whether Adobe Captivate should include a screen capturing tool.

The idea is that often times you need to supplement your Adobe Captivate projects with a simple screen shot of a dialog box, or a rectangular snapshot of an area of the screen, so I’m somewhat in agreement with this argument, especially if you don’t already have a dedicated screen capturing tool.

Having said that, there’s a little known utility included with Windows 7 called the Snipping Tool and after I tweeted about it some time ago, one of my followers pointed out that it was also included with Windows Vista, so my take is why not use it.

If you haven’t discovered this utility, you are not alone, most people haven’t either. Here’s a simple Adobe Captivate simulation, which show where to find this utility and how to use it with Adobe Captivate. The simulation shows Windows 7 and Adobe Captivate 5 but the overall steps also apply to Windows Vista and Adobe Captivate 4.

Click the play button to begin the simulation:

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6 Reason to be excited about Adobe Community Help in CS5 and how to build a Similar Experience

The new Adobe Community Help (ACH) in Adobe Creative Suite 5 (CS5) is the kind of revolution we need in User Assistance (aka Online Help) because it’s based on everything that is important and trending in today’s Web 2.0 world.

Below are 6 reasons why I’m excited about what Adobe Community Help brings to our CS5 users and also to the Help community in general.

I’m getting lots of inquiries from customers who want to deliver a similar Help experience to their users. If you are interested, I recorded a video on how to use Adobe RoboHelp to create and deliver a similar Help experience. Click HERE for more information.

  1. ACH is built entirely on Search. Many applications even include Search fields, which invoke Adobe Community Help automatically and display search results.

  1. ACH is a powerful showcase of User-generated content. It brings together relevant information from an entire ecosystem of knowledgeable users of the CS5 products, including Bloggers and Adobe TV.

  1. ACH is a Community platform for everyone to get involved through the ability to suggest useful links, provide a tip or comment, a correction on a Help topic, as well as Rate a topic.

  1. ACH is built using the latest Rich Internet Application tools. Adobe Community Help is build on Adobe AIR, which means that it’s cross-platform giving our users a singular experience across Windows and Mac.

  1. Adobe Community Help provides Online and Offline synchronization of content. Unlike the Help in CS4, which only provided Help when you were connected to the Internet, Adobe Community Help provides Help whether you are connected or not. When you are connected, the Help always checks for the latest information and provides a way for you to sync up the two versions.

  1. ACH also provides an in-Topic Search feature for search through long Help Topic. Press Ctrl + F to access it.

Thanks for visting the Blog and again if you want to learn more about how you can build a similar experience without any coding, click HERE. 

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How CAREstream Health uses Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2 [Success Story]

I always love hearing how our customers use the products that I’m passionate about, and this week we published a great success story on how CAREstream Health, a Canadian distributor of medical equipment, uses the tools in Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2 (TCS2) to steamline its technical documentation process.

There are three things in particular that stood out to me when I read the final version of this success story that I would like to share through excerpts from the article, namely:

  1. CAREstream Health’s productivity has increased tenfold since using the PDF Review capabilities in TCS2

The Challenge

“In the past, managing and producing such a large volume of technical content—an essential part of CAREstream’s business model—was a time-consuming and restrictive process. The documentation review cycle was lengthy and disjointed, with multiple contributors editing and merging disparate file types. Also, there wasn’t an easy way to reuse content components.”

The Solution

“Instead of grappling with numerous, disparate documents, the
CAREstream team sends out a single PDF file—generated in Adobe FrameMaker—for review. Each recipient submits comments on the document, which are then merged into one, consolidated file. From there, editors can choose to accept or reject the revisions.”

“Our productivity has increased tenfold since we began using the PDF review capability alone. Implementing a new system using Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2 is a huge, revolutionary advance for technical communicators,” says El-Damaa.”

Click HERE for a video on how to conduct these type of PDF-based Reviews.


  1. CAREstream Health migrated to a DITA-based solution via Adobe FrameMaker and the Linked2 solution for Documentum

The Challenge

“CAREstream needed an integrated technical publishing system that would allow remote teams to easily create, convert, consolidate, and publish all of its time-sensitive technical documents in an application-independent format. The ideal technology would have to integrate with the company’s legacy Documentum content management system (CMS) as well as support an upgrade of that package, and allow writers and editors to migrate off word processing software and work in their favorite editor, Adobe FrameMaker®.”

“The solution would need to enable standardization on the application-independent format of XML, and leverage the industry-standard Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)/XML structure. All documents would have to be easily translated for localization, and be available for output to multiple formats.”

The Solution

“Linked2 appears as a menu item on the FrameMaker screen, featuring simple choices such as Check-in, Check-out, Cancel Check-out, Search, and Make Reusable Object. “Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2 is a winning technological combination that places a strong emphasis on integration,” says El-Damaa.”

“One of the main reasons CAREstream wanted to go to a DITA and XML structure was because of its powerful reuse capabilities. “With our new solution, all we have to do is right click on any content in a FrameMaker document and select ‘make reusable’,” says El-Damaa. “The selected text is automatically updated for repurposing. It is an incredibly simple and efficient process that has greatly accelerated our workflow.”


  1. CAREstream Health wanted tools capable of combining text and rich media for a better end-user experience

“El-Damaa adds that a key reason CAREstream opted for an Adobe solution is that it provides a good user experience and requires minimal training. Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2, he explains, was the only solution that provided tools to easily combine text and graphics for staff to rapidly produce professional, image-rich materials.”

“Now, CAREstream customers receive highly polished, interactive
documents that serve a wide range of needs, adding value to the transaction with improved service, and helping the organization build a loyal customer base. As an added cost savings, there has been a drop in the number of incoming customer service calls because product documentation is much improved.”


Click HERE to read the full story.

 

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