Archive for March, 2009

Web 2.0 Documentation using Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8 OnDemand Recording

By RJ Jacquez. Follow him on Twitter @rjacquez

Once again, I’m happy to report that yesterday’s (03/26/09) live eLearning session on Building Web 2.0 User Assistance using Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8 went extremely well and I thank everyone who participated!

BTW, this session is also applicable to eLearning Professionals, who would like to learn how Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8 can create powerful Performance Support Systems.

During the session, we went over the following 5 Lessons:

Lesson 1: The ABCs of Adobe AIR and Web 2.0

Lesson 2: Building your first Adobe AIR application in RoboHelp 8

Lesson 3: Customizing AIR RoboHelp Projects

Lesson 4: Understanding Updates, Bookmarking and Commenting

Lesson 5: Using the Adobe Help Viewer to Combine multiple RoboHelp projects using .RHA and XML files

The recording also provides a download of a sample AIR application and also the ability to test the auto-update feature.

I copied and pasted below a few of the comments I received through the chat pod during the session, regarding the question What does Web 2.0 mean to you?

“3D Capabilities”


“Interactivity between document and user”

“interactive experience”

“More collaborative tools such as Twitter, podcasts, forums, blogs, wikis”

My point was to make the connection between Web 2.0 and what users are expecting to find in Documentation and here’s what I think the impact Web 2.0 experiences has on Technical Documentation, more on the recording:

Finally, here are some excerpts of some of the feedback I received from those who participated in the live session, I especially like the first one and more specifically the text in bold:

“Excellent session. I was a complete novice about AIR. I’m impressed.”

“Very interesting session showing the future of interactive documentation and online help. RoboHelp 8 is a great update of RoboHelp 7.”

“Presentation was clear, organized, thorough, and blew me away. What a wonderful product! Thank you.”

“Yes, very useful, as it’s a shown up a couple of possibilities that we hadn’t considered, and fixed a couple of misconceptions and confusions.”

“For us, as I suspect for many others, internal review will be our first application, and so has to work. Once we have this successful ‘proof of concept’ we would demonstrate what we can do internally to visiting user groups, and then discuss how they might want this sort of technology implemented on their own sites. It’s clear the AIR help proposition has moved on since I first saw it, and I’d love to use the technology as a driver for updating our Adobe software across the board, perhaps with TCS2.”

“Excellent presentation! Will you be showing this at WritersUA?”

I hope you enjoy the recording, and please take a few minutes to share your thoughts about the recordings and Adobe AIR in Tech Comm in general.  If you are already building AIR applications using RoboHelp, click here to share your experience. 

This same for is available at the end of the recording and you can click on it to launch it and provide feedback.

Click here to launch the Building Web 2.0 User Assistance and EPSS with Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8 recorded session.

TIP: when you are watching any Acrobat Connect Pro demonstration (including the ones in this recording), something you may want to try is to click the “Scroll” button at the bottom left of the Connect Pro window, which will help you zoom in closer and follow the action around the presenter’s mouse.  To the right is what the button looks like in all Connect Pro recordings.

I have already started working on the next eLearning session,
Natively reusing FrameMaker 9 documents in RoboHelp 8 in the Technical Communication Suite 2.”


Building Web 2.0 User Assistance with Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8: Live eLearning session

If you have seen our new Help System in our Technical Communication Suite 2 (TCS2) products, namely Captivate 4, FrameMaker 9 and RoboHelp 8, you have probably noticed the Web 2.0 approach we took this time around by using Adobe AIR as the platform and RoboHelp 8 for authoring and publishing the Help.

This new innovative format is proving to be a big hit with our customers, the media and also with internal Adobe teams, so our entire business unit couldn’t be happier.

There’s so much to like about it and if you are like many people who really like this innovative format and the Web 2.0 benefits it provides end-users, such as the social networking aspect of posting and reading users’ comments, you are likely asking How do I create one of these AIR applications myself?

Great question indeed, and in this upcoming free, live eLearning session on "Building Web 2.0 User Assistance with Adobe AIR and RoboHelp 8," I will guide you through the entire process.

This session will be similar to the FrameMaker 9 User Interface and the Captivate 4 new features sessions I did.

Here are the specifics and what we will cover during this 90-minute live eLearning session:

When: Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 8:00am Pacific Time.  Earlier than normal to accommodate our overseas customers.


Registration: There’s no official registration required, however in the 2 sessions I did on FM9 and CP4, I ended up with a lot more participants that I was prepared for, so please confirm your participation in one of two ways, either open and accept the MS Outlook iCalendar below, or drop me a comment through this blog letting me know you’ll attend.

Right-click here and save this MS Outlook iCalendar of the meeting on your Calendar.

Login instructions: Click the link above as early as 30 minutes before the start time, enter as Guest, type your Full Name (do not type Guest as the name) and click Enter Room.  For the audio portion of the meeting, you will need to turn on your computer speakers and adjust the volume appropriately.  I will conduct a series of audio tests as participants begin to join.

Click here to make sure your system is properly configured to participate in this eLearning session via Acrobat Connect Pro.

One more thing to do is to make sure you have the latest Flash Player installed, because the session will include practice simulations in the Flash format.  Click here to install the latest Flash Player.

Duration: 90 minutes to accommodate questions and practice simulations.

Session Description: This eLearning session will cover the following topics:

  • The ABCs of Adobe AIR and how the AIR APIs apply to Web 2.0 Online Help
  • Examples of popular Adobe AIR applications, such as eBay Desktop, FedEx Desktop, and TweetDeck
  • Differences between the four output types available in RoboHelp 8, as illustrated here:
  • Building your first Adobe AIR application from RoboHelp 8
  • Understanding Adobe AIR installation, Updates and Certificates
  • Using the Adobe Help Viewer for combining multiple Help systems into a single Adobe AIR application using a .helpcfg XML file
  • Building Community-based Help systems using the Commenting feature
  • Personalizing the Help through Web links and RSS feeds
  • Including a PDF version of the Help in the Adobe AIR application
  • Understand the auto-update feature for keeping Help systems up-to-date

As always, I’m looking forward to this eLearning session and I hope to see you there!


RJ Jacquez now on Twitter @rjacquez

“Twitter is what happens between Blog posts.”

This is the best way I have found Twitter described.  For me a lot happens between blog posts:

  • I meet with customers using and interested in using my products
  • Speak at conferences
  • My products get updates (just twittered about FrameMaker 9.0.1)
  • I think of tips and tricks, and best practices for approaching various Workflows in my two Suites, TCS2 and eLs
  • I publish short how-to Captivate recordings
  • I learn what other Adobe teams are doing and how it applies to Technical Communication and eLearning, and more.

These are some of the things I will twitter about and I would be honored if you choose to follow me @rjacquez.


Adobe Captivate 4 New Features onDemand eLearning Session

By RJ Jacquez. Follow him on Twitter @rjacquez

I’m happy to report that Friday’s (03/06/09) live eLearning session on the new features in Adobe Captivate 4 went extremely well and I thank all 175 people who participated!

I copied and pasted below a few of the comments I received through the chat pod during the session, which illustrate how well-received this new version of Adobe Captivate has been.

On right-click simulation:

“YAY for right click simulation!!!”

“Right-Click is very exciting.  Main reasons I am here”

“great news!”

On single-SWF publishing:

“fantastic 1 swf”

“multiple swfs were annoying”

“i have had issues with multiple files in the past”

On the new Adobe AIR-based Help System:

“I like the community feature to get feedback from other users.”

“The context sensitive search looks very useful.”

“i like the d/l [download] as pdf”

“Like the community Comments addition”

“I definitely like the bookmarking feature”

On the included Practice Simulation:

“the simulation is really good”

“great way to keep the session interactive, I will do the same”

“excellent, I haven’t even checked email :)”

“Very cool. Thanks for incorporating practice into this session.”

“it keeps people engaged”

On Adobe Captivate Reviewer (Adobe AIR application):

“free is great”

“It would pain me to print out slides for each edit”

“This is a lot of new coolness for a $299 upgrade price”

“That will be very helpful in my company.”

Much better that what we’re using now”


This will save a lot of trees”

“I LOVE THIS.  When I’m doing reviews for myself, I have to do fixes from back to front as slide numbers change as I add & delete things–now comments attached to slide itself!  Bravo!”

On the overall eLearning session:

“BTW, you’re doing a great job with the presenation…I’m learning a ton!”

“very impressed with the feature set”

“awesome, tool”

“just keeps getting better by the minute”

“Thank you very much!!  A reallt informative session.”

“Thanks so much for this.  It was very helpful.”

“Thank you very much, RJ!

“you did a great job”

“Thank you for your lessons today!

“thanks RJ we will see you again”

On Project Template

“perfect for non-technical types”

“project templates are the only reason i will use this product”

“I believe it can cut a lot of development time”

“the place holders are great”

“that’s rad”

On Variables

“This was on top of my wish list!!”

“can’t help but be useful”

On Text-to-Speech

“Excellent feature”

“Will speed up course development”


On Panning

“the panning will be beneficial with our systems training”

“i have been using project resize to reduce the screen size, great time saver”

“will allow a more professional production”

For those of you who couldn’t make it and asked me for the recording, please click here to launch the Getting Started with the new features in Adobe Captivate 4 session.

Incidentally, when you are watching any Acrobat Connect Pro demonstration (including the ones in this recording), something you may want to try is to click the “Scroll” button at the bottom left of the Connect Pro window, which will help you zoom in closer and follow the action around the presenter’s mouse.  To the right is what the button looks like in all Connect Pro recordings.

I hope you enjoy the recording, and please share your thoughts about the new features in adobe Captivate 4, and the interactive simulation included in the recording.  You can do so by leaving a comment below.

I have already started working on the next eLearning session, and will post more information shortly.  If you have recommendations for future eLearning sessions, please share them with me.


eLearning and Tech Comm Conferences where Adobe is Participating

Starting next week, various Adobe teams from our Technical Communication Suite and eLearning Suite and I will be traveling, exhibiting and speaking at the following three conferences, and we look forward to seeing you there:

WritersUA 2009

This year, WritersUA takes place March 29-April 1, in Seattle, Washington.  With the recent launch of our Technical Communication Suite version 2, we are very much looking forward to the conference and to sharing with our customers the new technology innovations in the Suite, especially around increasing your value to your employer in this difficult economy.

I’m especially excited about the Product Demonstration session I will be leading at the show, where I will be highlighting not only the new features in FrameMaker 9 (e.g. the new User Interface), RoboHelp 8, Captivate 4 and whole Tech Comm Suite 2, but also about the various Adobe Technologies, which are now integrated into the Suite. For example the ability to work together with colleagues and customers in real-time to complete projects faster using the “Share my Screen,” feature, which is now built into our products.

A hot topic in User Assistance, which is what this conference is about, is Adobe AIR, which on December 15, 2008, eWeek Labs selected as one of the Top 10 Products of the Year.  eWEEK Labs staff write:

“The product that comes closest right now to the true vision of this next-generation Web application is Adobe AIR. Descended from Flash, AIR makes it possible to build powerful and interactive applications that have all of the benefits of both Web and desktop apps …”

During our Adobe product demonstration, which will take place on Tuesday, March 31 from 4:15-5:15 pm, I will be highlighting how Adobe AIR is enabling the next generation of Web 2.0 User Assistance, and how we at Adobe are using RoboHelp and Adobe AIR in the Help systems of Adobe Captivate 4, FrameMaker 9 and RoboHelp 8 to enhance the overall experience of our products and showcase just what’s possible today and how you can increase your value by introducing this innovative technology your own company.  Don’t miss it!

In addition to our booth and presentations, our products will also be represented throughout the conference by many well known speakers.  Here are just some of the sessions that I personally recommend:

·  Integration Jumpstart for Adobe Technical Communication SuiteKevin Siegel

·  Production Tips and Tricks for CaptivateKevin Siegel

·  Introduction to CaptivateMatthew Ellison

·  Quick Video Presentations with Adobe Visual CommunicatorBetsy Bruce

·  Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) and AIR HelpScott Prentice

·  Pixel Perfect: Photoshop Production TipsMichael Ninness

·  Migrating Unstructured FrameMaker Docs into DITA-compliant XMLJoe Sarnelle

·  Automating Acrobat with JavaScriptThom Parker


DocTrain West 2009

I always find Scott Able’s conferences very engaging and innovative and thus I’m always looking forward to attending and speaking.  This year’s DocTrain West will be held in beautiful Palm Springs, CA, and it takes place between March 17 – 20, 2009. 

The theme of the Documentation and Training West 2009 Conference is Moving From Unstructured to Structured Content.

I have a couple of presentations myself and will also be at the booth, so please stop by and say hello.  Here’s one of my sessions:

Adobe AIR and Adobe Captivate: Developing Web 2.0 Documentation

eWeeks Labs selected Adobe AIR as one of the top 10 Products of the Year in 2008, and Adobe announced that in less than a year after its initial release, there have more than 100 million installations of Adobe AIR.  In this session, we will explore what Adobe AIR is and why companies around the world, such as eBay, FedEx, Nickelodeon, Yahoo, and others are using AIR to build the next generation of Rich Internet Applications.

You will also see first-hand how Adobe AIR and the new Technical Communication Suite 2 can be used in your own documentation to deliver the same level of Web 2.0 experiences that Rich Internet Applications are delivering today.

Also, check out these two sessions from Tom Aldous, President of Integrated Technologies, Inc.:


Guild Annual Gathering 2009

This year’s Guild Annual Gathering is being held in Orlando, FL, March 10 – 13 and we will be there highlighting our brand new eLearning Suite, Adobe Captivate 4 and Connect Pro, so we look forward to seeing you there!

I personally will be delivering the following two presentations at the show:

  • Demonstration: Creating engaging content with Adobe Captivate and eLearning Suite — Wed, March 11, 10am
  • Tips & Tricks for Engaging Virtual Classrooms using Adobe eLearning Solutions
    Thurs, March 12, 10am

Let the travel begin!