Archive for June, 2010

Take this Adobe Captivate 5 Quiz and Publish the results to

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 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

  1. You need to have an 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 and, 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, 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 ID and password, along with the included Adobe Captivate 5 Quiz Results Analyzer to generate a report.


Click HERE to launch the Quiz in a new window.


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.


  • 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.



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.


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:


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. 


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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