New FrameMaker user’s guide: sliced, diced, and enhanced

v2_fm_iconOver the years, many of you from the FrameMaker community shared rich feedback on the content and structure of the FrameMaker user’s guide. We’ve been listening and we’ve spent several busy months acting on the feedback to create an improved user’s guide that meets your content requirements better.

So, what exactly has changed? As we analyzed your feedback, some key themes emerged:

  • Content organization: FrameMaker is a powerful product packed with rich functionality. However, not all users use all of its functionality all the time. While improving the guide, we made a conscious attempt to minimize scattering of information and keep content around related features together. For example, information about using structured authoring features forms two neat chapters in the new user’s guide. This information was spread across several chapters in the earlier user’s guide.
  • Workflow-based approach: The new user’s guide makes it easier for you to just get things done. We’ve tried to step into your shoes and figure out what information you’d need and in what order. That you’d shared useful feedback over the years made our job a lot easier. So, whether it’s managing graphics or single-sourcing content, we walk you through relevant concepts and tasks in an order congruent with FrameMaker workflows. With apologies to Coleridge, might we say, the best content in the best order?
  • Responsive content experience: Content experience is two words—content and experience. We know you’re connected 24/7 and that you access instructional content on your devices. On your desktop, the new FrameMaker user’s guide opens in a little content viewer app of its own. When you access the content on a smaller screen, it is displayed in a responsive layout, ensuring a seamless content experience.

    Viewing the new FrameMaker user’s guide on a smartphone

  • Visual treatment: Wherever possible, we’ve tried to pull down the wall of words that traditional documentation is. So, as you glance through the new user’s guide, expect to see visuals and illustrations that help demystify a complex concept or task. Not sure how you can publish across multiple channels? Well, see it for yourself.
  • Discoverability: You turn to the user’s guide trying to find answers to questions that are blocking your everyday work. That’s why we kept titles in the new user’s guide crisp and the content search-friendly. So, whether you search on Adobe.com or Google, you can expect to find a useful Help article that helps you get back to your work as quickly as possible.
  • Resource ecosystem: We want the new user’s guide to be more than just your first stop for information on everything FrameMaker. We want it to be also the launchpad that propels you to other, often advanced, sources of information on the web. Hop right over to the appendix at the end to view a list of select FrameMaker resources. We promise to keep the list updated as more resources become available.

What we place in your hands today is just the version one of the improved user’s guide. Your feedback has helped us get it to this stage, and your feedback will be pivotal as we try to refine it even further. Keep the wishlists coming; we’re making a careful note of them.

And now that we’ve said enough, here are the links to the new guide:

HTML: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FrameMaker/12.0/Help/Using/index.html
PDF: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FrameMaker/12.0/Help/using-framemaker-12.pdf

Happy reading!

Contribute to Adobe Community Help

In case you didn’t already know, you can contribute to the documentation for many Adobe products under the Adobe Community Help model. See this page for FAQ on Adobe Community Help. In short:

Adobe Community Help is a set of web services that provides instruction,
inspiration, and support. Community Help combines content from Adobe
Help, Support, Design Center, Developer Connection, and Forums – along
with great online community content – so that users can easily find the
best and most up-to-date resources. Community Help enables users to
contribute content and add comments to all learning content on
Adobe.com.

Your contributions can be in the form of tips, tricks, sample code, examples, comments, content-improvement suggestions, and more. A free Adobe.com account is all that you need to contribute. What’s more, if the moderators find your contribution helpful, they will reward you with Adobe Community Help points. Isn’t that cool?

Here are some other helpful links that will get you started:

Adobe Community Help Client (CHC)

Adobe has also created the Community Help Client (CHC), a next-generation AIR-based Help system that lets you make the most of Community Help content. See this page for information about downloading and installing CHC.

Mallika Yelandur, my colleague, has done a series of useful blog posts introducing the CHC and its features. Hop over to her blog!

Adobe Community Publishing System

Mallika Yelandur, my colleague from the Adobe Learning Resources team, has an interesting post about the Adobe Community Publishing System on her blog.

An excerpt:
“Adobe Community Publishing System (CPS) is an AIR application that lets anyone with an Adobe ID publish content to Adobe.com.
While the Help pages support only plain-text commenting, CPS lets community members contribute tips, movies, code snippets, and more with easy-to-use templates. Contributions are moderated by community experts. Plus, everyone in the community can rate and comment on contributions.
Tips to help you get started with the Community Publishing System are here.