Rich Content – Getting Richer …

Technical communication is moving from static documents to richer content.

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words. In the online world, it is not just limited to pictures, end users of technical documents want more – tutorials, videos, 3D objects and so on. A number of technical communicators already use Captivate, Photoshop, Acrobat 3D and related products. We recognize this need and trend.

FrameMaker enables import of graphic files by reference and enables you to resize, crop, change orientation, rotate and flip the images. With Acrobat 3D, manufacturers can incorporate 3D designs into technical communication (see sample embedded 3D file in PDF). You can manipulate a 3D object (for example, rotation, taking different views, lighting, etc.) in Acrobat 3D, capture or export an image and include that in FrameMaker and RoboHelp. After you create a PDF, you can replace the picture with the actual 3D object in Acrobat 3D and change the orientation, background color, highlight specific areas of the 3D model and so on.

Adobe RoboHelp 6 allows you to insert Captivate demo (simulations, software demonstrations, and scenario-based training) from a topic within RoboHelp HTML and RoboHelp for Word.

In addition, RoboScreenCapture (ships with Adobe RoboHelp 6) enables you to capture screens in 10 different modes, including Free Hand, Virtual Screen, and Multi-region. You can edit screen captures (add image stamps, frames, and drop shadows; add shadow and shape effects; change image colors; flip, rotate, crop, resize images) and export images to common file formats. This also enables adding identifying stamps, such as company name or logo, to each screen capture. After you have edited, you can save images in different formats.

Please let me know your views on the role rich content plays in technical communication and how will you like FrameMaker and RoboHelp to support you in this endeavor.

On a separate note, Aseem, Product Manager, FrameMaker joined me on the Technical Communication blog. I hope to have more colleagues join us as we go forward.

Note – Since I am unable to visit every external link and validate it, please don’t post comments with external HTML links.

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Posts from multiple members of the Adobe TechComm team.

7 thoughts to “Rich Content – Getting Richer …”

  1. I really like the idea of integrating Captivate demos in my online Help content and have done so a couple of times with RoboHelp X5 (for a WebHelp system) and been happy with the results. Post-integration with the app, I’ve seen this work well in Java and .NET environments.However, I’d like to know if you can point me to information or case studies about integrating “rich content” WebHelp in open source development environments (specifically PHP-MySQL)? I’d want to provide very specific integration information to the dev team (apart from the map IDs). Would appreciate any pointers.Thanks,Poornima Padmanabhan

  2. A question related to rick content… I was just in an Adobe webinar about structured/XML documentation co-presented by SDL for a nice localization tie-in. We’re deeply interested in this (and SDL has already been on-site to conduct an evaluation and is providing us a recommendation), but this leads me to my question… Now that Adobe owns both FrameMaker and RoboHelp, are there plans to tie these together and perhaps evolve RoboHelp from a WYSIWYG and otherwise stand-alone tool into an output device for structured content? Kind of like how WebWorks ePublisher works now? I can see benefits in tying all these products together for seamless and dare I say “push-button” authoring. I’d love to see the ability to conduct scheduled builds of documentation. Also, speaking of dynamic content, when will we see Unicode support? One of the main points of frustration we have is dealing with Central European languages, both in authoring/translation and in output. FrameMaker does not communicate well with output devices such as WWP to get the characters out correctly in the output. We’ve been able to cob something together using custom character catalogs, but this is overhead that we’d really like to jettison from our workflow, as it takes time and causes frustration to implement these cobs. Thanks for your feedback. We recognize the need to support authoring in multiple languages. Over time you will see benefits from both products, FrameMaker and RoboHelp, being developed by one company.- Vivek

  3. I second William’s question (can you second a question?). Anyway, yes – my company produces font sets as well and it would be most advantageous for us to be able to embed them in the PDFs. We currently need to take screen shots of these fonts, which proves to be cumbersome. If it’s possible to do or if we need to make modifications to the font packages to make this happen, it would be great if this information could be published somewhere.

  4. William,Document > Attach a file (in Acrobat 7; not sure where the command is in version 8). There doesn’t seem to be any restriction on the type of file to be included.LTM

  5. It is well-known that one or more fonts, or subsets of one or more fonts, as desired, can be embedded in a pdf document so that a person may view the pdf document as intended, even if that person does not have the font or fonts used to produce the pdf document installed on his or her computer.However, the following question is not about that feature. It is only mentioned so as to be clear that that is not the subject of the following question.Could you say please whether there is a technology available whereby someone can produce a pdf and include as an attachment within the pdf a font file of which he or she owns the copyright? This would be the all-electronic equivalent of a paper and print magazine with a CD-ROM cover disc containing the font.I am thinking that this may be possible as there are ways to include various Computer Aided Design file types within a pdf. Yet I wonder whether the types of files which can be included as attachments within a pdf are specifically limited to some range of types.I am interested in fonts and produce some of my own. I am wondering whether it would be possible to produce a pdf where the font is embedded in the normal way to facilitate correct display and in addition to include the font as an attachment which the person reading the pdf could easily extract and then install on his or her own computer if he or she so chose.William Overington22 February 2007 Interesting note. Unfortunately, I am not an expert in this area. I suggest you post this question on the Acrobat user forums, which is monitored by some of the best experts in this area. Wish you all the best ! – Vivek

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