Cross Product Integration : The Journey begins

Technical Communication

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With FrameMaker 8, we began our journey towards closer integration among Adobe products for technical communicators.  With four products, FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Captivate and Acrobat 3D, catering to the needs of technical communicators, we have best in class products for each requirement.  Now with much closer integration among these products, we are enabling new workflows. 

FrameMaker 8 has two novel features – (a) insert a SWF file and (b) insert a 3D file.  Using Captivate, you can create a software simulation and generate a Flash (SWF) output.  With FrameMaker 8, you can now embed the SWF file in a document and when you save as PDF, the PDF generated contains the Flash demo.  The end users can now play the Flash demo by double-clicking the SWF file in the PDF.  We recognize that FrameMaker document also gets printed and the author needs an image (instead of the SWF) to print the document. There are two options there. One, before you publish a Flash demo from Captivate, select a pre-loader image.  This pre-loader image is visible in FrameMaker and when you take a print of the document, this image will be printed as part of the document.  Second option is to use conditional text to specify an image for print purposes.

Update – To ensure that Captivate includes the Playback Control in the published SWF, de-select the borders option in Captivate before you publish. Go to menu Project -> Skin, select the tab Borders and de-select the Show Borders check box. If you use this option, then the SWF will show the playback controls in the generated PDF. If you click on the SWF in the Adobe Reader, you can scroll, play, pause and stop the playback.

Use of 3D files in documentation opens up a new paradigm in technical communication.  You no longer need long descriptions of the 3D models, designs or diagrams in the document.  A short description with the 3D file in the document should now suffice. In addition, this substantially improves the user experience. With FrameMaker 8, you can now embed a U3D file (with Acrobat 3D, you can convert a large number of CAD formats into U3D format) and when you save as PDF, the PDF generated contains the 3D file.  The end users can now double click on the 3D file in the PDF and can rotate, enlarge and view the 3D object in different ways.  From printing perspective, there is a feature in Acrobat 3D to define default views for the 3D object.  In FrameMaker, you can select one of the default views and the printed documented will have that default image.

During the Sneak Peek of RoboHelp at the STC Conference in Minneapolis, we also demonstrated closer integration between RoboHelp (currently under development) and FrameMaker. Cross product integration is a long journey and with FrameMaker 8, we have moved significantly forward. For sure, we have many more milestones to cross.

Please do share your comments and suggestions.

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Technical Communication
adobe

Posted on 09-06-2007


Comments

  • […] wide range of capabilities for technical communicators. And Adobe product managers are speaking of increasing cross-product integration. It will be interesting to see where this […]

  • By Dieter Gust - 3:46 PM on December 12, 2007   Reply

    The new TCS product suite should be worth a very central link on the Adobe home page. The current (December 12, 2007)look of the home page does not reflect the second Adobe revolution, which shall cover the technical communication market.Regards Dieter Gust I am not sure if you have seen this link on the Adobe site – http://www.adobe.com/solutions/technicalcommunication/. We now have a new Solutions page which highlights technical communication as a key customer segment for Adobe. Also, content on Adobe site is dynamic and is constantly changing – Vivek

  • By Maninder Kaur - 11:06 AM on September 27, 2007   Reply

    Its really nice information. It would be nice to see the cross product integration between Adobe Framemaker and Robohelp.Regards,Maninder. You may have seen the announcement of Adobe Technical Communication Suite (www.adobe.com/products/technicalcommunicationsuite). We now support single sourcing workflow from FrameMaker to RoboHelp. You can “Add FrameMaker files” (book, fm and mif) as links in RoboHelp while you continue to make changes in FrameMaker. – Vivek

  • By Dieter Gust - 10:12 PM on September 10, 2007   Reply

    “Cross Product Integration : The Journey begins”Wow this is a real great info! It shows me that Adobe is willing to cover the real use cases in the technical documentation field.It would be nice to see how Adobe will complement the vision of integrated tools with regard to vector graphics and suitable formats and additional tools.From my point of view a big issue could be to think about to enhance FrameMaker graphic functionality and to offer an opportunity to import graphics und to update these with FrameMaker graphic functions and to control the export of these graphics at least in XML based processes. In particular this applies to so called “simple” schematic graphics which can (and should!) be based on enhanced and technical up-to-date FrameMaker graphic primitives. To use for these kind of graphics Illustrator is quite similar to the situation to use Photoshop for creating screenshots. For the latter RoboCapture is the right answer.Best RegardsDieter Gust

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