[Guest Post] “Multichannel Publishing using Adobe Technical Communication Suite, Part III”, by Bernard Aschwanden

In this guest post, certified Adobe trainer and expert Bernard Aschwanden of Publishing Smarter recaps some key points that he covered in part three of a three-part webinar series for people who either want to know more about Adobe’s Technical Communication Suite, or who are new to the product(s). The goal is to showcase some important features of Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Captivate, and Adobe RoboHelp in less than three hours.

By the end of all three sessions, you should be comfortable with the Adobe Technical Communication Suite and how the tools work together to create a fictitious “Welcome to FrameMaker” guide based on very real workflows and best practices.

Watch Deliver the Goods and other sessions

This is the third and final video in a three-part series available at Adobe’s event website. The recordings can be found at the following links:

Deliver the Goods: Extract Every Bit of Value from FrameMaker via RoboHelp

To start where Bringing Procedures & Tasks to Life left off, begin watching Deliver the Goods at 0:15:38.

This session focuses on using RoboHelp as a distribution tool for content created in FrameMaker. I demonstrate importing content into RoboHelp using both default and customized settings, and outputting that content into various delivery types, including iPad and online help.

Importing FrameMaker Documents into RoboHelp

Both default and customized settings are explored. When customized conversion settings are created, they can be saved and reused again at a later time. One really important area to think about is pagination which then automatically splits larger sections of FrameMaker content into shorter topics for online reading.

To import FrameMaker content into RoboHelp, select File > Import > FrameMaker Document. Make sure you take the time to look at your choices which include .fm and .book.

What is Multiscreen HTML 5?

Multiscreen HTML5 lets users output content to devices like the iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, and Kindle Fire.  Adobe RoboHelp lets users configure and publish content in multiple ways to multiple outputs in the same publishing cycle.

Publishing to Multiple Formats

One of the key features of RoboHelp is that it lets users preview and publish content for multiple device types. Users can create a separate table of contents for each device. If information in certain topics is not valuable to users of a particular device, it can be omitted from the final deliverable.

RoboHelp Tips

There are many tips documented in this video (and the series), including the following:

  • When importing content, the conversion settings dialog lets you set up the styles you want used for the output. This lets you import information into RoboHelp more cleanly.
  • For first time users, you may work on customizing the screen and feel you “lose your place”. If the main screen looks unfamiliar, it’s easy to return to RoboHelp’s default screen configuration. Go to the top right-hand corner and select Workspace > Default.
  • To preview final output,  right-click on Multiscreen HTML > View With Screen Profile > and select the device.

Conclusion

I hope that these videos help you to better understand the tools and processes associated with using the full Adobe Technical Communications Suite. The tools really help to make content creation and distribution easy. You can focus on the audience, create great content, and deliver it a multitude of devices.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article, and watching the associated videos.


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Bernard Aschwanden

Bernard Aschwanden

Bernard Aschwanden is a recognized publishing technologies expert in XML and related technologies. The Adobe Certified Expert, Certified Technical Trainer and the author of numerous publications on publishing and single sourcing presents at conferences and events across Europe and North America. Bernard is also the founder of Publishing Smarter, an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, and a Director of the STC. You can also follow Bernard on twitter: @publishsmarter

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