Although FrameMaker has improved substantially and has radically improved its scope of publishing capabilities over the past 7-10 years, there are still many loyal users who continue to use older releases. Actually, this is a compliment to the strength of the core code. How many products do you know of in which some small groups of tech writers could continue to survive with a version from 7 to 12 years ago?
Believe it or not, it has been 12 years since FrameMaker 7.0 was release. Much has changed since then. There was no iPhone, IPad, and web projects were often an after thought, or an option from some tech comm professionals. Paper and PDF were still “King” back in 2002. We all know how much more dependent our consumers are on up-to-date, “portable” content.
This 7-part blog series touches on the main product improvements that have evolved since FrameMaker 7, 8 and 9. You will find a list of the 7 blogs below, embedded with hyperlinks. Click on any topic to explore it:
- Upgrade to FM12 Reason #1) Fewer steps, more automation
- Upgrade to FM12 Reason #2) Greater customization, customized workflows
- Upgrade to FM12 Reason #3) Collaborative and Mobile Review
- Upgrade to FM12 Reason #4) Fuller Format and structure control
- Upgrade to FM12 Reason #5) Tools for handling large projects
- Upgrade to FM12 Reason #6) Full DITA Compliance, Accessible Structured Editing
- Upgrade to FM12 Reason #7) Direct XML editing and low-cost FM XML Author
Major changes in FrameMaker 12
The following are just a few of the huge changes introduced a few months ago with release 12 of FrameMaker:
- Multi-channel and Multi-device publishing: use the new “publish” function to instantly output to 5 of the most popular on-line formats, including responsive HTML5
- 12 completely new templates with realistic document content, including markers, cross-references and more
- Customizable user interface to change color and size of key icons for easier viewing and access
- PDF review of content “on the go” with mobile devices. Source files can be edited while remote PDF review is under way
- Smart catalogs for regular documents with paragraph or character styles, as well as elements in XML
- Out-of-box integration with Dropbox for enhanced collaboration
- 3 different ways to view XML: page view, author view, or a powerful XML-code view
- Support for MathML equations
- Smart paste, to swiftly insert unstructured data into XML or DITA and convert data “on the fly”
- Quick Element Toolbar in XML editing to empower novices in XML authoring
- Support for XSLT transforms and XPath search across multiple folders
Earlier changes to FrameMaker
For those are not familiar with the last 3 releases of FrameMaker here is are some significant changes through Version 9:
- Publish to 5 online formats (including responsive HTML5 and ePub) in addition to print and PDF
- Full Unicode support, eliminating need for extensive editing to bookmarks in PDF output or to text contained in markers and paragraph prefixes
- Versatile user interface with docking menus, and expandable pods for viewing and controlling metadata in multiple documents.
- DITA specialization
- Ability to directly create or author files in XML format, without a “save as” to XML
- Book support for DITA documents
Useful resources to come “up-to-date” on FrameMaker 12
Since FrameMaker can be used to author regular “unstructured” docs or XML/DITA files, there are 3 common profiles for users of this powerful product. Adobe has created 3 webpages with a collection of resources appropriate to each user:
- Don’t intend to use structured authoring?
- Planning to move to structured authoring?
- Already using structured authoring?
We have also created two focused calculators which will help realistically predict your savings and return on investment:
- Calculator for Word users considering moving to FrameMaker
- Calculator for users considering migrating to XML or DITA: FrameMaker vs. typical competitors
Have your own hands-on with FrameMaker 12 and decide how you can use it
Adobe Technical Communication Suite 5 includes FrameMaker 12, which is an excellent authoring solution and also a versatile structured editor for DITA/XML. The possibilities with these new tools are as limitless as the profiles of our existing and potential customers. To discover how you can use FrameMaker, download a trial copy of FrameMaker 12 today. After having your own hands-on, you may decide in favor of the best bargain of all, obtaining a cloud subscription to the entire Tech Comm Suite 5, which includes RoboHelp 11, Captivate and other products in addition to FrameMaker 12.