2017 Release of FrameMaker (Update 1)

The Adobe FrameMaker 2017 release has been one of the most successful releases in the history of FrameMaker. The completely re-thought and re-designed user interface with many smaller and bigger improvements, the new HTML5 based and customizable “Welcome Screen”, compatibility with high-res / high-dpi screens up to 4K, the smart command search, better image handling, the new project manager, enhanced conditional tags, enhanced DITA authoring and management, omnichannel publishing and brand-new modern and Section 508 compliant Responsive HTML5 outputs with the new predictive auto-complete search bar and much more got overwhelmingly positive reviews.

And we were very active since the launch in January. We got a lot of valuable feedback and wishes from you. We are always listening and willing to walk that extra mile to incorporate your feedback. Today, we’re happy to announce the availability of the first update to 2017 release of FrameMaker.

In this important update, we have incorporated a number of enhancements and ironed out a lot of smaller glitches. I would like to extend big thanks to all those who’ve contributed by reporting issues and helping us improve the product. In this post, you can find the important updates and fixes that we made in 2017 release of FrameMaker (Update 1). Complete list is available here.


What’s new and better

Following the list of enhancements and issues fixed in the 2017 release of FrameMaker (Update 1).

User Interface

  1. Many of you told us that you prefer to dock the Graphics Toolbar horizontally. In 2017 release, only vertical docking was possible. So we brought that back: Dock the Graphics toolbar with Update 1 vertically or horizontally just as you prefer. Also, we ironed out a few UI glitches in the Graphics Toolbar

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Horizontal Graphics Toolbar
  2. We made more enhancements to the Paragraph Designer! Now you can rename existing styles very easy with this nice new “Rename” button. And there’s more intelligence in it: When you just change a style’s properties, you see an “Update Style” button. When you type in changes in a style name, the “Update Style” button changes to “Create Style” and the “Rename” button becomes active. The decision to rename the current style or to create a completely new one is now just a mouse click away!

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Paragraph Designer (Update Style)  FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Paragraph Designer (Rename Style)
  3. We understand that many of you do not only author and publish in their native language, but need to edit translated variants of their documents as well. And FrameMaker supports spell checking and hyphenation for up to 40 languages out of the box. But FrameMaker’s typography engine is even more powerful than that! In fact so powerful, that you can author and edit virtually any (!) language of this beautiful planet, even if we do not provide spell checkers and hyphenation engines for them. With FrameMaker 2017 you can even edit languages like አማርኛ (Amharic), ܐܬܘܪܝܐ (Assyrian), မြန်မာစ (Burmese), हिन्दी (Hindi), বাংলা (Bengali), తెలుగు (Telugu), मराठी (Marathi), தமிழ் (Tamil) and all others (not even your browser might be able to show them here!). You have never heard of “ᓀᐦᐃᓇᐍᐏᐣ (Swampy Cree)“? And you will probably not publish your technical documentation in this language? Okay. But it’s a good feeling you could do it with FrameMaker if you ever need to, isn’t it?

    So. Now, you got this Arabic translation back from your translator. But which language do you assign now in FrameMaker? فارسی? or was it العربية? Now, in FrameMaker 2017 Update 1 you can simply select “Farsi” and “Arabic” from the language drop-down. And same for other language names with non-western characters that were in the language drop-down in their native language names.

    Of course we also did not forget the Character Designer. And also not the Preferences dialog where you can specify which spellchecker and hypenation engine you want to use (depending on the language you can select between Hunspell, Proximity and Winsoft).

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Language dropdown
  4. Oh, tables. Yes, we heard you. Many of you asked us to improve the Sort Table dialog because it was hard to work with it. In Update 1 for FrameMaker 2017, we have completely redesigned the dialog to make it much easier to use.

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Sort Table dialog
  5. Adding and editing multiple Variables in one go is easier now. In 2017 release, creation and editing were done using a modal dialog which was better suited for a one-time action. This change is now rolled back as users prefer to have it open while adding and editing multiple variables in one go.

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Add/Edit Variable dialog
  6. Adding Page Breaks now also happens in a pod which remains open in order to take multiple actions. In 2017 release, this was transformed to a modal dialog which would close after every action.

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Insert Page Break - non-modal dialog/pod
  7. A Conditional Tag option is now added to the ‘Insert’ menu in unstructured mode. This change is part of menu reorganization where a new “Insert” menu is added to make insertion of common items easier.

  8. You didn’t like that the ‘Conditional Tag’ pod had a minimum height that was unnecessarily big? We neither. That’s why we made the height of the Conditional Text pod completely adjustable now. The constraint on minimum height is removed and the last entry in the list is not truncated anymore.

  9. If you are doing a lot of Structured Template development, you will love to hear that we made the Show Element Context dialog re-sizable now.

  10. We understand that there are many FrameMaker users who do not work with XML. For those of you who work in the “classic” FrameMaker mode without XML, we have customized the welcome screen in the way, that all the DITA, DocBook and other XML options are not visible. See the difference between classic and structured FrameMaker in the Welcome Screen in this animation:

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Welcome Screen (Structured vs. Unstructured mode)
  11. Customize your Welcome Screen! Those of you who have already started to customize FrameMaker 2017’s new Welcome Screen will love to hear that: We made it easier now to customize the Welcome Screen or even create your completely new own Welcome Screen.

    We have added the Welcome Screen to %appdata%\Adobe\FrameMaker\14\resources\welcomeScreen\, so that you can customize the welcome.html there. Makes it more easy to edit and more “update-save” and avoids the need to edit the welcome.html in FrameMaker’s installation folder. We have also updated the User Guide with this info.

  12. The File Open dialog lists all supported file formats now including XML and DITA formats. In earlier versions, if you open a file using File > Open or Ctrl+o, the dialog lists only unstructured documents in ‘Files of type’ drop-down.

    The screenshot shows part of the the "File Open" dialog with the open file type dropdown in FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1.
  13. While working on extended desktops, the Command Search (F7) pop-up appears as expected on the desired monitor now.

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: Command Search
  14. Saving a document in View Only mode is now made possible. This option was removed from the 2017 release.

    FrameMaker (2017 release), Update 1: File Open Dialog, File Type dropdown


Publishing

  1. Dynamic Content Filters work correctly on indexes in Responsive HTML5 output. Earlier, indexes would continue to show even after applying filters.

  2. We love Animated GIFs! That’s why we took care that they are now rendered correctly in Responsive HTML5 output.

  3. All Responsive HTML5 layouts are now Section 508 compliant.

  4. On clicking a link of responsive HTML5 output from Google search results, the content is now shown in the full layout. Earlier, the page would open without the layout and user had to click on “Show” to get back to entire help system with TOC and layout.

  5. When you update from FrameMaker 2015 you can now import your customized Screen Layout .slz file and your customizations are migrated properly.

  6. When pulblishiing to the new “Basic HTML”, the new slim XHTML 1.0 Transitional output format, a slim index.html is created, that contains links to all HTML files included in the output. This is especially useful if you publish multiple files from a book.


Other

  1. FrameMaker Object Model version number appears correctly now in ExtendScript Toolkit.

  2. In the FrameMaker 2017 release we made inserting images into your document much easier and faster with the new Insert > Image menu. In previous versions you had to go a complicated route through File > Import > File. We have enhanced this and now you can also insert images in CGM format by using the Insert > Image menu option.

  3. We have updated FrameMaker’s internal Book MIF Parser for full Unicode compatibility in Windows path and file names. This makes it more easy for developpers to created automated processes based on Book MIFs.

  4. Redundant alert messages are no longer shown on removing structure from a document. Prior to this, two alerts were shown that required more clicks.

  5. We have fixed a couple of crashes reported while using advance search in Repository Manager.

  6. The Apache Xerces™ C++ XML Parser is an Open Source Software used for advanced XML parsing. The Xerces DLLs used in FrameMaker are updated to the latest version (3.1.4). This improves FrameMaker’s XML performance in many fields and fixes several bugs.


In addition we have fixed a couple of crashes reported while using advance search in Repository Manager and while saving FM files in older formats. A good number of issues related to localization (truncated strings or translation errors) are fixed as well.

You can also download the FrameMaker (2017 release) Update 1 Readme PDF here.


How to get Update 1 for FrameMaker (2017 release)

Getting the update is as easy. Just select > Help > Updates from FrameMaker’s main menu to fire up the Adobe Update Manager (AUM) to download and install the update.

Want to download the update to deploy it to all your FrameMaker installations without downloading it on every machine? We understand this. That’s why you can find all update packages for download also in the Adobe FrameMaker Support Center.

After the update, the FrameMaker version will be 14.0.1.406. That’s good to know, isn’t it?


Found a bug? Want to suggest an improvement? Let us know!

You found a bug? You have an idea? You want to get something improved in the product?

There’s a channel for that: We call it “Adobe Tracker.” Adobe Tracker is your place to go when you find a bug and want to report it to us so that we can fix it in the next release. You can also file in your feature requests, ideas, requests for improvements. It’s very easy to do and the reports go directly into our systems, and our product managers, engineers, and support people have direct access to it.

Before you file a bug report or idea, you might want to check, if someone else has done it already. You can search through the database here. In case you find something fitting, you can add comments to the existing bug and you can also “vote” for this bug or feature request. And the more people vote for a feature … You get the idea.

  • You can report a bug here.

  • You can file in a feature request here.

Stefan Gentz

Stefan Gentz is Adobe's Worldwide Technical Communication Evangelist. He’s been working in the TechComm and Translation industry for about 18 years now. You can contact him with any ideas for solutions, partnership, TechComm conferences and events, blog posts on TechComm Central, Webinars and just any other idea. You can also join his community on facebook and follow him on twitter @stefangentz and Google+.

13 thoughts to “2017 Release of FrameMaker (Update 1)”

  1. If I were to purchase Framemaker 2017 and then use it to modify a file that was created by a client who uses Framemaker 2015, would my client be able to open my modified file without difficulty? There is a history of this not being the case. For example, my client made the jump from 5.5 to 2015 (yes, I know. A large leap.). Any file made in 5.5 opened up easily in 2015. However, once changes were made it was no longer able to be opened in 5.5. This is the conundrum I wish to avoid. Thank you!

    1. Yes, you are able to save one version back, so File > Save As and change the “Save As type” to Document 2015 (*.fm).

    2. Hi William, you can use Save As to save your content into MIF 7.0, which will get you back as far as v.7, and possibly even earlier. Functionality added since v7 (Object Styles, for example) would be dropped.
      Your client then can open the files into their version of FrameMaker.

      Of course, no one would recommend this as an ongoing workflow…everyone should be using the same version of software if file sharing is needed.

    3. As Matt and Dustin wrote. You can always save back as .fm one version back.
      But you can also exchange between much more different FM versions via the “Maker Interchange Format” (MIF). Just make sure to select MIF 7 if your client is on any Framemaker version between FM 8 and the latest one because MIF 7.0 is really for FrameMaker 7, which was “Pre-Unicode”. Just select the normal MIF format (in this case MIF 2017).

    4. I know the answer to that one. Nope, no file created with 2015 and opened with 2017 can be reopened with 2015 again. I was unlucky enough to discover that today, when Tech installed the 2017 release to one of my colleagues without asking what release we were using first….

      1. Hi “DD”,

        you can save one version back (2017 to 2105) via File > Save As. Select “Document 2015 (*.fm)” in the “Save As type” drop down. For earlier versions than 2015 you can save as MIF and open the MIF in the older version.

  2. Thanks , Stefan!

    It’s a big step forward.
    Let me suggest additional enhancements for the next FM update (preferably to be back-merged to FM 13):
    1. Edit–>Links dialog box should be resizable as the link path is jammed by default.
    2. Add Extendscript APIs for working with linked/embedded OLE objects.

    Cheers,
    Roman

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