I’ve just returned from 3 weeks on the road, where I had contact with dozens of current and potential customers. In all instances, the feedback I got on Tech Comm Suite was nothing short of phenomenal. The most common reaction was “where has this release of software been all of my life?”
Since Tech Comm Suite 4 was launched on July 24th (along with FrameMaker 11 and RoboHelp 10) and since that time more and more people have been discovering the products’ strengths. You can see a “Consolidated List of FrameMaker 11 Reviews” by clicking here, and you can also keep up to date on the “Consolidated list of RoboHelp 10 and TCS4 reviews” by clicking here.
I’ve based the following list on the features that existing and potential users have shown the strongest response to over many demos and webinars since product release. The take-away-message? Go ahead and buy Tech Comm Suite 4 “today” … there’s no reason to wait. Incidentally, you can purchase the product by clicking here.
1) Author and Edit DITA/XML in FrameMaker 3 ways
For years, FrameMaker has had effective tools for creating and editing structured XML data. For several years, it has been possible to edit *.xml files directly, with conversion to/from proprietary, binary FrameMaker format. Before FrameMaker 11, the user always had a “page/print” or WYSIWYG view of content. In many cases this was an advantage. But for users who intent to output their DITA or XML to non PDF or Paper delivery, page breaks do not matter very much.
Users can now use two additional view: Authoring View and XML Code View. Authoring view removes any page layout formatting, and some paragraph specific formatting, for a more generic view of content.
XML Code view allows users to see “code only.” All menus involving formatting disappear. Intelliprompt will anticipate what type of “legal” element you are inputting the moment you enter “<“.
You may click on the video below to view a brief demo of the three “role-based” views available for XML editing with FrameMaker 11:
2) Multiscreen HTML5 output via RoboHelp 10
One of the most dramatic improvements to RoboHelp 10 and Tech Comm Suite 4 is the ability to publish to multiscreen HTML5, which enables single-source files to be viewed multiple ways on different devices. A combination of intelligent style sheets, screen profiles and media query enable out content to appear appropriately on a variety of tablet, smartphone and desktop devices.
It is possible to publish from FrameMaker 11 to multiscreen HTML via FrameMaker Publisher 11, or by channeling through RoboHelp 10 within Tech Comm Suite 4. The following video will give you a brief overview:
You may also wish to view the following recorded webinar, which provides more of a “deep dive” on this topic:
3) Created a linked table of parts, views or animations to a 3D graphic
FrameMaker 11 introduced several dramatic improvements to graphics creation and management. Previous version introduced the ability to import rich media (3D diagrams and video) which can be played our manipulated in PDF output. Now, if you have imported and “named” a 3D graphic, in a few mouse clicks you can create a table that has hyperlinked entries that display all of the part names in the graphic. This one has to be seen to be fully understood, so watch the video below. You will have no problem envisioning how you could use this feature in your workflow!
Click here to view an AdobeTV episode/video “FrameMaker 11 Generate hyperlinked parts table from 3D Illo”.
4) New layout editor in RoboHelp
The latest version of RoboHelp 10 has taken the “mystery” away from style sheet creation. Now, users who are not experts in CSS protocol can swiftly grasp how to modify layout for multiscreen HTML5. Again, seeing is believing. Watch our brief AdobeTV episode, “RoboHelp 10: Manage appearance via screen layout editor” by clicking here.
5) Integrate Captivate step-by-step training into RoboHelp projects
Tech Comm Suite has always had tight integration between FrameMaker and RoboHelp. Now Captivate is more closely integrated with RoboHelp. Publishers can pause RoboHelp to create a Captivate screen simulation, which is instantly imported into the RoboHelp 10 project. Or, one can import output from Captivate that contains step-by-step training. Watch the brief video below for an overview.
Still not convinced?
Don’t take our word for it (or the many experts referenced in the compendium of reviews listed above.) You can have your own hands on with Tech Comm Suite 4 by clicking here. Once you do, we think you’ll find that the wait is over and time to act is now. And by the way, if you like to “pay as you go,” Tech Comm Suite 4 is not available on a monthly subscription basis.