TechWhirl First Look: Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2017 Release)

Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2017 release)A Bigger, Better, Cooler Toolkit for Content Pros

Technical Writer. Information Developer. Instructional Designer. Content Manager. Producer. Doc Manager. Copywriter. Maven. No matter where you fall on the continuum of content producers, you are probably challenged by having the right tools to manage a constantly changing, and ever increasing flow of work. If you create content for traditional print or PDF outputs, build out in-app assistance, or develop customer portals that bring together training, self-help and other content, the Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2017 release) merits much more than just a passing glance.

Think of Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2017 release) as the all-in-one toolkit that allows you to create and deliver rich, engaging content experiences that support users across all of their devices. In addition to the big three (which we describe in a little more detail below) Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe RoboHelp, Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server, the suite includes supplemental tools that support all types of content:

  • Adobe Captivate 9 for building attractive, instructionally sound, and responsive eLearning.
  • Adobe Presenter 11 leverages HTML5 and integrates with leading LMS (Learning Management Systems) to deliver high quality interactive learning.
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (2017 release) effectively manages PDF-based document reviews, secure signing, and document tracking.
  • Adobe RoboScreenCapture allows you to capture, edit and annotate screens in a wide range of graphic file formats.
  • Adobe RoboSource Control provides for project collaboration, including managing version history, comparing and rolling back document versions, and restricting access.

For organizations moving to DITA, Adobe has also released a new version of its XML Documentation Add-on for Adobe Experience Manager.

FrameMaker (2017 release) Focuses on being easier to use, and offering more functionality than ever

Adobe has transformed the FrameMaker workspace in this new release. If you’re new to FrameMaker, you can ramp up faster, and if you a veteran, the changes will speed up your workflow. In the tool, you’ll find changes to pod displays (see only the most relevant by default); a new Project Manage feature for quickly organizing document files; a more usable welcome screen that lets you access structured and unstructured content in the same screen; and menu search to quickly reach less frequently used commands. All of these changes add up to a modern, user-friendly experience that suits the way you work.

FrameMaker (2017 release) sets the bar for best-in-class functionality. Now you can create personalized content experiences with new frameless Responsive HTML5 layouts with new search autocomplete and improved navigation, now all optimized for HD displays. Reduce loading time with the improved default HTML5 output that excludes extra files. You can also generate clean, customizable basic HTML5 output that eliminates layouts and Javascript. And, if you work in one of the increasing number of organizations adopting DITA, you can insert and manage DITA cross-references using a new menu command, and search for them by element type, ID or text.

RoboHelp (2017 Release) Delivers Optimized, Responsive and Personalized Help Experiences

If your team’s goal is to create great personalized help content for your users, then the new features in Adobe RoboHelp (2017 Release) should fill out your toolkit nicely. Like FrameMaker, the new RoboHelp release supports publishing content as Mobile App, Responsive HTML5, PDF, EPUB, KF8, MOBI, WebHelp, CHM and others. And, you can employ next-generation HTML5 layouts with intuitive navigation and search auto-complete.

RoboHelp (2017 Release) makes it easier than ever to create consistent a user experience across devices and meet 508 compliance requirements through their Responsive HTML5 layout gallery. Once you’ve chosen your layout, publish your content with a single click. You can enhance the personalized help experience with dynamic content filters that generates only one set of HTML5 files, no matter how many expressions you use.

If you focus on creating content-centric mobile apps for iOS and Android, the new release of RoboHelp can help you do it with a single click (note: Generating apps with PhoneGap Build requires purchasing a PhoneGap Build license.)

Adobe has also improved support for the latest release of Captivate, so you can add videos, demos, and interactive quizzes to your Help content.

Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server (2017 release) Takes Creation & Delivery of Rich Content Experiences to the Enterprise Level

Adobe FrameMaker Publishing Server (2017 release) automates multi-channel, multi-device publishing with features that make efficient enterprise-level authoring and publishing a reality. FrameMaker Publishing Server (2017 release) uses a comprehensive dashboard to integrate and streamline setup and management of your content workflows. You need only define settings once and share them organization-wide.

To better support distributed teams, FrameMaker Publishing Server (2017 release) includes remote access that supports multiple users, using a web browser to view their own publishing tasks, output status, next-run date and time, and logs generated; as well as their templates and presets, and shared templates.

Like all Adobe technical communication products, it produces output technical content in a wide range of formats including Mobile App, PDF, EPUB, Kindle, Microsoft HTML (CHM), Adobe Experience Manager Mobile and Responsive and Basic HTML. FrameMaker Publishing Server has support for leading CMSs, such as Adobe Experience Manager, EMC Documentum, Microsoft SharePoint, and DITA Exchange CMS out of the box, but also allows your team to use the web APIs for integration with other CMSs.

Adobe delivers tight integration between the XML Documentation Add-on for Adobe Experience Manager and FrameMaker Publishing Server (2017 release), so you can publish DITA content to other formats. Use the Repository view to check out files, manage dependencies, monitor versions, and perform searches, even with custom metadata.

Summary

The Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2017 release) and its component authoring tools provide greater ease of use, better collaboration, and the extensive functionality required to produce rich content experiences across channels and across devices. You can see for yourself in our upcoming in-depth profiles. In the meantime, take them for a test drive with a 30-day free trial.

Look for in-depth profiles on Adobe Technical Communication Suite (2017 release), FrameMaker (2017 release), RoboHelp (2017 release), and FrameMaker Publishing Server (2017 release) from some of the industry’s top professionals coming soon. In the meantime, if you don’t already have a subscription, get a 30-day free trial.

Connie Giordano

Connie Giordano is a partner in INKtopia Limited and editor of TechWhirl's Tech Writer Today online magazine. She has been a list member and contributor since the days when 14,400 baud was high speed communications, and Windows 95 was state-of-the-art.

Read more articles from Connie Giordano

Connect with her on Twitter