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Highlights of FrameMaker 2017: Ease of Use, Dynamic Output, and Productivity Enhancements

Apr 7, 2017   //   by Jay Manahan   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by the Saiff Solutions Technical Writing Team

 

The virtual press conference for the 2017 release of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite introduced significant updates to its flagship authoring tool, Adobe FrameMaker. The 2017 release of Adobe FrameMaker includes big improvements in the user interface and a list of various productivity and publishing enhancements.

User Interface Improvements

The biggest changes since the last version are the improvements in the user interface. These changes include a more intuitive and user-friendly welcome screen, a command search feature, and a new project manager.

The new welcome screen makes commonly used tasks immediately available after launching FrameMaker. The welcome screen has a Recent Items section that makes it easier for users to access recent documents. The Browse field lets users search and access files quickly, navigate to a folder, connect to a CMS repository, and restore your last working session. Shortcuts to common document templates are prominently displayed on the new welcome screen, allowing users to easily create new documents. Helpful topics available in Adobe Resources are displayed as links in the resources area of the welcome screen. You can customize the appearance, organization, and contents of the welcome screen by updating the HTML and CSS files located in your user directory.

The new command search feature makes it easier for beginning and experienced users to find different features, commands, and shortcut keys in FrameMaker. From the command search icon, type part of the command name and a list of matching commands is displayed. Users can click the command from the search results to execute the command directly from the command search.

More command shortcuts are displayed with the menu options for easy recall of shortcut key sequences.

The new project manager allows users to manage and organize project files easier and faster. After creating a project from the File menu or from the welcome screen, you can add links to resources, such as documents and graphics, to your project. You can easily drag and drop images, links, and contents from the project manager to your documents. Users can create projects for a specific book or multiple books, and reference those books inside the project.

Dynamic Publishing Output

Adobe FrameMaker 2017 comes with the latest HTML and HTML5 publishing layouts that adopt the latest practices in responsive content.

The Ocean layout includes predictive search, dynamic content filtering by DITA attribute values, integrated TOCs on each page, and HD-optimized icons. Predictive search completes the search phrase as the user types in the search field. Matching search results are also displayed as the user types. The basic HTML layout lets users create output without the extra files for responsive content and other features. This results in a lightweight HTML output that is appropriate for organizations that use their own CSS and template files. Layouts are customizable. You can turn off unneeded widgets, configure content filtering, and change the icons.

For DITA users, the new HTML5 layouts supports dynamic content filtering that lets you filter content that is displayed in your output by DITA attribute value.

Productivity Enhancements

Adobe FrameMaker 2017 gives you more comprehensive search results with the ability to search for text within SVG graphic files.

The support for higher graphic resolution up to the 4K standard allows the user to use FrameMaker in higher resolution monitor settings without the UI elements and text rendering uncomfortably small.

Initial Impressions

“The 2017 release of Adobe FrameMaker is more intuitive and user-friendly. Creating technical content is easier and faster because the user interface is much more well organized. I’m amazed at how FrameMaker 2017 transformed my draft into an organized and well-structured document.”

“Adobe FrameMaker lets me work effortlessly, and improves my technical writing. Enhanced features and reorganized menus will save you time and effort when you work with FrameMaker 2017.”

– Barry Saiff


To learn more about FrameMaker 2017, visit http://www.adobe.com/products/framemaker.html or email customer support at tcssup@adobe.com.

Welcome to the Saiff Solutions Blog!

Jan 4, 2017   //   by Mike Ronquillo   //   Blog  //  No Comments

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Below you will find our latest and greatest blog posts.

Click here for the complete list of blog posts sorted by title

Be an Effective Tech Comm Professional with this 2017 Technical Communications Calendar

Featuring the 14 Habits of Highly Effective Technical Writers &  Technical Communications Leaders

You’ve read the blog post and seen the STC-sponsored webinar. Now you can have the 14 Habits of Highly Effective Technical Writers and Technical Communications Leaders guide you through 2017 with this desk-stand calendar.

2017 Technical Communications Calendar - Desk Stand

Download the PDF and get your favorite print shop to print it on 6.5″ x 4.5″ card paper and bind it. Then display it on your desk and be reminded to Ask, Rewrite, Get Feedback, and Be a Customer Advocate to maximize your effectiveness as a tech comm professional.

If you’d rather be inspired whenever you look at your office wall, then print this wall-hanging version on 8″ x 11″ paper.

2017 Technical Communications Calendar - Wall Hanging

And if you’d like to know further how we can help your customer experience and process improvement advocacy by scaling up your technical documentation, send us a message at barrysaiff@saiffsolutions.com.

Tech Comm Goal Setting 2017

Saiff Solutions, Inc. wishes all of our followers and supporters a Happy New Year and a prosperous and joyous 2017!

Once again, we are sharing with you our year end/year start questions. Use them as you see fit, to empower yourself, your organizations, and your loved ones.

Give me my 2017 action plan for success!

The History of Technical Writing [Infographic & Video]

Learn the key stages of transformation that the technical communications profession has gone through during the last five decades.

This five-minute video takes you through the history of technical writing, from the infancy of a new profession through a rebellious adolescence that led to a revolution in Unified Content Strategy and topic-based authoring during tech comm’s young adulthood.

 

Technical communications is now experiencing an identity-challenging paradigm shift in its midlife — in many cases moving from Engineering departments into Marketing, feeling greater pressure to outsource, and experiencing both challenges and opportunities from automation.

As you watch the video, you  can follow the tech comm profession’s exciting story with this infographic. Then, please ask us how you can help chart your organization’s technical writing transformation.

history-of-technical-writing

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Recap of LavaCon Las Vegas 2016

barry-saiff-at-lavacon-las-vegas-2016

What We Learned from LavaCon Las Vegas 2016

Here are some of our top take-aways from LavaCon Las Vegas 2016:

  • The basic topic types (concept, task, reference) were developed based on cognitive science – what we understood over 20 years ago about how the brain works and how people learn. A new approach, combining the latest cognitive science with information mapping, has yielded a new authoring methodology. Learn more about this from Precision Content.
  • MadCap Software, famous for the authoring tool Flare, now offers a component content management system (CCMS), Central. Central is free to all until the end of 2016.
  • Many low-cost alternatives are available for companies that cannot or will not spend many tens of thousands of dollars on a CCMS. One promising low-cost CCMS is XDocs from Bluestream.
  • Other low-cost solutions can be created by combining the latest HTML technologies. For example, you can combine Oxygen, a low-cost XML editor that supports topic-based authoring, with GitHub, a code repository product that can be used effectively to manage customer content.

Look for more information on low cost CCMS alternatives in future blog posts and webinars from Saiff Solutions, or ask us!

Saiff Solutions Empowered Tech Comm Managers

skills-of-a-good-documentation-managerjob-description-for-doc-managers

 

 

 

 

 

Documentation managers of all experience levels met with our CEO Barry Saiff for an engaging discussion. Barry Saiff has 30+ years of combined global technical writing and documentation manager experience.

Video recap | Photos

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Testimonials

“Barry [Saiff] has extensive experience both as a manager of technical writers and as a writer. As a manager, he is fair, encourages innovation, and is open to divergent points of view. As a writer, he can grasp very complex concepts and explain those concepts to end user through administrator audiences. Additionally, he has expert knowledge of all components of the documentation process, including corporate style guides, editing, writing, working with localization, and production. Barry is very much a people person and wherever he goes, he cultivates a large network of friendly yet professional relationships. He’s worked successfully with both on-site subject matter experts as well as those across the world. During my time working with Barry, he’s run a number of successful efforts to improve the usability of documentation. In one such case, he recruited a cross-functional team to overhaul the documentation based on the recommendations of this user-facing group of subject matter experts.”

Steve Anderson
Principal Technical Writer, Symantec
December 16, 2010

Read more testimonials here.