Adobe Technical Communication Suite is Not a Bundle

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When we announced Adobe Technical Communication Suite last month, it was a culmination of 2 years of planning and execution. Adobe Technical Communication Suite is a single product, with a single installer and a single serial number. FrameMaker and RoboHelp versions in the Suite are special versions with additional features.

The goal of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite is to provide a complete solution for all the technical communication needs. With enhanced cross-product integration between the new versions of FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Captivate and Acrobat 3D, the Suite provides an unmatched solution for most of the workflows. In addition, the Suite also supports the key trends in the marketplace.

– Adobe Technical Communication Suite is available in four languages – English, French, German and Japanese. Adobe RoboHelp was earlier localized in English and with Adobe RoboHelp 7, it is now available in all the four languages. In addition, all products in the Suite are Unicode compliant. Adobe FrameMaker 8 and Adobe RoboHelp 7 now support Unicode. Both FrameMaker and RoboHelp also include dictionaries and thesaurus for a large number of languages. Adobe RoboHelp 7 now provides for output user interface in multiple languages for WebHelp and FlashHelp.

FrameMaker 8 can add Captivate demos, launch Captivate to edit them (in the Suite version), double-click to play the Flash files in the browser (or the default application selected for .SWF), and save them in PDF. Acrobat 3D includes 3D capture utility to create a U3D model from several CAD tools. Acrobat 3D Toolkit enables you to prepare these 3D models (for example, define default views) and FrameMaker 8 can add 3D models and save them in PDF. You can also double click a 3D model in FrameMaker to edit them in 3D Toolkit. RoboHelp is very tightly integrated with Adobe Captivate and Adobe RoboScreenCapture and we have continued to enhance these integrations in Adobe RoboHelp 7. While importing or adding FrameMaker files as live links, RoboHelp imports the SWF files and maintains them as SWF, while the default 2D image of the 3D model in FrameMaker is imported by RoboHelp.

_Support for collaboration and team authoring- _With Acrobat 3D part of the Suite, we have support for PDF based review and commenting workflows.The Suite versions of both FrameMaker and RoboHelp generate PDF with reader-extension, enabling Adobe Reader to comment on the PDFs. In addition, Adobe RoboSourceControl provides team authoring support for RoboHelp project files. RoboHelp has close integration with RoboSourceControl, including in-application prompting when a file is edited without check-out. As part of the Suite, authors can use RoboSourceControl to check-in and check-out FrameMaker and Captivate files. With RoboSourceControl, you can specify user rights, rollback to previous versions, and also collaborate across networks. The version compare feature is however limited only to text files.

Support for Single Sourcing – With Adobe Technical Communication Suite, you can single source FrameMaker content in RoboHelp by adding FrameMaker files as live links (in the Suite specific version of Adobe RoboHelp 7). You can add .book, .fm and .mif files to RoboHelp project, import TOC, index and glossary, map FrameMaker styles to RoboHelp styles, define pagination settings, convert markers to MapIDs for context sensitive help, ignore auto-numbers for specific styles, select topic naming formats, convert auto-numbers to HTML lists and so on. You can also add structured FrameMaker files.

Enhanced Support for Structured Authoring – Adobe FrameMaker 8 now has enhanced support for DITA. FrameMaker 8 also enables filtering based on attributes and import of XML files along with an associated CSS. Adobe RoboHelp 7 has a new HTML editor which generates a clean HTML and provides an enhanced code view. RoboHelp also has an ability to import and export XML through an extensible framework of XML handlers.

More importantly, we are focused on enabling key cross-product workflows and you will see these products moving in tandem as we move forward. As I mentioned in my previous post, cross-product integration is a journey and we have many more milestones to cross. Your comments and suggestions will guide us in this journey. Do share them.