Adobe FrameMaker Summer Release 2020

by Stefan Gentz

Posted on 07-14-2020

And here it is: The next major version of Adobe FrameMaker is available now.

And like the 2019 release, the Adobe FrameMaker Summer release 2020 is loaded with innovation, powerful new features, and many big and small enhancements.

It’s about …

Shall I start with the many authoring enhancements for class style-based authoring? Or with the many XML and DITA-based authoring improvements? Or that we made What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) PDF output even superior? Or that we completely rearchitected the HTML engine? Not to forget the all-new Online Review leveraging Document Cloud review services. Or with my personal favorite, the brand-new XLIFF support that makes Going Global with your content easier than ever before? But maybe that would be unfair, as many of you will also like the enhancements we made on the integration with Adobe Experience Manager. The list is incredibly long! We have also included many requests from the community. As with every release, we endeavor to make FrameMaker work even better for you.

The Adobe FrameMaker Summer release 2020 is unique for many reasons for sure. However, there is one more big news: We did a fundamental shift towards a subscription-based, continuous delivery model of updates and new releases. What does that mean for you? From now on, you do not have to wait for new major releases for 12, 18, or even 24 months. And you will never have to pay for an upgrade again. As long as you have subscribed to FrameMaker, we will continuously deliver bug fixes, improvements and enhancements, and completely new features regularly.

Let me go through some of the highlights and what the Adobe FrameMaker Summer 2020 release is about.

It’s about Navigation. And not getting lost in content.

The easy to use navigation view with built-in intelligence works like magic. It helps you to see the inherent structure of your document. It makes it easy to navigate through your content based on the titles and heading levels. It has a powerful search with right-click options to select a heading and content. You can expand and collapse content sections, and so much more. Give it a try. If you are working with classic FrameMaker documents, you will just fall in love with this productivity booster.

It’s about large documents. And chunking them down.

The new “Split a document” utility helps you to manage large FrameMaker documents better. You can import Word files and split them into a book with small chapters in an easy to use user-interface.

It’s about DITA. And making it easy for everyone.

If you are looking to use DITA, we have implemented a bunch of improvements. You can use LwDITA out-of-the-box now. Inserting multimedia files has become a lot easier. We simplified the DITA authoring view and made keyspace management a snap. But not enough: We have also implemented the latest version of the DITA Open Toolkit.

If you are on the source code side of things, you will love the completely new, modern Structure View in the Source Code editor.

And if you are on the structured application development side: You can now easily create Structured Applications using CSS3 and the DTD for DITA and any other XML schema.

It’s about PDF. And PDF/X. And PDF/A. And Section 508. And Liquid PDF.

As per the Adobe Tech Comm Survey 2020, PDF continues to be the dominant delivery channel for output. More than 90% of companies deliver content as PDFs. With the latest release of Adobe FrameMaker, we have further stretched the boundaries of generating WYSIWYG PDFs.

With the latest release of Adobe FrameMaker, you can now generate PDF/A and PDF/X compliant PDFs. Need to be Section 508 compliant? Now you can. And we bring PDF publishing into the future by embracing the PDF 2.0 standard to create fully-tagged PDFs which is required for the new “Liquid” mode in Acrobat for Mobile. And we have added new DITA templates and the ability to attach/embed documents to a PDF output.

It’s about speed.And Responsive HTML5.

On top of PDF, the second most popular publishing output format is Responsive HTML5. We have re-architected and re-written (from scratch!) FrameMaker’s core HTML5 engine (used for generating the HTML5 output for FrameMaker files). And the result is: Speed! And more speed!

If you liked how much faster publishing was in Adobe FrameMaker (2019 release) compared to previous releases, you will love how incredibly fast it becomes with the Adobe FrameMaker Summer 2020 release.

But speed is not everything. We have also made many improvements in the quality of the HTML5 output such as:

  1. Use of pseudo-classes and auto-numbering
  2. Better coverage of paragraph and character designer properties
  3. Style names used in FrameMaker are preserved in the resultant HTML and CSS
  4. Graphics or graphics/images with text call-outs are exported as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
  5. Performance improvements like opening the Style Mapping panel and more.

It’s about Going Global.And XLIFF.

For many content owners, the translation process is an intransparent black box with little or no control over the way their FrameMaker or XML files are processed. Results and quality are depending on the translation vendor, the tools they use, their competence, and the processes they set up.

With the new XLIFF translation engine in the latest Adobe FrameMaker release, you can now create XLIFF files – a standard in the translation industry. And not only that: You can also create pre-segmented XLIFF files based on the Segmentation Rules eXchange standard (SRX) and customize the XLIFF based on the International Tagging standard (ITS).

This technology stack gives you full control of how your content will be processed in translation. At the same time, it makes you completely independent of the tools your translation vendor is using. And your translation vendor gets the freedom to choose any CAT tool they like best.

And there’s another advantage in that: If you choose to send out pre-segmented XLIFF files, you get segmented XLIFF back. That is, you always get XLIFF files back, that contain translation units with source and target language. You can import these bi-lingual XLIFF files into any translation memory tool you decide to use internally.

The new XLIFF engine in the latest Adobe FrameMaker release comes with advanced configuration settings for the FrameMaker file format, XML, and DITA. And as we built the architecture around ITS, you can customize the engine for any custom XML as well.

It’s about collaboration.And Adobe Document Cloud.

Gathering feedback from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), translation reviewers, and other content and feedback contributors has always been a challenge. Maybe you were sending a PDF to multiple reviewers asking them for feedback. And then, you get feedback back from multiple reviewers. Sometimes even with clashing comments. You had to communicate between reviewers, solve all questions, and then implement all the change requests into your document. What a time-consuming challenge!

Within the latest release of FrameMaker, Adobe has put true team collaboration into the review process. With the Adobe Technical Communication Suite subscription, it is now as easy as 1-2-3 to send your documents for Online review and leverage the power of the Adobe Document Cloud. Just sent your documents for online review right from within FrameMaker. Your reviewers get an email, open the online version of your document, and add their comments and annotations. Once everyone is done with the review, you can import all the comments with a click of a button. And with the new Review Panel in Adobe FrameMaker, you easily accept or reject the changes.

It’s about collaboration.And Adobe Experience Manager.

When working in a team, it is essential to have your technical documents as part of a source control repository. FrameMaker supports Adobe Experience Manager, Documentum, and Microsoft SharePoint Online, to name a few.

With the new release, Adobe FrameMaker now supports Single-Sign-On (SSO) for Adobe Experience Manager, a secure 2-factor authentication system. We have also built in many performance improvements, the ability to download one-level or multi-level dependents, and many more enhancements. Over the next updates, we plan to add more collaborative source control platforms to the existing list.

It’s about you.

Your feedback is always the most important to us. Whether you’re sharing your feedback through discussion boards, or through social media or in-person. We’re listening and will continue to improve the product over the coming releases.

It’s about all of us.

At Adobe, we believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment, and we also stand with the Black community against hate, intolerance, and racism. We will continue to support, elevate, and amplify diverse voices through our community of employees, creatives, customers, and partners. We believe Adobe has a responsibility to drive change and ensure that every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We must stand up and speak out against racial inequality and injustice. Read more about the actions we’re taking to make a lasting change inside and outside of our company.

We also know many people are still impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis, and our thoughts are with you. The entire Adobe team wants to thank you, our customers, and all technical writers around the world for the work you do to keep us inspired during this difficult time.

Learn more about Adobe FrameMaker:

This blog post was co-authored with Amitoj Singh, Product Manager for Adobe Technical Communications Tools – FrameMaker, RoboHelp, and the Technical Communication Suite.

Topics: Technologies, FrameMaker, Products, TechComm, TechComm Import