Category Archives: Technical Communication

FrameMaker 10′s Config File Maker Wizard – Modifying XML Attribute Choice Options

What we are going to talk about today is another example of how Adobe FrameMaker 10 is all about increasing your productivity in an XML workflow. There is a host of enhancements and improvements. If you watch the video below, you will see how easy it is to add an attribute value choice parameter through a pull down menu across all instances of the attribute in your structure.

Here is the example. DITA has an audience attribute. This attribute can have any string value as per the DITA Spec. In reality, you probably want to limit the information that gets placed in the attribute to a specified list. This way you will have a much easier time filtering your content.

This is starting to make sense, but those of you who know how to create choice attribute values in your edd may say that this sounds like it’s just good for beginners. This is not the case. If you want to create a choice pull down for all instances of the audience attribute and not use this wizard, it’s going to take you a real long time. Using the Config File Maker wizard cuts that time down to minutes and you can reuse the config file that you make on many different projects.

This is a very powerful tool. Enjoy the video and spread the word.

Using FrameMaker 10′s New DITA Specialization Wizard

DITA is a popular standard. Part of the reason for it’s popularity is it’s ability to be extended through the use of specialization.

Most “real” XML editors support DITA 1.1 and 1.2 out of the box. Giving you the ability to open, edit and save DITA content with no configuration required by the user. FrameMaker 10 is no different. You can take off the shrink wrap. Install it on your system and start editing, saving and publishing your DITA content within minutes.

It really does not take very long before you realize that although DITA is a great starting point, your situation requires you to create your own specialized topics. This is where it could get expensive if you choose a different XML Editor than FrameMaker 10. The big question is, what does it take to merge your DITA Specialized topics into your templates.

FrameMaker 10 makes it easy with a wizard. I created a quick video to show you how easy using the wizard is to merge your specialization and get your group up and working.

Enjoy the video and spread the word!

FrameMaker 10′s Conditional Tags And Adobe Air Brought To You By RoboHelp 9

Most of today’s content authors are very familiar with FrameMaker’s Condition Text Feature. The ability to create condition names and tag our content for filtered publishing. We create one master set of documentation. Condition tag any differences in the content and filter publish multiple scenarios to pdf or print.

With Technical Communication Suite 3 (which of cause includes FrameMaker 10 and RoboHelp 9 with special integration) you can easily create a RoboHelp Adobe AIR Template that will understand how you conditional tagged your work in FrameMaker 10. From within FrameMaker 10 we can publish an Adobe Air Application that has complete dynamic filtering.

Of cause you can just do a file open in FrameMaker 10 of your past V.7, V.8, V.9 books and sections. FrameMaker 10 will easily upgrade those files and you to can do what I am showing you in the video. One more thing, although I’m showing you an XML example, it works just as well with your Unstructured FrameMaker files!

It’s best to see what I’m talking about. Enjoy the video and spread the word!

Tom Aldous

Round-Tripping Your EDD In XML Format

Ok, for you expert XML / FrameMaker users and developers, I have posted a zip file contenting everything you need to round-trip an edd in xml format with FrameMaker 10.

You may ask why. If you know about xslt, then you are starting to get the answer. Once you save your edd to xml you can apply xslt stylesheets to transform your edd globally. I use this most often when I want to add the same specialized elements, attributes and formatting content and level rules to a variety of different edd’s.

You will probably find other uses. Be sure to let me know how you use this new capability.

Here is all you need to get started.

Tom Aldous

Adobe Technical Communication Suite 3′s Strengths

The day after the launch of The Adobe Technical Communication Suite 3, I find myself reflecting on what makes this suite so valuable to our customers.

The easiest answers could be found in the numerous new and core features, or is it the tight integration of FrameMaker 10, RoboHelp 9, Captivate 5, Photoshop CS5 and Acrobat X? Sure these are valuable. In many cases,  our customers use TCS 3 as a competitive advantage in their market space. As competition get more intense, our customers are embracing rich media embedded into their product documentation and Help Systems to differentiate themselves from their competition. I could go on forever in this direction.

Maybe it’s our training, developer and consulting partners. Just coming from that group recently, I know how valuable a good Adobe Business Partner is to our customers.

After walking into the middle of the launch of this suite, I would have to say that it might be something that many of us do not even consider. The people behind this suite, be it Developers, Product Management, Marketing, Sales or Back Office Support are absolutely dedicated and committed. Consent improvement and value-add is their driving goal. I am honored to be in their company.

Then again, could it be that the Technical Communication Suite is one of Adobe’s product groups. Having a Corporation like Adobe Systems Incorporated standing behind a product that is more than just a software purchase, but is a product that you build your workflows around has to give you a good night sleep.

What is your thoughts?

Thomas Aldous
Product Evangelist, Adobe Systems Incorporated
twitter – @tmaldous
blog –

Adobe Technical Communication Suite 3

Adobe Technical Communication Suite 3 includes FrameMaker 10, RoboHelp 9, Captivate 5, Photoshop CS5 and Acrobat 10. FrameMaker 10 and RoboHelp 9 are new revision upgrades with many new features for existing users. The integration of the suite is tighter and the workflow solutions are numerous.

Stay tuned for E Seminars, How-To Videos, Interviews and News coming your way soon.

Thomas Aldous
Product Evangelist, Adobe Systems Incorporated
twitter – @tmaldous
blog –

Introducing Adobe Technical Communication Suite 3: Six Industry Trends Captured By RJ Jacquez

Adobe Technical Communication Suite 3 is available today (1/11/11)!

I encourage everyone to follow the below link to RJ Jacquez’s excellent blog about “Six Industry Trends”

Thomas Aldous
Product Evangelist, Adobe Systems Incorporated
twitter – @tmaldous
blog –