So after a 2 year hiatus and a slight change in my academic path I have decided to return here to post a review.
The last time I posted I was embarking on the challenge of learning C++. Well, two years later I have completed a 16 months internship in the exciting field of Information development and decided to make a career switch. Which brings me to this application called the Adobe Technical Communication Suite.
Okay truth be told I love working with new software, I enjoy playing with new tools and exploring their functionality especially after having seen the "belly of the beast" so to speak while learning programming. This technical Communication Suite - well in particular the FrameMaker and the RoboHelp programs - gave me all the challenge and "wow" moments that I require from a program.
- Okay first up FrameMaker is not Microsoft Word, so being an expert at MS Word (which I am not) will not give you much of an edge.
- The tools are not the most intuitive, but no worries we live in the digital data era where the answer is at your finger tips.
- You need a Windows PC - sorry Mactards
The "wow" moments:
- The ability to create an entire book, with chapters, table of content, index and glossary in the correct order, and get this the numbering can be done in your sleep.
- After working in a topic based writing environment and seeing the benefits of developing individual standalone topics, I find FrameMaker a great tool to work with. The FrameMaker environment allows for the modular development of information and then 'magically' seams them all together to give the finished product - what more could you want from a book publishing application.
- Within FrameMaker I really liked the conditional tagging and see this as a great tool to support version control and content reuse.
- Robohelp is a lot more intuitive than FrameMaker and makes for a great multi-format online help authoring tool. The topic list section has got to be one of the best things ever invented and is like a personal assistant for topic development and is also a great tool for use in a collaborative environment.
Overall, the Adobe Technical Communication Suite 5 is a great application for writers, editors and information architects to develop content. It really delivers well and can improve your productivity while reducing your effort once you have a good understanding of the available functionalities - and trust me there are lots of those!!
Until next time.