Review Adobe FrameMaker 2017
If you are looking for a good tool with an efficient and user-friendly interface to create content and to publish to web or print, there’s no need to look further. FrameMaker 2017 has it all.Wiebe van den Berg
As a participant of the pre-release program from Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2017, I had the privilege to take a sneak peak into FrameMaker 2017. FrameMaker has implemented some great improvements, taking it miles ahead of Microsoft Word for technical documentation. If you can even consider Word as a competitor, anyway.
The strong points of FrameMaker, such as style consistency and making good table of contents and indexes, have been enhanced. It is a user-friendly and appealing package that allows you to publish content to various formats such as PDF and HTML5. It also has a very extensive support for so-called Right-To-Left languages (such as Arabic, Hebrew and Farsi), and you can create and maintain DITA publications easily.
In my view, Word does not compare to FrameMaker. If you are looking for a good tool with an efficient and user-friendly interface to create content and to publish to web or print, there’s no need to look further. FrameMaker 2017 has it all.
Improved Welcome Screen
What struck me immediately when you start FrameMaker 2017 is the new and improved welcome screen. From this screen you can immediately begin creating new documents, or DITA topics. What makes this extra exciting for me as a software developer, is that this screen is fully customizable.
Multi channel output
In this day and age, documents can be read on a wide range of reading devices, such as smartphones, tablets and e-book readers. This requires writers to publish content on all of these devices. For FrameMaker, this is not a challenge at all. The tool now provides a so-called multi-device publishing solution, in which the following formats are supported: Responsive HTML5, Mobile App, EPUB, Kindle, Microsoft HTML Help, Adobe Mobile Experience Manager and Basic HTML.
When you publish content to one of these output formats, FrameMaker automatically creates different layouts in different formats. You can completely customize the layouts, if desired.
This functionality has been part of FrameMaker for a while, but the newly added format is Basic HTML5. This makes it possible to apply the stylesheet of your own company that you can publish on your website very easily.
Enhanced User Interface
One of the updates that had already been announced by Adobe is the new menu structure. As an experienced user of the solution, I was a little hesitant, I was expecting to have trouble finding my way around. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the opposite was the case. What used to take me a little longer to find, such as adding a new page or cross-reference, I was able to find immediately.
New Command Search
If you still can’t find the right command, you can use the amazing Command Search feature.
The improvement of the user interface is not limited to a new layout of the menu structure. Inserting an image is very simple; FrameMaker doesn’t bother you with complicated dialogues about the desired resolution.
Many screens, including the Paragraph Designer, have been simplified and make more sense now. In previous versions it was not always clear where you can create a new style, now you can do that with the push of a button. And that works a lot easier.
What I’d still like to see
In the future I hope to see a number of innovations that would make me even more enthusiastic about the product. For instance, an extended-documented object model in the ExtendScript and a more intuitive automatic spellcheck.
But all in all, I am very excited about the new release of FrameMaker. Adobe has clearly taken another step forward, which is in line with the improved previous releases of this product.
Sabern is the go-to partner for consultancy and support on Adobe FrameMaker in the Netherlands. Our experts can provide a range of services to get new users using FrameMaker and supporting existing users. We provide analysis and implementation, FrameMaker automation, migration and training. Whatever your project requirements are, we can help.
This new version of FrameMaker makes it possible to integrate it with existing platforms, such as our marketing portal Brandifyer. I’m excited about the new developments of Sabern and Adobe, because I am convinced that these are mutually reinforcing.