by Michael Ippersiel
Don't you hate it when everyone that you exchange documents with is using a different program? When two programs don't know how to 'speak' to each other, information becomes lost and you end up working harder to correct the output than make progress on your project. If this sounds familiar, you might want to consider version 8.0 of Adobe Framemaker ($299US upgrade or $899 for full Windows version).
Perhaps the most practical feature unveiled at the September 18th general meeting was Framemaker 8.0's versatility. According to Bernard Aschwanden, President of the Toronto Chapter STC, and sponsored by Front Runner Training. Framemaker 8.0 can import files ranging from Microsoft Word, WordPerfect and even competing XML tools like XMetaL, making the task of managing multiple file types much easier.
Other key features include support for Unicode, Darwin information typing architecture (DITA) and Windows Vista. Also, 3-D file and Flash animation formats are supported which allow for video and animation to be included as potential e-learning content.
During his introduction Aschwanden stated that he doesn't work for Adobe and didn't hesitate to point out any flaws he's observed with the latest version. Displaying an uncanny wit, Aschwanden kept the atmosphere light and invited questions throughout the presentation. He also confessed that he was lazy, and only used software that made his job easier.
Here are a few features that might just do that:
While far from perfect, Aschwanden endorsed Adobe Framemaker 8.0 as an improvement over the previous version; it allows him to complete his work quickly and frees up more time for fun and games. What more could you ask for? Well, maybe to win a prize. That is what Fei Min Lorente did when she won the door prize at the meeting - a $15 Chapter's gift certificate.
For more details
Bernard has written an extensive article, complete with screen captures, which is posted on the Southwestern Ontario STC website at www.stc-soc.org/resources/articles.php.
You can get a free trial version of FrameMaker 8.0, if you register first, at: www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?loc=en&product=framemaker.
You can get the official list of features at: www.adobe.com/products/framemaker/features.html
Front Runner Training has FrameMaker User Network (FUN) meetings, check their site for upcoming meetings:
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