Category: Features

The Future of Technical Communication Is Socially Enabled: Understanding the Help 2.0 Revolution

By Scott Abel | Senior Member The field of technical communication has come a long way in a short time. We’ve been impacted in positive ways by all sorts of technological advances. We’ve moved from authoring content on typewriters to personal computers, from creating printed documentation to digital files, and from authoring content in proprietary formats to creating content that adheres to open, international standards. We’ve learned new approaches, adopted lessons learned from other disciplines, and discovered the secret to creating multiple deliverables from a single source of content. We’ve challenged ourselves to reduce jargon, to standardize terminology, and to… Read the rest

Flare 7—Something for Everyone

By Ed Marshall | Associate Fellow Flare 7 is the latest version of the state-of-the-art help authoring tool produced by MadCap Software. It has several new features and enhancements, which I’ve categorized in Table 1. Table 1. Flare 7 Features and Enhancements Category New Features/Enhancements Adding smart device technologies to traditional PDFs Support for QR Codes in PDFs. Accessibility Several enhancements make it easier to provide accessible features in Flare output. Workplace collaboration The following collaboration/source code control tools are now supported: Microsoft SharePoint Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Subversion (a popular free source code control tool) Additionally, there is… Read the rest

Toward a Documentation Strategy

By Dick Miller | Associate Fellow There’s an old joke that goes like this: Passenger: “Where are we going?” Driver: “I don’t know, but we’re making great time!” Have you ever felt that way? That things were humming along, but you had this nagging thought that there had to be more to it than this? As a senior technical documentation specialist and manager, I certainly have, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you have also. There is more to it. This article attempts to explore where we’re going and why. The answers to the following questions are components of a… Read the rest

FrameMaker Turns 25: Interview with Inventor Charles Corfield and an Update on New FrameMaker 10 Functionality

By Maxwell Hoffmann | Member The Past: Where Did FrameMaker Come From? In April of this year, FrameMaker celebrates the 25th anniversary of its “birth,” in terms of the founding of Frame Technology. Although Adobe acquired FrameMaker in 1995 and has successfully managed product development for the past 15+ years, it seems like a good time to revisit the product’s birth and try to determine how and why this sensible publishing solution has remained a market leader for a quarter of a century. Although Frame Technology had several company co-founders (Steve Kirsch, inventor of the optical mouse; David Murray, inventor… Read the rest