Thursday, 26 July 2007

Good news for technical writers

Adobe Corporation have announced the arrival of FrameMaker 8, the long-awaited update to the popular tool for technical publications.

In their press release Adobe point out that FrameMaker 8 includes support for Unicode, for Flash, and for 3D. Of greater importance to many technical writers is the support for XML publication and in particular for DITA.

Many technical writers (including me) have long preferred FrameMaker as their authoring tool of choice for long and complex technical publications. FrameMaker handles multi-chapter publications with ease, allows writers to specify conditional text, and manages paragraph and character formats robustly. Even paragraph numbering works! (Paragraph numbering is often cited as a major source of problems with one well-known tool.)

FrameMaker is certainly more expensive than some of its rivals, and people say it is more difficult to larn, but I am one of the many technical writers who thinks that it is worth the money and the effort, and I am looking forward to getting FrameMaker 8.