Adobe FrameMaker 9 review

£914
Price when reviewed

it_photo_6425The feature in FrameMaker 9 that is likely to gain most attention is its greatly enhanced Acrobat-based review system. Using the new Send for Review command you can email a PDF version of your publication to all workgroup members for comment in the free Adobe Reader. You can then import all comments into your publication and step through them, accepting or rejecting as you go. Bearing in mind the fixed nature of PDF this is extraordinary, but it’s certainly not magical. Comment placement can be hit or miss and it’s crucial that you don’t edit your original FM source file before importing.

Publishing can be done, again, via PDF either as a publishing format in its own right or as a digital master for commercial print. For the former you can make your electronic publications more interactive by embedding 3D models and Flash-based movies, while for the latter FrameMaker 9 now adds full CMYK support. Alternatively, you can output to HTML /CSS for online display. It’s clear, though, through an absence of development, that Adobe would prefer users to buy in to the Technical Communication Suite and output via RoboHelp.

There’s still a long way to go before FrameMaker fully recovers from its years in the wilderness, but version 9 is the major overhaul that the program was crying out for. This brings its own problems in terms of foibles and bugs, and users would do well to wait for a 9.1 release for the most obvious of these to be ironed out. Step back, though, and the launch of version 9 is great news: FrameMaker can now look forward to a future as illustrious as its past.

Details

Software subcategory Other software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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