My work group uses unstructured FM10 (and Acrobat Pro X) to do desktop publishing of new-business proposals and contract reports (i.e., technical books but not manuals) for a Large Aerospace Company[tm]. While our current software setup does everything we really need it to do, I'm wary of being so far behind the current version, so I'm recommending to my boss that we consider upgrading to TCS 2017 (we don't really need the other apps besides FM and Acrobat, but we do need a non-cloud version of Acrobat, and I'm given to understand TCS is the best way to get that). So my question is... what do I need to know before proceeding with this change? Are there any major landmines my group needs to be aware of? Specifically...
Thanks in advance for any advice you might have!
Hi Dauphin: In my experience, you shouldn't have issues opening the old files in 2017. There are others who may chime in with things to be aware of, but in my experience the files open and off you go. You can certainly expect missing fonts, and perhaps missing images, and on that note, Adobe does recommend recreating templates after an upgrade. With this big a leap, I would certainly recommend it.
My company, Rocky Mountain Training offers public beginning and advanced FrameMaker training, but we also offer private classes that cover whatever you need. If this is something you'd like to talk about, I can provide you with the new feature lists for versions 11–2017 and we can put together a custom class to cover just what has changed. You can reach me through the contact page on the RMT website, or direct message me via the forum by clicking on my name above this post.
re: Are there unknown unknowns I haven't thought to ask about?
What FM or TCS license are you on, and what's the plan going forward?
- Will we have any problem accessing/converting our large collection of legacy documents in FM10 and FM8 formats? (We don't need to back-save new docs, but we do need to be able to open/reuse old ones.)
We're doing this regularly with lots of old FM8/9/10 books. No issues at all, as long as FM8 is the oldest version (for unicode support). You could even go back via MIF, as long as no functions specific to later versions are used.
"No issues at all, as long as FM8 is the oldest version..."
Actually, we've been using FM since Version 5.0 (I got my first FM training from Frame Technologies!), but it's likely that anything in our archives older than FM8 would be too out-of-date to serve as a starting point for a new doc, anyway! As long as we can still access back to FM8 without resorting to too much in the way of digital gymnastics, we'll probably be fine.
Your short-term hurdle will be the reworking of the FrameMaker interface. However, the good news is that you're skipping over a number of smaller interface changes, so you may find that new functionality (like the Insert menu, and resizable dialogs) is worth any effort spent in relearning menus, shortcuts, and functionality. The Command Search is a big help in finding things, and you can find videos I created for Adobe on this and other FrameMaker 2017 features by visiting .
You can also see some of the recent integration changes in another set of 25 videos I created at http://www.techcommtools.com/framemaker-2017-new-features/
You can also check out a set of 25 videos I did for Adobe on TCS integration features. This will help you see what the benefits of upgrading to a more current version might bring you. http://www.techcommtools.com/adobe-tcs-integration-videos/
My company, Tech Comm Tools offers a full slate of FrameMaker training and courses, including content (like structured authoring) geared toward Large Aerospace Companies[tm].
I particularly enjoy tech comm workflow analysis and template design updates, both of which are things for you to consider as you jump forward four versions in FrameMaker.
Let me know if you'd like to hop into an online session to explore what would work best for you and your team.
To "revise and extend" this question: Will TCS2017 work and play well with earlier versions of FM and Acrobat Pro? That is, do I have the option of installing a trial version (or a purchased "fleet leader" installation) on one workstation for testing and development purposes while maintaining the existing FM10/Acrobat Pro X installation on the same machine for a while, to ensure there's no disruption to production work?
You can certainly install multiple versions of FrameMaker on a single workstation, but on Windows, installing a new version of Acrobat will remove the previous one if you don't disable that preference.
Read this first: