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Adobe Launches Two New Content Authoring Suites

Content management tools aren't just used for posting content to Web sites -- they also can be used for authoring and presenting documentation, creating interactive courses, and countless other purposes. Adobe this week announced the launch of two new content authoring suites, each with a separate target audience but a similar focus on delivering compelling content using mature, well-integrated tools.
Content management tools aren't just used for posting content to Web sites -- they also can be used for authoring and presenting documentation, creating interactive courses, and countless other purposes. Adobe this week announced the launch of two new content authoring suites, each with a separate target audience but a similar focus on delivering compelling content using mature, well-integrated tools.The two suites, Adobe eLearning Suite and Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2, are a mix of newly upgraded tools -- the eLearning courseware authoring tool Captivate 4 is included in both suites -- bundled with perennial favorites such as Photoshop CS4 and Acrobat Pro. A number of the products in each suite include additional plug-ins and extensions to customize them for eLearning and technical communication respectively.

The Adobe eLearning Suite includes seven products: Captivate 4, Flash CS4 Professional with Learning Interactions, Dreamweaver CS4 with CourseBuilder Extension, Photoshop CS4 Extended, Acrobat 9 Pro, Presenter 7, and Soundbooth CS4, an audio recording and editing tool.

At the foundation of the Technical Communication Suite 2 are FrameMaker 9, a DITA-compliant tool used to author and publish technical documentation, and RoboHelp 8, a well-regarded tool used for creating knowledge bases and content for Help systems within software and on Web sites. Also included in the package are Captivate 4, Photoshop CS4, Acrobat 9 Pro Extended, and Presenter 7.

Neither package is cheap. The eLearning suite retails for about $1,800 and the Technical Communication Suite 2 goes for about $1,900, but when you consider the cost of buying each program separately, the suites end up being a good value. As with most Adobe software, you can download a trial to see if they're right for your organization.