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2.1 out of 5 stars
Adobe FrameMaker 9 Classroom in a Book
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been recommending the Classroom in a Book for FrameMaker for years. I use it to teach my FrameMaker classes. This latest version is a big disappointment. The exercises are incomplete and many do not work as described. It seems that it was not tested/edited at all. The files on the cd seem to have been copied after doing some or all or a previous iteration of an exercise - see the table exercise in Chapter 8.

I'm trying to figure out how to use the Frame 7 book to teach Frame 9. Those exercise were complete and instructional. I don't think that I could learn Frame from this new book if I didn't already know how Frame works.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
So, I bought this book because it was produced by the software author and I needed a quick primer. Wow! How embarassing for Adobe. Whoever worked on this at Adobe should be fired. There are learning-inhibiting typos at about every 10th page. Chapter 11 has entire files missing that are vital to the lesson -- making the chapter fairly impossible to follow with any level of clarity. I give the the book 3 stars, just because there's nothing else out there to compete -- and maybe that's the problem. Adobe's probably selling plenty of these, thank you very much, because they are the only company qualified to produce this text. That's no excuse however, for such an error-ridden tome -- especially considering their audience is technical writers. What, Adobe couldn't spare a few bucks to hire a tech writer proofreader? And over the past several months they couldn't get their act together fast enough to produce a revised version without all the errors? Give me a break. Adobe, this does not look good for you. Clean up your act and hire a better publications manager and tech writer.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Unfortunately, this seems to be the only book available on FrameMaker 9. I find it hard to believe that Adobe published a book with so many errors. I was going to contact Adobe but I didn't know where to start in trying to point out the mistakes. I really don't want to work as a free editor for Adobe. The only positive I can say about this book is that for someone who had no background in FM, it got me started in understanding the power of the software. I really wish they had put more time and energy into creating a book that is worthy of the Adobe name.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Admittedly new to Framemaker, I bought the book to cure that. After two days of flogging away at the tutorials I still don't know how to create a simple document in Framemaker! The first lesson was an adequate introduction to basic program features, I think. There are so many features I still don't know most of them, nor how or why to use them. The next lession goes heavily into paragraph formatting, but it gives you a canned document to alter. So I don't know how this document was created, and I don't understand why I am being asked to make the changes that are instructed. Its like, open this, change this setting, click here, and, presto changeo, look at what you've done! Except what I've done is really neat, but does not help me understand how to master the program's capabilities. In essence, this book does not teach you how to learn Framemaker, it just demonstrates some of the features, with you being the open, change, click monkey. The lessons do not follow a logical progression from basics to advance. To be fair, I get the distinct impression this book Is Not For Beginners. What the hell is Structured vs Unstructured documents, EDD, XML. Look in the index; ain't there. There's a lot of presumption behind the lesson plans.

To add insult to injury the book has stupid mistakes. You are told to click on wrong icons, go to wrong pages, choose options from drop down boxes that are empty. Whoever wrote this book never tried to actually use it. With software this powerful and complicated, you really need to be told EXACTLY what to do, or you get results totally different from what the lesson describes. Worse, you can't be sure what went wrong: did I do something wrong, or did the book give me incorrect instructions? Your time should be being spent learning the software, not debugging the tutorial. The other major problem with this book is that there does not appear to be a good alternative book. Guess that's why they haven't corrected the mistakes even though it's been in print for almost a year. The people who will benefit most from this book are those who really don't need it. For those of us new to the whole DTP software world, this book is way more pain than gain. Try something else first.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is horrendous! Adobe should seriously be embarrassed by this publication, especially since technical writers are the target audience. On top of the spelling errors, grammatical infractions and misplaced illustrations, the book simply doesn't make sense. It jumps around too much, spending considerable time on items that could be handled quickly (We get it - if gray bars appear, up the resolution!) and glossing over more complex subjects. After working every exercise in the book, I still have no grasp on how to use FrameMaker in a relevant manner. However, if you need someone to turn your text symbols on and off, I'm your girl!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The only reason this text gets any stars at all is that the first 10 chapters were usable, albeit riddled with mistakes and typos. Because I am familiar with other Adobe products like InDesign I was able to navigate around them and grasp the concepts they were attempting to teach. However, starting with Chapter 11, it became pretty useless. As stated in another review, whole files needed for the lesson were missing, and nothing turned out as it was supposed to. The chapters that follow have similar critical problems. It seems as though beginning with Chapter 11 a new person took over and didn't have any visibility to what was on the accompanying CD lessons. In some cases, all the work that I was supposed to do in the chapter to learn the lesson was already done, and when I attempted to backtrack and undo their work so that I could be in synch with the book, it just didn't work. I'm really glad I read these reviews before launching into this book. Had I not, I would have been so surprised and frustrated! CLASSROOM IN A BOOK has always been the fastest, easiest way for me to familiarize myself with Adobe products, and this one falls very, very, short.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was my first Adobe Press book and potentially my last. I could not believe the mistakes in exercises. Both the step-by-step instructions and files (from CD) were terrible. FrameMaker is a major component of the Tech Comm suite so my expectations were high for this book.
Ignoring the exercises, the rest of the content was good. I found several useful tips. However, if I developed material like this for my customers I'd have to change professions.

I am an instructor and technical writer so I was able to make my way through the exercises but I'm not sure a 'true' beginner to word processing would last long before throwing out the book in frustration.

Bottom Line: If you have better than intermediate experience with other word processors and need to add FrameMaker to you resume, and you are a self taught kind of person this book will get you over the initial bump of conversion. Otherwise, not so much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book depends upon the files on the CD to complete the lessons in the book. The files are missing, contain settings that don't match the those listed in the book, and prevent you from successfully completing the lessons. The steps in the book are often incorrect, telling you to do one thing, but picturing something else. How this ever got published without testing is beyond belief. This from Adobe Press?! If I published something like this, I'd be fired--and rightfully so.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I convinced my company we needed to migrate away from Microsoft Word for long documents a little over a year ago. After reviewing several packages; we decided on Adobe Technical Communication Suite 1.0 (including Framemaker 8.0). I read the included pdf manual, help files, online tutorials and many of the user forums and learned how to use the program by trial and error. In November, we upgraded to Technical Communication Suite 2.0 (with FrameMaker 2.0). I was hoping the classroom in a book would enlighten me with some advanced hints, tricks or tips to improve my skills. Unfortunately, that was not the case; it just presents the other information in a logical format.

The manual itself is well written and does a good job of getting a beginner off to a good start. It doesn't contain any information about XML, DTD or EDD. It doesn't contain anything that would suggest it is written by an "expert" unless you consider the programmers to be experts. It would have been nice to get some insight from a seasoned user about things you probably shouldn't do and what they considered "best practices." I can't really comment on the exercises on the included CD as some other reviewers have. I read through the lessons and if I had already completed the exercises before buying the book, I skipped the exercises.

If you are new to FrameMaker, it will get you through the basics in a short period of time but don't expect more than entry level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a Technical Writer with no hands-on experience in Framemaker, I've decided to teach it to myself while I have access to the software. I picked up this book from the library, and I agree with the other reviews on this book. The editor must have quit and not been replaced, because there are so many mistakes in this book! I'm only on Lesson 2, page 31, and I can't believe how many mistakes I have identified already.

I will still use the book since it at least has me working on files in Framemaker. But, I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy it for $40. If you'd like to familiarize yourself with Framemaker and want this book, check it out from your local library or try to find a cheaper deal online.
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