EU law Right to Repair

EU passes Right to Repair into law

Good news for the technical writers and communicators all over the world! The EU is going ahead with "Rights to repair" with the new regulations on ecodesign that took effect on 1 March 2021.
Manufacturers or importers will now be obliged to make a range of essential parts (motors and motor brushes, pumps, shock absorbers and springs, washing drums, etc.) available to professional repairers for at least 7-10 years.

For end-users, too (i.e. consumers who are not professional repairers, but like to repair things themselves), manufacturers must make certain spare parts available for several years after a product is taken off the market - products such as doors or hinges and seals, which are suitable for DIY. The max. delivery time for these pieces is 15 working days after ordering.

The "right to repair" is in the resolution of European Parliament adopted in November 2020. Read more it here:

This is a BIG deal, because it means that a LOT of products now needs to have documentation, describing how to repair them.
Further details on ecodesign can be found here:

Graphic design for DITA

The road to graphic design for DITA

I work as a self employed industrial graphic designer. Meaning I am the one who has to figure out what skills I have to keep up-to-date and what new stuff I have to learn.

The world changes. All the time. New technologies arrive, other disappear or become redundant. 

When you are the only one to pay for your education, you learn to prioritize. I have found that it is worth it every two years to take a step backward and try to see the need for skills in a broader perspective. Doing that helps you focus on what skills are more important than others.

Adobe FrameMaker 2020 Review. Adobe delivers on promises!

The long awaited FrameMaker 2020 is finally available! Adobe has just released it. Adobe FrameMaker is also a component of Adobe Technical Communication Suite which features FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Captivate and Presenter. FrameMaker 2020 is looking good, and here at we have spent a bit of time making a review...

3 reasons why Technical Writing has become the worlds most important and influential job!

1: Google is a Global User Manual for the worlds products!

So… your lawn mower makes a strange sound and won't start…

  • Do you go back to your shed and find the printed manual for the mower? No, you threw it out of course! 
  • Do you go to the manufacturers website and download the manual? No, of course not! Would take hours to find that silly stuff!!
  • Do you ask Google? Of course you do! And Google presents you with a nice little 3 point snippet User Manual in the top of the search results: 1: turn button 2: move lever 3: etc. '

Did Google write that text? No - a Technical Writer did!

How to do Content Marketing for small Webshops with Adobe FrameMaker [1/3]

Part 1 -  Part 2Part 3

When the idea first had taken root in my mind, I couldn't get it out of my head. Tequila. Tequila and Adobe FrameMaker…

SmallBusinessOwnersSmall Business Cases

When Adobe communicates the benefits of using Adobe FrameMaker and RoboHelp, they are mostly bringing in business cases from big companies. There's no mystery in that. Big companies have the staff and money to make big solutions.

However, small companies and smaller budgets do exist, and they are also  using FrameMaker, but their exploits are rarely documented for a wider audience.

I would like to change that. Which is why, am writing this three part blogpost on how I utilized Adobe FrameMaker as a Content Marketing tool for a webshop in a practical, cheap and doable manner.

Connecting Adobe FrameMaker and Tequila website

I own, which is my graphic design company and the main source of my income. From there, I offer services in all sorts of industrial, graphic design. I mostly work with technical documentation, design of User Guides, HTML5 etc.  and everything, mostly, within the sphere of Adobe TechComm tools.


Tequila.dkI also happen to own, which is a scandinavian webshop specializing in quality tequila and mezcal. ...and yes, I know it is an unlikely combination :-)

Tequila is the pride of Mexico. It is sofisticated spirit made from Blue Agave. Blue Agave is one of the worlds most expensive raw materials for spirits production, because it spends some 6-8 years, before reaching maturity where it can be harvested. Tequila and mezcal have culturual roots going way back in pre-columbian times and agave spirits are the worlds fastest growing spirits category!

Content Marketing with Adobe FrameMaker

The Tequila book from Tequila.dkThing is… I have written a book on tequila. And being a FrameMaker expert, I wrote it using Adobe FrameMaker.

So I figured… why not make a small business, Content Marketing case out of my tequila book and the webshop? And I did, and this is how!

The book

I have written the only book on tequila in danish. It has been typeset in Adobe FrameMaker 2019. It was to form the content base for my marketing efforts.

The book holds three main sections: a reference book part, a glossary on tequila terminology and a bunch of tequila and mezcal cocktail recipes. These three sections were to form the content for my Content Marketing efforts.

As for marketing goals, I made these:


All webshop owners want signups for the newsletter!

While many people think newsletters are an annoyance, they are still a good and efficient way to communicate with your customers and generate sales. In order to persuade visitors of your site to sign up for the newsletters, using a "lead magnet" is a common practise. A "lead magnet" is usually free stuff. I may be free consultancy, free advise or a free ebook. I wanted to use a free copy of my book as my "lead magnet".

Format of the tequila ebook

PDF is a widely used file format for ebooks. A good many sites offer a free ebook, so I felt I had to put in a little extra, which is why I embedded some videos in my tequila ebook! One can embed almost anything in PDF, and embedding video using FrameMaker is easy!

Links from the tequilabookMeasuring lead generation

It is also possible insert active hyperlinks in the PDF using FrameMakers "Hypertext tool". FrameMaker generates internal hyperlinks like Table of Content, Index and Cross References automatically, but links pointing OUT of the book have to be created manually.

A section of the book describes agings, and I inserted hyperlinks from them pointing into the webshop. Customers clicking on these hyperlinks in order get the specific tequilas, not only generates sales, they also generate inbound webtraffic, which may be measured in the shops Google Analytics.

Distributing the ebook

Making sure the customers got the ebook, required some setup. I used MailChimp, which is a popular mailservice. Mailchimp delivers a signup form, allowing the customers to recieve a link to my ebook, upon signup. Hosting the file was another matter though. An ebook with embedded video is large,  but fortunately was it possible to host the ebook myself on Dropbox.

Mailchimp is free to use below a certain amount of subscribers, and so is Dropbox. So for this "pdf ebook" part of the project, expenses were nil but with a high amount of added value to the shop!

How to do Content Marketing for small Webshops with Adobe FrameMaker [2/3]

Part 1 -  Part 2 - Part 3

Welcome to the second part of three, of my business case: "Content Marketing for Webshops with Adobe FrameMaker".

As short note on the background for this project. I work professionally as a graphic designer on a daily basis with Adobe FrameMaker. And have done so since 1995. FrameMaker is a great, creative and versatile tool and an ideal choice for working with Content Marketing.

My two small companies, "" and ""

I am also the owner of, which is a small webshop selling high quality tequila and mezcal in Scandinavia. So I figured - why not use my FrameMaker skills to the advantage of my webshop?

I have written the only danish book on tequila in Adobe FrameMaker and I wanted to use that book as content for a small business Content Marketing project with Adobe FrameMaker.

Blue Agave

Improving Customer Knowledge

Tequila is a great spirit,  but it is also a spirit where most customers know very little about the origins, history and production methods of it.

Tequila has an international reputation for being a cheap party spirit, but tequilas raw material, "Blue Agave", is actually quite expensive and the history of agave spirits go way back into pre-columbian times.

So, there is a schisma between the general public knowledge of this spirit and what it actually is!

Putting things together in Adobe FrameMaker

Having a better understanding of what tequila is, makes the customer a connoisseur, and who does not want to be a connoisseur?... Which is why part of the tequila book is a glossary of tequila terms and definitions. Distributing insight into the "language of tequila" in an approachable and smart manner is something I wanted to do in the shape of a glossary epub book.

The entire Tequila book is put together using Adobe FrameMakers Book file function. This means that all chapters are separate FrameMaker files resting in the book file.

The Tequila Book in Adobe FrameMaker

The glossary is no exception. The glossary is written in a single FrameMaker file with a separate FrameMaker file for a front page and another for an intro text. When I publish then entire book to pdf, I am able exempt the glossarys front page from the publishing process, but when I publish the epub file, I can include only the glossary pages and exclude the rest.


EPub is a pretty simple format and it does not support complex formatting very well. It is pretty robust though and FrameMakers publishing pod makes it easy to create one.

Epub topics in FrameMakerThe ePub is meant to be small dictionary/glossary. Meaning that I want all the index words to have each their own page in the ePub file. While the glossary is printed as one long article, I can use  FrameMakers publishing pod, to separate each index word into topics, separated by heading styles.

I distributed the ePub file as a free download from a section on the webshop.

Benefits to the webshops organic visibility on Google

Putting up a free ePub download does in do anything for the webshop in terms of SEO. It may generate some very small amount of extra traffic, but probably nothing notable, and especially not so, because the ePub file holds no backlinks to the webshop.

The ePub file can be downloaded and installed on Android/Iphone devices alike, and be read using an ebook reader app.

While the ePub file, does not generate any backlinks, it does help build customer knowledge and a better understanding of what my products - tequila and mezcal - are about. And that was the main point all along!

How to do Content Marketing for small Webshops with Adobe FrameMaker [3/3]

Part 1 Part 2 - Part 3

Welcome to the third part of three, of my Business Case: "Content Marketing for Webshops with Adobe FrameMaker".

Content Marketing is mostly about using the Internet and its all dominant search engine, Google, for pushing your marketing message. We mostly use the term "search engine" about Google, but Google is also a publishing engine. Searching


My two small companies, "" and ""




Adobe TechComm Day Denmark

Adobe TechComm Day Denmark is nordic/north european Adobe event, with a focus on everything Adobe TechComm.

What is Adobe TechComm?...

Der er imidlertid også et marked for teknisk kommunikation. Hvis du er bekendt med det, arbejder du sikkert med brugsanvisninger, manualer, hjælpefilssystemer, chatrobotter, osv.

If you are working professionally with marketing communication, you will be aware of Adobe tools, like Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Acrobat etc.

There is however, also a professional market for technical communication. If you are working in that area, you are probably working with user manuals, help file systems, chat robots etc.

It is a large and exciting market, and a market which has a huge amount of technology convergence in these years.

What is Adobe TecComm Day Denmark?

Adobe TechComm Day Denmark is a nordic/north european Adobe event, where Adobe demonstrates all that is new within the area. We have presentations from nordic companies who deliver solutions using Adobe software solutions. The event is always in September and we have held 3 events, with a fourth coming up in September 2020. The event is a major industry succes with visitors coming as far away as from Ukraine.

If you are not familiar with Adobe Technical Communication Suite, you can read about it here!

Adobe Technical Communication Suite holds these programs:

  • Adobe FrameMaker
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Captivate
  • Adobe Presenter


Adobe TechComm Day Denmark 2019 was a great succes!!

On the 24th of September we opened the doors for Adobe TechComm Day Denmark 2019 on Hotel Sluseholmen in Copenhagen. This years event was the third time it was held and with some 100 attendees registered and 80 managing to come, it was very successfull. Boasting an agenda with lots of good  presentations on DITA, Adobe Experience Manager, FrameMaker, TechDoc workflows etc, there was good inspiration for who showed up. And people came from near and far. We had guests coming in from Ukraine, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany and, of course, a lot of people from Denmark.

A new Adobe TechComm Day Denmark 2020 is already in the making, so keep a lookout for the invitations.






Graphic design and development in Adobe Technical Communication Suite
V. Bjørn Smalbro

Industriparken 23
2750 Ballerup
Phone: 20 96 09 19