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Subject:RE: The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word From:"Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM> To:"'Mark Baker'" <mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Thu, 20 Jan 2000 18:22:21 -0500
I agree with one of your points, MS Word does do a good job for word
processing but its DTP functionality still lacks significantly, but my
limited exposure to 2000 showed a great deal of improvement. In the
meantime, you can get around its quirks quite well with a little practice,
and it's easier to find folks who can handle it for some the mundane tasks
when the deadlines get tight. I have no experience with FrameMaker, and
frankly haven't ever had a problem finding great opportunities without the
experience. If I ever need to learn it I will, but I think between Word,
other publishing tools, HATs and other programs, I've been able to more than
compensate--at least my employers and their customers have always thought
On the other hand, I am a writer, but more importantly I am a communicator.
My work consists of words and images designed to convey information to my
audience to help them do their jobs--accurately, completely, more
efficiently, etc. It isn't a waste of my talent to do layout and design, it
adds to the synergy of the final product.
Creative types are left-brainers--layout designers, artists and writers--so
I guess that makes at least two of us who are not in their right minds :)
Technical writing is about writing. Technical writers should not be asked to
do DTP. It is a waste of their time and their talent. Technical writers
forced to do DTP spend more than half their time on layout and production
tasks. These tasks should be performed by people with the proper aptitudes
and skills. Writers should spend their time on research and writing.