RE: The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word

Subject: RE: The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word
From: David Chisma <dchisma -at- retaildir -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "'Maurice King'" <mking -at- mamsi -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 13:31:16 +1100

Dave Chisma wrote:

In my previous job I converted my employer from Word to FrameMaker for two
main reasons:
1. We used PDF for distribution of manuals and FrameMaker could make the
bookmarks automatically.
2. Word was incapable of producing the manuals we wanted. It simply ran out
of steam after about 150 pages, given the amount of graphics we were using
(even being linked, not embedded).

In my new job, I again had to come up with compelling reasons to make the
change and found there had been some changes:
1. The new place uses Acrobat 4, which makes bookmarks automatically from
2. The new place is a Windows NT environment instead of 95. I don't know if
that's what makes the difference, but the same version of Word I was using
before (Word 97 SR-1) works fabulously well! I was amazed at the documents I
could make using Word: I never would have believed it!

Nowadays I use Word 2000 and it seems to work fine. However, with lots of
graphics, I find I need to muck about a lot more that I ever did using
Frame. I would go back to Frame in a flash because I hate the way Word
handles graphics and layout. I'm thankful that my manuals are fairly simple
and I don't need to create things like complicated datasheets and
newsletters (like I used to do).

As for its 'clunkiness', I find it depends what you're used to. I find Word
exceptionally clunky to try and get control over what the bloody thing is

My vote: FrameMaker.

Cheers, Dave Chisma
Technical Writer
Retail Directions Group
dchisma -at- retaildir -dot- com -dot- au

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