Learning Curve... was The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word

Subject: Learning Curve... was The Old Argument: FrameMaker vs. MS Word
From: Chris Despopoulos <cud -at- arrakis -dot- es>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 12:22:11 +0100

Sorry, but I have to add my two cents...

I'm a Frame weenie from way back. But I began tech writing
with Word, so I had to learn Maker as a second (well,
fourth) text product. I found the most difficult area was
in paragraph formatting. It turns out that Maker and Word
use two very different models for formats. In going over
to Maker, once I understood the difference between those
models, I had less problems learning and using Maker. But
then, I like learning text processing software.

I think a product seems hard to learn when what you believe
are perfectly reasonable expectations don't pan out. If you
expect things to work the way they do in Word, but you use
Maker, you'll be pretty frustrated. The reverse is also

Now I want to get back into Word. Guess what... I can't
figure out how to use the dang thing! That's right, I think
Word is incredibly hard to learn. All I wanted to do is
change the font for all the paragraphs in a file I got from
a friend. Going through paragraph formatting was a maze of
nested dialog boxes, and I never got the results I wanted.
I wound up selecting the whole thing and changing the font
for the selection... Not the way to go, but I wanted to
print the document this week.

My point... A rose is a rose in the eye of the beholder but
you can't make it drink all of the people all of the time,
half a dozen of the other.

And while I'm at it, one argument against Maker used to be
that it was huge, the document files were huge, and
performance was slow. I find that Word is now huge, the
document files are bigger than the same thing in Maker, and
Word Page View scrolls more slowly than a similar file in
Maker. Times have changed.

Cheers cud

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