Re: Plain Old Text

Subject: Re: Plain Old Text
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 20:54:59 -0500

We can do it too, but it's inefficient past a few simple pages. It's awfully
inefficient. Sometimes you can't help but be inefficient, but over time it
wastes lots of money.

It's a whole lot of no fun having to format dozens or hundreds of untagged
pages that contain no clues of what the various headings or paragraph types
are or what the hierarchy is. We actually prefer to use documents that are
tagged in Word, WordPerfect, or something else that reliably inserts tagging
information and will import into Frame. We then have the writer use the
appropriate formatting tags in Word. Voila. Import and very little tagging
in Frame. You can create tags in Word that have the same name, but no
appearance change, if you genuinely like the look of untrammeled 10-point
Times New Roman.

We long ago resigned ourselves to using bloatware and came to enjoy it,
after a fashion. And I know, I know...there are shops out there where
engineers or programmers feed you ASCII or Unicode and won't consider doing
anything else. Sometimes the business culture is against you. But if I had
to do it a lot, I'd start pointing out to the boss just how much of my time
is squandered doing mind-numbing point-and-click operations. What's worked
in some cases is supplying the techie types with Word templates. The
templates have macros that open dialog boxes to insert various kinds of
material into the known layout. That helps a lot, but only if they remember
to start a doc with your template.

Of course, if you LIKE to sit and point-and-click...

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar(TM) System
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
Check our Web site for the upcoming Clustar class info

> Hey Guys,
> I've been curious about something for a pretty long time now. Is it
> possible to just write your documents in plain old b-flat ascii
> text, and then transfer it to, say, Word, or Framemaker for
> formatting?
> I guess after a certain level of complexity this would be
> impractical... but I genuinely *like* plain old text. Nice
> fixed-width fonts, etc. etc. I know you still need the bloated set
> of tools, but like I said, I'm curious.
> BTW, I've been getting dups of list-mail, too,

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