RE: Framemaker vs. Pagemaker

Subject: RE: Framemaker vs. Pagemaker
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "'Jessica Lourey'" <jessical -at- alx -dot- tec -dot- mn -dot- us>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 17:05:52 -0500


I recommend you search the archives at

However, please consider my personal opinion. FrameMaker is for long
technical documents that contain repeating stylistic elements, use reference
tables ((TOC,IX, LOF, LOT, etc.) and little color. Output to HTML is fair,
even good with WebWorks Publisher, and output to PDF is excellent. By far,
Microsoft Word seems the tool of choice for technical communication, but a
rabid minority, including myself, prefer FrameMaker. FrameMaker's chief
competition to me seems to be Corel Ventura and Interleaf, not PageMaker.

PageMaker seems well suited to marketing communications, including
high-color printed output, newsletters, and shorter documents that use fewer
repeating elements, less rigid design. I know you can produce a 100-page
technical document in PageMaker but submit that its handling of tables,
cross-references, and the like make FrameMaker a better tool. Nonetheless,
PageMaker is certainly better supported, as is Quark Express, by service

Finally, consider FrameMaker 6 is due out next month. I'm not sure that it
will address color print and short-doc issues, but it is an advance by
Adobe. Consider that FrameMaker was updated from version 6.5 to, er, 6.5
"plus" last year. Consider, too, that InDesign, Adobe's very new,
"Quark-killer" "professional" marketing documentation tool seems to overlap
PageMaker considerably. Despite claims by Adobe that PageMaker fits a
"business" market and InDesign a "professional" one, and that the products
do not compete for the same customers, I personally expect PageMaker to go
the way of the dodo.

Anyway, I recommend you visit the archives.

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jessica Lourey [SMTP:jessical -at- alx -dot- tec -dot- mn -dot- us]
> I am the director of the new Technical Communication AAS in Alexandria,
> Minnesota. I am in the process of choosing a software for our Desktop
> Publishing course, and I am not sure whether Pagemaker or Framemaker would
> be better. Here are the factors.
> 1. The majority of our grads will work in small businesses creating
> shorter manuals, brochures, newsletters, etc.
> 2. It is a one semester class so will not go into advanced features.
> 3. We already have Pagemaker in our labs.
> However, Framemaker shows up as a requirement on nearly every TechComm job
> I've seen listed. I'm not familiar with the software, but I'm willing to
> learn it and teach it, if it is the only way to go. I appreciate your
> input on this.
> Jessica Lourey
> General Education Department
> Alexandria Technical College
> Jessica Lourey

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