RE: Help! Framemaker vs. Quark

Subject: RE: Help! Framemaker vs. Quark
From: Stephen Arrants <sarrants -at- roidirect -dot- com>
To: "'S'" <kittenbreath -at- hotbot -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 11:13:41 -0700

S [mailto:kittenbreath -at- hotbot -dot- com] writes:

> I am the only technical writer in my company. As part of the
> engineering department, I am constantly at odds with our
> marketing department, which sees things very differently than
> anyone else.
> The latest battle with them came this morning when the
> marketing director wrote me and my boss (the VP of R&E) an
> email saying it would be a good idea to switch me from using
> Framemaker over to Quark, which is what marketing uses.

> Most of our product manuals are from 9 to 40 pages long. Can
> anyone on this list please tell me the pros and cons of using
> Framemaker or Quark, or vice versa?

I've used both. Both are good tools, though designed for different tasks.
Quark is more of a layout program (similar to Adobe InDesign or Adobe
Pagemaker). It is great for creating documents that are graphic intense,
with lots of changes from page to page--things like advertising layouts,
catalogs, etc. Frame, of course, is superior for long and complex

Why does marketing want you to change to Quark? Do they use your documents
(or vice versa) as is? Do they need to convert your documents for their use
as source material?

You can do documents of 9-40 pages in Quark, though there are hoops to jump
through. It isn't worth the switch in my mind.

I suggest listing WHAT types of documents you produce and WHY Frame is the
best solution. Things like Frame gives you control over the TOC and Index,
allows single sourcing to print or online, etc. Your boss will then have
some data to use when talking with the marketing folks.

Documents aren't all alike. A marketing brochure or collateral has
different needs from an installation guide. Each benefits from using the
right tool.

steve arrants

Stephen Arrants
Manager of Technical Communications

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