RE: Help! Framemaker vs. Quark (LONG)

Subject: RE: Help! Framemaker vs. Quark (LONG)
From: "Lisa Wright" <liwright -at- uswest -dot- net>
To: "S" <kittenbreath -at- hotbot -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 12:08:12 -0700

Sierra writes:
<snip> Can anyone on this list please tell me the pros and cons of using
Framemaker or Quark, or vice versa? </snip>

Quark is a wonderful layout/design program with many valuable features. I
love it and wish I could use it for my current job. The reason I can't? I
deliberately chose not to because:

Quark is not designed for book production. The base product cannot generate
a TOC or an index. You cannot have multiple files grouped into a single

Quark proponents will tell you that there are third-party XTensions that
will let you create TOCs and indexes. Hah. I used the indexing one (I can't
remember its name) and there was still a ton of manual labor involved.

I am a Frame newbie, and struggling mightily, let me tell you, but the
struggle is worth it, because it's the right tool for the job.

Your boss needs to ask why marketing thinks Quark is the right tool for the
job you need to do, and then understand the difference between the kinds of
documents you produce and the ones that marketing produces. If I were in
marketing I'd want Quark too, but I'm also not arrogant enough to tell
another writer producing different kinds of documents what tool they
"should" be using.

Here are some words from someone on the Frame list who's familiar with both
products and was addressing a conversion issue (from Quark to Frame) for me.
She has some interesting points about things that Frame can't deal with that
Quark can. It may help you:

"certain features that are easy to create in Quark are extremely
"un-Frame-like". We have struggled quite a lot here with adapting
Quark-based designs for FrameMaker books. The fundamental paradigm conflict
is that Quark is based on the concept of individual pages, while Frame is
more about the flow of the data stream.

"Some guidelines:

- No vertical rules
- No rounded rectangles
- Anything designed in a box should become a table in FrameMaker
- Watch out for special tracking, kerning, or line spacing

"When you start feeling frustrated by difficulty recreating arty effects
from Quark, just remember that most Quark users are still typing out their
Tables of Contents manually."

Good Luck! Let us know how it turns out.
Lisa Wright

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