TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> I've just been offered a job at another co where it will be my decision what
> software (wordprocessing) to use.
> Can someone make a suggestion? Which do you like better? Would you advise
> doing one first and then the other? What are the benefits of Word? The
> drawbacks? And the same for Frame - the benefits? Drawbacks?
If you search the archives on this board, you will find that the whole
Word/Frame debate has become something of a religious war. There are people who
are staunch supporters of each.
You have two positions to evaluate: (1) which tool works better for the company
you're going to, and (2) which tool will allow you to make the best contribution
to the company?
The answer to (1) depends on what the company is currently using - not just for
technical documents but for white papers, specifications and other material
generated by your source people, memos, etc. If Word is the company standard,
it may be in the company's best interest to continue in Word. This answer also
depends on what the company wants your group to produce. If you're going to be
producing lots of multi-chapter books, you will probably get frustrated with
Word's well-known technical glitches in that area. If what you'll be producing
will be relatively short books and lots of interdepartmental communication, then
maybe Word is better. However you should know that most companies wind up
migrating to Frame as they get bigger (or at least that's been our experience).
The answer to (2) is actually easier than you might think. It's been our
experience that if you know either Word or Frame, you know about 80% of the
other. The two packages have developed mostly parallel increases in features
over the years, and most experienced writers find the transition from one to the
other fairly easy.
I can tell you, however, that if you have proficiency in both packages you're
more valuable in the marketplace.