RE: Is Word Formatting in End-User docs important? [was:Word Help (pr oblem solved)]

Subject: RE: Is Word Formatting in End-User docs important? [was:Word Help (pr oblem solved)]
From: Jim Shaeffer <jims -at- spsi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 09:45:53 -0500

Just as this discussion of the proper way to use Word to format documents
flared up, Bill Hall posted (in the Real Value thread) an argument that
technical writers flourish when relieved of needing to bother with such
He quotes savings arising from a structured writing environment simply
because writers write, instead of fussing with formats, output designs, etc.

To quote Bill:

----- start Quote ----
In structured authoring environments authors can see text displayed in the
formats that will be produced on output, but have no control over these
formats beyond those provided by emphasis elements or attributes included in
the DTD. Our experienced technical authors love this environment because it
frees them from the continual format hassles they have with MS Word.
----- end Quote -----

So, one of these writers would, after a few years, have no experience with
tools such as word or other DTP packages. I wonder what their resumes will
look like?

Bill goes on to say:
These [changes] turn technical writing into knowledge management and
delivery, and as
I have said previously on this forum, structured authoring represents the
first wave of a technological revolution in the way knowledge is transmitted
which will be even greater (and much faster) than was enabled by the
invention of the printing press. --- End Quote ----

Jim Shaeffer
jims -at- spsi -dot- com

PS. My summary of Bill Hall's points is my own, not his. I recommend his
post in its entirety.

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