Re: Questions about a 600 page manual

Subject: Re: Questions about a 600 page manual
From: Rev Simon Rumble <simon -at- rumble -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 14:57:05 +0000

On Mon 11 Feb, Brian Martin made the following spurious claims:

> Is a 600-page spiral bound manual too big?

The binding itself would probably work but you should also consider
the impressions it will make (and I don't mean denting people's
desks). Will users be intimidated by such a large manual? Do all
users need all the information or can you break it up into
user-targetted volumes?

We're in the process of breakup up a 700+ page document into volumes.
It's much easier to work with at that size. Having worked with even
bigger documents than that, I'd have to recommend moving out of word
if you're going to stay this big.

> Is it essential to store the images outside the file or can I import
> them into the document?

Unless you want a 3 gigabyte file that takes 15 minutes to save and
load, yes. In Frame, no problem.

> Can Word 97 handle such a document without corrupting the file or
> creating enormous strains on my productivity?

The strain will also be on your sanity. It's possible and you might
even get away without the document corrupting but you will need to be
_VERY_ careful. For starters, don't even think about using Master
Documents.

If you want to enjoy your job, move to something more stable.

> I have the option of converting to FrameMaker now. Should I do so
> despite the fact that the client has always demanded a copy in Word in
> the past? My internal customer says we could deliver in PDF, but my
> warning system tells me I'll have to convert later to Word anyway.

Lucky you! We're waiting on a budget.

You should ask your client _why_ they want a copy in Word. If it's
solely to split the document up for the various users, perhaps the
above solution will solve that problem. If it's just so they can
print copies on demand, a PDF should be fine.

If it must be Word, you should do some tests with Word exports from
Frame. It may end up being more trouble than it's worth.

--
Rev Simon Rumble <simon -at- rumble -dot- net>
www.rumble.net

Remember that 50% of people are even dumber than the average.
- Iamthefallen on slashdot

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References:
Questions about a 600 page manual: From: Brian Martin

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