Re: Basic questions on technical writing

Subject: Re: Basic questions on technical writing
From: "Peter Ring" <prc -at- prc -dot- dk>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2003 11:36:07 +0100

> What is the tool that is the latest hype for Technical writing?

Wrong question: Don't run for the latest hype, run for the best product that solves
YOUR needs. And that depends on what you're doing.

> What is the advantage of using the rtf format for technical writing?

None! RTF is a Microsoft-controlled format which can be used for transferring text
and image data from one application to another application (bad example: MS Word
to FrameMaker) if there are no import/export filters to do that. It is also used if you
don't know the text editing application you are exporting to. But for technical writing
it's in general too primitive and there are too many more or less compatible versions
of RTF.

> And whats the advantage of using Adobe framemaker?

1. You then support Adobe instead of Bill Gates & Co ? your choice between the two
almost monopolies in this sector. You could also consider Star Office.

2. It has put pressure on Microsoft to improve MS Word.

Adobe FrameMaker is probably still a bit better if you are producing extremely long
manuals with a lot of graphics, but MS Word 2000 or later can to my experience be
used, too, if you

- link the images without embedding them.

- avoid using floating images and use tables to place text and images next to each

MS Word is the solution if people outside the documentation department is to work
with the document. For example: many translators only work in Word, and
engineers/secretaries normally only work with Word. FrameMaker is b..... expensive.

> Are there any rules to be followed for the end user documentation?

For sure! See for example my "User-friendly manuals website" (URL: see below).

Greetings from Denmark
Peter Ring, PRC
prc -at- prc -dot- dk
The user-friendly manuals website:
AcosHelp (context sensitive online help with PDF-files):



RoboHelp for FrameMaker is a NEW online publishing tool for FrameMaker that
lets you easily single-source content to online Help, intranet, and Web.
The interface is designed for FrameMaker users, so there is little or no
learning curve and no macro language required! Call 800-718-4407 for
competitive pricing or download a trial at:

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