FrameMaker and track changes?

Subject: FrameMaker and track changes?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 08:59:32 -0500

Rakefet Zadik reports: <<We are currently using Word as our editor for
writing user manuals. We've been having many problems and are therefore
considering to switch to Frame. We need the technical people to go over what
we write and send us comments (insert comments are use track changes). How
can we do that if the technical people only have word?>>

You didn't specify what your problems were with Word, but if it's simply a
case of the software not being powerful enough for single-sourcing and
suchlike, have a look at the new WebWorks Publisher for Word. If it proves
as good as WWP for Frame, it might be the solution you're seeking.

My understanding is that as of the previous version (I don't know about the
current version), Frame lacks any track changes feature comparable to what
Word provides, and doesn't do a particularly good job of exchanging heavily
formatted files with Word. (I'm eager to be corrected if I'm wrong about
this, since I write a column on onscreen editing and would love to throw the
Frame users a bone. <g>)

Given the situation you've described, here's one option: Do your initial
writing and editing in Word (since everyone already has a copy) and in so
doing, take advantage of Word's powerful collaboration (change tracking)
tools. Don't worry much about formatting and font fondling in Word, but do
make sure you use styles properly to ease the next step. The next step is
that once you've got a document in near-final form after review, import it
into Frame and use Frame's unparalleled document construction tools.

Although it's arguably more efficient to work in only a single program, it's
possible that no single program will meet your needs. In defence of my
two-program suggestion, I'd point out that most high-volume publishers
(journals, magazines, newspapers, university presses) work exactly the way
I've described: they write and edit in one program, then do all layout tasks
(including publishing online) using another program that's better at the

--Geoff Hart, ghart -at- [delete]videotron -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

“I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my
telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my
telephone.”--Bjarne Stroustrup (originator of C++ programming language)



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