Re: software question

Subject: Re: software question
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 17:43:32 -0500

Mary Elizabeth wrote:

Question: For a technical writer interested in starting freelance work,
would it make sense to purchase Adobe Creative Suite?
It all depends on what you intend to do and where you intend to do it. If you intend to work only out of your home, you need to tools to do the job. Having the full suite of Adobe products is good insurance because it's the industry standard (although I really hate Illustrator, but that's a personal thing).

I have the opportunity to purchase the full suite at a student discount (my partner is
currently a graduate student), but I don’t want to purchase it if it doesn’t
make sense to have it.

Check the license agreement to make sure you can use it for commercial purposes. The license police aren't going to knock on your door at 3 a.m., but you need to know what you are buying and how it can be used.

Is InDesign (or Acrobat/Photoshop/Illustrator, etc.)
important enough for freelance technical writing to justify the expense, or
would Word work just as well?

Again, it all depends on what the organization you contract to uses. InDesign, in its latest iteration, is a giant leap over what PageMaker could do, but a lot of companies still use PageMaker. Word is's not great for large documents and has a lot of problems, but a lot of companies use it. Programs like Doc-to-Help also use Word for their source documents. So, if you get a great contract that requires InDesign, then buy it; otherwise, use Word. If you can get Adobe Creative Suite 2 at a student discount, then go for it because it includes InDesign.

Are there other important software programs for general technical writers to have access to?

I also do Help and webpages, I have Dreamweaver, CorelDraw, a good CD/DVD burner program, Pinnacle Studio (Video) editor, FrameMaker with SGML, and don't forget Freecell and Solitare.....for those times when the two brain cells that are left won't talk to each other.

Hope this helps......

Al Geist, Geist Associates
Technical Writing, Online Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award Winning Videos, Professional Photography
Office: 802-658-3140

Cell: 505-400-4128
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
URL: <> (online portfolio/resume)

See also:
URL: <> (fine art prints for home or office and note cards for all occasions)

"When the situation is absolutely hopeless, you have nothing to worry about."
Compliments of The Monkey Wrench Gang


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!.
Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

software question: From: Mary Elizabeth

Previous by Author: Re: Customer Satisfaction Survey
Next by Author: Re: software question
Previous by Thread: software question
Next by Thread: Re: software question

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads