Re: software question

Subject: Re: software question
From: Michele Davis <michele -at- krautgrrl -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 17:16:59 -0600

Mary, it depends on the price. I think if the price is reasonable Photoshop is invaluable even if you aren't a writer. I use Photoshop all the time and not always for work. Frankly I think it's lame to take screen grabs and use those other programs for it. I think every writer of documentation should know all the ins and outs of Photoshop. Gosh, I teach Photoshop classes and you can tell with all my profuse gushing over the sw. <grin>

In my experience I have only had to use InDesign for one project in the past year. I, however, use Framemaker. I think it's a good idea as a consulting writer to know your apps. My current sw client had an existing manual and wants two manuals. They don't have Frame, but the original manuals were in Frame. They didn't know what an .fm extension was, thank goodness I do, and I have Frame so I could pull all the files and dump them into Word for them. So, even if you rarely use something it's good to have some knowledge about that app. even if it's only to be able to export your content.

Personally I despise Illustrator and have since my old graphic designer days on a Mac in the late 80's! But, the husband loves Illustrator, so we have it.

Acrobat is also a very good investment. You'll need the whole Acrobat program if you're going to do freelance technical writing.

On my PC I have InDesign, Pagemaker, Quark, MS Office Suite, Photoshop, Acrobat, Framemaker, the Macromedia Suite of Freehand, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash; the OpenOffice Suite, and I think that's all. On my Mac I have Word, Photoshop, Quark and Illustrator.

Some of my applications are older since I can't justify upgrading them, but I know all these app's and I've been a consultant my entire career. I've never been captive and I believe at this point in my non-captive career that I won't be presented with a captive offering.


Michele E. Davis, Writer
Kraut Companies
612-309-6903 (cell)
and the uber geek empyre

Mary Elizabeth wrote:

<>For a technical writer interested in starting freelance work,
would it make sense to purchase Adobe Creative Suite? 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. Is InDesign (or Acrobat/Photoshop/Illustrator, etc.) important enough for freelance technical writing to justify the expense, or would Word work just as well?


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software question: From: Mary Elizabeth
Re: software question: From: Al Geist

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