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On 2/17/06, Siliconwriter <siliconwriter -at- comcast -dot- net> wrote:
> I am deliberately moving away from pricy, proprietary software as a
> freelance writer. In the first place, when I work a contract, my
> employer usually provides the hardware/software and that's what I
> use. If I am doing a contract from home on my own equipment, I get an
> upfront, carefully constructed contract spelling out what format the
> deliverable is in. Most of my clients can't even use Adobe InDesign
> or Framemaker files--they want Word docs.
This has been my experience as well. I know how to use Frame, I've
kept my licensed copy up to date (upgraded to 7.2 recently), and I
haven't worked on a project that required Framemaker in over five
years (I *know* they're out there, I just haven't seen one come my
Before you spend a lot of money outfitting a home machine "on spec,"
check out what exists in the Open-Source world. As a little side
project, I maintain a list of freeware and/or Open Source equivalents
to commercial software packages:
Virtually everything you need to do as a technical writer can be done,
and done well, with free software.
Of course, if a client specifies that you have to use a certain
program, they either need to provide you with a licensed copy, or you
need to build the cost of acquiring a licensed copy into your business
plans and fees.
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