Functional Replacement for Word for Long Documents

Subject: Functional Replacement for Word for Long Documents
From: Henry Meyerding <hwm -at- goomba -dot- com>
To: Keith Hansen <KRH -at- weiland-wfg -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 23:28:29 -0800

Easiest and Simplest for Word users is going to be Open Office, hands
down. It struggles a bit when the documents get over 1000 pages long,
but that's usually a matter of "paging" due to insufficient memory

If you really want to be able to work well with truly large documents,
then your best bets are going to be either LaTeX or Docbook. Neither of
these is going to have any problem with a properly structured document
of up to 50,000 pages, although the processing time (with graphics) may
stretch up to 8-10 minutes for a really big file.

LaTeX is an art form - it is really a typesetting environment, so on the
one hand you can get incredibly creative and on the other you can spend
a couple of weeks convincing your document to behave the way you want it
to behave... I had one project where they absolutely required a 50%
transparent red "DRAFT" across the upper left side of every page. It
took me a long time to get that to not interfere with the rest of the
page formatting. I like LaTeX because when you do spend the time to get
the document behaviors to work, creating and managing the content,
including multiple versions, is piece of cake.

Creating your content in Docbook (XML) is going to give you the most
flexibility, but you're going to have to employ somebody who is
experienced in creating (programming) XSLT files to produce good PDF or
HTML output for you. If you're going to be creating large and
interrelated docsets and want to have common structure and consistent
output, especially in rapidly changing documents, you want Docbook.

>From what I have heard of it, I believe that AuthorIt should do fairly
well with large documents, but I have no personal experience using this
tool with really big documents.

Keith Wrote:

> For extremely long projects (500+ pages), is there any other viable
> option besides FrameMaker? Can InDesign handle something that big?
> Just curious...

> Keith
Henry Meyerding
hwm -at- goomba -dot- com

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