Using FrameMaker for technical designs

Subject: Using FrameMaker for technical designs
From: "Julia O'Gara" <jo'gara -at- omniumworldwide -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 12:33:07 -0500

Hello, all. I have a question I hope someone can help me with. I
started a contract job a couple months ago with a medium-sized
company to produce both internal and client documentation. As with most
companies, they use Word and Excel for everything. I used
FrameMaker to produce user documentation manuals at a previous job,
and I've put in a proposal to purchase a few licenses for this
company which would be used by me and the training department.

My question concerns using FM for the technical and functional
design specs, and the requirements documentation. These documents
are big and complicated with lots of tables, and would benefit from a
switch to FM, I believe, but that would require many more licenses and a

lot of training for the programmers and business analysts. I'm the only
tech writer/user doc writer in the company, and I'm not proficient
enough in FM to train dozens of people to use it. I'm having a
meeting this coming Tuesday with representatives from training and
my IT manager to decide whether to go along with my proposal to purchase

it for the user doc, and I know one of the questions they'll have is
whether I think the programmers, etc., should use it for their technical

designs, too.

Does anyone have any experience in using FM for technical designs? Any
advice on things we need to consider would be appreciated. Thanks!

Julia O'Gara


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