Re: InDesign woes

Subject: Re: InDesign woes
From: "Collin Turner" <straylightsghost -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: WilliamFLawrence -at- eaton -dot- com
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 07:50:39 -0600

Ah, Bill...here's the rub.

I don't mind tweaking tools in order to get them "just right"....searching
for scripts and adding things here and there, making adjustments. I don't,
really. I respect InDesign for what's it's built to do, and we'll continue
to use it.

I too have used pretty much everything on the market for our field. I've
bent some apps to do some pretty twisted things. The lesson learned?

The more you twist, the more you bend? The more they break. I need something
out of the box that will do what I need. Period. I don't mind switching from
tool to tool, but writing pages and pages of text in InDesign??? Wow, I'd
rather punch my face with nails! And honestly, nothing imports Word
correctly.

We use InDesign CS2, yes, it's flawed...just messing with numbered lists is
enough of an exercise in blood games to see that. I will certainly propose
an upgrade to CS3 as well. At this point, however, I'm toying with going
back to (gasp!) Quark 7 rather than working in ID for the longer Tech
Writing (And I DESPISE Quark...)

(For the record, I don't dislike ID. I look forward to using it, especially
ID CS3. I simply don't have time to force it to my will right now.)

Viva La Frame!

-Collin

On Tue, May 13, 2008 at 6:00 AM, <WilliamFLawrence -at- eaton -dot- com> wrote:

> Colin,
>
> InDesign CS3 is as good a choice for book length documents as anything
> else on the market, and I can say that with some authority as I've
> worked with almost every tool on the market. CS2 however has some
> serious weaknesses.
>
> We use CS3 for all of our docs. CS3 can easily handle documents that
> are hundreds of pages long, and can generate tables of contents (or
> figures, tables, etc.) with ease. It also has excellent indexing and
> hyperlinking capabilities. Out of the box, it lacks a good
> cross-referencing tool; however, there is a freely available script that
> you simply plug in for page cross-references.
>
> InDesign also has extremely powerful stylesheet capabilities which, when
> combined with master pages, makes it very easy to repurpose content into
> another page layout.
>
> If you consider that the CS3 suite also come with the Version Cue
> content management and workflow system, it's actually a better deal than
> Framemaker. However, its current major limitation is that it doesn't
> integrate with something like Robohelp or Flare. If you must also
> produce help files from your source, you can either use your PDF output
> and provide context sensitive links to PDF destinations or you must
> "roll your own" solution to help files with custom scripting.
>
> Another real barrier for InDesign in the long document world is that
> almost all of the books, classes, etc. are built to teach how to build
> "one-off" short documents. Building long documents that must be easily
> maintainable is rarely discussed.
>
> I've spent a lot of time working in the XML publishing side of things,
> and I find InDesign's styles to be the functional equivalent of such XML
> schemas as Docbook. With a little effort, you can actually import and
> export valid XML. As such, I find it to be nearly an ideal text
> authoring environment as well as a powerful layout tool.
>
> Contact me off-list and I'll help you work through your problems...
>
> Bill
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Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.
http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com

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Follow-Ups:

References:
InDesign woes: From: Collin Turner
RE: InDesign woes: From: WilliamFLawrence

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