RE: InDesign woes

Subject: RE: InDesign woes
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: <chrismorton11 -at- gmail -dot- com>, "Sean Brierley" <sbrierley -at- accu-time -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 08:44:19 -0600

Chris Morton wrote:

> Try this in MS Word:
> Select sentence 1 of para 1 (so that it's highlighted). Using the
> simply drag 'n' drop at the end of para 2.

In a past life, I used Word exclusively to create thousands of pages and
help topics. But I don't believe I did that even once.

> This may not seem like a big deal, but I just finished an 800-page
> software
> manual using FrameMaker alone. This missing functionality being but
> *one*of Frame's problems, this assignment was NOT a barrel of monkeys.
> (Yeah...I
> know. I could have imported my DOC files into Frame...)

I strongly suspect the "problems" weren't so much with FM as with your
unfamiliarity with it. Creating an 800-page manual is in countless ways
far easier and more efficient in FM than in Word.

> What I'm getting at is that, not having been initially developed for
> Windows
> or the Mac, Frame does not follow UI conventions most of us are used
> Buttons are oddly named, in odd locations, etc. Centuries-old standard
> terms, such as *leading*, are termed something else in Frame. To merge
> table
> cells, you "straddle" them, and on and on... Although very powerful,
> application is L-O-N-G overdue for a complete rewrite.

Buttons are oddly named? Is that a joke or are you really that
inflexible? Which ones confused you -- Apply? Update All? Did the
concept Line Spacing really leave you flummoxed?

As for tables, FM doesn't _merge_ cells like Word, "straddles" is an
accurate term for what it does, and while both have their pluses and
minuses, I'll take FM's table functionality over Word's any day.

There are good reasons why people who are skilled with both prefer FM
for long documents by a wide margin. If you were to learn more about FM
and come to understand its document object model, features, and
functions better, instead of trying to make it work like Word, I suspect
you'd prefer it too.

As for a complete rewrite, I believe it just got one: FM8 (which I
haven't used) supports Unicode, and you don't add that without replacing
all the guts of the program. Fortunately for those of us who work with
FM and like it, they apparently didn't feel the need to make it look or
work like Word. :-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Re: InDesign woes: From: Chris Morton
RE: InDesign woes: From: Sean Brierley
Re: InDesign woes: From: Chris Morton

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