Frame 8 outputs / pick a tool (set?) help needed

Subject: Frame 8 outputs / pick a tool (set?) help needed
From: "Lin Sims" <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 10:00:43 -0400

New job, as in I started yesterday.

I get to pick my tools.

Outputs needed include PDF and various help formats, including
context-sensitive help. Because of a multiplicity of configurations
and clients, conditional text and variables will be in heavy use. Note
that I have not worked much with help authoring tools--a brief
exposure to RoboHelp and WebWorks is all, and those were both in the
nature of a full conversion from a manual and occurred at least 5
years ago.

Document control via CVS/TortoiseCVS is possible to probable.

Single-sourcing is highly desired (by me, since I'm the sole and first
tech writer and if there's anything I hate is duplicating effort and
multiple maintenance).

My preference for source files is Frame, but I am having trouble
verifying whether Frame can output to the help/context-sensitive help

Before I recommend definitively that we go with Frame, I need to know
whether Frame 8 can output to all those formats by itself, or whether
it needs auxiliary programs to do so. So far, I've been unable to
confirm this on the Adobe site, although I'm still looking.

Advice and suggestions appreciated, including alternate programs. I'm
not married to Frame, but I need something I can come up to speed on
quickly. The boss has come up with one alternate called Help & Manual,
but according to its documentation, it doesn't support conditional
text to a PDF output.


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.

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

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