How do FrameMaker and Doc-To-Help compare?

Subject: How do FrameMaker and Doc-To-Help compare?
From: Tim Mantyla <tim -dot- mantyla -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 02:30:29 -0500

Hi all,

I recently applied for a position that called for "FrameMaker skills a
plus." I've used Doc-To-Help, but no other HATs. I want to demonstrate that
my software skills on one are most likely transferable to the other.

I evaluated Madcap Flare on a contract basis for an online help project for
a company, but didn't really dig into it. Its interface seemed more
complicated than D2H.

One reason for choosing D2H: the company is filled with potential
contributors who have writing skills and use MS Word--but little or no
technical writing experience--so D2H seemed like the best fit for the
company's limited resources. They don't plan on hiring a tech writer to
continue the project.

Who has used both, and how do they compare? How easy was it to learn one,
having used the other? How long a learning curve for one vs. the other? (I
know it'll be subjective, and hard to assess personal factors like general
ability with software, speed of learning, etc.--but I'll just have to figure
in a fudge factor to cover those.)

I'm also assuming that, having learned one HAT, the knowledge makes it
easier to learn others as well.

All (politely stated) comments are welcome. Thanks!

Tim Mantyla
Technical & marketing writer & editor - Journalist - Researcher

Visit the Communication & Creativity blog at

Professional communications services - see

LinkedIn profile:

ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 2009 is your all-in-one authoring and publishing
solution. Author in Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word or
HTML and publish to the Web, Help systems or printed manuals.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

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