InDesign versus FrameMaker (versus Word)

Subject: InDesign versus FrameMaker (versus Word)
From: mattgras -at- comcast -dot- net
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 14 May 2010 18:31:53 +0000 (UTC)

I'm working a short-fuse documentation project for the US military helping to produce a 150 page report that will eventually wind up in the White House. I came into the project mid-stream. The team here is using MS Word 2007 but is considering switching to InDesign.

The document consists primarily of tables and figures, some quite complex. The team (research psychologists) create these tables in something called PASW Statistics 18. These tables import into Word but are a visual nightmare.

So my questions are:

(1) Would InDesign offer formatting and layout cababilities superior to those of MS Word?

(2) Would it be hell for me (a senior tech writer whose most recent experience, alas, is all with Word -- I live in Seattle and most of my contracts are with MS) to switch to InDesign? (I really like FrameMaker, although I haven't been lucky enough to use it in recent years.) The project deadline is July 1st.

(3) InDesign versus FrameMaker: which would be the more logical choice? And in that regard, does anyone have experience importing tables from PASW into FrameMaker or InDesign?

Many thanks,


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