Re: InDesign versus FrameMaker (versus Word)

Subject: Re: InDesign versus FrameMaker (versus Word)
From: Donna McManus <donna -dot- mcmanus -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: mattgras -at- comcast -dot- net
Date: Fri, 14 May 2010 14:57:49 -0400

InDesign isn't hard to learn--similar to the old PageMaker and to Microsoft
Publisher. But I have never used it to create a large doc with what seems
will have a table of contents, list of figures, index, etc. You can create
page layouts and "templates" with InDesign, but I would not expect everyone
on your team to use it.

InDesign is just that--basically a design software. It's not really
well-suited for editing, reviewing, and authoring. Word is better for that.

Problem I see is your team will be passing you source text. It's going to be
fairly difficult getting all of your authors to switch to it due to cost and
their unfamiliarity with it. They will most likely continue to produce it in
Word. Just cut and paste and then clean up for you.

But what I would ask would be to see if you can get your tables in an Excel
format. I would think a statistical software should be able to export to a
spreadsheet format. If you can get them to export the source data to a
spreadsheet format, you can paste or import the tabular material and then
apply styles to it.

I am not sure what type/format of electronic documents that is expected in
other government offices, but I work for the military. The only formats that
are approved for us to "share" are Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF.

On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 2:31 PM, <mattgras -at- comcast -dot- net> wrote:

>
>
> 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,
>
> Matt
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
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> produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
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>
>
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--
Donna M. McManus
Technical Writer, DSCI
Volunteer STC TE Sig, Membership Manager/Communications Coordinator
donna -dot- mcmanus -at- gmail -dot- com
Skype: ds_donna_mcmanus
www.kuschwantz.wordpress.com
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial: http://www.doctohelp.com


- Use this space to communicate with TECHWR-L readers -
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InDesign versus FrameMaker (versus Word): From: mattgras

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