Re: InDesign versus FrameMaker (versus Word)

Subject: Re: InDesign versus FrameMaker (versus Word)
From: Donna McManus <donna -dot- mcmanus -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 May 2010 10:37:05 -0400

I don't disagree. I have FrameMaker here and am in the "gubmint" circles.

It's wonderful when producing (single-handedly OR in a group of tech comm
writers with FM) long documents.

The issue I was discussing though is when you have multiple source authors.
I would NOT EVER put FM or even InDesign or even Publisher into their hands.
Word is what they know. If something needs to be published in FM, I'd rather
my source authors write in Word and hand it over. However, even from my
perspective, FM is fading out of the picture. Most "higher-ups" in the
"gubmint" circles (at least in the military) expect either a Word document
or a PDF. It's what they're standardized on. I work primarily with the Army
but have experienced this with previous Air Force and Marine work as well.

So I think the answer is "it depends." Ask what is needed. Studies,
proposals, etc. that I've produced over the last few years were nearly
always delivered to the customer in PDF. Often, we just don't have the time
to take the material into FM.

Multi-authored documents, that I have to edit, are a difficult beast to
contend with.

On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 6:59 PM, Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>wrote:

> Donna McManus wrote:
> "InDesign is just that--basically a design software. It's not really
> well-suited for editing, reviewing, and authoring. Word is better for
> that."
> Having used both, I see InDesign being a good match for larger documents,
> including those that have complex tables. Word just plan sucks for tables
> (pretty basic) and both handle editing, reviewing and authoring quite well.
> What it boils down to is what you are comfortable with and what you can
> afford. FrameMaker is a wonderful problem, but can you justify the cost.
> InDesign is less expansive and Word is the cheapest.
> I use word at one client for the last's cheap, but it is also
> limiting. The thing to do is do not confuse a page layout program with a
> word processor.
> Al Geist
> Technical Communicator, Help, Web Design, Video, Photography
> Office/Msg: 802-872-9190
> Cell: 802-578-3964
> E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com
> Website:
> See Also:
> Fine Art Photography
> Website:
> "...I walked to work, quit my job, and kept walking. Better to be a pilgrim
> without a destination, I figured, than to cross the wrong threshold each
> day." (Sy Safransky)

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

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Re: InDesign versus FrameMaker (versus Word): From: Donna McManus

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