RE: Two Professional Questions

Subject: RE: Two Professional Questions
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com" <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 07:26:51 -0700

Chris Morton wrote:

> I'm going to say (write) this again... I don't think the real issue of the
> OP is a matter of Word vs. Framemaker.
> Rather, I think it's, "If we choose to not use Word as our layout
> application (since it's really just a word processor), what other tools
> should we be considering?" That is, I gathered from the OP that she or her
> manager may be unaware of the capabilities of InDesign, a tool which may be
> a far more appropriate choice for her project/company/budget/temperament.

So, to recap, here's the situation as I understand it: The company has been using Word. Bobbi has come in as a contract technical writer, and she's experienced with FM, but has never used Word for such a project.

Why would you say the issue isn't Word vs. FM? Other than your enthusiasm for ID, that is. :-)

The issue is Word vs. FM because one is a comfortable fit for the company (no change required) and the other is a comfortable fit for their writer (no learning curve or stumbling blocks).

Discarding both of those alternatives in favor of a third -- one that's new to both the writer and the company -- strikes me as a poor idea unless that alternative offers compelling advantages over the other two in this situation.

Based on Bobbi's follow-up, in which she mentioned the future possibility of single-sourcing for different users and different outputs, I'd lean toward FM if I were in her shoes. But I could see sticking with Word, at least until those future possibilities actually materialized.

What I can't imagine, at least in contract work, is pushing the client into an entirely new application that they'd have to pay me to learn and that offers no compelling advantage.

IMHO, of course. :-)

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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RE: Two Professional Questions: From: Peter Gold
Re: Two Professional Questions: From: Peter Neilson
Re: Two Professional Questions: From: Chris Morton

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