RE: New doc group: FrameMaker or Flare?

Subject: RE: New doc group: FrameMaker or Flare?
From: "Porrello, Leonard" <lporrello -at- illumina -dot- com>
To: 'Mary Moore' <mmoore100 -at- hotmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 17:12:15 +0000

Having moved from Help & Manual authoring to Flare authoring in the past six months, I can tell you that the learning curve for Help & Manual is much less steep than for Flare even thought H&M is equally powerful. Among other things, H&M has a very user friendly and truly WYSIWYG authoring interface. This will be important for transient authors. And of course, it has several easy to implement templates, for both HTML Help and PDFs, that can also be changed very easily.

Leonard

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lporrello=illumina -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Mary Moore
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 3:15 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: New doc group: FrameMaker or Flare?


I'm consulting for a company that needs to set up documentation from scratch and doesn't have an authoring tool. They've heard that FrameMaker is the tool of choice and asked my opinion.

They will not have a full-time writer. I will be setting things up and creating the initial documentation and then they will hire contractors as needed. Call me cynical, but I've seen a couple of companies turn the minor updating tasks over to engineers who can indeed figure out how to make the minor changes, but then trip up on conditional text, generating TOCs and indexes, and so on.

Given that they don't have a tool already and that they will not have a full-time writer, I'm thinking of suggesting Flare, but I'm worried about the learning curve -- for them AND me.

If I sell them on Flare, how long do you think it will take me to create simple templates for an installation guide and user guide that would be output as PDF?

Does Flare come with any default templates?

If they decide to make minor changes themselves and bring in a writer only for a major release, is it conceivable that they could do this?

Miranda Moreland

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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References:
New doc group: FrameMaker or Flare?: From: Mary Moore

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