RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker

Subject: RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, Federico Viani <Federico -dot- Viani -at- telit -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 13:30:27 -0400

Replying to myself... tsk!...

Doesn't Mif2Go do a good job of exporting FrameMaker to
several target formats? Including Word?

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=safenet-> inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of McLauchlan, Kevin
> Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 1:27 PM
> To: Federico Viani; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker
> FrameMaker costs money.
> It'll cost large money if you give it to all your SMEs.
> It has a stiff learning curve for people who have known
> only MS Word. If your SMEs have other work for which
> you are really paying them - their primary function is
> not writing documents - then it would be a tough sell
> to persuade them to adopt FM.
> Word is usually available to everybody in the company
> almost by default, so they have some familarity.
> Familiarity breeds...
> So people who don't know any better make horrible botches
> of documentation by doing "spot formatting". The most
> beautiful and consistent templates and documents you
> could create can be quickly vandalized by anybody who
> has MS Word and good (or otherwise) intentions.
> FrameMaker is a great tool for technical writers and
> publications departments, because usually everybody
> who uses it is motivated to learn to do so properly.
> At the same time, it prevents unwanted or unwise changes
> to documentation source because most people in an organization
> are unlikely to have FrameMaker.
> But you can't circulate a FrameMaker document all over your
> company for review and comments, the way you could a Word
> document. Only FrameMaker can open FrameMaker documents.
> So you'd need to circulate your docs as PDFs, and only the
> people with the FrameMaker licences would be able to
> put the resulting comments, fixes, and changes back into
> the FrameMaker docs.
> If you don't have an actual Techpubs department, or at
> least a group of tame techwriters, then my advice would
> be to get your recently acquired FrameMaker documents
> exported into some other format and use tools that
> already work for you.
> If it was me, I'd be using LibreOffice, and to heck with
> FM or Word.
> LibreOffice does a pretty good job of exporting to PDF format.
> It's a lot like Word in overall use and capability.
> It both reads and writes in Word file format - though I prefer
> to work from its native '.odt' format.
> At my office, most of us have MS Office 2003, while a few have
> been getting MS Office 2007 or 2010 in the past year or so,
> resulting in documents that most cannot read unless they download
> and install a plug-in.
> Instead, I just open the .docx files in LibreOffice.
> LibreOffice (formerly is open source, and it's
> free for anyone to use, so nobody can say they can't open/read
> your document.
> If you are a growing company, I'd start looking at the option
> to hire a few technical writers to take on the documentation
> tasks, standardize the look-and-feel across all products and
> product lines, provide a trained editorial eye, provide
> consistency and proficiency in the language in which you normally
> publish. Quite often, SMEs do not necessarily have your publication
> language as their native/first language, so when documents are
> created by a number of such people they can be technically
> accurate while being uneven in tone, style, clarity, readability.
> Then, let the new techpubs department decide what tools to use.
> - kevin
> > -----Original Message-----
> From: Federico Viani
> > Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 12:01 PM
> > Hello,
> >
> > I'm writing to this mailing list looking for pieces of advice
> > about publishing solutions for my high-tech company -- in the
> > wireless field -- in the hope to get unspoiled opinions from
> > people who are actually using the software, not just selling it.
> >
> > We're used to write our documentation using MS Word, and
> > publish it in .pdf format. Documents' sources come from R&D
> > (SME's) and we at Product Management level roughly check it
> > for structure, template and possibly grammar. Then we
> > 'distill' the .pdf and publish it on our intranet and
> > website. Future revisions might involve the Word 'track
> > changes' feature, and all exchanges are email based.
> >
> > After the acquisition of another company's branch, we came
> > across a bunch of documentation which is in FrameMaker format
> > and we are wondering whether this could be a chance for us to
> > adopt such a popular tech writing tool, without actually
> > grasping the real need of such a solution in our scenario,
> > except we're in a hurry of editing the new documentation in a
> > smoother way. Exporting techniques to .doc format are being
> > under inspection. The free ones at least, they don't seem to
> > provide a real method.
> >
> > Irrespective of how we are going to solve our format issues,
> > can anyone point out good reasons for us to adopt such a tool?
> > We're a global company, we are growing and we'd like to be
> > more and more productive but still we're wary that it might
> > get in the way.
> >
> > Thank you.
> >
> > Federico Viani
The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
message and deleting it from your computer without copying
or disclosing it.


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.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

Reasons to adopt FrameMaker: From: Federico Viani
RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

Previous by Author: RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker
Next by Author: Word without proliferation of styles
Previous by Thread: RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker
Next by Thread: RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads