RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker

Subject: RE: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker
From: "Maxwell Hoffmann" <mhoffmann -at- globalizationpartners -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 11:29:01 -0700

Federico,

Since you are a global company, translation/localization is probably an
issue. There have been several excellent and useful comments, but I wanted
to add a different perspective as a translation vendor. Naturally, we
translate/localize anything, from Word to InDesign or FrameMaker. Due to the
design of FrameMaker's workflow, which makes it faster/easier to define and
apply paragraph and character styles, FrameMaker documents in general have
better "structure" (even w/o XML and DITA) than most Word documents, from a
translation perspective.

FrameMaker files saved to MIF, which transit through the translation
process, tend to emerge in another language with far more formatting intact
than with "average" Word documents. In extreme cases this can save
considerable billable time on translation projects, as poorly constructed
documents can require some document "reconstruction" after translation.
Structured FrameMaker documents saved to XML are even more optimized for
"touch free" translation from a formatting standpoint.

In defense of Word, if a user really applies him/herself, learns all the
advanced features, and creates Word documents in the ideal, optimal (not
typical) way, good results will be achieved in translation. Unfortunately,
this is generally not the case.

Regarding review of documents by other SMEs who can't use/afford FrameMaker,
with FrameMaker 9 or FrameMaker 10 review by PDF works quite well. Documents
can output to a PDF format optimized for review. Even users with free
Acrobat Reader can mark insertions, deletions and comments. These PDF
comments may be imported back into FrameMaker, where they appear as
conditional text that works like "track changes" ... you can search for the
next instance and approve or reject the change. With FrameMaker 10, when
your cursor is inserted in such a PDF/imported comment, the reviewer's ID
and timestamp are displayed in the lower left corner of the workspace.

FYI -- my team members frequently have to export FrameMaker to Word for
occasional migration into InDesign if a project requires Arabic.
(BiDirectional languages are not supported in FrameMaker.) The export
filters work quite well. What does not exist, outside of Mif2Go, if a filter
strong enough for a reasonable "round trip" to/from FrameMaker/Word for
revisions. There will probably never be a complete solution in that regard
because FrameMaker has many features which have no equivalent in Word. Two
different products designed for workloads of very different
complexity/intensity.

As other members have commented on, the move to FrameMaker depends upon the
page count of your documents and/or the frequency of revisions. FrameMaker
has many advantages over Word in terms of large, media rich documents. To
try a test, create a 10 row table in FrameMaker. Import the same graphic
into the first cell of each row. Copy and paste the rows to add to the table
until you have a table that is over 20 pages long. (You can go to a 100 page
table if you want to.) FrameMaker will not crash, and is surprisingly fast
at opening, closing and displaying such documents.

If your documents require frequent changes from single to multiple column,
this can be accomplished in FrameMaker w/o section breaks and the many
headaches that can be associated with that feature and auto-numbering.

Feel free to contact me for more information. I have posted some recent
blogs on FrameMaker 10 and Tech Comm Suite 3 at http://bit.ly/gpiblog ....
Hope this helps.

Maxwell Hoffmann
Director, Multilingual Document Globalization Practice
Globalization Partners International (GPI)
Direct: +1 503-336-5952 Mobile: +1 503-805-3719 US Toll Free: 866-272-5874
Global Fax: +1 202-478-0956
Adobe Community Expert: FrameMaker
Twitter: @GPITranslates

-----Original Message-----
From:
techwr-l-bounces+mhoffmann=globalizationpartners -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mhoffmann=globalizationpartners -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot-
com] On Behalf Of Federico Viani
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:01 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Reasons to adopt FrameMaker

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.
[snip]
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

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References:
Reasons to adopt FrameMaker: From: Federico Viani

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