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I would add a comment on the keystrokes for commands comment in the article. There is a plugin from MicroType that includes just about every keystroke to command that can be done in FrameMaker. They are the Unix based keystrokes, are mnemonic, and work very well regardless of whether you work in plain FrameMaker or Structured.
On Sep 24, 2013, at 8:17, Peter Gold <peter -at- knowhowpro -dot- com> wrote:
>> Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:24:26 -0400
>> From: "Rick Quatro" <rick -at- rickquatro -dot- com>
>> I am new to the list and work with both FrameMaker and InDesign. I am
>> working with a client that is looking at using InDesign for their technical
>> documentation. They want to know if other tech writers are using InDesign,
>> as opposed to FrameMaker or Word, etc. Does anyone know of any data or
>> surveys that might show where InDesign stands in the technical publications
>> world? Thank you very much.
>> Rick Quatro
>> Carmen Publishing Inc.
>> rick -at- frameexpert -dot- com
> Hi, Rick:
> Thanks for asking this question.
> There's synchronicity in the air. A related question recently came up at
> InDesignsecrets.com. A beginning tech writer asked for information that
> could help him understand and decide between using FrameMaker and InDesign
> for technical writing.
> In my reply there, I posted a link to techwr-l.com, noting that this is
> where the most-experienced technical writers hang out.
> Here's the link to the original article:
> Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:31:02 -0500
>> From: Paul Hanson <twer_lists_all -at- hotmail -dot- com>
>> You can contact me off-list if you want
>> more specifics about my experience with ID. I prefer not to rant about the
>> time in my life when I used it publicly.
> âThanks, Paul. I'll get in touch. I'm interested in your experiences.
> From: Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
>> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> I've been using ID exclusively for the past six years, for several reasons.
>> Note that I have not (yet) had a need to create web-based deliverables, so
>> everything I've been doing is paper-based (with generated PDFs available,
>> of course).
> Chris: if you think your reasons for choosing to use InDesign would be
> useful to others, consider posting them here.
>> As for FM, I've only had a brief, nine-month acquaintance with it, but
>> quickly discovered that Adobe has done *nothing* to retool its UI in
>> relation to current GUI specs?Mac or PC. Granted, I think I was forced to
>> use the now-antiquated FM 7 and haven't looked at it since (thank God).
>> Yes, I can clearly see where it is perhaps the tool of choice for larger
>> projects, with different deliverables.
> âFrameMaker 11 âis the current release. Like most software products with
> long histories, it's evolved with each new release. If you can "perhaps"
> see FrameMaker 7's value for large technical writing projects, you'll
> certainly see significant increases in its value in FM 11.
> Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 13:03:11 -0400
>> From: "Margaret Cekis" <Margaret -dot- Cekis -at- comcast -dot- net>
>> Joe Welinske [joewe -at- writersua -dot- com] does an annual tools survey (
>> http://welinske.com/tools-survey/ ) that produces statistics to answer
>> kind of question. To his website and look for the latest results. (I don't
>> know whether this year's survey has been completed and the results compiled
> Thanks for this link, Margaret.
>> My personal opinion is that Mac shops tend to use ID for documentation, but
>> PC organizations use MS Word, FM, or Madcap's Flare. ID requires 3rd-party
>> plug-ins to do common large doc things like TOCs, auto numbering of
>> and figures, and Indexes, but some folks are using it. One of the LinkedIn
>> tech writing groups I belong to recently had a long discussion about ID
>> versus other tools, but I couldn't find it to cite it for you.
> âJust to clarify: In earlier releases, ID lacked useful long-document
> tools, and in those days, 3rd-party plug-ins were necessary to provide
> While technically speaking, InDesign still requires plug-ins to perform
> common large-document tasks, the current reality is that they have all been
> delivered within InDesign âsince ID CS 5, because everything that InDesign
> does is performed by a plug-in. ID consists of a core engine with hundreds
> of individual Adobe plug-ins.
> Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 10:45:50 -0700
>> From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
>> I've never seen InDesign in a tech docs department or mentioned in a
>> help-wanted ad for a tech writer. I've seen posts here and on other
>> forums by a handful of tech writers
>> who use it but it's not an appropriate tool if you need to
>> single-source to online help.
> For those technical authors who need to create help systems, round-trip
> XML, work with DITA, or create SCORM-compliant output, InDesign's inability
> to do these makes FrameMaker the logical choice.
>> I haven't seen a market-share survey of authoring tools in years. I
>> don't think anyone has such information except maybe the tools
>> vendors, who don't share it except insofar as it serves their
>> promotional purposes.
> If anyone's got reliable comparisons between the number of FrameMaker and
> InDesign in tech-writing departments, it would be great if they'd post that
> information here.
> I've been collecting information on the experiences of FrameMaker technical
> authors who make the transition to InDesign. If anyone wants to share,
> please contact me at: fmtwr2id at knowhowpro dot com. Thanks.
> Peter Gold
> KnowHow ProServices
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