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Thanks for all of the useful information I have received here. Let me throw
in my two cents. I have been using FrameMaker since 1993 and InDesign since
its release in 1999. Most of my work has been in FrameMaker but as an old
PageMaker/Quark user, I have tried to keep up on the InDesign world.
Recently, I received a request for some catalog automation of an extensive
set of Excel data. My bias for automation is toward FrameMaker; however,
this client is producing a graphic-intensive color publication. In addition,
they are using InDesign for some other work. As I was searching for
applicable InDesign plugins, I was impressed with the availability of good
quality, specialized InDesign plugins. I am sure that this is due to the
larger market share that InDesign has over FrameMaker. (We eventually
settled on EasyCatalog, which far exceeded our expectations.)
Some things I like about InDesign: it has Paragraph, Character, Table, and
Table Cell Styles, as well as Object Styles for images. If you are
consistent with your use of Styles, you can create solid, consistent long
documents. There are traditional long-document features like TOC and index
generation, variables, conditional text, cross-references, running
headers/footers. And its built-in ePub and HTML output is very good.
There is also the issue of quality control and "fit and finish". I find that
InDesign has a more professional and polished look and feel that recent
versions of FrameMaker. They don't just add new features from release to
release, but they improve existing features to make them better. The overall
quality of FrameMaker's recent releases has been disappointing.
I am still a big fan of FrameMaker and recommend it for many workflows.
However, with good planning and help from third-party plugins, I am finding
that I really like working with InDesign. Please let me know if you have any
questions or comments. Thank you very much.
Carmen Publishing Inc.
rick -at- frameexpert -dot- com
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