Re: Q: Word vs. Frame

Subject: Re: Q: Word vs. Frame
From: Karen Gwynn <decrsc!kwg -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1993 11:49:10 -0400

Regarding Word vs Frame:

The PC version of FrameMaker does allow for export to Word (Windows
and DOS versions). However, as is often the case when moving from one
software package to another, you may loose somethings in the translation.
I personally don't have experience with Frame-to-Word on the PC, but do
know in general you can often loose graphics and sometimes tables. You
mentioned that your documents are not "fancy" so this may not be an
issue (at least immediately), but it is definately something to consider,
especially if the translating capability is important. If you do switch
you may find that the ease of doing fancier things inspires you to do
so, but you could be up that ole creek if it doesn't translate well to
Word and that ability remains important.

As far as the benefits of FrameMaker, I know that this list has had some
full-length discussions on the topic of DTP, and the pros and cons of
different packages, but I'll offer my two cents:

1. Moving from a word processor to any DTP, Frame, Ventrua, etc., is not
an overnight occurance. There is a learning curve. This curve is tougher
if you've never used any DTP and are not familiar with the concepts and
capabilities. Once you've got that, moving from one to another is like
switching word processors.

2. As to whether to make the move. If your books have several chapters, need
a table of contents, index, etc., and require consistent pagination and
cross-referencing, yes, I think you need a DTP. Some word processors handle
these functions now, I'm still not convienced they handle them as well as

3. Is FrameMaker the answer? I've been using it for almost a year on a UNIX
workstation after learning desktop publishing with Ventura (version 1.1 to
begin with!). I've dabbled with Ventura on Windows recently and have
Pagemaker on my Mac at home (rarely use it now though). I'd look at both
Ventura and FrameMaker. I really like FrameMaker, but I was also very
strongly in favor of Ventura when that was my tool. FrameMaker has alot
of wonderful features not found in Ventura, but they may be more than
you need (e.g., conditional text, good graphics capabilities). However,
I think that when making this type of transition you should always
consider what you might be doing a year from now; you don't want to get
something you cant grow with.

Oh, and yes, you can use FrameMaker as your editor. You don't need to create
your text in Word first (this is, however, the best way to work in Ventura).
FrameMaker's editing features are comparable to any word processor, scrolling
is smooth, and you can zoom into any level to get the best view of your
text (Ventura still only has three views).

Well, now that I've written my longest reply to date, hope this helps! Good
luck and enjoy the adventure!!
Karen Gwynn Phone: (703) 968-4556
Documentation Specialist Fax: (703) 968-4625
Datatel, Inc.
4375 Fair Lakes Ct.
Fairfax, VA 22033

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