SV: Re: Software Packages

Subject: SV: Re: Software Packages
From: Mikael Orbratt <Orbratt -at- ERITEL -dot- SE>
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 1994 00:05:00 +1

anne -at- mccabe -dot- com writes:

>My company is going to switch from PageMaker Desktop Pub. to >another
>package. Some suggestions have been Word 6.0, FrameMaker, >and Interleaf.

>Does anyone have any opinions on the above suggestions, >especially with

>Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a long one...

We have just left WordPerfcet behind us and switched to Word 6.0 AND
FrameMaker. I'll try to give you my opinion about what you should look at
before making your mind up. It is difficult to give you an advice, without
knowing what kind of documents that you are going to produce.

The reason for having them both (Frame and Word) is that we have both a UNIX
and a PC environment. We can access Frame from both the UNIX and PC
environment, but Word is the official tool for PC users.

I would say that for any normal job (whatever that is) Word and Frame have a
similar basic functionality.

Within the telecommunication company Ericsson, where I am, it is recommended
to use either Frame, Interleaf or SGML Publisher for DTP. Word is frequently
used as a word processor. So I would say that you are close to what a lot of
companies look at, when switching to a new tool.

Going from PageMaker, I can't give you any advice about which tool that is
the best. But I would see that as a minor problem. Both Word and Frame are
have a lot of filters/converters, probably for PageMaker as well. Please
remember that any converter should be carefully controlled, what it really
does to your documents. They do not always keep their promises.

You also have to keep in mind your target groups. Secretarys, managers etc
etc normally prefers Word. Professional Technical Writers would probalbly
prefer FrameMaker, Word would probably be seen as a bad joke to them,
atleast before they have used it.

Like Debbie I like both Frame and Word, but Word is my favourite since I've
used it more frequently than Frame. Hope that doesn't affect your decision.
To balance my opinion, I've heard several comment like Debbie's, Frame is
better than Word when you know it and use it frequently.

*** WORD
If you have only a PC environment I suggest that you use Word (6.0 of
course) in the Microsoft Office package.
Word is almost for free if you buy with the Microsoft Office package, which
you should. Powerpoint, Excel etc are excellent complements to Word. Gives
you a wider office tool altogether, compared to Frame.
Excellent world-wide support.
You can only use PC or Mac.
Easy to use.
Help and Demos are excellent.

Includes a lot of good DTP functions. Not all those "used once in a million
The TOC function in Frame is not what I expected it to be (or used to from
other tools). The TOC is created in a separate file, which could be linked
or included in the document.
It is expensive.
Takes a while to learn.
Don't know much about the support, check it up.
"The one and only" tool for the UNIX environment. It was made for UNIX from
the beginning.
You can have Frame in several environments and still access the same files.
I know that graphics not always comes out correct (if it does at all)
between the different environments. Handles most graphic formats.

Includes a lot of DTP functions. Do you really need all of them.
Requires a lot of internal support.
Includes a lot of different products, which makes it difficult to know what
you really have, unless you buy them all.
I have no experience from using Interleaf. Have inly seen it demonstrated a
few times. Therefore I cannot give you any good answers on Interleaf.

*** Your questions

>Importing graphics (EPS, TIFF, BMP)
- Normally no problem for any of today's tools.

>Use in creating Help files (guess that you mean "electronic" documents with
hypertext etc)
- FrameBuilder gives you the possibility of creating "unchangable"
documents. The reader only needs FrameViewer (which is cheap) not
- Word has as a Microsoft product also great possiblities to create Help
Files. An advantage is that you only needs Windows and a PC, one of the
worlds most common computer products.

>Use with large documents (100 pages or more).
No really problem for Word or Frame. The real problem is not the number of
pages though. It is the amout of graphics you use. A 20 page document with a
lot of complex graphics could make any DTP/word processor crash.

See TOC below, which has a similar functionality.

Word; as easy as it could be. Mark up your headings and Word takes care of
the rest. There are also a number of predefined TOC designs to choose from.
You can also create your own.
Frame; Have the same functionallity, although it is save in a separate file,
which I don't understand why.

>Importation of PageMaker files
See GENERAL above.

>General ease of use and learning curve
Word is outstanding. You are using it witout any problems within a few
hours, if you have the used any other word processor. The help and demo
functions takes care of you problems when thay occur. No manuals are needed.
One of the ideas with Word 6.0 is "Make Everyday Tasks Faster & Easier",
which I really agree on.

*** Other things to keep in mind
> Support
> Are you going towards SGML? Frame and Interleaf are almost there, but Word
is not.

Good Luck !

<> Mikael Orbratt
<> Eritel AB
<> Gothenburg, Sweden
<> Internet: orbratt -at- eritel -dot- se

Previous by Author: Re: Testing to Ensure Accuracy of Inform
Next by Author: Re: Putting a logo in the background of a text page
Previous by Thread: Re: Software Packages
Next by Thread: [no subject]

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

Sponsored Ads