Word Processing vs. Publishing Software

Subject: Word Processing vs. Publishing Software
From: george -dot- hayhoe -at- SRS -dot- GOV
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 1995 08:34:00 -0400

As several posters to the list have noted in the past few days,
current word processing software is considerably more adept than the
dinosaurs we used in the early days of personal computing. (Can you
say WordStar? I knew you could!) Using one of the better products like
Word or Word Perfect, you can reproduce virtually any simple document
design and do a fair job of mimicking the more complex. Doing so,
however, is often such a time-consuming or clumsy process that, as Bev
Clark so aptly pointed out, there is no good business reason for not
choosing a publishing software package such as FrameMaker.

However, I wonder from the comments that have been posted regarding
the perceived need by management for the move from Frame to Word
whether there is a *business need* for all of those using Frame to be
doing so. I'd think most non-publishing professionals and clerical
employees would be far better served by a good word processing package
than they would be by Frame, Interleaf, or Corel Ventura. IMHO, if
someone doesn't understand publishing concepts or terminology, he or
she *most probably* has no need for a product with the horsepower of
Frame and its ilk. And given the relative ease of importing and
exporting text files to and from publishing packages, I can think of
no reason why the two types of products can't easily coexist in the
same organization.

The software engineers I work with use Word for Windows 6 and Word for
Mac 5.1, and my information development team uses both Word and Corel
Ventura. We find the products quite compatible (especially since we've
been using Ventura 5).

The bottom line? Suit the product to both the task and the user's
needs.

--George Hayhoe (george -dot- hayhoe -at- srs -dot- gov)
Assistant to the President for Recognition Programs, STC


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