Re: Software comparisons

Subject: Re: Software comparisons
From: powen -at- MAIL -dot- LMI -dot- ORG
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 17:47:50 EST

Tara Barber says:

> I'm interested in people's opinions on the relative merits of
> Microsoft Word 6.0 vs. FrameMaker vs. Ami Pro vs. something called
> "Word Pro" for the production of manuals.

You all should know by now that I prefer Word to WordImperfect, and I don't know
FrameMaker, so I won't venture to comment on that. However, I wanted to add my
two bits about Ami Pro. I've been working with a client who some time ago
decided to make Ami Pro the company standard for word-processing software. I'd
heard some good things about Ami Pro, especially how it handles graphics (which
Word does poorly). However, after working extensively in Ami Pro, I can only say
that it is the Hyundai of the Big 3 word processing packages. It does less than
either of the other two systems. What it does do requires arcane steps and a
logic that defies other word-processing systems, and it blows up almost as much
as WordImperfect, with less reason, since it does less and wouldn't seem to be
the incredible resource hog that WP is.

I've seen a demo of Word Pro, the new version of Ami Pro, although I haven't
been able to actually try out the system. Word Pro seems to have some great
features for sharing and revising documents within a group, and the way it
handles master documents seems very appealing. However, I don't see any
improvements in its one-legged spell-checker, its inability to do sophisticated
searches, and its why-don't-you-take-20-steps-to-move-a-table-when-1-will-do
approach to working with tables. And, get this, in Ami Pro, you can't control
spacing above and below a paragraph without creating or changing a paragraph
style. |~P While this may have changed in Word Pro, I sort of doubt it. Any Word
Pro users out there to counter my impressions? My client is seriously
considering abandoning Ami Pro after getting a lot of negative feedback about it
within the company. Word would be the software they shift to.

Pam Owen
Nighthawk Communications
Reston, VA
Nighthawk1 -at- aol -dot- com, or powen -at- lmi -dot- org

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