TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Frame to Word (summary) From:Cathy McNair <cmcnair -at- SPICER -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 17 Oct 1995 11:33:06 -0400
I received a fair number of responses about whether you can take a Frame
document and turn into something a Word user can customize, and concluded
that there is no easy, seamless way of doing this. Frame is the best
software for formatted, heavily cross-referenced, multi-chapter hard copy.
Word is the best software for wide distribution, acceptable to any number of
publishing tools. When you need to do both, you run into trouble.
The only way to go from Frame to Word, apparently, is to convert the Frame
document to RTF, then load it into Word. The problem here, I guess, is that
you lose all formatting and graphics. For graphics, someone recommended that
they all be stored in a format acceptable to both Frame and Word, then
loaded into each program separately. I suppose that a Word style sheet could
be developped that sort of mimics the look of the Frame document.
It seems that I would definitely be adding an extra task to my documentation
projects: In addition to online help and hardcopy manuals, I'd have to
produce an electronic version of the hardcopy manual acceptable to OEMs who
use Word or other desktop publishers. Is it worth it to be rid of the
frustration Word causes me in its tendency to crash, its limited page layout
capabilities, its archaic index functions, its poor revision feature? I
haven't quite decided.
Other alternatives suggested to me were the use of Ventura Publisher (which
I hope has improved of late, because I used to hate it), and asking OEMs if
they could accept either Frame or Acrobat files (since Frame converts easily
to Acrobat, I hear). I will investigate those options.
Thanks to all those who responded.
<cmcnair -at- spicer -dot- com>