Re. Using software your clients propos

Subject: Re. Using software your clients propos
From: Frank Harper <Frank -dot- Harper -at- ES -dot- ATL -dot- SITA -dot- INT>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 09:27:13 PST

Peter Kent wrote:

== Timothy Schablin reported that he lost a potential contract
because he lacked a copy of software that the client
demanded, and asked for advice.==

Anyway, here's a rule of thumb. If a client ever asks if you can use a
program, and if you can, simply answer "yes" and don't volunteer any
information that might suggest you haven't used it much.

And if you _haven't_ used the program? If your client asks if you can use it,
and you know you can quickly learn how to use it, say "yes." It's not a lie,
after all. (Now I'll get my head down and wait for the flak.)

I am in full agreement with Peter. If you know a package, no matter at what
level, and you are confident of your learning abilities, say "yes."

My view is that most all desktop publishers (DTP) tools are very similar. They
place text and graphics on a page - either in a WYSIWYG environment or text.
Once you learn one, the rest are easy. I learned DTP on Quark XPress on a MAC,
then PageMaker on a MAC. From there, FrameMaker was easy (it's similar to

I started a job where the tool of choice was FrameMaker on UNIX. I had never
seen FrameMaker or UNIX before, but was confident of my learning ability. I was
up and running in two weeks and produced my first manual in six weeks.

The same holds true for word processing packages. Word6, Word Perfect,and Lotus
Word (Ami Pro) are all essentially the same. The only difference is the key
combinations and macros. Most of the time I do not have to use macros, so
moving from one to the other is fairly routine.

So, for those of you faint of heart, believe in yourself! Most clients will
give you a couple of weeks to find your way around their system. Use the time
to bone up on the package of choice.

Besides, we all don't have the luxury of restricting our practice to a single
product. We must be FLEXIBLE if we are to compete in this profession.

H. Frank Harper | I am not the same having seen
Technical Writer | the moon shine on the other
hfharper -at- pobox -dot- com | side of the world.
Atlanta Chapter STC

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