Re: Ventura vs FrameMaker

Subject: Re: Ventura vs FrameMaker
From: Gregory Keith <GKeith -at- DELRINA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 13:28:00 PST

James Owens wrote:
>Does anyone have experience with both Framemaker and Corel Ventura, who
>would be prepared to comment? I would be particularly interested to hear
>what converts from one to the other found most useful, and what
>they missed.

Our shop just recently converted from Ventura 5.0 to Frame 5.0; we're
running Frame 5 and 5.01 on Win3.1 486s and on Win95 Pentiums.

Ventura has been the doc department DTP tool of choice for a long time, from
the GEM version through 4.2 and 5.0. When I showed up here last year, having
never set eyes on a DTP package before, Ventura 4.2 was what we were using.
It worked fairly well, but it certainly had its idiosyncracies, and coming
from a Word background, it seemed that the way you accessed different
features of Ventura was very arcane. Using Ventura 5.0 was better, but
buggy, and whereas the bugs in 4.2 were known and documented, the bugs in
5.0 were not.

We've switched to Frame 5.0 and I've been using it for about two months. I
find it much more intuitive than Ventura 4.2 or 5.0, and much closer to a
Word-like app in its interface. Its capabilities are excellent (I don't know
of any capability that Ventura has that Frame doesn't), it does side heads,
it does conditional text for marginalia, there are filters for a wide
variety of word-pro formats, it's faster than Ventura on my 486 and its very
stable on my Win 3.1 486/33.

But, it has its problems too: conversion from Ventura 4.2 is easy, from
Ventura 5.0 doesn't work, you have to get 5.01 to have a Word6 import
filter, there's no quick keys for kerning like there are in Ventura. Running
Frame and Word at the same time on my 16MB RAM machine is a recipe for a
quick GPF. Also, some of our staff report that while running Frame on their
Win3.1 486s and Win95 Pentiums, they GPF frequently. And it's a problem for
us that our QMS printer won't print Postscript-format files received from
Win95 machines, meaning effectively that we can't print from the Win95

Overall, though, I'd still heartily recommend Frame 5.0 as a capable DTP
tool. I haven't worked in Interleaf, but from what I understand, the
sophistication of Interleaf doesn't make up for its higher price and
increased complexity for most people. And compared to Ventura, I'm very
impressed with FrameMaker.


Gregory Keith
Technical Writer
The Delrina Group
Symantec Corporation
gkeith -at- delrina -dot- com

Seen on a VW Beetle's license plate in Silicon Valley: "FEATURE"

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