Re: Framemaker vs wordperfect?

Subject: Re: Framemaker vs wordperfect?
From: Karen Gwynn/Datatel <Karen_Gwynn -at- DATATEL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 08:54:17 EDT

Catherine--
If the decision has been made to go use FrameMaker as the DTP tool, I would
suggest that you try to start with that as your writing tool. FrameMaker's text
editing is easy to use and works as well as a word processor and you will save
the publishing department *loads* of time if they don't have to go back and do
the cross-references and add items like tables.

If the FrameMaker templates are set up (all the paragraph tags, character tags,
page layout, cross-reference formats, etc.), then your job will be a lot
easier. We have a new writer in our group who worked in FrameMaker for several
months before receiving formal training (which all our new writers receive) and
she was productive with very little informal training. We have our chapter
templates and everything already designed so all she had to do was learn what
the tags were for and a few basics and voila! she was off and running.

Importing into FrameMaker from Word works, but you will have to do duplicate
effort to minimize the amount of rework that would be needed in FrameMaker (for
example, defining paragraph tags with the same name in Word so that the
paragraphs have the right tags when you import). Plus, I don't think
cross-references, tables, and some other "advanced" features will import at
all. In addition, trying to manage a large project like you are dealing with in
a word processor is not a nice thing.

Good luck.

Karen Gwynn
kwg -at- datatel -dot- com

**********************************
Original posting:
**********************************
Hello all

As a bit of a new chum on this list, I've been a bit shy about leaping in,
foot in mouth. But the discussion of Framemaker vs Ventura (and Word) has
struck a chord too resonant to resist.

I'm interested in people's views on *WordPerfect* and its relationship with
Framemaker.

The situation is this:

I'm a freelance writer/editor working for a government department on a
manual for stormwater (urban runoff) management. It's developing into a
rather large beast, probably three volumes, maybe 500 pages total, and the
structure is along the lines of 'this is the process you should use', 'here
are some models to show you how it might work' and 'here's some information
to help you do it', ie with extensive cross-referencing. I'd also like to be
able to use auto numbering on at least some of the heading levels.

A draft for comment (from both technical experts and potential users, but
mainly the former) is being produced first, and I'd like this to have at
least some of the 'feel' of the final, particularly when it comes to the way
we use the typography and design to help people take advantage of the
'process/models/info resources' structure. There will also be some graphics
needed at this stage - diagrams and line drawings, probably scanned in.

We were originally going to produce this draft using WordPerfect for Windows
6.1 and then the publications section of the department would take over and
put it through a DTP package for the final design stage (we were saving the
decision about Frame vs Ventura etc until then).

But....after reading people's comments on Framemaker vs Word, it seems we
might be wasting our time. Are we mad? Should we go straight to Framemaker?
Does WordPerfect handle long documents better than Word? What about its
master document function?
Are WordPerfect files as great a pain to convert into Framemaker as Word files?
How much easier would it be to do the job in Framemaker than WordPerfect
anyway, irrespective of conversion hassles?

(To compound the problem, I am actually a Word user myself, and am basically
being forced into WordPerfect because that's what the client uses.)

If Framemaker is the way to go, we'll have to make a case to my client's
boss so any advice you can give would be appreciated.

Thanks heaps
------------------------------

Catherine Gray
PO Box 563
Potts Point NSW Australia 2011

Phone/fax: +61 2 358 1294
E-mail: cgray -at- mpx -dot- com -dot- au


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