Re: Word vs Ventura vs Framemaker

Subject: Re: Word vs Ventura vs Framemaker
From: DImagin <dimagin -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 1996 04:24:07 -0500

>> That said, I would never consider using Word or WordPerfect to publish

>> hundred-page, fully illustrated and indexed manual. That would be like
>> trying to drive a nail with a pair of pliers: sure, you can do it, but
>> needs the aggro?

>Oh don't say that, I have layouted several books with over 500 pages
>(all fully indexed and with many illustrations) using Word for Windows
>and it is the easiest to use while giving you the most automatisms.

I missed the first message, so I don't know what your platform is. I
would never use Word on a Mac if I didn't have to. On a PC, word works
well for many things. At the company that I used to work at, all of the
writers used and (by and large) liked it. The product documentation that
they produced came to thousands of indexed and crossreferenced pages.
They particularly liked word basic, which let one write macros and perform
quite elaborate transformations to your document. Word also interfaces
with programs like Robohelp if you are making Help documents for the PC.
One point - Word Basic is complicted and having a knowledgable guru around
helps. What I most dislike about Word is its writing mode/layout mode
dichotomy and the fact that many of its best features are tucked way way
way down in obscure menus.

If you want to write shorter long pieces or put together a magazine, or
have a lot of graphics and custom pages, you might consider Pagemaker.
It works well for that sort of application, and probably has much better
graphic arts and separation abilities than Word. I have used it on a Mac,
but only a little on a PC, so I can't compare it's ease of use to Word on
a PC.

I do use, and prefer, FrameMaker for almost all of my writing - both long
and short (on a Mac). I like the frames and the modeless operation.
Frame has very nice indexing, TOC generation, and subdivision of a long
book into chapters. It will also produce hypertext documents and output
to Acrobat. On the down side, it won't print 2-up and 4-up in any
reasonable way, so I find myself printing to EPS and rearranging the pages
in Quark (Mac, maybe try Pagemaker on the PC). If they would add macros
(Mac), blue-lines, and inheritance between Frames, I would be a happy

Bruce Hubbard.

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