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 vs pagemaker From:"Henry W. Meyerding" <hwm -at- HALCYON -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 9 Feb 1996 07:19:36 -0800
> So why select Frame over Pagemaker?
Pagemaker and Framemaker have many things in common in terms of the way
they handle a block of text and graphics on a particular page. However,
they are at opposite ends of a spectrum of functionality:
In Pagemaker, if I put something on page 26, then by gum it'll stay on page
26 until I move it. This is really nice when you're laying out a
newsletter but a real BIG pain when you're editing a software manual.
Now, if I want to work with one document and yet be able to identify
individual pieces (like a book and chapters) then in Word I'm outta luck.
Similarly, if I want to have in that single document sixteen different
levels of header and footer that come and go throughout different
sequential pieces of the document (and work correctly) I'd better use
However, if all I want to do is make documents that are 1-10 pages long,
then I'm carrying a lot of unnecessary baggage if I use Frame and I'll
probably be happier with the Word program.
It's not a matter that Word doesn't have features you'd like to see in
Frame (it does), but rather that Word lacks crucial functionality that you
need to manage and edit long complex documents.
If you want to take that argument a step further, try editing a 300 page
document in Pagemaker. That is not what Pagemaker is for. One might as
well write a book on Excel = this doesn't say a thing negative about excel.
As stated elsewhere, most of the peculiar things people experience with
Frame have much more to do with Windows than with Frame. Frame is a much
better behaved animal on a Sun, but then the whole habitat is vastly
superior to 'doz, so this is not Frame's "fault" either.
This brings up a further advantage - you can't run Word very well on a unix
box or a next box, but you'll have a largely the same program to deal with
if you use frame. Frame also handles more different file format better
than Word does. Frame also does not get confused with long, complex
documents that contain imports from a variety of sources - Word does.
Generally if it ain't gonna work in frame then you know about it right now,
whereas in Word you can work studiously on something for days that suddenly
and irrevocably reformats itself for no discernible reason and it takes you
three or four hours to find out exactly what's happened and reverse it.
Frame also saves *.bak files when it autosaves, whereas Word autosaves to a
temp file that is often gone when you reboot your machine after a power
glitch. Nice to have both the autosave backup and the last saved backup in
front of you concurrently so you can decide between them or merge parts of
each into a third document.
I'm nattering on in true frameophile fashion - sure there's things wrong
with frame. Like with anything else, living with frame involved
compromises. The decision to use frame is (or should be) a knowledgeable
choice between different functionalities.