Re: DTP software

Subject: Re: DTP software
From: Randy Grandle <Randy -dot- Grandle -at- CORP -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 12:22:51 -0700

Jacob Matthan (findians -at- NETPPL -dot- FI) wrote:

> A very simple rule that I use in deciding which DTP program to use is this:

> Pagemaker for most work - books, articles, newsletters, etc.
> Framemaker for Scientific work with a lot of mathematical equations, etc.
> Quark for newspaper, journal layouts.

> Reasons : they have the tools in each of these which suits the specific
> sectors which are easiest to use for that purpose and my clients also use
> these in their specific sectors.

I use FrameMaker for most documentation, books, articles, newsletters,
and so on. I've used various versions of PageMaker, WordPerfect, and
MS Word for documentation projects. IMHO, FrameMaker is a much better
choice for most professional documentation projects.

FrameMaker is a bit complicated and requires a high learning curve, but
once learned it can handle just about anything. It's Ideal for just about
any structured document. It has a good master document feature and you
can use it to automate all document numbering and cross-references. You
can create templates that even us "dummies" can use to produce professional
and consistent results.

For complex scientific documents consider using a TeX solution. I've
never used TeX but I hear that it ably meets the specialized needs of
scientific publishing projects.

IMHO, PageMaker and QuarkXpress are good tools for the layout of short
documents for marketing and advertising materials (fluff). However,
PageMaker and QuarkXpress are simply poor tools for most professional
documentation projects.

Of course, good tools are nice to have, but even the best tool cannot
improve the quality of a poorly planned, badly implemented document.
It's much more important to have a quality documentation process than
to have the best tool.

IOW, use tools that meet your needs and that help you produce
consistent, quality results. FrameMaker is, in general, a fine
choice to meet a wide range of documentation needs.

Randy Grandle

Project Lead Writer
Sun IT Operations Services

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