Re: FrameMaker vs. PageMaker

Subject: Re: FrameMaker vs. PageMaker
From: Carla Martinek <carlam -at- MINERVA -dot- ODESTA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 08:27:29 -0500

<<Long Post>>

I'll take a stab at this one, since my current company is using PageMaker
for their documentation, and I have used Frame extensively in the past and
present for docs. I feel I've got a pretty good handle on both packages.

First, and foremost, go visit Adobe's web site (, and then
read/download/print their .PDF files describing the merits of each
application. Seeing how Adobe markets their products will give you the
best idea which package is best for your needs. Frame's main page can be
found at

while PageMaker is at

Scroll down on each page, and select the _Overview_ and _Details_ links on
each page. If you don't have web access, email me privately and I'll send
you the files.

You'll see right off that each package is geared at different users.
PageMaker's big focus is on designers that need to do full-color brochures,
mailers, packaging designs, and newsletters - all stuff that needs
extremely flexible designs (unlike manuals).

PM does incorporate several "long document" features: booking files
together, indexing, auto TOC generation, and style sheets, to name a few.
However, I have found that many of these features are not as well developed
as can be found in Frame. Also, it lacks a usable autonumbering feature -
a real drag when you're doing procedures. And this is a real big problem:
seperate app (included) and then imported. You cannot edit tables on the
fly. PageMaker is great for what it's original intention was, but it does
fall short in many areas for long-document control.

Frame, on the other hand, was designed from the start as a _publishing_
package. It has excellent control over x-refs, indexing, generations of
lists (tables, figs, etc.), superior style controls and absolutely
unmatched autonumbering control (use letters, numbers, or combinations of
both). Perhaps Interleaf has similar controls, but that's another story.
It also allows x-refs between files with ease. It has an very good table
editor built-in, as well as a math equation editor.

File generation of toc's and indexes is much faster in Frame than with PM -
my index for a 400 page manual in PM took over 5 minutes to generate, while
the same index in Frame would take less than a minute.

If there are specific features that are absolutely necessary for you to
have, email me privately and I'll let you know how each package handles


Carla Martinek (carlam -at- opentext -dot- com) | Visit the Open Text
Open Text USA, Inc. | WWW Search Engine
business intranet solutions | at | omw/xpowrsrch_c.html

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