Re: DTP Shootout (warning: getting off topic, I suspect!)

Subject: Re: DTP Shootout (warning: getting off topic, I suspect!)
From: David Jones <dvjones -at- KSBE -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 10:21:46 -1000

On 6 Dec 96 at 11:15, byfield -at- DIRECT -dot- CA wrote:

[snips -- I just love wild generalization]

> To generalize wildly, in my experience, WP is preferred by people
> who write short documents, such as office letters, or simple ones,
> such as magazine articles, that don't need a lot of formatting.

Well, here I am, a WP user since WP 4.2. My first encounter with
WP4.2 was to write and edit 1000+ page technical documentation for a
very large mainframe database and accounting system. WP4.2 handled it
just fine, if slowly, on a PC/XT ...

At work, I do 200-600 page system reference manuals, filled with
graphics, complex tables, complex formatting, cross-referencing,
indexes, and Tables of Contents. I can relay only my own experience,
but the Word users around the office are usually the ones who write
short documents like letters and our staff report (which by
corporate guidelines does not allow a lot of formatting --
underlining is required instead of italics, for instance).

My experience with MacWord 2 (one of the finest wordprocessors ever
produced, IMHO) included basically that same "short document"
preference -- one place I worked used MacWord to generate mail merge
letters.

> When I was doing this kind of work, WP was my word processor of
> choice (now I have seven on the computer because I can't trust
> translation filters). Now, when I use it, my biggest complaint is
> that its implementation of styles is less convenient than Word's or
> Frame's.

Haven't tried Frame's implementation of styles. I think WP6/7's
implementation of styles is just as convenient as Word6's, plus WP's
styles seem more flexible to me. But that could simply be that I
haven't done that much complex formatting work with Word because
fixing formatting problems in Word seems incredibly cumbersome to me
(but then, I have some congenital defect that prevents me from
remembering where anything *is* in the Word menu structure <G>).

> On the other hand, Corel's new version is full of add-ons, and is
> very aggressively priced ($29 Canadian for an academic version, and
> about $100 for the regular). The one drawback is that a full install
> is about 65 megs, and a minimal 29, although it can be run off the
> CD.

Well, let me see here, what about the full install of MS Office Pro 6
I have here -- 60MB (including the 6MB of MSAPPS stuff MS insisted on
sticking under my WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory, which of course caused
major headaches because the C: drive was close to full, and we had
told it to put \MSOFFICE out on the D: drive, thinking MS would
follow the official Windows guidelines about *where* you can and
cannot install application-specific files).

Since I'm comparing a W95 app suite vs a W31 app suite, a mere 5MB
increase seems amazing, given the general bloating of executable and
DLL files caused by moving to 32-bit W95 versions, anyway. (I'm sure
some kind person will reply with figures for a similar full
installation of MS Office Pro for W95, since I'm curious about that.)

Of course, I have far more disk space occupied by documents than I do
wordprocessors (seven? Besides WP and Word, what ones do you have?!).
So document file sizes are important to me.

Woody's Office Watch email newsletter reported file size figures
(they're porting the WOPR macros and templates over to the upcoming
Word97). Template file sizes increased anywhere from 31-387% (they
reported an average of 73%). Doesn't look like the new version is
going to help the disk space problem anyway, will it? (For further
details, see http://www.wopr.com/)

David Jones, Technical Writer
dvjones -at- ksbe -dot- edu

Thought for the day:
Concerto (n): a fight between a piano and a pianist.


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