FrameMaker and other software

Subject: FrameMaker and other software
From: Glenn Broadhead <bhead -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 14:34:55 -0800

As the director of a university program in technical communication, I am
professionally interested in the ongoing issue of desirable software
competencies for an entry-level technical writer. Not too long ago, I did a
preliminary survey of of 100 job announcements from various Web sources, looking
to see what software was specified by prospective employers. The results are
listed below. I was surprised to find that FrameMaker ranked second in number
of references to specific software. Partly as a result of this survey (which
seems to be confirmed by a more exhaustive survey currently in progress), we are
purchasing FrameMaker for use in our Electronic Classroom. Other software
available for our students includes PageMaker, Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint),
Photoshop, MS Project, Netscape Navigator Gold, Internet Explorer, and Acrobat.
We agree with the point of view expressed by several contributors to this
thread: if students become conversant with a standard type of software, they
will be able to transfer what they know to new programs of the same type.

If you have a comment on the list below, please respond to me directly, and I
will provide a summary for TECHWR-L.

The non-Microsoft purchases are possible because our program received software
support through the Microsoft Instructional Lab Grants Program, whose supported
projects are described at the Microsoft Academic Cooperative website (http://

Word, 32
FrameMaker, 16
C, C++, 13
RoboHelp, 7
PageMaker, 6
CorelDraw, 6
Excel, 6
Quark Xpress, 4
Doc-to-Help, 4
Interleaf, 3
WordPerfect, 3
Illustrator, 3
Acrobat, 3
Oracle, 3
Windows, 3
Ventura Publisher, 2
Pascal, 2
Visual Basic, 2
Photoshop, 2
Windows Help, 2
Persuasion, 2
MS Project, 2
MS Office, 2
Bookmaster, 1
Windows Write, 1
VM, 1
PostScript, 1
Software through Pictures, 1
Visio, 1
Harvard Graphics, 1
Apple Guide, 1
Help Magic, 1
Sybase, 1
SQR Report Writer, 1
Lotus Notes, 1
Delphi, 1
Amipro, 1
Broadview, 1
Forms, 1
PDG, 1
Power Builder, 1
SKD, 1
Director, 1
Java, 1
PowerPoint, 1


Glenn Broadhead
Director of Technical Writing
Oklahoma State University
bhead -at- okway -dot- okstate -dot- edu

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