Re: Word instead of FrameMaker

Subject: Re: Word instead of FrameMaker
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 12:31:37 GMT

1. If you need TOC and indexing capabilities for your document, Word can't begin
to handle the task.
Really? Why not? It seems to work very well for me.
The cross references
are accurate. With Word, it's a crapshoot, and you can spend HOURS manually
correcting incorrectly generated page numbers.
This is a problem I've never come across, except when the files have hidden text
and other codes visible in Word - this upsets the numbering, as they are
calculated in, but don't print. Simple - put the view options right before
saving the file.
Word does not allow much
flexibility in creating TOCs. We have had several users have squirrelly thing
occur when they were trying to create a TOC and we couldn't find a way to
troubleshoot the problem.
Again, this is a problem I've never suffered. Word 7 does handle ToC styles
better than Word 6, though.
2. If you have large documents, Word has difficulty handling the size.
FrameMaker's book file capability allows you to generate large documents easily
and quickly. Other timing and space issues can also depend on the hardware you
Similarly, Word's RD field does exactly the same. Unfortunately, this doesn't
allow inter-file cross-references, but they're not an issue in this example.
3. If you use a lot of tables in your doc, Frame allows you to define your own
table formats. Editing and manipulating tables in FM is a breeze; in Word, they
are a nightmare.
There I agree. Frame does do tables a bit better than Word. Well, a bit less
badly, perhaps.
4. If you use structured writing methodologies (such as Information Mapping), it
is much easier and faster to create the templates for your documents in
FrameMaker. You can also create tags that automatically produce lines or text
such as "continued on next page."
That I can't agree with. The programs are much the same for this, in my view.
Set up good templates, and life's a breeze. Set up poor templates, and you'll
pay for it over and over again.
5. You can use FrameMaker source files to create HTML and Acrobat files if you
need multiple delivery mechanisms.
As you can with Word files.

There are lots of good reasons to prefer Frame to Word (and vice versa), but I
don't think these are the reasons. From the examples you give, I suspect that
the difference is that you have a better grasp of Frame's more unusual features
than of Word's.

Iain Harrison
iharrison -at- sct -dot- co -dot- uk

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