Re: Word instead of FrameMaker

Subject: Re: Word instead of FrameMaker
From: Tan Joo Khim <jktan -at- CTHOST -dot- CT -dot- CREAF -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997 10:31:15 +0800

Thanks, Melanie and several other tech writers, for your helpful answers.

However, I would like to rephrase my earlier question slightly: Pls advise
on the pros and cons of using Word 97 instead of FrameMaker 5.0 for printed

Microsoft's new Word97 apparently has a lot of improved features in the
areas of cross-referencing, master documents, etc. But I've yet to see the
real thing.

- jookhim +

> From: Flanders, Melanie <mflanders -at- DYNASTY -dot- COM>
> To:
> Subject: Re: Word instead of FrameMaker
> Date: Wednesday, January 15, 1997 11:20 AM
> And now for the cons...
> 1. If you need TOC and indexing capabilities for your document, Word
can't begin
> to handle the task. FrameMaker allows you a lot of flexibility in
> formats and generates them with little manual intervention. The cross
> are accurate. With Word, it's a crapshoot, and you can spend HOURS
> correcting incorrectly generated page numbers. Word does not allow much
> flexibility in creating TOCs. We have had several users have squirrelly
> occur when they were trying to create a TOC and we couldn't find a way to
> troubleshoot the problem.
> 2. If you have large documents, Word has difficulty handling the size.
> FrameMaker's book file capability allows you to generate large documents
> and quickly. Other timing and space issues can also depend on the
hardware you
> have.
> 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.
> 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
> such as "continued on next page."
> 5. You can use FrameMaker source files to create HTML and Acrobat files
if you
> need multiple delivery mechanisms. We convert files to .rtf for our Word
> You often lose the graphics, but the rest of the format, including
tables, stays
> intact. Word users can modify the .rtf file. (We send .rtfs to our
offices in
> Europe. They also have the issue of the page size being different.)
> Quite frankly, I can't imagine any "pros" for using Word to create
> documentation. The only thing that I've found Word can do that FM doesn't
is a
> mail merge. I use Word on those occasions when I am sending out form
> ______________________________ Reply Separator
> Subject: Word instead of FrameMaker
> Author: Tan Joo Khim <jktan -at- CTHOST -dot- CT -dot- CREAF -dot- COM>
> Sender: "Technical Writers
> List; for al at ~INTERNET
> Date: 1/14/97 8:23 PM
> Pls advise on the pros and cons of using Word instead of FrameMaker for
> printed documentation.
> >From our point of view, the immediate benefit of using Word instead of
> FrameMaker are:
> 1. Currently, there are no Asian versions of FM. Standardizing on Word
> would mean that worldwide loc offices can all work on the original
> documents that HQ
> has created.
> 2. Word is also a good platform for generating WinHelp and HTML.
> Eventually, we
> probably should standardize on HTML as this will mean one consistent
> interface for
> the user instead of three different online solutions: WinHelp,
> and HTML.
> tks... merci... gracias...
> - jookhim +

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