Re: Summary: Using Word's Hidden Text as a conditional....

Subject: Re: Summary: Using Word's Hidden Text as a conditional....
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 11:46:03 -0500

I'm in the process of evaluating Framemaker as a replacement for Word. I'm
no big fan of Word, but, unfortunately, there's a lot of merit to what Roy

In particular, compatibility with the rest of the company and moving the
legacy documents are serious concerns.
I've tried moving documents back and forth between Word and Framemaker.
It's a reasonably simple process compared to some other ports I've tried
(Interleaf to anything, for example... shudder...) but the layout doesn't
quite match. I haven't run into any big problems, but enough little ones to
realize we can't single-source between Word and Framemaker.

In my work, I frequently get information from developers in the form of
Word documents. Often, they need Word documents back. And moving away from
Word would mean I'd be less likely to impress developers with my stunning
ability to solve their Word problems.

In terms of help files, I use ForeHelp, so there would be no impact at all
- cut and paste still works, and Framemaker reads and writes RTF. The minor
layout differences seem unlikely to matter, compared to the differences
between help and paper. Those using RoboHelp would have to keep Word as a

I'm not saying it's not a good move (still have some research to go before
I make my recommendation, even then, your mileage may vary) but there is a
definite down-side. Moving from one software package to another always
carries costs. The question is whether the costs of staying with Word are
higher than the costs of moving.

Mike Huber
mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com

-----Original Message-----
From: RJACOBSE -at- GPS -dot- COM [SMTP:RJACOBSE -at- GPS -dot- COM]

Roy Jacobsen -at- GPS
Moving to a different documentation tool opens up a major can of worms,
including, but not limited to:
* Cost
* Training for TW staff
* Compatibility with the doc tools of the rest of the company
* Pubs department processes and tools

In addition, there are the implications of moving the legacy documentation
set onto the tool. In our case, we're dealing with RTF files for WinHelp,
as well as paper documentation. I haven't heard anyone weigh in on the
merits of using Framemaker for producing WinHelp source.

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