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Subject:Re: Producing Books From:Virginia Day <Virginia_Day -at- DATACARD -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 11 Feb 1998 14:59:57 -0600
I've used Word almost exclusively for 6-8 years. It has shortcomings,
but you can produce attractive and usable documentation (any size, any
number of pages) using it. (I secretly love Frame because I'm a techie
If I were making the decision, I'd consider:
--whether I had a staff of tool-loving writers (to learn Frame and to
set up and use document conventions in Frame)
--how I wanted to re-use content (Frame and Word handle this
differently, non-pubs re-users want Word)
--how often I planned to update information and how I would handle
updates (reprinting, rev packets, etc. Frame tends to offer
more/better tools in this area)
--whether/how I planned to provide online information (Frame-to-PDF is
a song, Frame to help is a groan, Word is sort of the opposite)
--whether I would have the in-house staff (where I can control
training) to write manuals or if I was planning to rely on contractors
(I might loose access to good writers if I required Frame, Frame users
can charge more, contractors would need to follow my in-house
As you can tell, I don't consider PageMaker to be a useful tool for
writing documents. However, I do use it to lay out labels (how to
replace the printer cartridge type labels), install charts, quick
reference sheets, etc.
Thanks for getting things back on track and for your feedback in
response to my RFI.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen D. Martin [SMTP:smartin -at- STORM -dot- CA]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 1998 1:50 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Producing Books
> Walker, Arlen P wrote:
> > > Remember: it is a poor worker who blames the tools.
> > Even though (s)he may be entirely correct to do so?
> > It's not correct. It's true the choice of the tool can make the job
> > easier (or more difficult). But there always remain ways to do a
> > quality job with even the most mediocre (or worse) tools. The best
> Funnily enough I don't recall quality of the work ever having come
> Gina asked whether PageMaker or FrameMaker might be a "must have".
> Christopher responded to the effect that Word was just spiffy keen,
> all those people whining about it were just trying to blame Word for
> thier own shortcomings.
> Whether or not a quality job is possible with Word, or PageMaker, or
> FrameMaker is moot, we can take it for granted that with enough time
> effort it is possible. The more important question is: If you can do
> the job in five hours using FrameMaker, or in five - ten hours using
> Word, which would you choose?
> Given my experience on the last four jobs I did (two major manuals,
> chapter updating that turned into a creatign a whole new manual, and a
> minor manual editing job), I could have gotten the same work done with
> lot less headaches and in a lot less time by using something other
> Word (or less buggy versions).
> Personally, if you want to use Microsloth products, I'd stick with
> Office95 for now, and possibly jump straight to Office 98. There are
> host of other packages out there and for anybody to reject perfectly
> valid complaints about any particular package is inexcusable.
> Stephen D. Martin
> President, Stephen Martin Enterprises
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
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