Re[2]: Producing Books

Subject: Re[2]: 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
at heart.)

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.

HTH, Virginia

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Producing Books
Author: Gina Hertel <Ghertel -at- ALPHA88 -dot- COM> at Internet
Date: 2/11/98 3:25 PM

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
> into
> question.
> Gina asked whether PageMaker or FrameMaker might be a "must have".
> Christopher responded to the effect that Word was just spiffy keen,
> and
> 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
> and
> 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,
> one
> 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
> a
> lot less headaches and in a lot less time by using something other
> than
> 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
> a
> 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
> Search archives at:

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