Re: Incorporating Pagemaker in a Tech Writing Class?

Subject: Re: Incorporating Pagemaker in a Tech Writing Class?
From: robyn <robyn -at- MAIL -dot- GOT -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 16:28:15 -0800

Note: most of the (admittedly not that many) graphic designers
I've worked with have had fairly little knowledge of how the business
works.  I'm not saying that college should focus more on "practical"
knowledge like this (college is *supposed* to focus on theory) but
budding techwriters and designers should make some extracurricular
time to learn about this; both professions historically have had to
shoulder the burden of educating their bosses about what they do :-(.
  While I agree with most everything in your message, I have to disagree with this point. College should teach theory, but it most definitely should teach practical knowledge as well. Knowing that, in theory, a certain font is the most readable isn't going to help you in the design and development process. Any course beyond the  basic should spend more time focusing on practical issues, such as how to apply this in a job situation, how this really works in the "real world", etc.
 
> While FrameMaker is used more than PageMaker in the industry,
> PageMaker is a much better design tool. Teaching both Page and Frame
> would be great!

     I haven't worked with Pagemaker in ages ('91 or '92).  The last
time I looked, PageMaker was mostly a page layout tool.  Maybe it's
made great strides since then, but for most really technical writing
purposes, tools like FrameMaker are much more appropriate.  On the
other hand, some technical writers are much more likely to spend most
of their time laying out trade journals and brochures than writing
500-page user manuals.  For them, Page or Quark might be much more
worthwhile than FrameMaker.
PageMaker is, indeed, a layout tool, which is why it's better for design purposes. On the other hand, it now has enhanced indexing and bookmaking capabilities. There have been numerous threads about which (Frame or Page) is better, but I just wanted to clarify.

-Robyn
 


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