TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Word vs. Pagemaker or Framemaker From:Mary McWilliams Johnson <mary -at- SUPERCONNECT -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 20 Apr 1998 12:49:56 -0500
I've been hating Word ever since version 6.0 arrived on the scene.. But now
that Office 97 is out, I've found much to like about this whole suite of
The nicest thing about them, from my standpoint, is that they're
Web-friendly. Any document you create in Word, Access, Excel, or PowerPoint
can be converted instantly into a Web page or an element to use on a Web
page. Word does not make very accurate conversions of documents, but its
conversion could be used as a starting point to polish up an HTML version of
the doc. Excel and PowerPoint, on the other hand, do some spectacular things
in the way of Web conversion. A PowerPoint presentation can be converted
instantly in to a Web site, complete with navigation buttons. Excel
spreadsheets can be converted quickly into colorful graphs (even 3D) and
then converted into a GIF ready to insert into a Web page.
There's one more thing in favor of becoming proficient with Word -
everybody's got it. Microsoft has diligently courted all the big
corporations and made sweet deals with them in order to get Office 97 on all
corporate networked computers. You'll find that having made such a deal,
most are reluctant to invest in FrameMaker, unless of course someone can
persuade them that Frame does a better job - which of course it does.
FrameMaker 5.5 has a built-in Web conversion tool (Hot Tamale) that works
better than any other such tool I know of to convert a document to HTML and
retain its appearance, especially if the document includes numbered paragraphs.
Mary McWilliams Johnson
Web Site Design, Development and Graphics
At 02:27 PM 4/16/98 EDT, Smithfinn wrote:
>I just came from an interview where I was asked why use Framemaker or
>Pagemaker if you could do the same things in MS Word. This is my first
>interview for my first technical writing job. I searched the archives but
>could not find a concise comparison of these applications that I could forwrad
>to the interviewer. I did not have a good answer at the time and told the
>interviewer I would do some research. I have used Framemaker but not Pagemaker
>and have not attempted to create any long documentation in Word. This company
>currently uses Pagemaker and wants to do whether the person they hire could
>get by with Word for their software manuals. This person was just trying to
>decide what the best tools for the job were. Their last technical writer wrote
>everything on a Mac and they are trying to convert all her documents. Does
>anyone know of a comparison that has already been done regarding these three
>programs or does anyone have any comments that I could pass on? Thank you. I
>appreciate any help.
>mailto: smithfinn -at- aol -dot- com