SUMMARY: Real Tech Writers Don't Use Microsoft Publisher

Subject: SUMMARY: Real Tech Writers Don't Use Microsoft Publisher
From: Wayne Douglass <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 14:03:52 -0700

Executive Summary:
Nobody who responded used Microsoft Publisher to produce manuals of any size.

#1: "I've only produced newsletters and small business start-up packages."
#2: "I have used MS-Publisher, but only to produce a newsletter, and also to
make greeting cards, etc."
#3: "I wouldn't recommend it for anything longer than a few pages. Our
primary use is for a series of Reference Cards."
#4: "I've used Publisher for manual covers due to the ability to rotate text
boxes. I wouldn't use it for any pub of any size though."
#5: "I have used Microsoft Publisher to create one to three page information
bulletins at work. I used Publisher because it was the tool my group had
when I got there (I think they get a really good deal on MS software because
they will use MS stuff even if they are not the best solution)."
#6: "I used MS Publisher for all my assignments in my technical writing
class. Does that count?"
#7: "I have used Publisher to create a web site for a client. The site
looked really nice, but the problem is that Publisher saves the text as a
graphic instead of the usual HTML coding--thereby taking up too much space."

Why isn't Microsoft Publisher used for serious technical publications?
Perhaps because too many writers agree with #8: "I will *never* work for
*any* technical publications department foolish enough to actually use that
worthless piece of shit."

I heard from someone who is working on the *next* release of Microsoft
Publisher. #9: "The company is doing some interesting things to beef up
Publisher--lots of people will be pleasantly surprised." This from the
company that gave us Microsoft Bob. I'll believe it when I hear that tech
writers at Redmond's answer to Godzilla use Publisher to produce their manuals.

Thanks to all who participated in this exercise. If there is any justice in
the world, your opinions will be passed on to a VP of SW Development (not, I
hasten to add, at my company) who wants the tech writers to scrap FrameMaker
for Microsoft Publisher.

Wayne Douglass phone: 408-542-2139
Verity, Inc. FAX: 408-542-2040
894 Ross Road mailto:wayned -at- verity -dot- com
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

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