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.

Detail:
#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."

Conclusion:
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."

OTOH:
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.

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