Advantages of leaving PageMaker for Framemaker?

Subject: Advantages of leaving PageMaker for Framemaker?
From: Jodi Israel <jisrael -at- PCIWIZ -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 10:15:03 -0500

Hello, all,

My name is Jodi Israel. I am a software trainer and
documentation writer for a small software firm in Boston. The firm creates
software for the banking industry. I've been with the company for about
three months. I write documentation half time, as do all the software
trainers. We also have one full-time writer who now directs the department
as well as writes full time. I've been lurking on the list since I started
at this firm and immediately began noticing that the tool of choice appeared
to be Framemaker. (At least from the postings.) We use PageMaker and are not
necessarily happy about it. I searched the archives and saw numerous
discussions on PageMaker vs. Framemaker, which I brought to Andy's
attention. (Andy is our full time writer.) He did some research as well and
decided that Frame was the way to go.

Our fiscally conscious CFO wants us to be sure we
are making the right decision. Therefore Andy has posed the below question
that he asked me to post to the list so that we might feel more confident.

Andy's question with my specifics in []:

The up-and-coming sostware company I work for has
been using PageMaker for three years to make our manuals, installation
instructions, etc... and have had mixed success. While PageMaker is fine for
the two-column page layout, in-line graphic placement, and 20-30 pg files,
when we book these files in order to make larger documents, [our software
training manuals are running upwards of 200 pages. Our online user manuals
are also upwards of 200 pages each.] PM sometimes becomes problematic for
us. Particularly when exporting to PDF format. I've learned how to changes
settings, etc... but there really seems to be no rhyme or reason to this.

I've been to the Adobe Web site, done the tutorial,
lurked on this list for a while, and I've learned Frame automatically
renumbers, and allows for flowing figure labels and descriptions - features
PM does not have.

Above all this, I keep reading that "FM is made for
working with larger documents." I know this is true when compared to Word,
but how much so when compared to PM? Is it a question of reliability?

I'm asking because so many more tech writers prefer
Frame to Page -- it makes me wonder what I'm missing. And what I'd come to
love if we bought it. I'd appreciate input from anyone who has used both (on
PC format) extensively.

* SO THE BIG QUESTION IS... Should I keep pushing us to buy Frame, or
just leave well enough alone? I certainly don't want to waste my company's
money.


All responses are appreciated. If people send
responses directly to me at jisrael -at- pciwiz -dot- com I will post a summary to the
list.

Thanks again.

Jodi L. Israel
Software Trainer and Documentation Writer
PCi Services, Inc.
30 Winter St., 12th Fl.
Boston, MA 02130
http://www.pciwiz.com
mailto:jisrael -at- pciwiz -dot- com

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