Re: another framemaker question

Subject: Re: another framemaker question
From: Carla Lotito <Carla_Lotito -at- BAAN -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 15:33:04 -0500

The export to Word feature is not very reliable. I've yet to be able to make
it work in a predictable way with
Framemaker 5.5. In previous versions it was a bit better, but still not good
enough to publish a document with.

The main resistance I found for not switching to Frame was because files
would not be able to be read or
edited by others. When we showed that Frame produces PDF easily and this can
replace the distribution of Word
documents, it convinced most. And since Acrobat Exchange has an annotate
feature, if someone wants to
annotate comments, they can with the file and send them to you. If you
enable copying, people can even copy and paste - although tables do not come
out as tables but as unformatted text.

Other qualms may be because everything has to be converted. You can
establish that only new documents will be
done in Framemaker so as not to go through the whole conversion process.
Since your documents are new, you should have no problem.

Another issue may be that everyone is writing user documentation - not just
writers, and it would be difficult to maintain two sets of templates because
some people may not have Framemaker or to teach people the skills they need
to use Framemaker. You can always reproduce the exact templates in
Framemaker from Word, and no one will know the difference. Only you and your
doc team.

Another issue is if you are using Word-based tools such as doc-to-help,
Robohelp, etc. to produce single source. If this is the case, it may be
harder to switch.

Framemaker is the way to go for big documents. Just adding blank pages
instead of sections will save you a lot of time. And, you can always talk
about pagination features (Word chokes on 40 pages or more, continous
numbering of pages is impossible because everything is broken up into small
files, etc, etc.).

Try to find out why there is such resistance - what is the underlying cause?
If you know that, you'll know how to refute it. Propose to try Framemaker
out on the new project and see how it goes. If you get that accepted, maybe
you can prove that Frame is the way to go. If not, at least you will have
produced two documents in Framemaker.

Good luck!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gil Yaker [SMTP:gyaker -at- CSC -dot- COM]
> Sent: Monday, March 01, 1999 3:21 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: another framemaker question
> I'm tasked in the coming months to author 2 systems documents. Both of
> which will be about 500 pages in length with many screen shots and tables
> which need to be reliably indexed. From everything I've read, this sounds
> like a job for Framemaker. Unfortunately, someone in the documentation
> department said that he tried to get Framemaker as a standard tool here a
> few years ago, but was hit with resistance. As it is, all documents must
> now be delivered in MS Word format.
> I'd like to know if framemaker has an Export-to-Word feature. If it does,
> how solid is the implementation? Has anyone else been in a situation like
> this, and what have your experiences been.
> Gil Yaker
> gyaker -at- csc -dot- com
> Computer Sciences Corporation
> Federal Black Lung Project
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=
> =

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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