SUMMARY: Referencing the tool used in the document

Subject: SUMMARY: Referencing the tool used in the document
From: Karen Neeb <KNeeb -at- Winnebago -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 10:50:57 -0600

Thanks to everyone who responded. We've decided to go ahead and reference
the tool used at the beginning of the document. Several people asked me to
post the results.

My original post was:
>How many of you include the name of the tool used to create
a document in the document itself? For example, on the copyright page,
stating, "This document was created using Microsoft (R) Word 97."

>I know I've seen it in other manuals and published
documents, and I like seeing it there (often, just because I'm curious). But
I think there are good reasons for internal use to include it; for example,
if a documentation group uses multiple tools, or has switched tools or
versions of a tool.

>The question is, are there any compelling reason NOT to
include the tool name in the document?

Neal responded:

Here's one reason, though I guess it's not particularly common: when you
don't want to advertise the company that produces the writing tool.
As an example, at my last company, we were long-time FrameMaker users. A
whole division of our company produced products that were direct competitors
to some of Adobe's products. Adobe then went and bought FrameMaker, but, of
course, we couldn't give up on it. But we certainly weren't about to admit
that we wrote the doc using their product.
To be fair, I don't think we admitted to using FrameMaker in our doc before
Adobe's purchase either.
I must admit, I share your curiosity about what tools are used to produce
manuals, and nearly always look in the copyright pages to see if anything is
stated there. I also like to see the fonts used.

Jason responded:

The only time I have ever really seen that is in the documentation for the
word processor itself.
Frame was used to make the Frame docs, so they mention it.
Word was used to make the Word docs.
AmiPro (WordPro) was used to make the AmiPro (WordPro) docs.
I think it is a matter of showing the buyer what the tool is capable of (and
that they believe in their own product). I mean, if you wanted to produce a
complex document like the one for the publishing tool you use, wouldn't you
be disappointed to find that they used a competitor's product to create that

Lydia responded:

We list that information in the Notices section of each document we create.
Here's an example for you:
"This guide was produced using Adobe FrameMaker 5.5. The online help file
was produced using ForeHelp 3.0. The PDF version of this guide was produced
using Adobe Acrobat 3.0."
Of course, we site these trademarks in our list of trademarks, also in the
Notices. We also provide this information in the notices in the online help
files (modified to sound right for those files).
We did this because we felt that other writers might be interested in the
information. We know we like to see what tools other writers use. We've
never had any positive or negative feedback, as far as I know.
We do enter our docs in competitions, and having just been a judge in our
local STC tech pubs competition, I can tell you I like to know the tools
people used (however, on the entry application you can indicate that-it
needn't be printed in the book).

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