Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    146
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    We're considering moving from Word to FrameMaker. As the person in our department who has created time-saving macros and processes using Word, I see no reason for us to make the change. But someone else (who just happens to be my superior) thinks that we have to move to FrameMaker, because of all the different things it does. Our research has shown that it would take several add-ons and big changes to our current processes to implement FM.

    Has anyone else been in this situation? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    2,970
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 29 Times in 27 Posts

    Re: Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    Mr. Bob,

    Can't offer any specific knowhow re Word to Frame, but I'd be fascinated to know what kind of business you are in, and what kinds of documents you need to produce.
    I began my life as a template maker producing FrameMaker templates, before our firm switched to Word.
    Word and Frame are very different animals, and meant for very different purposes.

    Gary

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    146
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    Gary,

    We produce technical documentation for a software product. They're mostly text, with pasted-in GIF graphics, and linked Visio drawings. Some of the books have a lot of tables. Right now, we use the Adobe Acrobat PDFMaker to produce PDFs from Word. Those PDFs are used for CD-ROMs and printed manuals.

    Thanks,
    Bob

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    3,853
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 259 Times in 239 Posts

    Re: Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    Can you get a list of the things that your boss thinks that Word can't do. I think Frame is a more expensive way to do Word Processing and the usual list of 'What Word can't do" can actually be done if you know how eg Conditional Text, TOCs spanning files.

    If you have highly evolved templates and at least one highly skilled expert (to act as trainer/helpdesk/mentor) in the software then either software can be great. If you don't have both then there will be lots of problems and grumbling whichever way you go.

    What are the skill sets of your writers? If they are more comfortable in Frame then thats a good reason to go that way but it is easier to find people who can use Word.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  5. #5
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    146
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    Everyone has years of experience with Word, but our FM experience is pretty much limited to the testing we've done. The chapters of many of our books are combinations of inserted files, and there have been some formatting problems with material as it goes from the source files to the combined files. To me, these problems can be dealt with, but others don't see things that way. A lot of our input about FM has come from a writer in another office who worked with FM at another job, but who isn't familiar with the processes in my office. This might sound prejudiced, but it seems that the decision-making process is being guided by a "Grass is Greener" mentality. That is, FM might help us do other things, so we should consider it.

    One other thing, I've noticed that the O'Reilly computer books (whose design I really admire) use FM for layout. That seems to me to be the best use of FM--a layout tool for large projects.

    Thanks,
    Bob

  6. #6
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    I prefer Frame to word for designing templates and creating documentation. The learning curve is a bit steep but once you know it you don't want to use anything else. I love being able to layout a template the way I want and not fight against an interface --- word seems more targeted for the lay user.

  7. #7
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    146
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    akavev,

    Did you transfer a project from Word to FM, or did you start a project in FM?

    Thanks,
    Bob

  8. #8
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    I have done both, Bob. To convert from word I saved the word doc as a text file, imported the text into Frame, then applied my formatting tags.

    I love Framemaker and want to start taking side projects just to work with it again. It is so powerful.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    2,970
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 29 Times in 27 Posts

    Re: Word-to-FrameMaker (W2000 SR-1)

    Bob,

    Apologies for disappearing from this thread for a week - it looks like a number of salient points have been raised.

    With regard to the formatting problems that occur when material from source files goes into combined files, the only reliable way to avoid that in Word is to use Paste Special > Unformatted Text, and reapply all formatting as needed. In that one respect anyway, working practices in Word and Frame will be the same, since you need to reformat imported content in both.

    Technically, FrameMaker will probably handle your requirements better than Word (much more control and stability), but it seems more of a people decision than a technical one - you've got a staff of experienced Word users, so it may take a lot of effort to get them to buy in to this change - are you/they prepared to go through the learning curve (and temporary loss of efficiency) that Frame requires? And any new users that are subsequently brought into your department will require lengthy training before they are productive - How much turnover is there in your department? Do you ever need to bring in temps? (finding new users/temps with advanced Word skills is a lot easier than finding ones who know Frame!)

    Gary

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •