I could use the advice of some Frame veterans on whether a switch from Frame to 
Flare might be a delusion-inspired wrong turn for me, or possibly the right way 
to go.

My company's primary documentation output is PDF user/training/reference guides 
authored on FrameMaker 7. Not the current Frame version, I know, but sufficient 
with our good templates to produce solid, professional-looking documents we're 
proud of. Other current deliverables include context-sensitive HTML topics 
produced via Mif2go and a limited number of "Process Assistance" MS Word 
topics.  These latter are a sort of MS-Word help equivalent that our customers 
can download from our application, edit if necessary, and even upload back into 
our application for others if they want to. I create Process Assistance MS-Word 
topics by cutting from Frame and pasting into Word, followed by manual 
reformatting (ouch).

Our customers (utilities) have been requesting another MS Word output:  
Editable MS Word versions of our 20-300 page PDF manuals so that they can edit 
them for their own purposes (such as internal training).  Unfortunately, we've 
been unable to find a workable Frame-to-Word conversion process to this end.  I 
can do manual reformatting to Word in our short Process Assistance topics, but 
to do it on entire manuals would give me a nervous breakdown.

So, with better MS-Word output generation as my primary goal, I've been 
considering a switch to Flare. Its capability to output in PDF, Word, and HTML 
seems as though it might ultimately streamline our processes. As I test Flare 
by my 30-day trial, though, I'm reminded of the many things FrameMaker does 
really well - things I might be losing if I made the switch:  For example, 
precise page layouts, complex graphics, robust tables. To its credit, Flare 
seems to offer output versatility, excellent documentation and support, and a 
lot of Marketing momentum.

Am I misguiding myself?  Barking up the wrong tree?

Thanks for any opinions or comments.

Kevin Ryan
Technical Writer
Systems & Software, Inc.
426 Industrial Avenue
Suite 140
Williston, VT 05495
802.865.1170 phone
802.865.1171 fax

Save the Date! 2015 Harris Customer Training 
October 21-23, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia - Atlanta Marriott Marquis.


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