At 20:21 +0000 25/2/15, Kevin Ryan wrote:

>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).

This has been an interesting and informative discussion, but I think there is a 
tangential issue. Please forgive me if this is inappropriate to your specific 
circumstances, but I think what is being requested here is a Very Bad Thing.

I have been through this sort of loop in the past, with customers requesting 
manual content in Word 'so that it can be updated by our engineers'. The 
problems are (at least) fourfold:

. Word is unforgiving, and despite a popular belief outside of documentation 
engineering that anything in Word is easy, requires a high level of Word skills 
to produce professional output. Word lacks the tightness of control of 
FrameMaker, and can often behave in an unpredictable fashion, particularly with 
long and/or complex documents.

. Development engineers generally lack documentation engineering skills (a 
sweeping statement, I know, and not always true, but something to be aware of). 
They will almost certainly lack advanced Word skills.

. It is not impossible that the end result will be poor quality output after 
editing that still carries your company's details, reflecting badly on you.

. Should this occur, it is also not impossible that you maybe called in to sort 
out the resulting mess, landing you in an unsupported FrameMaker -> Word -> 
FrameMaker scenario. Way a ways back, Interleaf used to offer Word 
round-tripping, but that is all ancient history now afaik.

I am only advising caution.


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