This is a fun project indeed!
I do a couple of this sort of thing, one in Adobe InDesign and the other in 
FrameMaker. Quark XPress is good, too. 
While you can do most of what you need with FrameMaker, it is probebly not the 
best tool for the job. Many of Frame's strengths are wasted on this sort of 
thing, while a page layout application like InDesign will offer more goodies 
for you to play with. OTOH playing with features in an unfamiliar app is not a 
recipe for a successful doc or a happy deadline experience. ;-)

FrameMaker is a good choice if you need some of its features that are not 
supported in AI or InDesign, like variables. If you rebrand the doc for another 
product line or business partner, then maybe Frame's Variables feature could 
save you a lot of trouble. But the business of setting up master pages with the 
right text boxes and linking the text flow in the right order can be a 
frustrating experience. Remember that if this doc may serve as a template for 
future docs, then you want your doc setup to be straightforward, not a 
hodgepodge of last-minute kludges to make the damn thing work.

Beware also that if this doc will be printed, and if this is your first print 
job, then you are headed into some potentially dark and scary woods. It helps 
to look at a first demanding print job as an adventure and a learning 
experience. A lot can go wrong, and sometimes the natives speak an unknown 
tongue. Frame's support of CMYK color is legendary...for causing frustration in 
first-time print jobs!

All things considered, I would decide between Frame and InDesign or Quark, 
assuming both apps are available, on these criteria: 
Frame plays better with your other Frame docs, so if you need to use similar 
styles, variables, text insets, etc, then Frame is the way to go; the layout 
headaches are small compared ot the benefits.
InDesign or Quark are designed to make page layout easy and powerful, so you 
can make some pretty cool posters, brochures, quick-reference cards, etc. But 
they do not work with FrameMaker (yet) so if you have to integrate this doc 
with many others then you are setting yourself up for a lot of ongoing 
maintenance work, that might come up late in the cycle when time is short.

If you decide to go with InDesign or Quark XPress but are new to the app, see 
if you can get some help from the people in your friendly local Marketing 
group. They may be able to get you in gear very quickly, and reduce your 
learning curve a lot.

good luck!


From: on behalf of 
Angela Akridge
Sent: Fri 3/17/2006 8:01 PM
To: framers at
Subject: Creative Ideas for Developing a Read Me First/Getting Started Card

I have a fun project. My first Read Me First! Do you think that Illustrator
or Frame is the appropriate format to create a doc like this one?

Do you refer me to an online resource that shows how to create unique
layouts? I'd like to produce a Read Me First that is more like a poster and
where each square of the poster is a step. Any creative ideas? Oh course,
the content needs to change a lot, so I'd rather invest in the new layout


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