Hi Ang,

You're kidding me, right?  You are actually considering Word instead of FM?

We use both here, but are working away from Word, manual by manual.  The
Word templates were created from my FM templates.  I converted FM to Word
with Mif2Go.  Yay Jeremy!

Just my 2c worth, but if there are no styles in their Word docs, I don't
think they really know how to use Word.  And I expect that they know much
about manuals either. I srongly encourage you to take the lead here and get
them on the right path.  They will luv ya in the long run.

Sure, Word sounds like the easy way at the moment, but trust me, not in the
long run. And I think the company will happier with FM too.  BTW, if you
need something to convince them, I have lots of Word vs FM comparison docs
that I've either written or collected over the last 10 years or so.  Let me
know if you need them.

Why does the project manager need to learn FM?  To comment on your docs?
No, Word is not the way.  Buy FM8 and Acrobat 8 Pro.  Get the free Acrobat 8
reader for them.  With Acrobat8 Pro, you can create PDFs that they can
commment in, highlight, edit, and more, just like they can with Word.  And
you can keep right on using FM.  BTW, if you are worried about converting
the Word docs to FM, don't.  FM8 has a great new filter that really does
convert Word docs into FM, tables and graphics and everything.  I use it all
the time.  No, not the RTF filter.  It's called Microsoft Word 7.  Sure
beats those old Mastersoft filters that Frame Technology bought to make the
sale of FM to Adobe.

If I understand your message, you will be creating both docs and online
help.  If that is the case, don't by FM and don't buy Acrobat.  Yes, I am
serious.  Don't buy them.

Huh?  What?  Don't buy FM and Acrobat?

No, don't buy them.  That is, not separately.

Instead, buy the new Adobe Techinical Communications Suite. It includes a
linked version of FM8 and Robo7, plus Acrobat NINE Pro extended (yep, 9),
and a really neat tool called Captivate.  We just bought it for several of
us and let me tell you it is faaaaan-tastic.  We are saving lots of time and
work.  You can author in FM and convert the manual to Robo online HTML help.
TOC, index, glossary, everything.  It depends on how you set it up.  You use
conditional text in FM to set up what goes in the help an what doesn't.  You
set up the tag mapping from FM to Robo (it's easy, nothing like WWP was), do
a couple more easy setup things, hit the convert button, and presto, online
help. You can also author in Robo and import back to FM if you want, but I'd
recommend setting it up as author in FM, print docs from FM, import by
reference into Robo.

Captivate is amazing.  3D interactive graphics in a PDF file.  Live
installation demos with almost no instructions to write.  No special
viewers, just Acrobat Reader 7 or 8.  Who'd have ever thought you could do
this?  You run a GUI and record your actions.  Users can play it back as a
demo or walk themselves through it, with popup instructions guiding them
along if you want.  I'll send you a demo file I created offline 'cause the
list strips attachments.  It is really cool.

Microsoft, eat your heart out. :-)

Gee, do I sound like I'm selling it or something?  Well, that wasn't my
intent, but I gotta tellya, these toys are really fun to play with, and the
big bosses are already taking notice of what we are doing.

BTW, thank you Matt Sullivan, wheever you are.  That was a great TCS class.
We'll be hitting you with questions pretty soon.


Diane Gaskill
Hitachi Data Systems
Santa Clara, CA


-----Original Message-----
From: framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com
[mailto:framers-bounces at lists.frameusers.com]On Behalf Of Angela Akridge
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 2:07 PM
To: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: MS Word vs. Frame


Question: What features am I giving up by going with MS Word? Text insets?
Conditional text?

I'm a contractor for a very small startup that has a limited budget. I've
been tasked to create their online help. They currently have manuals in MS
Word, though no styles/tags are being used yet.

They have no permanent writer, and they can't afford one at this time.
There's a chance that I'll be supporting their major releases on an ongoing
basis, and they'll update the help for their maintenance releases. Let me
get to the point.

I must choose between MS Word or Frame as the source. I don't know which to
choose, given the circumstances!

Frame meets a writers needs now and in the future. I don't want myself or
the future writer to be stuck with MS Word. However, I know that the Project
Manager isn't gonna like learning Frame. A conversion is less highly
unlikely in an environment with very tight deadlines and where there are
limited resources.

They know how to use MS Word. I'm good with Frame, and don't know anything
about publishing with MS Word. Also, it's easier to recruit writers when the
source is in Frame, or so I've noticed.


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