Hi Tina

Here is a summary that someone posted on the Framers list a few months back 
(with acknowledgments to the author):

Comparison of FrameMaker and InDesign
Generally, unless you are using heavy XML (InDesign does XML but not as 
advanced) or DITA (which ID does not support), it is a heated race. If you are
doing advanced XML or DITA, then FrameMaker is the way to go.

Frame's conditions are slightly more advanced in that they can be applied to 
table rows; ID's conditions can only be applied to the entire table.
Other condition features are similar.

ID's Indexing is slightly easier with use of it's topic list in the Index 
panel, but I believe that ID only allows one index per book.

ID supports advanced OpenType formatting (and OT fonts are cross-platform, so 
you could use ID on Windows).

As mentioned, ID is more sophisticated in the typography and layout departments.

ID has GREP find/change, GREP supported formatting, nested styles.

ID cannot span columns with subheads if working with a multi-column layouts, 
and does not have run-in heads.

InDesign's table styles are more complicated, but more advanced above Frame's. 
ID is more advanced when importing Excel files, plus ID can link to
Excel files for auto-updates. ID's table styles do not contain any geometry 
(size) information, but there is a plug-in available for that, and to not
generate automatic table titles as part of the table style.

Frame's variables are slightly more advanced, especially when concerning using 
character styles. (ID does not have the table continuation variable).

InDesign has a separate product called InCopy for allowing others to edit text 
while the InDesign file is being worked on. (InDesign can handle all
the text edits too.) InCopy can be used to generate new text, as can Word.

InDesign's PDF export functions are more advanced. (Current versions of CS3 and 
CS4 do not have a size issue with PDFs.)

This is not a complete comparison by any means, but should be enough (with the 
other posts) to form an opinion.

Some FrameMaker features have no exact ID counterparts; for example, run-in 
paragraphs and side headings. These are converted with whatever fudging is
necessary to visually match the FrameMaker layouts. If editing the converted 
documents causes text to reflow, you may need to give individual
attention to these simulated FrameMaker features.

Template design is non-trivial. If you have an existing FrameMaker template, it 
could save a lot of time to just continue using it.

There is a converter for MIF files to ID at: 
http://www.dtptools.com/product.asp?id=mfid.There is a comparison chart (not 
including FrameMaker 9.0)
at: http://www.ideastraining.com/PDFs/SelectingDTPprogram.pdf.

Hope this helps.

Roger Shuttleworth
London, Canada

-----Original Message-----
From: framers-bounces at lists.frameusers.com 
[mailto:framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of Tina Ricks
Sent: October 21, 2009 2:22 PM
To: framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: FM 9 vs. InDesign

Can anyone point me to a thorough comparison list of features between FM9
and InDesign? I'm using Frame primarily for print books at a small
publisher, and using it because I know it and I'm familiar with it.

I currently use Frame 8, and I'm considering an upgrade to either Frame 9 or

I've read that InDesign CS4 recently added cross references. Does anyone
know how they compare to Frame's feature? Also, what about creating an index
in InDesign. What features does it have for dynamic indexing?


Tina Ricks | Managing Editor | Trial Guides



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