Re: Software For Students

Subject: Re: Software For Students
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 10:54:48 -0800 (PST)

"Marie C. Paretti" wrote:

> 1) Microsoft Office

Yes, must have. Get Office Professional - the one with everything.

> 2) A screen capture tool such as SnagIt or PaintShopPro

Don't need. Learn to use ALT-Print Screen and a graphics program. Its easier,
cheaper, and works on all PCs.

> 3) Adobe Acrobat (full suite)

Good to have. Its expensive though.

> 4) A Web authoring tool (Dreamweaver's at the top of my list there - and yes,
> we'll also have them work with pure HTML so they understand what they're
> doing).

You already have a web authoring tool in Office: Front Page. Despite the
emotional problems some people have with Front Page, it works just fine for
learning the basics.

> 5) A page layout program such as Adobe PageMaker

Probably a little excessive, but worth knowing.

> 6) Graphics programs such as Visio and Photoshop

Visio yes. All writers should know how to flowchart.

I would use Paint Shop Pro for graphics. Its cheaper and does plenty. Photoshop
is a little more power then you'll probably ever need and it is VERY expensive.

> 7) FrameMaker

Pretty much mandatory. 5.5.6 is out there for cheap and the differences to 6.0
are hardly worth the price.

> 8) A HAT such as RoboHelp Office or ForeHelp (I put this last on the list b/c
> while it's nice, you can create HTML-based Help using Dreamweaver, or working
> directly with MS's HTML Help Workshop)

If you really want to teach people help, do it the old fashion way with
Microsoft's old Help Workshop. You'll be forced to learn the intricacies of
help systems and how they work. If you want to be lazy, get RoboHelp.

> 1) Am I missing any major CATEGORIES of tools - i.e. different kinds of
> programs
> students need to be able work with?

That should get them 9/10ths of the way on tools, but tools are only about
1/10th of tech writing. But that's another debate.

Andrew Plato

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