RE: Software For Students

Subject: RE: Software For Students
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 13:55:34 -0500


Nice list. However you have to have a bitmap editor in there . . . if not
Photoshop, then Paint Shop Pro (which is really primarily bitmap editing
software and not capture software)--it doesn't really matter which one, just
solid experience with one because you can apply the skill to another.
Illustration software would also be nice, CorelDRAW! on the PC platform,
Macromedia Freehand, or Adobe Illustrator.

As far as web authoring goes, spend your time using a text editor to create
a personal web site, and play around with that. Then, play with some limited
Javascripting using the text editor. Those skills are much more useful than
some disconnected knowledge of a WYSIWYG HTML editor--thought give
Macromedia Dreamweaver a passing thought.

Familiarity with PageMaker, Quark, or InDesign adds some to your base, you
really should get to know such a product, and, for Heaven's sake, LEARN
ABOUT POSTSCRIPT and also learn about the printing industry and color

It is good to be well-rounded because technical writing is a profession with
more facets than just being able to type 6,000 words per second on a
typewriter or equivalent software.

My list:

1) MS Word (rather than any other word processing tool)
2) A help authoring tool (HAT)
4) PDF
5) Postscript, printing, color separation, etc.
6) Structured long-document tool (FrameMaker, Ventura, Interleaf)
7) A bitmap editor
8) An illustration tool
9) A page layout/typographical package (Quark, PM, ID)
10) It really would be a good idea to get familiar with programming, even if
it is at a beginner's level with a low-level language like VB.


sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sharon Burton-Hardin [SMTP:sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net]
> Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2001 12:28 PM
> Subject: Re: Software For Students
> I would move to the following:
> 1) Microsoft Office
> 2) FrameMaker
> 3) Adobe Acrobat (full suite)

> 4) A HAT such as RoboHelp Office or ForeHelp
> 5) A Web authoring tool
> 6) A screen capture tool such as SnagIt or PaintShopPro
> 7) Flow chart program such as Visio
> This is more relevant to the tools that the students NEED to know to get a
> job. A screen capture program of any sort is very easy to learn and use.
> Notice I dropped PageMaker. Hardly anyone uses it for tech docs. Nice to
> know but rarely called for. I also dropped Photoshop. Again, nice to know
> but we rarely do that level of graphics.

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