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Not that I'm a big fan, but I've worked mostly in Word for the last ten
years and have figured out how to work with its, um, quirks.
Rule #1 - turn off ALL autoformatting functions
Rule #2 - use styles!
Rule #3 - put graphics inline with text as much as possible. Place them
using tables if you need a wrapped look.
Rule #4 - never use the bullet and numbering buttons - set them up as
styles. And don't base a new bullet/number style on an existing style unless
you've set them up as outlined.
Rule #5 - when you paste stuff in from another document, paste
Rule #6 - keep a master document that no one but you is allowed to touch.
Don't use tracked changes in the master doc.
There's a great website http://word.mvps.org/ that gives all the hints and
work arounds for Word's quirks.
From: techwr-l-bounces+kmurri=comcast -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kmurri=comcast -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, August 04, 2006 7:19 AM
To: Al Geist; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: User Guides in Quark Express or InDesign
Previous to my arrival as the only tech writer at my company (I'm a
contractor), all docs were produced by the various engineers. Therefore,
Word was used, so as to allow the engineers to edit the docs as they
wish) and that was that.
I much prefer FrameMaker, but due to the need for potential edits by
engineers, it probably ain't gonna happen here.
And my extreme distaste for Word has been pushed to even a higher level over
the past months while I watched it arbitrarily perform lots of unintended
stunts with my work - for instance, undo / remove text and / or formatting
in my manuals.
Yes, I've gone through online helps and tutorials to ensure I was doing
everything correctly, etc.
I even showed a few engineering coworkers firsthand how the tagging of a
paragraph as "List Bullet" somehow resulted in the removal of bullets from
ALL 30 instances of paragraphs with this same tag!!!!!!! Thank GOD for
multiple "UNDO"!!!!!!! So I could get my stuff back to before and do a
workaround!! to get the measly bullet I needed for this one last instance!!!
I tried to use Word to produce a scientific journal about 5 years ago. I
figured that I could simply produce each article separately, and then
somehow string them together to produce the full-length book (approx 60
So I spent several hours composing / arranging the first story - complete
with images - and then saved the file and powered down. Upon opening the
file the next day, images had shifted all over the place.
And no, I don't know how it happened!! So I spent more time getting all back
together, saving it and closing and reopening the file and it still looked
good. But once more, the next day when I reopened the file, it had shuffled
So it's been FrameMaker ever since and I've never looked back (except here
at my office where I'm stuck).
I'm sure many of you have published thousand-page books using Word with no
problem, but not me.
I still remember two VERY important things about this:
* I've been told that Microsoft itself uses FrameMaker to produce its own
* Word is good for perhaps really long shopping lists and that's about all
(attributed to a Microsoft staffer several years ago)
-- Ken in Atlanta
From: techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Al Geist
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 10:54 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: User Guides in Quark Express or InDesign
I've used FrameMaker, PageMaker, InDesign and Word for User Guides in
of 200 pages. PageMaker is a dead product, but it still works. I
that InDesign gives you much more individual stylistic control than
FrameMaker, but FrameMaker gives a much higher level of consistency
documents. I haven't much experience with Quark to give you an opinion
it's capabilities. As for Word, it has it's problems, but it will do the
trick if that's all you have to work with, and for a lot of smaller
Word is it.
The main difference between FrameMaker and the other programs (minus
is that Frame is geared toward books versus booklets. PageMaker had a
plugin that worked, but not as efficiently as Frame. I haven't used
InDesign for books yet.
Hope that helps. Others may have different opinions, especially those
have used Quark.
Stefan, Tonya wrote:
Has anyone had experience developing User Guides (200+pages) in Quark
Express or InDesign? My impression is that these applications are meant to
handle design and page layout oriented projects.
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