Re: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign, TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 60, Issue 7

Subject: Re: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign, TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 60, Issue 7
From: Patryk Korman <patryk -dot- korman -at- native-instruments -dot- de>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2010 10:44:03 +0200

> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 05:59:19 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Ken Poshedly<poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
> Subject: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign
> To: Techwr-l<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Message-ID:<319930 -dot- 78899 -dot- qm -at- web180807 -dot- mail -dot- gq1 -dot- yahoo -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
> Uh-oh!
> The non-English-speaking engineers at my company's home offices in China use
> InDesign to produce non-English-language technical manuals for the company's
> line of heavy equipment. The company's group translators (all young
> 20-somethings) who have no real tech writing experience simply?use Word to
> produce English-language manuals. The layout and accuracy of technical matter
> and English is way below par because those kids simply have no access to the
> machines nor the technical expertise to explain things correctly nor enough
> English-language comprehension to do a good job. The company just wants books
> out on deadline.
> We -- a group of 3 tech writers -- here in the U.S. all come from extensive
> FrameMaker backgrounds (a combined total of 25 years), with technical expertise
> and obviously dern guud englsh. What we do is use those other "English-language"
> manuals from China (errors and all) to somehow perform miracles and produce
> well-arranged, more accurate and professional tech pubs (operation manuals,
> workshop manuals, parts books).
> I'm now hearing grumbling that the Chinese engineers who already use InDesign
> want us in the U.S. to move to InDesign. We are adamant that it's a bad move and
> our supervisor here and who knows nothing about this stuff wants solid
> arguements why we should stay with FrameMaker.
> We've compiled a list but I'd like to hear from y'all with your own ideas
> regarding ease of use, co$t, capability -- anything we can use in our corner.
> I've already posted this to the Frameusers list and the silence is deafening.
> Help anyone?
> -- Ken in metro Atlanta

InDesign can be a problem when it comes to migration of content,
especially when trying to get content back out of it for re-use,
translation in a tms (huge file sizes), and updating or rewriting in
Word. Other than that, it's a quite reliable and powerful tool. Just
don't try to xml with it.
If they do not have the need for migrating/re-using their content, I
guess the chances for you to make them change their work flows are
pretty low / make them learn FM next to nothing. Maybe you could
convince them to deliver the manuals in Word and you'd decide how to
proceed from there.

Best wishes,


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