I now have a professional editor editing my book, The Art of Polishing Paint", he is the former Editor for both CarCraft magazine and HotRod magazine as well as many others.
He has made a lot of suggestions all of them good, one of them is to have my pages set in a two column format.
So far I have written the whole book in Word 97, I need something more powerful to put it all together. So far it is over 300 pages and that is with the margins all at 1/2" and no pictures. We may split it into two books, one for working by hand and one for working by machine.
After doing some reading on some newsgroups I have been leaning toward Adobe's "FrameMaker" software, it seems more specialized at working with long documents.
But I notice that Ken and many of you here are using Pagemaker, can anyone advise me as to which program would best suit my needs and why?
I plan on offering the book in paper format, ebook and I want to include a cdrom version. I noticed at Adobe's website, "Cisco Systems" adopted Framemaker as their software of choice and that is one of the reasons, because it can produce all three options,
Is that something Pagemaker can do also?
How about some info here folks, these software programs are expensive and I want to get what's best for my business,
Evaluating software (and indeed polishes too!) is a difficult and time-consuming process. Often in the end it all comes down to a personal experience.
I have tended to find what I need by using the best package I can get, then studying material put out by people in the same area of expertise. If I see a REAL advantage in getting an upgrade/better program, then I make enquiries about it.
Sometimes I might buy it - but not that often.
In the case of PageMaker vs everything else, my position is much more complex. I started using PM a year or two after it first came out... Version 2.0 I think it was.
Since then - in the past 15 years - many different competing products have appeared, all claiming to be more advanced, easier to use and in some cases cheaper.
Fair enough, except I have a vested interest now in PM because of the time I've put in for learning and becoming skilled in its use. Any of those competing products will require me to spend another month or two - or longer - getting to grips with their numerous features. Even just figuring out which of the features are going to be really useful to me takes time away from earning.
So, to shortcut the learning curves, I elect to stay with what I know until something better comes along.
This might be the same in your case Mike. You might find that Word will do all you need, and another 3 months trying to learn PageMaker or FrameMaker (and believe me, they ARE complex programs for the unititiated) just isn't commercially economical.
After all, you are running a business and will want to sell your manual as soon as possible to get back your investment in writing time... so you can't spend too much time on the sidelines.
My thoughts - produce your manual in Word until you need to do something with the material that can't be done with this program - then look around further at that stage.
That gets your project up and running so you can afford the time to spend on the next upgrade or software selection.
I have several layout programs....I'm Planning to get FrameMaker
May 8 2000, 5:51 AM
Because of the extensive formating I plan to use for several books I am working on, some which will be converted to pdf, I will be getting FrameMaker. Why haven't I purchased it yet? Simply this...I have PageMaker, Ventura Publisher AND Word 2000. I was able to see these in use BEFORE I bought them. I do not know of anyone that is using FrameMaker...anyone who can tell me what the REAL advantages to using it besides Adobe.
Word doesn't easily carry the format from chapter to chapter AND when I combine it into a full document, will change the template. Ventura...well...that is on another machine. The templates are good for long documents and it also helps to create an index almost automatically. However, if you want to vary from the templates, then there will be a steeper learning curve.
PageMaker is easier for me to use to create my own templates. Again, I do not have it with me on the road.
FrameMaker - I watch it a little while longer and hopefully find someone who is using it to give me their honest opinion...that is, someone not working for Adobe.
I've Framemaker in a test with several other Graphic Artists. Boy was I disappointed. I wasn't the only one either. Most designers I've spoken to as well as industry journals that I receive all say the same thing.
Framemaker has a LONG way to go.
For starters, it's AWFUL if you're creating a long document. Many of the features seem "clunky" as though parts of the program were done in haste by the programers.
For longer documents, CorelVentura does a great job. Short documents like newsletters, etc. - can be done in either Pagemaker, Corel Ventura or Quark Express.
Like watching a highly anticipated movie that never lives up to its billing ... Framemaker has left many Graphic Designers shaking their heads saying, "I can't believe I let it happen to me again. I fell for the sizzle!"
In this case, Cheryl, the steak has a lot of grizzle in it. Unless you need to write off some business expenses, I'd advise that you to wait for another version or two to hit the shelves before even considering taking a look.
It is comments like yours that make me wait on buying expensive software that no one I know is using. I will definitely PASS on it for now.
Unfortunately, Adobe is known for doing this...creating products that just don't live up to the hype (or the Adobe name). LiveMotion is just one such example.
Thanks for saving me several hundred dollars. I appreciate it.
By the way, for some reason, my version of Ventura is acting up. So, I guess that I'll either have to put up with the problems in Word 2000 (creating and formating a beautiful long document) or just buy the latest upgrade to Ventura. I LOVE the templates...as they make it easy to make a beautiful long document.
Firstly, I haven't used Framemaker so I can't comment on that, but I have just launched a product (see below) that I created entirely on Word 2000...what a dream!
My previous product was produced in Pagemaker 6.5 and though the results were fantastic, there was an awful lot of 'clean up' I needed to do in Acrobat to prepare the book for release. The biggest problem is that it seemed to detach about 60% of my hyperlinks in the conversion.
I'm not entirely certain these features are available in W97, but I was able to seamless integrate text and graphics, create a Table of Contents (and index, though I passed), retain all of my linking and formatting with a whole lot less effort than in PM.
The 2-column issue has always been a thorn in my side with MSWord, but they might have improved that feature in 2000.
Of course, I still needed Acrobat to generate the PDF, but I don't think I'll return to Pagemaker.
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