Is Adobe FrameMaker Worth the Money?

Before you hit reply and say, ‘it depends’, I know it depends but…

If you’ve been given a budget for a technical writing dept (tech comms), then you looking for value for money when it comes to buying new tech writing software. We all understand that. The problem I have at the moment is deciding how to use the budget I have. And Adobe FrameMaker is giving me a real headache. For writing long docs, it’s fine. But the cost is a real problem. Is it worth the money?

Is Adobe FrameMaker worth the money?

I’m not sure.

The good news

The upsides are that:

  • It’s the deluxe software for writing technical documentation
  • Integrates well into other Adobe products (but not all?)
  • Stable. Actually it has never crashed on me.
  • Support long, complex, nasty documents with gazillions of pages.

The bad news

The downsides include:

  • Very high price per seat.
  • Training is also not cheap.
  • Adobe ain’t the greatest at responding (no, you’re not!)
  • Doesn’t integrates well into some Adobe products (see Photoshop)
  • File format (.fm) can’t be shared with other users
  • And other funky stuff.

To get a handle on this, I’ll go through some of the issues I have with FrameMaker next week.

Feel free to chip in.

The other option is to look elsewhere.

Is there an open source tool that we could use instead?

By Adam Crowe