Microsoft Word v Adobe Framemaker

This post needs an update as both Microsoft Word and FrameMaker have both improved in the past three years. So, bear with me as I work on the update. In the meantime, take out your red pen and see if you agree. Which is better for writing long technical documents? Adobe FrameMaker or MS Word? […]

Two Ways to Chunk Content with MadCap Flare

Mike Hamilton on the MadCap blog wrote an excellent tutorial on how to chunk content. We’ve covered this subject before, especially when looking at information architecture and how to write for the web. What’s interesting about Mike’s article is how he uses conditional markers to do this in MadCap Flare.

7 Skills Technical Writers Need

When you think of technical writing, what comes to mind?
Do you think of someone sitting all alone in a cubicle, glued to a computer screen, diligently documenting complex software?

Why Adobe FrameMaker Sucks – A Slight Rant

Ok, let’s start this product comparison between Microsoft Word (in the red corner) and Adobe FrameMaker (in the blue corner). Before we get into the actual review, I’d like to share how I first encountered FrameMaker and, more importantly, why its roots in an obscure DTP package are the reason why it is the strange beast we love and hate.

Is Adobe FrameMaker Worth the Money?

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?

Eddie Van Arsdall’s Ten Tips for FrameMaker Docs

If you use Adobe FrameMaker and wondered ‘well how could I get these documents into another tech writing tool’, then read this week’s edition of MadNewz from Madcap Software. Eddie VanArsdall has written a great tutorial that shows how to move content between these packages.

My Ten Favorite Technical Writing Tools

I’ll be honest. I love Microsoft Word! Adobe FrameMaker has it’s moment but, y’know, it’s can be so lame that it beggar’s belief. I’ve used the same technical writing tools for the last 5 years. A few products have come across my desk but nothing that really blown me away. Here’s a run-down of what I use to write my technical documents. No order of preference. Which should I keep? Which should I replace?

What Macaulay Culkin Can Teach You About Technical Writing

Larry says that last week another technical writer asserted that DITA has “jumped the shark.” “It’s not a new idea. I’ve heard other people say that DITA has already seen its best days, that it’s struggling to remain relevant in a world that’s passed it by. I was amused, I admit, because it was the first time I’d seen DITA compared to a TV show.”

Does your writing have an accent?

Maybe you don’t hear your accent, but others do. When you read their documents, does the accent come through?

Do CEOs Need to Write Well to Succeed?

Thom Haller asks on TCW if ‘to be an effective leader, you need to learn how to write well’.