Most helpful critical review
Less Tutoring of the Obvious More Tips and Hints
on October 1, 2003
I appreciate all the effort and information that went into this
book, at 847 pages it must have been a huge effort to produce this book.
The problem is that I'm not finding it more useful than the User's Guide that ships with the product. Adobe's User's Guide is quite good, so doing something much better would be difficult.
Framemaker is very difficult to get started on, unless you use it continuously in an environment with good templates and friendly experts, it is easy to snag on some obscure setting that is
buried in window riddled with options. Further, you can do major damage to your document by not understanding the full implications of what happens when you import formats, for example. Gee, nagging little clues like the like * in front of paragraph tags turn out to mean important things, but you end up learning about important things the hard way. I would have like to see less ink spent on obvious items such as explaining in text all of the meanings of icons on the Toolbar, and more text explaining variables, and debug for common problems.
Framemaker is the big powerful tractor of book writing, when you
have a huge field neatly plowed behind you, you love it, when the damn thing won't start or you crushed something valuable, you hate. I actually don't have a tractor, and in summary this
book hasn't been very useful yet.