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Apropos of this posting on Stackoverflow, I'd quite like to hear anyones experiences on using Adobe InDesign/InCopy plus third-party plugins such as those listed here. Specifically, how good would this tool chain be as an alternative to Framemaker for:

  • A functional spec document of 2000 pages or so maintained by a team of 4-5 analysts.

  • A smaller document of 500 pages mantained by a single analyst or program manager.

  • A large technical document of the sort described above incorporating a generated data dictionary (this would be done as a MIF on Framemaker) that is maintained in a CASE tool and imported via a homebrew utility. Also, specifically maintaining cross-references between this and other parts of the document that are stable across imports.

  • A document in multiple volumes with cross-references, TOC and indexes referring to items in different volumes.

  • Single-sourcing such a document to PDF, print and HTML or CHF.

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I would go for Framemaker.

It has far better support for things like references, indexes and TOC. You can certainly do this in InDesign too but with Framemaker it's a lot easier.

InDesign is made for "creative" documents like magazines, newspapers or books. The main purpose of Framemaker are technical documents like the ones you described.

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I already have Framemaker. Have you used anything like the tools made by with InDesign? I'm trying to gauge how well FM+third party tools works for technical publishing. – ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Jul 16 '09 at 14:21

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