Archive for March, 2012

Top applications I can’t live without (as a writer)

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

OK… this is a list of Windows-based applications, as that is primarily the environment that I work in.  I use Linux Mint when Windows doesn’t work. <grin>


Text Editor: Notepad++. I’ve used this for years, and wouldn’t be without it.

Search: Agent Ransack. I love its power and flexibility, and that it links with NP++.

FTP: FileZilla. Simple, reliable, and darned near bulletproof.

Image work: FastStone Image Viewer.  Quick, easy, good cropping and a decent set of callout tools.

File Security: TrueCrypt. Best way to protect a client’s files.

Notes: Evernote.  Especially when I have multiple things going on.

Paid-for tools

Image editing: Adobe Photoshop. It’s overkill for most of what I do, but none of the other image-editing tools are as fast or easy to use.

Authoring: Adobe FrameMaker. An old warhorse, but still the King of Documentation.  Yes, I am biased from having worked for Frame Technology, but not enough I wouldn’t have jumped ship if there was something less expensive or more up-to-date.

FrameMaker Add-ons: Mif2Go, FM-to-Acrobat. MIF2Go solves so many of the small but intensely irritating output aspect of FM for everything but Acrobat, and FrameMaker-to-Acrobat timesavers just kick that output to a whole new level. A big plus for me is that both companies are run by dedicated and really nice people.

PDF: Adobe Acrobat Pro.  I’ve got a couple of other quickie tools (BioPDF) that I like, but keep coming back to the mothership.

So there is a start.  Yes I do use MS Office a lot, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  I use a number of other tools for specialized work, and will probably post about them in the future.  You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t mentioned any Help tools, structured authoring apps, or automation apps.  I use them, but I’ve a lot to say there, so will keep them for a future post.

Comments are open, so feel free to chime in with your own favorites or comment on the ones I’ve listed here.