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Creating Technical Manuals.


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Could anyone help me. What is the best method of producing operational/service manuals from pro-engineer assemblies and drawings etc. PTC are trying to push Pro/Process but I have my doubts.

Around 10 years ago I remember seeing a technical illustrator using IGES files from Pro-engineer on software run on an Mac machine to create technical manuals.
We usually export dwg files and then layout the manual in Illustrator.

It works fine for us. These are probably the only real tools we have to use though.

Most any word processing program is going to be able to handle your drawings. For example, MS Word can import HPGL and .dxf files; just install the filter pack from the setup CDs. I imagine Illustrator or QuarkExpress would both be good choices.

Believe it or not, I've found Microsoft Publisher (found on disk 2 of the Office CDs) to be fairly powerful in that it lets you predefine boxes for graphics and text, and lets you replace the source image file in the graphics box with a different one, similar to Quark but without the $599 price tag. This would allow you to make a template and drop the graphics (dxf or HPGL) in later, and doesn't possess those annoying text/graphics run-around problems that Word does...

We've used (for at least 15 yrs) a program called Interleaf, which has been bought by another company and is now called Quicksilver XML. Only inertia has kept us from changing over to something a little more mainstream.

As for Pro/PROCESS, it would be nice and associative, but I would have doubts about its ability to handle different fonts and image files.


Trivia: PTC was for years in the old Interleaf building in Waltham on RTE 128, which (after Microsoft Word ate their lunch) Interleaf could no longer utilize; it even said Interleaf on the marquee. Interleaf had to move down the street a bit to a little building more suited to its size.


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