We recently migrated a question about FrameMaker to SuperUser. I'm learning the ropes here, so I interpreted this as meaning software questions belong in SuperUser. Yesterday, I suggested migrating a question about Scrivener to SuperUser, but @Neil Fein responded that it is on-topic in Writers because it's a specialty writing tool. By that reasoning, FrameMaker questions belong here, too. I'm sure this question has and will come up for other writing-focused tools. Any thoughts on how we can come up with a broad guideline for this situation that treats different types of writers and software (creative vs. technical) equitably?

  • Huh, good question. I didn't see the FrameMaker question before now, but as a writing-tool question (that isn't "how do I make text bold in Word" or such) it seems on-topic here. Jan 5 '16 at 20:43
  • A very good question. I think formatting in Word should remain off topic but there are reasons to leave these questions here - some of the time. Jan 6 '16 at 15:41

TL;DR - Let's keep Scrivener on-topic and explcitly make Framemaker on-topic, with caveats.

What's the situation now?

Here's the situation as I understand it. None of this is set in stone and we as a community can discuss this and change it if we like.

Since Scrivener is a tool specifically for writers, its questions should be considered on-topic here. (It's worth noting that the question of Scrivener's on-topic-ness has come up here before.)

While the program is on-topic at Superuser, there are not many Scrivener users there... but there are many of them here: At this point in time, we have a Scrivener tag and a body of questions on the program. (The same logic should apply to the screenwriting program Final Draft and any other writer-specific tools, including Framemaker and other technical writing tools.)


All of these programs are also on-topic at Superuser or other sites. Using indesign add an example, the program isn't only a writer-specific tool, it's also used by graphic designers. Migrating such a question to Superuser makes sense (or possibly to the Graphic design site, although we'd have to check that) as it'd get more and better answers.

The Framemaker question you link above is specifically about formatting and isn't really a question about writing or a related field, more about the appearance of a document. But it's clearly a question about a writing tool. It'd be fine here or on superuser.

This sort of potential dual on-topic-ness isn't all that different from questions that could be on this site and on English Language and Usage, or her and on Academia, etc. But it's worth noting that no other site really handles Scrivener well. That's not the case with, say, Microsoft word, or other tools that do things other than cater to writers and writing.

So what should we do?

It makes sense to continue keeping Scrivener on-topic here and explicitly make Framemaker on-topic, assuming they're about the writing aspects of these tools.

When it comes to tools like MS Word and InDesign, I'm fine with having questions on more than one site. The cross-posted question should add value to both sites and, ideally, be slightly different for each site. But this isn't a common situation.

I suggest that in the future, we migrate these questions to Superuser/Graphic Design/Wherever but, in the case of questions that could also apply here (such as questions about how writers interface with Framemaker, or how tech writers can use the techie features of MS Word, etc) we make an effort to keep those questions here or encourage variations on multiple sites.

  • 2
    Thanks for this answer. I agree that some questions are on-topic on multiple sites (usually in variant forms, not exact copies). The philosophy I try to follow is: if it's on-topic here and the person asked it here, don't migrate it away. We can suggest that the OP also look at another site, but we shouldn't be so quick to send on-topic questions away. The questions we don't want, on the other hand (basic Word formatting, English grammar, etc), we should migrate if viable on the other site. Jan 6 '16 at 15:57
  • @rolfedh lets let this thread accumulate answers and votes and then we'll use it to set policy. Jan 6 '16 at 18:24
  • @rolfedh sorry, I was conflating framemaker and indesign. Will edit. Jan 6 '16 at 18:32
  • Oh. Yeah, those are very different. As a tech writer I've used FrameMaker for tech writing (but not general writing), and I've never touched Imdesign -- but I see a lot of graphically-minded folks use the latter. Jan 6 '16 at 21:15
  • GDSE has a big problem with "My Adobe Be Broke" (™ Scott) questions. If it's a basic How Do I Do X In InDesign question, just close it; don't migrate it. GD has enough of those as it is, and the answer should be easy enough to Google. ID can be used as a writing tool, but it's not really meant for that. I have no opinion on FrameMaker because I'm not at all familiar with it. Jan 8 '16 at 23:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .