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Re: Newbie / pagemaker becoming obsolete


Interestingly, I overlooked the problem of being able to access the data in
future. As far as sending PageMaker files to a printer, for the short term
(3 years?) you should be able to. For the mid-term, probably. It's my
understanding that Adobe's new "InDesign", the PageMaker replacement, will
be able to open your documents. Failing that, there is an extension to
XPress which will attempt to convert PM files. It does a reasonable, though
less than perfect job but it could be easier than recreating the document
from scratch. You will lose rules, borders, folio numbers, etc.

Ironically, I have electronic archives of many early issues of the CBBAG
Newsletter which I put together using PageMaker, though I now use
QuarkXPress. Fortunately, I still have the program disks, so if I have to,
I can reload the program, open the documents and either export the data
(text) or copy and paste it into a new document.

After all, it is the data which is important to you, not the layout or
formatting. (The patron saint of graphic designers will be frowning at this
point, while that for editors will smile. ;-)  And here comes the real
beauty of electronic files: they are fluid. You can siphon the data from
one document and pour it into another. Recycle it. (One current term is
Data Mining.) If the text is important, save in a neutral format (plain
text) rather than a proprietary one. On the other hand, PageMaker files are
encoded in the PostScript language, which promises to be around for a
while. As long as you have a capable text editing program you should be
able to extract the text from the document (if you can't export it from

If I were a PageMaker user I wouldn't panic just yet but I would start
making plans. XPress is considered by most to be the premiere page layout
program but InDesign is touted to be the "Quark Killer". At this point it
is not. However Adobe has the resources to continue to make improvements
and could well corner the graphics software niche.

I apologize for running on (again) and boring other listees, but there may
be a few other PageMaker users among us. Also, I think the concept of fluid
text is new to some and can be liberating.


>I have ALL my files in Pagemaker -- if it becomes obsolete, and I now assume
>it will, and I want to send my files to a printer for making into a catalog,
>will I probably have dificulty doing that in the future? Will the lack of
>support impact me in other unknown (to me) ways?
>Thanks for whatever advice you have.

Richard Miller <rmiller@peterboro.net>
Newsletter Editor & Webmaster
The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild:

though I speak only for myself

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