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Re: Newbie / pagemaker becoming obsolete

You can save all yr PageMaker files in RTF [rich text format], which can be
opened/used in nearly every other DTP or word processing program, but you
may lose a_lot_of format information. Not hard to correct.

But, it's true, PageMaker is an end-of-life product -- it will not be
upgraded to add new "functionality" as it has been in the past. InDesign is
intended to replace PM. They won't stop supporting PM users, not formally
anyway, but the marketing/sales emphasis is "Move to InDesign", despite the
fact that InDesign is still buggy, not truly a Quark-killer [the reason for
this shift], and may never be.

Warnock, big chief at Adobe, has promised that as long as he's at Adobe,
FrameMaker will continue to be supported and improved. [Good news for tech
pubs types who rely on FM for long docs w/ lots of graphics, tables,
charts, etc.--obviously a "bigger" market than us design types?!?]

PageMaker has no devoted "angel" to keep it going, despite its obvious
utility in many industry niches and for millions of users. They will
doubtless spend the time & money to continuously improve InDesign enough to
make it worthy, but don't rush to buy it yet, unless you're hungry for
"version 1.0" grief. It boasts enhanced "interoperability" with Illustrator
and Photoshop files, but that's not enough to justify its cost [$700]. It's
weak in many areas that must be fixed to make it competitive, compared to
good ole PageMaker or to Quark [not equivalent products anyway].

Trivial correction: native PageMaker files are not postscript files per se,
but you can easily 'postscript' any PM file by printing it to file as
postscript [.ps filetype]. If you have Acrobat [the full pgm, not just the
reader], you can distill any .ps file into a PDF which is a
viewable/printable postscript document. Acro 4.0 lets you edit and annotate
PDFs, which means they can have a life of their own ... handy when sharing
files, sending them to printers/service_bureaus for proofing and printing,

PM has its quirks [Table Editor, bleccch], but it can still do an awful lot
for a wide variety of jobs, especially if you resort to Illustrator &/or
Photoshop as needed for fancier image manipulation.

sign me a newbie who uses PM for most design tasks,

>Richard Miller wrote:
>> Marty:
>> 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
>> within).
>> 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.
>> Cheers,
>> Richard
>> >I have ALL my files in Pagemaker -- if it becomes obsolete, and I now
>> >it will, and I want to send my files to a printer for making into a
>> >will I probably have dificulty doing that in the future? Will the lack of
>> >support impact me in other unknown (to me) ways?

Sibyl Designs /\ sibyl@san.rr.com
tel: 858.268.4647 /\ fax: 858.541.2260

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