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dtp programs

having been in graphic arts: specifically working for litho printers
on a Mac since 1986 I finally have something of experience to say!

pagemaker: loved by those who have used it ...especially those who
chose it as a first page layout program. Not really loved by
printers! It has several bugs, is not always happy with lots of
fonts, and is not as easily edited and prepared for printing. not the
first program of choice by most printers. a more designerly program
with more emphasis on what something looks like rather than the
technical type of info (technical: i.e. 9/10 times roman,  19pica
column, justified...with this type of spec'd copy, quark is easier,
the menus allow for easy numerical input...where pagemaker is more
like mmm....i like this box here and this width is looking about
right...) PM has not upgraded in years. i wonder if adobe is putting
it out to pasture and bringing indesign as their offering for

quark: it is sometimes buggy, but still the standard for printers.
has the best OUTPUT choices. As designers of books, we tend to be
involved with the INPUT of information....what it looks like, the
best fonts, the best words, etc. As a printer, the output is what
counts! If it looks great on screen and everything is wonderful and
you cannot output the color-separated pictures and text, what good is
it, except for on screen? Quark has worked hard to develop output
options for the printers and this is where it excels! this is
transparent to the front end user, US! More options for typographical
tweaking are available. Also has new functions, allowing a user to
change type into a fillable box, create paths with a pen tool. etc.

MS publisher: i am so sorry to disagree. this program is a printers
nightmare, except maybe if you are a strictly black and white text
kind of person. Forget it! We are still looking for a good solution
for transferring publisher files into a real page layout program
which can output! We can open the file in pagemaker...but even here
we cringe as i already mentioned! You cannot color separate from it
or create an eps file. forget it and move on!

MS word: is not for page layout. People send in all kinds of flyers
set up in word, with imported graphics and logos and spend hours of
precious time making the job look just right. and then, we totally
have to re-create every single page in quark so that we can color
separate it's output for printing. need i say more? the whole idea is
to do this once.

indesign: too new. still haven't seen many files in this program. it
may be great, but i have no experience and therefore no opinion.

Illustrator,Photoshop, Freehand, etc: illustration and image editing
programs. Not for page layout (although you could possibly create a
small booklet in illustrator or freehand if need be)... make your
logos here, and scan your photos and retouch them here. then place
your files in quark or pagemaker for output.

final word: the better programs cost more bucks! but it is worth it
if you plan on having a professional print your work! If it is for
you and you alone and you are planning on printing a booklet to
distribute to your family set it up in word or publisher or some
freebee program that came with your machine. It you plan on having
anything done with your work as far as printing goes: stick with
quark or pagemaker. ignore Microsoft!


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