If you’re involved in desktop publishing, the name PageMaker is as common as IBM and Microsoft. If you’re a graphics designer, you’ll likely remember that Adobe failed to keep pace with the market and Quark Xpress long ago surpassed PageMaker in its quest for the professional market. While Quark was a dream to use, PageMaker seemed unwieldy, cumbersome and, rarely intuitive. As a result, PageMaker continued to lose market share to its rival for years. Even the high cost of Quark (the current U.S. street price is $790 or 36,800 INR) has failed to check its domination. About the only advantages offered by PageMaker was its lower price and availability for both the Mac and PC. Quark steadfastly maintained its Mac only stance for years before finally offering a PC version. Now, with version 6.5, Adobe seems to have abandoned the professional struggle and set its sights on another market niche. Recognizing that most small businesses aren’t equipped with duel platform graphics shops and can’t afford high end layout programs, PageMaker 6.5 features a price that’s about $200 (9,320 INR) lower than its rival. It also offers an array of new features that makes it easier to use and takes advantage of the wider availability of the PC and Windows operating systems. This new version offers plenty of incentives to the publishers of newsletters and graphics for small businesses and organizations. There are over 300 templates offering professional designs for everything from business cards to brochures. It’s possible to select a design, add copy and illustrations, save the file to disk and, have it printed. To make the PageMaker package even more attractive, several thousand quality photos, illustrations, and clip art files are included. There are also plenty of type fonts plus many of the True Type fonts on your computer are also available for PageMaker import. Unlike some of the low-end layout
programs, PageMaker has a long heritage of producing ready to print materials. Once you’ve used your computer’s printer to make proofing samples of your work, the software will reset the file for high resolution printing, save the file to disk, or prepare it for electronic transmission to the printer of your choice. If most of your work is directed toward the Internet, it’s unlikely that PageMaker will be of much interest. Its output files are designed primarily for printing. Converting them to jpeg or gif formats is impossible without additional software. While PageMaker readily imports scans and files from most other photo and graphic programs, this tends to be a one-way street. Importing PageMaker files to Adobe’s own Photoshop, for example, is almost impossible. If you’re in that graphics niche I mentioned above, PageMaker can be a real asset. It’s easy to learn and can help you turn out quality materials for dozens of requirements. Adobe offers one other added attraction. A copy of Photoshop 5.0 LE is included in the software package at no additional cost. The street price for the full version of PageMaker 6.5 is currently $475 (22,135 INR.) However, if you have an older version, an upgrade is available for about $150 (6,990 INR.)
Not too sure about this. I use Microsoft Word and also Corel Draw. Ideally, i was looking for a program which merged the text possibilities of Word, with the graphical capabilities of Corel. Indesign didnt satisfy my needs for this. I still find Word the best program for word processing, and Corel for simple graphical/ text layouts. If i ever need to compose a graphical/ text document of more than a few pages, I find a blend of Corel and Word. Also, distributing adobe files maybe difficult, due to the lack of users out there, but the conversion to pdf is a great advantage. Difficult to justify the £650 in my opinion.
I originally learnt to use Adobe Pagemaker 6.5 when I was producing a 32 page tour brochure that required professional printing, to advertise our Cricket tour of Barbados, and it was one of the formats that the printers we were using would accept. The results I got were stunning, and by doing it myself and burning the finished product on to a CD Rom I was able to keep the costs down at the printing house. I also used it to produce programmes for a play we were putting on, which were to be intricately folded, and therefore needed to done with utmost precision, and this was only possible with the accuracy of Pagemaker 6.5, as pictures and text can be precisely positioned to within 1/1000th of an inch. One of the most important features is that it supports full colour printing and for this any graphics that are required should be done using CMYK colour separation, which surprisingly was a feature left out of the accompanying version (5.0LE) of Adobe Photoshop, on the CD. CMYK colour separations whilst essential will dramtically bloat the size of your files, and I would recommend a CD burner rather than a Zip Drive as a means of outputting files to send to the printers, as the Zip disk is available in three sizes, and the printer may not support all of these. Although this application will run on a fairly low spec machine (my PII 350Mhz machine had no problems running it), if you are incorporating a lot of graphics into publications, then I would advise you to obviously make sure that you have a higher spec machine. Since then I have found the most useful feature the fact that it is shipped with Adobe Acrobat Distiller, meaning that you can create .pdf files, which are great for producing true WYSIWYG files, with fonts embedded, so that nothing is lost and so that you can read the file across platforms, without losing anything in the process, although if you are already a user of a full version of Photoshop (version 5.0 onwards),
then you will already have the wherewithall to produce .pdf files, and therefore Pagemaker 6.5 will not be or any advantage. This is however no a product for beginners, and it was only do to the fact that I had had previous experience with the Adobe product palette, that I knew what I had to do to get the results that I was looking for. The learning curve was very steep and generally the projects I initially did using Pagemaker 6.5 took a lot longer than I had hitherto expected. For people wanting a less demanding piece of software, but one that can still deliver the goods I would recommend Microsoft Publisher. Pagemaker must rank as a heavyweight alongside QuarkXpress 4.1 for those with professional needs, and is a very powerful tool. It is a pricey product, although I got it on the student license which meant the outlay was not too extreme. The full version currently retails at £359 + VAT (PC) or £365 + VAT (Mac) at www.dabs.com. I have always been very satisfied with the results that I have got from Pagemaker 6.5, and still use it quite often, although I would have to say that the outlay is not easy for a typical homeuser to try and justify.
Except for a new box, a new tool bar and a few templates, Adobe has not really brought anything new to their dying DTP package. Pagemaker was first created by Aldus in the early eighties when DTP was born on Macs. It then got bought by Adobe which surely developped it further but it finally lost its battle against Quark Xpress. Don't get me wrong, Pagemaker 6.52 is great, but the Plus version is a con-trick for sure...Adobe just tried to extend its life for a few extra months before the release of InDesign 1.0 I think that you can now upgrade for quite a good price from PM 6.5 + to InDesign...hopefully! If you're new at DTP go for InDesign 1.5