Things You Want to Know
With all the talk about social media and websites, it is easy to forget that desktop publishing software continues to advance. QuarkXpress is now available in version 9 and InDesign and its bundled Creative Suite are now in version 5.5. Most of the enhancements are for ease-of-use and integration into e-publishing and other media sources.
Today’s prepress designer now must deal with other media besides paper. What is being designed for print also is finding its way to the Internet on websites, on iPads, smartphones, and more. Quark and Adobe recognize the changing role and are adding tools to make the transition easier.
Printers need to also recognize that their customers are designing publications for other media. Most customers face the same issues they did when trying to design something to print. They don’t know the basics about communicating visually and need a printer’s help to make the piece pleasing.
The customer probably isn’t thinking about a printer when they attempt to create an e-pub or electronic newsletter. It will be up to the printer to tell the customer that they can help them with these types of publications too. Some printers are creating packages now that include both a printed piece and an electronic form of any publication. Flipbook technology is allowing printers to take the same publication and turn it into a piece to put on the customer’s website.
Printers need to take a look at the upgraded Adobe and Quark products. The features that have been added to the software could open doors to new revenue from existing customers. Download demos of the new versions of the software from www.adobe.com and www.quark.com.
Pennywise, Pound Foolish
In recent months, I have found a number of printers who are still using Adobe Pagemaker as their page layout program of choice. For anyone who still uses Pagemaker, my strong suggestion is to upgrade to either Adobe InDesign or QuarkXpress. The productivity and flexibility that you get with the newer software will more than pay any upgrade costs. I also believe that most output problems you may be experiencing will also disappear as you move to the modern software. The last Pagemaker version was release in 2004 and has since been replaced by InDesign.
A printer doesn’t have to have the latest software in the shop to be profitable, but you do need to use software that is considered the standard in the industry. Most customers now use InDesign, Quark, and Microsoft Publisher to create files. Then they usually convert them to PDF files when they submit them to the printer. Most available prepress and design people are using the newer software.
File Recovery Tip
Your stomach usually drops when you get the message that an InDesign file is corrupted and can’t be opened. Your first thoughts are “Do I have a backup of the earlier version?” and “Can I still make the deadline?” Here is a reminder that Markzware, the makers of Flightcheck preflighting software, also offer a service to fix corrupted InDesign files. The company has experts on staff who may be able to recover the file and save you some time and money. If you need more information about the service, just contact www.markzware.com.
Find PDF Answers
Bookmark your Web browser to Planet PDF’s site http://qa.planetpdf.com/. The site answers questions about PDF files and how to perform certain tasks, how to fix problems, and even which tools your peers recommend for your PDF-related projects. According to the creators, the primary goal behind the Planet PDF Q&A platform is to get the best possible answers to every answerable PDF question out there.