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Old 11-13-2008, 04:44 AM   #1
Mimi Rogers
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Default What DTP Software do you use?

I'm considering several different software programs to purchase and was wondering what some of you are using.
  1. Broderbund -- I have PrintShop22 and it's pretty nice but they have a newer one
  2. Serif (any and all)
  3. Adobe PageMaker
I need something that can work with graphics and photos too.

Also, if anyone has an older version of InDesign they'd like to sell, I'd be interested.


Thank you,

Susan

Last edited by Mimi Rogers; 11-14-2008 at 04:31 AM. Reason: Instant Email Notification
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:22 AM   #2
ktinkel
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If you work in the field, you probably need InDesign (and the rest of the CS suite) or QuarkXPress (plus Photoshop and probably Illustrator). Not because no other application will do the job but because these programs make you compatible with most photographers, illustrators, printers, and others in the field. They also support color management and enable decent typography. They (mostly InDesign these days) are also the frame of reference for discussing problems or other adventures with other users on forums like this one.

But if you do not have to work with others then all you really need to prepare for the press is the ability to make a good PDF. I think Serif Page Plus would do. PageMaker is no longer supported, and is getting cranky about PDFs at this point. Hard to understand why you would be looking for older software, unless you are also using older hardware.

No one can sell you an older version of InDesign unless they also sell you their complete license (i.e., unless they are giving up use of the program altogether). Be wary of anyone who offers it, as you will not be able to upgrade or get support from Adobe.

   
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #3
George
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Mimi,

I'll tell you my impression.

Printshop is for people at home who want to publish something for personal use.

Serif PagePlus is for the small business that wants to do its own publications at a fraction of the cost of using a professional while still being competitive in design.

Adobe Indesign is for people who are dedicated design professionals in a competitive publishing market.

Serif PagePlus in version 9.0
costs $15 with shipping and is very easy to use (but don't bother with the free version, as too much is eliminated). It's a good place to start to learn professional level DTP software while still being able to put out a quality product. The later versions of PagePlus are even more sophisticated, but in all of them, you can do PDFs, and some graphical and animation work. I think the software is just a lot of fun, and when I call Serif in Nottingham, I end up talking to the representative for an hour over American and British relations -- that's fun too, (and I'm basically nice to Gordon Brown... I think) -- but they're nice people. They understand how to use the English language and that sense of logic is prevalently found in their software designs.

I have Serif Photoplus 11 as well, which I got off e-bay for $10. It is incredibly like Adobe Photoshop, but it doesn't have the nice filters. Of the many graphics software programs I have, I find I most often go now to Photoplus. It opens Adobe Photoshop files. I wonder if PagePlus opens Indesign.

At any rate, I don't think you can go wrong with Serif -- it is nice stuff, (with the exception of WebPlus, which is horrible, but I was told to try the new version as it is much improved -- but do I want to spend the money to find out, especially since I like a text editor??)

Moon Crescent is an interesting name. I'm not sure how everyone might relate to it though.

George
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:21 AM   #4
Mimi Rogers
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What do you think about Serif PagePlusX2. I received an e-mail from them and can acquire it for $29.0. I know they've come out with X3, but I'm really trying to keep my budget down. And this would enable me to get the PhotoPlus program too.
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimi Rogers View Post
What do you think about Serif PagePlusX2. I received an e-mail from them and can acquire it for $29.0.
Definitely go for it! If you start with X2, maybe it will seem complicated at first, but it is actually easier than 9.0 And X2 is actually what I meant by the software being fun. Like to apply a style, I run my cursor over a little arrow on the left and a big list of styles pops out from under the left paste board border, and I click the style, and immediately the list goes back under the boarder. It takes a half second. Now, you don't need that type of technology, but it's just fun.

It you put all the studio menus in your paste board area, the document seems like a patient, and you're the surgical team. So, overall X2 can look a bit sophisticated at first, compared to 9.0, but just start with something simple, and then quickly you should see how easy the stuff is to use.

Look at the manuals that come with the software. They were created with X2. So you can be confident that you can put out very professional looking publications for just about any situation.

I don't believe the improvements with X3 are that significant. Like they say it has a better BookPlus -- which organizes multiple document chapters into a book, but I think you should be well satisfied with X2.

George
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:33 PM   #6
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My situation is similar to Mimi's. I want to buy DTP software and I would prefer Indesign as I have done a short course on it and really like it. The other thing about Indesign is that there is so much backup in the form of forums, intructional manuals etc. That means an answer to any problem can be almost immediately found. But I really cannot justify the cost of Indesign, particularly when associated programs are considered like Photoshop.
I have downloaded the free version of Serif Pageplus and the manual for X3 and I must say that I am not all that enamoured with it. Do you think George that it might be because I have the free version?
I am still making up my mind which way to go but over the years I have come to learn the cheapest way is often not the best.
By the way how does one get X2 as there seems to be no mention of it on the Serif website?
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:32 PM   #7
Mimi Rogers
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Default What DTP Software do you use? -- Serif now!

Hi all,

Well, I went to Serif (http://www.serif.com/index.asp), and saw an UPGRADE section. When I clicked on it, and logged in (I have the free versions already), I qualified for an upgrade on PagePlusX3 and PhotoPlusX2 ... $49.99 instead of $99.99. So, I did the immediate download on them. Within about 30 minutes I got a phone call from Serif, and they offered me any other software I wanted for $20 each. Complete with Resource CD and User Guide, plus I'd get both of these for what I had already downloaded.

I went to the website to look at everything, and when she called me back, I went ahead and ordered the three others below in red. All in all, my cost for doing that was only $50 more than what it originally was, which I thought was a good value as the User Guides for each one alone are $39.00.

I haven't had time today to play with PagePlusX3 or PhotoPlusX2, but I think I'll be happy with it. I just can't afford Adobe prices right now as I'm not getting any business inquiries.

Anyone know of anyone who needs some work done (books, manuals, textbooks, articles, marketing materials)?

And at least if I'm not happy with them I can return them after 30 days.

So, I was pretty excited about that.

Items:
1 x Bun-Loyalty Value Bundle 7.5
1 x Bun-Includes PagePlus X3 CD / Res DVD / User Guide
1 x Bun-Includes PhotoPlus X2 Studio PackCD/User Guide
1 x Bun-Includes DrawPlus X2 Pro CD/Res CD/ User Guide
1 x Bun-Includes MoviePlus X3 CD/ Res CD / User guide
1 x Bun-Includes WebPlus X2 CD/Resource CD/ User Guide

Check it out if you want. She said it was a one-time offer, but I don't really know if that's true. Either way, can't beat getting three other programs for $50 as opposed to $300.

I'll let you know what I think about PagePlusX3 and PhotoPlusX2 when I start playing around with them. I won't get the others for about 2 weeks.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for the suggestions.

Susan
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy View Post
I would prefer Indesign as I have done a short course on it and really like it. The other thing about Indesign is that there is so much backup in the form of forums, intructional manuals etc. That means an answer to any problem can be almost immediately found. But I really cannot justify the cost of Indesign, particularly when associated programs are considered like Photoshop.
I have downloaded the free version of Serif Pageplus and the manual for X3 and I must say that I am not all that enamoured with it. Do you think George that it might be because I have the free version?
I am still making up my mind which way to go but over the years I have come to learn the cheapest way is often not the best.
I was not impressed with the free version when I tried it, and you will note in my initial post in the thread, I advised not to bother trying it. However, I guessed from the way the free version was set up, that a paid version would work well for me. So I tried 9.0 and I liked it. So I tried X2 and that was much nicer.

Whether you should try it depends on your objectives. As I said, it's really for the small business that wants to put out its own publications at a low cost while maintaining professional standards. However, it is very capable software in general.

If your objective is to be a dedicated professional designer and publisher, then InDesign is your choice. In that case, don't worry about money, but follow your calling, and it will all work out in the end. However, if your objectives are similar to what a small business envisions for publication, then I would definitely go with Serif in consideration of cost, but also because of what can be accomplished with it. Or if you are at some middle level point in contemplation of moving on to becoming a top notch professional, then a late version of PagePlus would certainly serve you well for a transitional phase in moving on in the business.

You can buy X3 for about $130, which in itself is not a bad price at all for what you are getting. From time to time Serif does promotions on older version. They had a sight up for a while on version 11 at $30, but that just came down.

I saw an X2 version go on e-bay last week for $16, with the resource CD and manuals. But this is English software, and the UK e-bay seems to have a lot of deals on PagePlus. In your case, I would say you should also want the resource CD and manuals. Serif's sepatrately sold fonts are not up to the standards of a font foundry, but they are still nice to have and work well for many situations.

Once you are on Serif's list of loyal customers, they will make you some great deals from time to time. They offered me X3 for $40 when it came out. Recently they offered me both X3 and their latest version of PhotoPlus for $80, although they started at $180. But you have to have some products registered with them to get these deals.

As far as help in a forum, Serif has its own, but you would have to buy the latest version to get in. But you can read what other people are posting which is always helpful. But to tell you the truth, I've never had a problem that took me more than five minutes to figure out with the software.

I think you might start visiting their forum, and read what is going on with other users, and that might give you a feel for whether the program is suited for you. You should be able to find the forum readily, but if you have any problem, let me know and I'll find the link and post it.

George
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:49 PM   #9
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Thank you George and Mimi for your information.
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:43 PM   #10
Mimi Rogers
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Johnnyboy and George,

See my post "What DTP Software do you use? -- Serif now!".

Susan
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