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Old 06-20-2006, 08:39 AM   #1
AndreCampeau
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Default Identify Mac or PC inDesign doc

We get inDesign documents to output but it can be very hard to identify what platform they were created on. The document opens on the Mac or PC and the fonts can be loaded also. It's not like Quark that will advise you that the document is being converted from one platform to another.

Is there a way to tell?

thanks.

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Old 06-20-2006, 08:47 AM   #2
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I was thinking File > File Info... might say which platform, but looking at that with documents I've created I see no mention of platform. Unfortunately I don't have any ID documents created on the other platform that I can test with.

   
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:19 AM   #3
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andre: Is there a way to tell?
I just took a look at ID docs that I know were created on the mac side (I'm pc based) and there is nothing in the File > Info to indicate that and nothing in my ID pc files either--other than the ID version of CS3.01...

The question is, why do you need to know? Theoretically, it should be transparent across platforms. The only "problem", I've ever run into is fonts--not having the particular font that was used in the mac side ID file or having the font but the pc-side name is different...

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Old 06-20-2006, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie
The question is, why do you need to know? Theoretically, it should be transparent across platforms. The only "problem", I've ever run into is fonts--not having the particular font that was used in the mac side ID file or having the font but the pc-side name is different...
Font problems are huge in publishing — even different versions of the same font (say an Adobe font from before they added the euro character vs one after, with the latter used in the job).

Now OpenType theoretically solves all that, but many graphic designers and typographers I know still use a great many good old PostScript Type 1 fonts. Across platforms they are often a catastrophe.

   
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:54 AM   #5
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kt: Now OpenType theoretically solves all that, but many graphic designers and typographers I know still use a great many good old PostScript Type 1 fonts. Across platforms they are often a catastrophe.
I was fortunate never to have a catastrophe with the ID files I was receiving although it took me a bit to get the hang of what I needed to do but that was more a factor of my inexperience than a problem with the fonts...

It turned out that I had all the fonts that were used in the mag but they were named a bit differently. Once I got that figured out, it wasn't a big deal to set things right--no pun intended...'-}}

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Old 06-20-2006, 12:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by terrie
It turned out that I had all the fonts that were used in the mag but they were named a bit differently. Once I got that figured out, it wasn't a big deal to set things right--no pun intended...'-}}
Sometimes that works, sometimes not if the versions were slightly different (and they could be, from one date to another; Adobe reconciled its font names at one point — before that, all bets were off). The page might survive, but only by hanging by a typographic thread!

Eventually, OpenType will take care of most of these problems. We will have lost much in font technology, but gained at least cross-platform compatibility. OT is a great boon for Windows users who want to work in the publishing business.

   
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreCampeau
Is there a way to tell?
With the document open, hod down the Command and Option keys and choose About InDesign from the InDesign menu. You will see the full document history (and more).

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Old 06-20-2006, 06:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for that great tip Shane. I just tried it on my Mac at home and it gives all the info we need. I'll give it a try on the PCs at work tomorrow. I'm assuming Control and Alt would work on the PC. We get documents from non professionals with all kinds of fonts they find here and there. Knowing what platform would just make it easier without the guess work. Unfortunately, most of the documents we receive are made from Microsoft Publisher! Yuk. It's not easy putting those document through an Apogee X workflow.
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Old 06-20-2006, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Stanley
With the document open, hod down the Command and Option keys and choose About InDesign from the InDesign menu. You will see the full document history (and more).
FABULOUS! You rock, Shane!

   
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:42 PM   #10
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There might also be problems if placed graphics in Mac files have PICT previews, which may show up as gray boxes on PC. That happens in Quark -- not sure about ID, since I can't remember what happened last time I opened a Mac ID file.

And as KT says, font substitution can be a real horror. Even if you replace the exact same font from the same foundry and both versions have the same names, text is likely to reflow somewhere.

It's not a big deal in a small job (say one or two pages), but in a large project it could be more trouble than it's worth.

And don't get me started on the different keyboard layouts! Twice I've had clients send my PC files to printers who output to film from Macs, and the fractions turned into ligatures. The clients didn't notice it on the bluelines and the jobs were printed with the incorrect characters.

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