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Old 05-26-2007, 08:11 PM   #1
marlene
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Default QuarkXpress vs. InDesign: pick me a winner

I'm starting to work on a big new project (a magazine) and need to decide whether to use Quark 7 or InDesign (I've got CS2 now, but I'll probably upgrade soon). Both on PC (XP, SP2).

The big advantage of using Quark is that I've used it for many years and I know how to do its thangs, so I can work faster. I'm still learning InDesign, and often have to stop to figure things out or look stuff up (or post messages).

Even though I've done a couple of good-sized projects in InDesign, I can't pick a clear winner. Each program has pros and cons.

I'm getting a lot of old PageMaker files, which open in InDesign, but I have an Xtension that lets me open PM files in Quark (I'm not sure the Xtension works in Quark 7 -- probably not -- but I still have Quark 6.5 installed).

I find InDesign's font handling very annoying, but I guess I'd get used to it. Having to select a font every time instead of just clicking the bold, italic, or bold-italic button involved so much extra work on my last project, my mouse hand hurt. Maybe there's an easier way to select and apply a font that I haven't discovered yet.

And I HATE that there's no keyboard shortcut in InD for making a word nonbreaking (sounds like a small thing but I use that feature in Quark all the time), but maybe that's changed in CS3.

However, I do want to become competent (comfortable and fast) in InDesign, and the only way to do it is to use it, so maybe that's enough reason to do this new project in InD.

Any thoughts on my quandary?

mxh
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Old 05-27-2007, 03:57 AM   #2
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Maybe there's an easier way to select and apply a font that I haven't discovered yet.
It's called character styles. Unlike those in Quark, you can set them to deal with just the attributes that you want. Then give them keyboard shortcuts.

Or you can still use the traditional keyboard equivalents for bold and italic if the fonts have the correct style linking.

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And I HATE that there's no keyboard shortcut in InD for making a word nonbreaking
So add one! Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts.

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Old 05-27-2007, 08:19 AM   #3
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I don't use either. So simply going by what you described, I'd say the clear choice for this project is Quark. It is easier, faster, and meets the requirements of the project. Also, if your mouse hand starts hurting from using InDesign, it would be very bad to be right in the middle of a book and have this happen. Trying to push through hand problems risks chronic hand problems.

But during or after the project it would be a good idea to get all your questions answered. Such as whether ID can change to bold, etc. with a mouse click. Whether your Pagemaker Xtension will work, etc.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:38 AM   #4
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Marlene:

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I find InDesign's font handling very annoying, but I guess I'd get used to it. Having to select a font every time instead of just clicking the bold, italic, or bold-italic button
That would be annoying to a Windows user, but is it true? I thought linked styles remained linked. Of course, not every font has all the usual links, so you have to remember which ones haven't got certain links; but the roman usually has all three.

   
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:47 PM   #5
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I was leaning toward Quark for the reasons you mentioned, but I've discovered that my old Xtension that converts PageMaker files to Quark does not work in Quark 7 (or version 6 -- I'd never tried it, since I so rarely get PageMaker files), and Markzware no longer produces the Xtension for PC, only for Mac.

That's one thing I always hated -- a lot of Xtensions haven't been made available (or kept updated) for Windows users.

Anyway, this means I'd need to use Quark 5 (which I still have installed) every time I got a new PageMaker file, convert it using my old Xtension, close it, and then reopen the file in Quark 7.

I'm not sure I want to keep jumping through so many hoops, when InDesign will open the PageMaker files directly.

If I start working in InDesign and get really stuck, I can buy a Xtension to convert InDesign files to Quark (and that one IS available for PC).

Life was easier when I only had ONE page layout program!

mxh
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:51 PM   #6
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That would be annoying to a Windows user, but is it true?
Maybe not. It could very well be the way I imported my Word files into InDesign. After experimenting with various methods for a week, I had finally cut to the chase and get started on the project. Then, halfway through the project, I realized I was importing the Word files in a way that created much extra work for me, and I changed my procedure.

And part of the problem is that I was using OT typefaces that had lots of fonts -- regular, bold, semibold, condensed, etc. If I had been working with nice small nuclear font families (four members), I probably wouldn't have run into so many problems.

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Old 05-27-2007, 02:29 PM   #7
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I think I've decided to do this project in InDesign, since I can't convert the PageMaker files directly to Quark 7.

I think most of my problems stem from the fact that I haven't figured out the best way to get text from Word into InDesign.

I found out how to create character styles in Word (for bolds, italics, etc.) but when I imported those files, a lot of the character-styled text was in the wrong font. Probably there's a way to fix that, but I couldn't figure it out.

Then I tried just importing the Word files as is, which was more successful. But I think another problem is that I was using OT typefaces with a lot of font variations -- lights, bolds, semibolds, condensed, etc. (rather than the Windows standard four-member font families).

I know there's the Xtags plug-in that would let me import Quark-tagged Word files into InDesign, but it's pretty expensive. I did download the demo, and will try it out, but it looks pretty complicated.

Quote:
Or you can still use the traditional keyboard equivalents for bold and italic if the fonts have the correct style linking.
Probably the fonts I was using did not have style linking. And I didn't know there WERE keyboard shortcuts -- I just found them in the help file.

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So add one! Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts.
I can't figure out how to add nonbreaking word as a shortcut ... and I can't find it in the help files.

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Old 05-27-2007, 03:50 PM   #8
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I can't figure out how to add nonbreaking word as a shortcut ... and I can't find it in the help files.
Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts, Product Area -> Palette Menus -> Character:No Break, Context -> Text.

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Old 05-27-2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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Marlene:

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It could very well be the way I imported my Word files into InDesign
That problem may be caused by your Word styles' having the same names as InDesign styles, in which case the InDesign styles override the Word styles (I think that's the way most page-layout programs work).

As I've said, the 'regular' roman is almost always linked to its equivalent italic, bold, and bold italic, but I've got some of these enormous type families: one of them has 35 members. They're a trap for the unwary, especially the 'Black', which if you click 'Bold' as well turns into a very fat black indeed.

   
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Old 05-27-2007, 04:53 PM   #10
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Anyway, this means I'd need to use Quark 5 (which I still have installed) every time I got a new PageMaker file, convert it using my old Xtension, close it, and then reopen the file in Quark 7.

If I start working in InDesign and get really stuck, I can buy a Xtension to convert InDesign files to Quark (and that one IS available for PC).
Assuming the InDesign/Quark Xtension works correctly. I'd hate to be in the middle of a project, expecting a translation program to get me out of trouble, only to find out it had lots of glitches the reviewers forgot to mention.

But I guess a lot of this depends on the time crunch. If I were pressed for time, and the newer tool looked like a pain, I'd do it with the old tool, just to be safe. Then, after the project was over, I'd probably redo a small part of the project in the new tool as a test, and see if I could solve the problems.
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