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Old 11-10-2007, 12:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bensheim View Post
… would like to ask if anyone else here is using Pages in iWorks 08 for professional dtp?

Our needs are light - no images, no adverts, no colour. Everything is mono, text, tables, and some copy+pasted graphs from another application which I know I can upgrade to OS X.

I havn't actually seen Pages, but have seen the promotional pictures of it on Apple's website. I'm assuming I have little to worry about?
I have never heard of anyone using Pages in a commercial setting. And if it were still iWork ’06, I would say you should forget about it.

But I installed iWork ’08 and pages is much improved. I think you will be all right — with a few caveats.

The program seems to offer pretty good control over the arrangement of page elements. Text will wrap around an inserted box, for example, and you can set the gutter.

It doesn’t seem to be very automated, but I see where you can improve that aspect: set up master paragraph and character style sheets and save a layout (set of pages) as a template so you can have consistent layout and text formatting at the click of a mouse, and so on. I suspect you will figure that out as you go along.

If you plan on printing remotely, you will almost certainly need to make a PDF of your output. No shame in that; that is how most InDesign and QuarkXPress pages are output these days. But you might need to buy Acrobat Pro to have good control over the PDFs if you are sending them to the printer.

You have pretty good control over text formatting, but none at all over what typographers call H&Js (hyphenation & justification) which give you the ability to fine-tune to compensate for a poorly spaced font (or one used at a size it was not designed for). There is a dangerous little tool Apple calls tracking which increases or reduces letter-spacing by percentage (of what is not precisely clear, as there are no spaces between letters — I assume it adds space or shoves letters closer together).

But all in all, I think it is probably better than Word at most of these things and cheaper (and probably easier to learn, especially if you have not already learned other layout programs).

If your pages need to have articles jump to a back (or some other) page, you will probably want to use the layout part of Pages; the text part is really like a word processor, making it difficult to jump, insert a new story on a page, and so on.

Sorry I do not have actual experience with Pages, but thought some of these comments might be helpful anyway. I think I will replace TextEdit with it.

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