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Basic Desktop Publishing Software

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I have done a lot of newsletters, flyers, etc. using Microsoft Publisher on a PC. What would be a good option for this in OS X? Does Publisher have an OS X version? I'm looking to avoid the cost of, say, Adobe Pagemaker but hoping to still have a lot of flexibility with graphics and text.

Also Publisher doesn't do all that well with web page construction although they've made some strides.

Ideas? Suggestions?
post #2 of 35
My recommendation:

<a href="http://www.stone.com" target="_blank">Stone Studio</a>, specifically, Create. It does page layout, illustration, and web layout. It's simple to figure out, has pretty deep feature set, and it's not expensive either. This and other applications like it are far better than Publisher.

There are tons of these kinds of applications for the Mac. Check out <a href="http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/" target="_blank">Apple's software downloads</a>, <a href="http://www.versiontracker.com" target="_blank">Version Tracker</a>, or <a href="http://www.macupdate.com" target="_blank">MacUpdate</a> for more titles.

[added]...then again, maybe <a href="http://www.apple.com/appleworks/" target="_blank">AppleWorks</a> will do the trick for you.

[ 06-26-2002: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]</p>
post #3 of 35
You seriously should look at InDesign, your printer will be much happier. I know it's expensive, but having it done in a correct program will save you money in the long run. Your printer is probably charging you extra currently, just because you're using a bad program.

But if you still wanna go cheap i suggest Deneba Canvas. It's a great program, and it can do color correction, illustration and page layout. It might even be able to do web pages. and it's $300 cheaper than InDesign.

Stay away from Stone Studio Create, for the time being at least. It's a decent product but it's too new doesn't allow for bleeds and is just a layout app, wheras Canvas is an all in one. Plus Canvas has been around for a while and most of the Prepress shops should have a copy.
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post #4 of 35
Freehand is the way i'd go. very underated for page layout purposes. multiple pages are a snap (each your heart out illustrator). solid vector drawing app that has been around for a long while and it works well on web stuff too. Fairly inexpensive. hell you might even qualify for competitive upgrade for owning publisher (be worth asking about).
post #5 of 35
My impression was that this person is looking for something more basic, no?
post #6 of 35
[quote]I'm looking to avoid the cost of, say, Adobe Pagemaker but hoping to still have a lot of flexibility with graphics and text. <hr></blockquote>

this would leave me to believe that he wants some nifty features but doesn't really want spend a lot of cash to get them, basically.
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Nifty features. Cheap. Easier layout than, say, Word. That's what I'm looking for. I have to say I've really liked Publisher when using a PC. I can crank out stuff fast and the Word Art, Layout Guides, etc. have made it possible to put out some good looking stuff. What I've not been able to do well with it is bleeds, much alterations with pictures, and web publishing. This is for a non-profit organization.
post #8 of 35
any of the stuff mentioned above will make publisher seem like it was chump as far feature sets go.

quark, indesign and pagemaker are all pure page layout programs. that's what they do well, nothing else. anyone saying otherwise is selling you something stinky.

stone design... well, don't no squat about it other than it's fairly cheap. i wouldn't hold my breath for printer support though.

canvas is not bad as far as a swiss army knife approach goes. Has bitmap editing capabilities, web features, yada yada yada. Been around for a while and you might get lucky and find some printer out there that knows what to do with the files it generates.

corel draw. avoid it like the plague.

illustrator and freehand are old pros at print stuff. pretty much the king turds on $hit island of drawing programs depending on where you're located. Both are fairlly similar in features and flexibilty but freehand can do mutipage layout and has better web mumbo jumbo.

[ 06-26-2002: Message edited by: running with scissors ]</p>
post #9 of 35
If only Apple could learn to make products that cover similar territory without driving each other out of existence as well as Adobe.
post #10 of 35
Here are my recomendations.
Easiest and least expensive (free) is AppleWorks. Don't laugh. It offers many features if you takea second to learn them.
After that, I would make the money and time investment to learn InDesign. Stone Studio is a distant third. Difficult to learn.
post #11 of 35
OK,

I don't think anyone's helped you here much !

If you want to keep your printer happy, you will have to use Quark 4 (NOT version 5) ! See if you can get a v4 CD off a dealer cheap.

There are no other alternatives - that's why the majority of design studios use it ! It will, of course, run in Classic, but since it will probably be your only program running in Classic, this isn't such a problem. Carbonised version by the years end, apparently.

Quark has a difficult learning curve, but there are some excellent books for it available.

Proof of the pudding, as they say - pretend you want to be a designer or artworker, ring up a few agencies specialising in design & repro work, and tell them you use one of the other packages listed above.... "thank you, we will be in touch"...
post #12 of 35
not to slam your opinion but i think you missed the boat on this one arny and obviously didn't pay much attention to his posts. he requires a relativley inexpensive and flexible program that will allow him to design various types of print projects with web capabilities.

quark , even an older version like 4.x is going to be pricey not to mention limited in what it can do. we're not talking about an anual report or a 40 page sales catalogue here, just newsletters, letterhead, and the like. if he goes with quark or even indesign as you suggest, he will still need some sort of drawing or image editing app to do any descent work. besides, who wants to get stuck doing all their design in a layout program? not me.
post #13 of 35
[quote]Proof of the pudding, as they say - pretend you want to be a designer or artworker, ring up a few agencies specialising in design & repro work, and tell them you use one of the other packages listed above.... "thank you, we will be in touch" <hr></blockquote>

this is only true, for the most part, when dealing with production type jobs. a design firm couldn't give a $hit what program that you used as long as the work looks good.
post #14 of 35
Yes, Quark 4 won't be that cheap - but no more expensive than Freehand or InDesign - and there isn't a lot you can do in Freehand that can't be done in Quark - transparency is the only one that springs to mind. Quark doesn't just do layouts!

Anyway, if you want to do single page jobs, Freehand or Illustrator is fine, but not multi-page. I once had the nightmare of trying to sort out a multi-page Freehand file for print - if you send a Freehand file to a repro house, they will EPS it and drop it into Quark !

No program will really do great print & web - if you want simple web and print, use Appleworks, but don't plan on sending files out to anyone...
post #15 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by arnold2:
Yes, Quark 4 won't be that cheap - but no more expensive than Freehand or InDesign<hr></blockquote>

quark 4 will cost you at least $350-$450.
freehand with a competitive upgrade $129

[quote] - and there isn't a lot you can do in Freehand that can't be done in Quark - transparency is the only one that springs to mind. Quark doesn't just do layouts!<hr></blockquote>

your kidding right? complex vectors. superior art and font manipulation. Multi page layout, exports flash, gif, jpgs, psd, tiffs among many others. intergrates well with other macomedia and adobe apps. and yes it does transparency.

[quote]Anyway, if you want to do single page jobs, Freehand or Illustrator is fine, but not multi-page. I once had the nightmare of trying to sort out a multi-page Freehand file for print - <hr></blockquote>

freehand does multi pages fine. in fact i've known designers that use it exclusively for art and layout purposes without a hitch. i'm not talking about a simple brochure either, 30+ page anual reports. now that's not to say the way i do things, but hey, to each thier own. if you had probelms with pdfs and freehand i'd say who ever set up the doc in the first place f'd-up. not the app.

[quote]if you send a Freehand file to a repro house, they will EPS it and drop it into Quark !<hr></blockquote>

what's your point? they tend to do that with all files wether they came from freehand or illustrator or photoshop. quark has som great features and support for those guys that work the prepress side of the fence. great, good for them. it's part of their work flow. that doesn't mean we have to use quark too.

[quote]No program will really do great print & web - if you want simple web and print, use Appleworks, but don't plan on sending files out to anyone...<hr></blockquote>

hahahahahah. appleworks. good one. your killing me. that's a joke right?

[ 06-27-2002: Message edited by: running with scissors ]</p>
post #16 of 35
OK, lets cut the 'Quark' bashing.

In my experience I've met quite a few designers who have never learnt Quark properly, and therefore try to justify their ignorance by damning Quark. Quark does multi-page stuff better than anything else, and that is what this chap wants to do. You can't do web in Quark or Freehand, so that's another issue. Freehand & Illustrator are GREAT for some types of artwork, generally single page stuff, logos and the like - 'self-contained' artwork, if you will. But if you want to do multi-page stuff, you need Quark. No program does both, unfortunately.

I agree, Appleworks is xxxx !
post #17 of 35
who's bashing quark? i've used quark for the past 6+ years on both the production and creative sides of the fence. i know what it's capable of, and i know how to use it very well. i'll be the first to admit it's far from my favorite application. i'm sure my present and past co-workers have heard many four letter words creatively strung together in a symphony of "praise" for quark over the years issuing fourth from my office. there so many things that i hate about quark that i could go on for hours. that being said, have i made the move to indesign? no. why? because quark still does it's job better and more consitantly than anything out there. it is a layout program. sure you can do some design stuff with it, but why? it is so limited in that area. and as far as the web goes both illustrator and freehand have some very usefull and powerful web features, taking a lot of the leg work out publishing to the web. is this the only and best way to do web stuff, hell no, but it's not bad and it works. but what we keep going round and round about is you fail to see that freehand is quite capable of multi page layout at the professional level. again, i'm not saying it is the best app out there for that type of work but for what he's looking for it is the best solution.
post #18 of 35
er, I may be missing something, but how is Freehand or Illustrator going to help him do web stuff, apart from the image side of things. Can't do HTML in Illustrator !
post #19 of 35
If cost is an issue have a look at RagTime. It's like have Quark and MS Office in one program. It's really very powerful, and currently they have a single user adition available for free. Give it a go, I'm sure you'll like it!!


<a href="http://www.ragtime-online.com/" target="_blank">get ragtime here</a>
post #20 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by arnold2:
<strong>er, I may be missing something, but how is Freehand or Illustrator going to help him do web stuff, apart from the image side of things. Can't do HTML in Illustrator !</strong><hr></blockquote>

as far as illustrator goes, your right, but freehand can. not to shabby huh? both apps can export images as gifs, jpgs, and pngs. plus they also allows you to assign image maps and optimze images. there are numours free or inexpensive web apps out there that work on the mac, freeway springs to mind for more complex css bs. or hell, just start coding in textedit if need be.
post #21 of 35
I still think Quark is way easier and quicker to use than Freehand !
post #22 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by arnold2:
<strong>I still think Quark is way easier and quicker to use than Freehand !</strong><hr></blockquote>

your right. but then what? granted freehand has a lot extra stuff, most of which you'll never or should never use. but basic layout stuff, come on, how hard is to place an image in illustraor or freehand. you want type, select the type tool. easy peasy.
post #23 of 35
OK, we need to define easier. Let's say we have artwork with images (bitmaps) in. Fairly common, right? In Freehand or Illustrator, these programs attempt to EMBED the images into the doc. So if your doing a reasonable size newsletter, brochure etc, you are going to have a fair few images, yes? What you end up with is a MASSIVE file. Quark, sensibly, uses proxy images. Why? This has the advantage that you can have lower-resolution images as positionals, then easily substitute these for high-res ones when it comes to print time ! You can't do that in Freehand or Illustrator easily (yes, I know there's the links, but it's very clumsy), which is why no pro uses these programs for anything longer than 1 page.

As far as your earlier comment-
'what's your point? they tend to do that with all files wether they came from freehand or illustrator or photoshop. quark has some great features and support for those guys that work the prepress side of the fence. great, good for them. it's part of their work flow. that doesn't mean we have to use quark too.'
Sorry, I have 15 years experience in repro. Here's the deal and learn. Freehand, and to a lesser extent Illustrator, produce postscript files which the vast majority of RIPs on printers can't handle - all the nice transparency stuff etc. So to print it, you have to save the file as an EPS, normally version 8 unless it's a very new RIP. However, let's say we have made a 24 page doc in Freehand - what have repro got to do - make 24 EPS FILES !!! Then drop them into Quark. Kind of spoils the point of doing it in Freehand ? That's why pros do small stuff in vector programs, and layout in Quark. I think if I had to have 1 PROGRAM, Quark would be my choice.
post #24 of 35
[quote]OK, we need to define easier. Let's say we have artwork with images (bitmaps) in. Fairly common, right? In Freehand or Illustrator, these programs attempt to EMBED the images into the doc. So if your doing a reasonable size newsletter, brochure etc, you are going to have a fair few images, yes? What you end up with is a MASSIVE file. <hr></blockquote>

true with older versions of illustrator ( up until version 10), but freehand has had the option of linking to images (which is by default i believe) for years now. so there is no reason why you have to embed any image. no problems mate.

[quote]Sorry, I have 15 years experience in repro. Here's the deal and learn. Freehand, and to a lesser extent Illustrator, produce postscript files which the vast majority of RIPs on printers can't handle - all the nice transparency stuff etc. So to print it, you have to save the file as an EPS, normally version 8 unless it's a very new RIP. However, let's say we have made a 24 page doc in Freehand - what have repro got to do - make 24 EPS FILES !!! Then drop them into Quark. Kind of spoils the point of doing it in Freehand ?<hr></blockquote>

well, it only took me a year to realize the truth that your having such a hard time trying to see. this guy is not a repro guy. he does not care how the guys on the production end handle his job for the most part. he could care less what kind of rip it is being run on or what their work flow is. why should he, he is a designer. all he need to concern himself with is when he submits a job, it goes through and comes out the other end on time, on budget, and right.

i've worked for and with some of the best print and prepress companies in the country an have never had any hassles from them in regards to large freehand projects at any level. does it ever cost more money to do a freehand job? no. but who gives a $hit. he's not doing that scope of work any way. we are talking about fricking newsletters for god sake. not 20 + page brochures. why can't you see this. is quark a superior page layout program? yes. does it really matter in this case? no. let's move on.

oh yeah, before i forget, as far a transparency goes, no app really does it that well, except photoshop. illustrator's will give a rip opperator nightmares. indesign's is just as buggy, but freehands is not to bad and has been fairly usable for years. does that mean i would use it. no, there are better ways to do it, but it can be done if you know what the hell your doing.

[quote]That's why pros do small stuff in vector programs, and layout in Quark.<hr></blockquote>

for the most part your right, but as i've said in past posts i've known many seasoned top notch designers that not know there $hit and using freehand almost exclusively.

[quote]I think if I had to have 1 PROGRAM, Quark would be my choice. <hr></blockquote>

good for you, but then again your a repro guy, not a designer. quark is way to limited to be used for design work exclusively. any designer worth a damn would go out of their fricking minds using only quark.
post #25 of 35
where the hell did the guy who launched this ship go? did arny and i scare him off?
post #26 of 35
Oh dear, think we did !

"your a repro guy, not a designer".
Funny, the BBC hired me as one...

Hey maybe he should get Virtual PC, then he can still use Publisher ! In the new version it even does CMYK ! No, I'm not serious !!
post #27 of 35
[quote]"your a repro guy, not a designer".
Funny, the BBC hired me as one...<hr></blockquote>

i guess i shouldn't assume. my mistake.

[ 07-09-2002: Message edited by: running with scissors ]</p>
post #28 of 35
I think it is too expensive for him, but Frame Maker is a rather nice layout program for multi-page documents, and it does a good job of converting them to html.

Of course, it would still have to be run in classic.
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post #29 of 35
This is a spectator sport for me but please let me ask a question. Seems like I read repeatedly over the last couple years that .pdf was to be the new file format for publishing. In that case, use whatever app you like, export the content as a .pdf file and take that to the printer. Problems?
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post #30 of 35
yes lots of problems with pdf files. They're a good file format but only if made properly. which doesn't happen all that often without guidance, especially since acrobat distiller defaults to web settings when it makes pdf's.

But back to the topic. Try out <a href="http://www.deneba.com/products/canvas8/default2.html" target="_blank">Deneba Canvas</a>. It's an all in one that will do page layout, image retouching, illustration and web. And it's fairly cheap. This is one program I usually don't have a problem with when outputting film, and the web capabilities look good. I've recommended it to clients before and they have been very happy with it. They have a free evalution on their web site.
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post #31 of 35
[quote]
.pdf was to be the new file format for publishing
<hr></blockquote>

er, sort of ! If a job is set up properly, PDF files are a great way to send jobs out.

There lots of fun problems, though. There are 3 levels of PDF for a start - 1.2 to 1.4, and some RIP's don't like 1.4 - which unfortunately is the one that supports all the nice new things like transparency from Illustrator, etc.

Then you get RGB and spot colours in CMYK PDF files, and you need separate plug-ins for Acrobat to sort that out.

Best fun is if changes are needed to the text in a PDF - you still need the original font to do this - a special bummer if it's a PC font !

Most the time these problems are because designers insist on not pre-flighting their jobs before sending them out - they just distill the thing, presuming Acrobat will magic any problems away !

Checklist:
Check what version PDF the printer likes. Get him to send you a JobOptions file for Distiller with his settings in.

Pre-flight your jobs BEFORE distilling !

post #32 of 35
<a href="http://www.broderbund.com/Product.asp?OID=4147215&SC=0120056015&CID=545" target="_blank">http://www.broderbund.com/Product.asp?OID=4147215&SC=0120056015&CID=545</a>

The Print Shop sounds pretty good for you. New version just came out for OS X
post #33 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by applenut:
<strong><a href="http://www.broderbund.com/Product.asp?OID=4147215&SC=0120056015&CID=545" target="_blank">http://www.broderbund.com/Product.asp?OID=4147215&SC=0120056015&CID=545</a>

The Print Shop sounds pretty good for you. New version just came out for OS X</strong><hr></blockquote>

dear god, make it stop.
post #34 of 35
Wow. I haven't used Print Shop since the Apple ][ versions! I can remember when I thought people meant "Print Shop" when they said "Photoshop." Damn, I'm old.
post #35 of 35
Maybe I'm out of my league here, but Word, GraphicConvertor (&lt;$50), AppleWorks (Free), BBEdit Lite (Free), and Photoshop Elements (&lt;$99) are usually all I need for basic DTP such as flyers, newsletters and websites.
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