How Adobe InDesign took over publishing with Steve Jobs' help



  • Reply 21 of 33
    I can still remember keyboard shortcuts for Quark. Their terrible customer service left a mark on me and I leaned into InDesign on day one.
  • Reply 22 of 33
    lmasanti said:
    I still having some problems in InDesign CC 2019 that I have from CC4!
    And as for integration or even similar interfaces, ID-PS-AI still are three horses! They do not even interact correctly!
    In InDesign editing in an enlarged main window is like a torture. The programs do not take into account FontBook settings.

    And I still missing the single desktop metaphor of PageMaker for all the pages: ID is like having a table for each page!

    It seems to me that all the work done is to please Adobe: non native UI, full of ‘buy Adobe’ and so on…

    In the history lane… did somebody use ReadySetGo?
    Yes. ReadySetGo was once the mainstream DTP program of the Macintosh Plus/SE era. It later evolved to DesignStudio in Letraset’s Studio software series along with ImageStudio and ColorStudio. Then Photoshop came and killed ImageStudio, QXP killed DesignStudio, only ColorStudio survived for a while to be finally sold to Corel and evolve to Painter.
    edited September 2019
  • Reply 23 of 33
    The "most recent two versions" issue is actually a huge problem for InDesign, because it has a unique document format for each release (CC2017, CC2019 etc.). That means that if you want to collaborate, with two users working on the same file, they have to be using the same version of InDesign. (There is an interchange format (IDML) which works back to CS4, but it's a version control mess, because you must save a new file every time you open one.)

    Corporate IT departments don't always install the correct version of software, nor do they always update it regularly. This means that in a couple of years, a single user moving to a new machine could easily force an entire company into updating InDesign, just so they can continue to work together. It's a ticking time bomb.

    But overall, competition is definitely welcome in this space. 
  • Reply 24 of 33
    In addition to Quark’s arrogance towards their user base (I inadvertently overheard Fred Ibrahim bad mouthing their customers at a MacWorld conference, hubris in all caps), they made a tactical error of astonishing proportion when they didn’t buy Macromedia. Adobe did, though sadly they did so to kill it rather than run with some great programs. Illustrator took more than a decade to incorporate the simple yet powerful tools Freehand had from the ’90s. Imagine how differently things might have been with a suit of QXP, Freehand, and xRes. Not to mention Flash and Dreamweaver. I suffered through QXP 4, didn’t upgrade my department to 5, and when 6 didn’t fix 5, and charged users double to upgrade from 4, I made the risky move of jumping to InDesign. Since my department was the publishing arm of the College Board, that meant our 3,000 plus member universities, colleges and high schools got to see first hand the difference, and many followed our lead.
  • Reply 25 of 33
    i recall quark had lots of functionality added via extensions and plugins that publishers depended upon for their massive flows. Talking bout national circulation full colour publications, not the local bawls club newsletter. And this made it hard for people to upgrade and for the companies to want to upgrade.

    I also recall using pagemaker and quark, the latter was definitely the best at the time. But in small time business, I saw many people use freehand for multi page leaflets etc and some masochists even photoshop. I switched to indesign relatively early and had switched the studio I was working at to Macs once the intel macs were released. Those were painful days as prior to intel versions of adobe products were released, they were slow, buggy and crash prone. Though, the promise of native intel adobe suite apps was what led us down that path. And upgrading was prohibitive. If you had version 3 you’d probably use it till you needed to acquire a new license for a new employee. And you’d keep multiple versions running of sw for compatibility. Nightmares ensued.

    These days however, though people criticize the subscription model, I think it makes the most sense for many people. I use 3 pieces of the software from the suite which were individually much more than a years subscription. And you also get acrobat pro which is a necessary evil. And if I need another piece of software every now and then, such as after effects, which I might use a couple of times a year, it’s there.

    There are several issues, like with other software. They are in the habit of making changes for changes’ sake. For example, After 30 years or so, they changed keyboard shortcuts etc. Also for sw meant to be tightly integrated, the kB shortcuts for basic things differ greatly and rarely make sense and certain editing tools behave vastly differently across the apps. They can also be bulky, slow software too. It’s the price you pay for multi platform sw. 

    Indesign is my favourite sw adobe produce though. But I’m interested to see what leaner, hungrier companies like affinity do. My main production tool is sketch and it’s awesome and hopefully such sw sends a message to adobe...
  • Reply 26 of 33
    sflocal said:
    DAalseth said:
    This covers an interesting arc. Adobe went from an ambitious upstart trying to unseat an established, albeit arrogant, standard, to becoming the arrogant standard.

    Right now I do whatever I can to avoid using Adobe software. The final straw was when they went to overpriced rental software that forced updates whether you wanted them or not. They are just abusive and arrogant and overpriced. Fortunately I don't HAVE to use it for my work so I have the option. More and more though, I hear from my friends that DO use it that they are looking at alternatives or at least wish they could use alternatives. And alternatives ARE out there. The unrest is growing. Soon options will appear and Adobe is going to be unseated.

    I'm Betting On AFFINITY
    I remember the years of paying over $1,500 for whatever version of photoshop, only to upgrade a few years later like clockwork.

    Now I pay $10/mo for PS AND Lightroom.  It would take 10+ years to pay that for one version of PS I paid years ago.  

    Not sure what math you’re using, but it’s a bargain compared to what I was paying.  Sure, they’re arrogant, but what company isn’t? 

    The economics of going with Adobe was just better than going with a small player that I’m not sure would be around in a few years.
    That $10 per month gets you Photoshop, not InDesign. Neither does it include Illustrator, which some may argue is as essential to the print production chain as Photoshop.

    The cost for what’s described in the article is $53 per month for a freelancer or $80 per month for a shop. Compare that to what the Master Collection used to cost and it’s comparable. Compared to the old Print Collection it works out to more.

    It used to be possible to manage cost somewhat by selecting a package with only the apps you needed. Now your choices are only Photoshop/Lightroom or everything they produce. You can, obviously, still subscribe to individual apps, but the cost saving is gone.
  • Reply 27 of 33
    Adobe has been very lucky at times. Like the time they got caught flat-footed not using Xcode and thus no “one click” transition to Mac Intel demoed at WWDC 2005. It would be two years before they would have Mac Intel support in CS3.   They weathered it, but WWDC 2006 had to be awkward for Adobe devs. 
  • Reply 28 of 33
    tobiantobian Posts: 152member

    An initial win for InDesign was in its typesetting capabilities, and in how speedily it performed. Equally, though, it required some at-the-time hefty Mac gear to have that performance. Adobe said it needed a G3 processor with 128MB of RAM. Even by 2002, QuarkXPress 5 needed only a PowerPC processor and 20MB RAM.

    Better to say G3 and pre-G3 processor, or maybe better PowerPC 750 and PowerPC 60X processor. This is Apple-focused site, not some all electronics pr-article site, right?
    But a very good article, thank you!
  • Reply 29 of 33
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,889administrator
    tobian said:

    An initial win for InDesign was in its typesetting capabilities, and in how speedily it performed. Equally, though, it required some at-the-time hefty Mac gear to have that performance. Adobe said it needed a G3 processor with 128MB of RAM. Even by 2002, QuarkXPress 5 needed only a PowerPC processor and 20MB RAM.

    Better to say G3 and pre-G3 processor, or maybe better PowerPC 750 and PowerPC 60X processor. This is Apple-focused site, not some all electronics pr-article site, right?
    But a very good article, thank you!
    A G3 is a PowerPC processor. Not all PowerPC processors are G3, as you're aware.

    QXP5 ran on the 601 in the 6100/66 through that G3, so saying that it needed a "PowerPC" is fine without further elaboration.
    edited September 2019
  • Reply 30 of 33
    If I remember correctly, a huge catalyst for InDesign was they shipped a OS X version way earlier than Quark. As people were excited to switch to OS X, InDesign was ready to go so people gave it a look. Once Adobe started adding InDesign in with Creative Suite, the rest was history. Even if you weren't interested in InDesign, you were getting it anyways when you needed to purchase Photoshop or Illustrator, so people naturally gave it a shot.

    Quark has never and will never recover from that mistake if you ask me.
  • Reply 31 of 33
    There's one additional element to this publishing story: Adobe FrameMaker. Adobe bought FrameMaker from Frame Technologies in 1995. It was a tool for writing large documentation sets (think manuals of thousands of pages). At some point even Apple used Frame for their documentation.

    Sadly, despite having a UNIX version at the time, it never made the move to Mac OS X. 

    (I don't think you'd ever use InDesign to cross reference an entire entire encyclopedia of information. Maybe it's better at large documents now?)

    > it never made the move to Mac OS X. 
    I believe Adobe bought FrameMaker at version 5 and the first Adobe release was 5.5. FrameMaker was available on the Mac OS until version 7.0.
  • Reply 32 of 33
    Another thing that made InDesign dominate was the cost-saving bundling of the software into Creative Suites: Publishing Suite, Web Suite, Video Suite, and Master Suite. Since most Quark users also used Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat, it make sense to purchase the Publishing Suite just for those three programs--InDesign came "along for the ride". 

    At the time, Quark was expensive to purchase and upgrade. Schools and Universities switched to InDesign since the software was already in the suite and the could save money by not upgrading Quark. Students moved out into the workforce, bringing their software preference with them. 

    Businesses also realized the substantial savings and switched a lot of design departments over to InDesign--sometimes kicking and screaming!

    Quark tried their own bundles with Corel and, if I recall correctly, even had their own photo editor for a time, but nothing caught on. 
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