Desktop Publishing Software Review
Software for desktop publishing has become very sophisticated. With all the bells and whistles, how do you choose which software package is right for you? The descriptions, pros and cons and features list below for InDesign and QuarkXpress should help you choose, whether you are a designer, self publisher, student or just a hobbyist who likes to create beautiful electronic and printed documents using the top software . Of course, since this is a site about self-publishing, we recommend the very best.
The benefits of Adobe InDesign which is part of Adobe CS4 (Creative Suite) is that it is sophisticated software that includes an integrated set of products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Dreamweaver and more. You simply can't go wrong with products that make all the facets of design into a seamless process, particularly if you're an independent publisher, small press, design house or independent graphic artist.
Of course, sophisticated features always come at a price which means that Adobe InDesign can be difficult to learn. This is mostly what new users complain about, but this has given rise to a cottage industry that will teach you exactly how to use InDesign.
Note: Since there are many new features in Adobe CS6 that were not in CS5, if you choose to go with InDesign, it is recommended that you get the latest version of the software.
Of course, the same can be said of QuarkXpress which has excellent features for creating electronic documents and also has the ability to create documents in many different languages as well as transform glyphs in to text boxes, along with many other features, most of which are listed in the comparison chart below.
The best way to use the chart below is to look for the features that are most important to you and make your choice that way. Keep in mind that both of these software packages offer more features than you will have the time to learn.
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|Imports Files Directly||Yes, but you have to draw the text boxes.||Yes, Quark automatically creates the container boxes for text and images, also supports drag and drop|
|Links Panel||Yes, shows all embedded and linked graphics, stacks and repeats with linked page numbers, so you can quickly jump around in a document.||Yes, QuarkXpress has great support for electronic publishing.|
|Ability to position, size & rotate items (and spreads) interactively||Yes, has workspace switcher, self-adjusting panels, tabbed documents, and tiled windows.||Yes, with multiple grids and baseline grid feature. Excellent hanging drop characters.|
|Preflighting||Yes, allows you to check complex documents before printing||Need preflighting software.|
|Advanced features for handling long documents||Yes, InDesign allows you to create dynamic links to text anchors or paragraphs based on style tags||Yes, but not as well as InDesign|
|Handles multiple versions of a document||Yes, allows you to create different catalogs with different regional pricing and content||Yes|
|Can easily add text links and rollovers||Yes, also has page curl support for pdfs||Yes, plus support for animation and video|
|Flash video support & SWF Authoring||No||Yes, supports scripting and video playback. This is a big plus for digital publishers. Also supports interactivity. Load and play ideo and add animations|
|Integrates with other programs||Yes, with other programs in CS4 suite like Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, etc||No|
Now that you have checked out the desktop publishing software review comparison chart, here are the best prices on this high end software:
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