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InDesign adopts orphaned PageMaker users

Adobe unveils a new version of its InDesign page layout application that incorporates tools from its aging predecessor.

Adobe Systems unveiled a conversion strategy Monday for customers still using its orphaned PageMaker page design and layout application.

It has been more than two years since Adobe last updated PageMaker, meaning the application has yet to acquire native support for Apple Computer's Mac OS X operating system. Instead, Adobe has focused resources on InDesign, a more robust design and layout application that has slowly been gaining ground against market leader QuarkXPress.

But many PageMaker users have remained loyal to the product, especially people who don't do graphics work full time but occasionally have to produce fliers or other printed material as part of their job, said Jo Ann Buckner, senior product manager for Adobe.

Those customers--primarily in business and education--have become accustomed to PageMaker's tools and don't do layout work often enough to justify learning a whole new way of working. Yet they'd like to have access to new features in other Adobe products, such as OS X support and compatibility with Adobe's Creative Suite package.

"Since we released the Creative Suite, a lot of PageMaker customers have been asking, 'What does this mean for me?'" Buckner said.

Adobe's answer is a new version of InDesign--InDesign CS PageMaker Edition, for both Windows and Mac OS X systems--that outfits InDesign with major PageMaker tools such as the InBooklet publishing package and Story Editor text editor. The new edition also includes numerous templates, tutorials and shortcuts to guide PageMaker users and can read and manipulate PageMaker files.

"We want to make it very clear for users, this is how you did it in PageMaker, this is how you do it in InDesign," Buckner said. "We think that with just a couple hours of experience, PageMaker users will be doing everything they used to do in PageMaker."

InDesign CS PageMaker Edition is set to go on sale in the first quarter of 2004, priced at $349 for the standalone version or $49 for a PageMaker Plug-In Pack that incorporates PageMaker tools into an existing copy of InDesign. The new edition will also be included in a new configuration of the Creative Suite package, which includes Photoshop and Illustrator.