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design-is
Jul 7, 2009, 09:02 AM
Hi all

One of the more (most) mundane things I have the 'privilege' of doing in my day job is preparing the order forms.

The artwork is in QuarkXpress with all the items listed and shuffling the tables around and inputting the new data / deleting the discontinued products is a right pain in the a$$. Tables are not Quarks friend.

Just wondered if anyone had any tips, experience or suggestions on alternative software or approaches which would make the job more painless?

Cheers for any advice :)

/Doug



bbeers
Jul 7, 2009, 09:41 AM
Hi all

One of the more (most) mundane things I have the 'privilege' of doing in my day job is preparing the order forms.

The artwork is in QuarkXpress with all the items listed and shuffling the tables around and inputting the new data / deleting the discontinued products is a right pain in the a$$. Tables are not Quarks friend.

Just wondered if anyone had any tips, experience or suggestions on alternative software or approaches which would make the job more painless?

Cheers for any advice :)

/Doug

An alternative to Quark is Adobe InDesign. This might start the which is better InDesign vs Quark battle that seems to never end, but I feel that they both do what they are suppose to. I personally like InDesign better. I feel the interface is more user-friendly.

design-is
Jul 7, 2009, 09:49 AM
I agree, InDesign is so much nicer to work with (my personal fave too, but 'the company' uses Quark for some unknown reason - "always have, always will" I think...), though it seems to handle tables nearly as badly as Quark.

I'm convinced there must be a streamlined way to produce order forms...

Maybe I'm just dreaming?

bbeers
Jul 7, 2009, 10:25 AM
The only other program that I know of, and have used a little, is Adobe's LifeCycle. If is specifically for making forms, both interactive and non-interactive. I don't know if you have played with the forms functions (http://www.thedesigncubicle.com/2008/12/how-to-create-interactive-pdf-forms-to-impress-your-clients/) in Acrobat Pro, but LifeCycle helps to create them.

The only real catch with LifeCycle is that it is Windows only, might not be a problem for you, but for me it makes it a little harder to use. (I hate having to boot camp for one program)

http://www.adobe.com/products/livecycle/designer/
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/livecycle/

hope this helps.

design-is
Jul 7, 2009, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the suggestion bbeers. I've come accross LiveCycle in the past and have used it for creating a few interactive forms.

I don't think it is capable of the sort of thing we need though, at least not easier than Quark, even if Quark is clunky. Not sure it can produce print ready spreads either.

To gain a better understanding of the form that gets amended I've attached a thumbnail of the inside of one of our order forms.

Cheers for the ideas though! Much appreciated :)

/Doug

jbennardo
Jul 7, 2009, 10:45 AM
Count me in for InDesign... tables are so flexible and easy to use! I haven't used Quark in nearly 3 years. Good luck to you - unfortunately forms and crap like that is the some of the less glamorous parts of being a designer. :)

bbeers
Jul 7, 2009, 10:51 AM
Do you have the tables that you are creating in a file like excel? Because if you do you could possible be able to use the link to external data feature (http://www.creativepro.com/article/quarkxpress-how-to-set-the-table-in-quarkxpress)(located half way down the page.)

Just trying to come up with some thing. Thankfully I don't have to work with tables all that often. Anyways best of luck.

Kwill
Jul 7, 2009, 01:14 PM
In your case, Quark XTensions

http://www.thepowerxchange.com/

Search: - QuarkXPress XTension / database

design-is
Jul 8, 2009, 03:33 AM
Thanks guys, I'll have a look into these options!