Better to Learn Word or InDesign?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by garycurtis, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. garycurtis macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2010
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    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #1
    With no good books out there (expert level) on Word '04, would my time be better spent hiring someone to teach me Macros on Word? Or should I just purchase InDesign and learn that in depth?

    My needs on creating documents fall somewhere between Pro and Wanna Be. I had 30 years in print publishing and have high tastes. But I'm retired, and yet every once and awhile I want to put together a document that looks impeccible.

    In older times, I had this problem answered. I used Word as a typewriter and PageMaker as a layout engine. So maybe my question is, how do Word ('04) and InDesign work in collaboration?
     
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

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    Jul 22, 2010
    #2
    You might want to consider either upgrading to the latest version of Office for Mac, or....look at Pages as alternatives. InDesign will most likely give you the best page layout options.

    Personally, I'd start with Pages and skip Word altogether.
     
  3. kps macrumors regular

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    Jan 10, 2008
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    kw.on.ca
    #3
    That rules out Word.
     
  4. swedefish macrumors 6502

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #4
    InDesign and Word play well together. I suggest you download a trial copy of InDesign (valid for 30 days I believe) and play around with it to see how you like it. It's a great piece of software, just sucks that it's an Adobe application.
     
  5. GrendelsBane macrumors newbie

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    Jun 1, 2011
    #5
    You need both Word and InDesign. Furthermore, if you're after "impeccible" documents, you will need to learn both thoroughly. They work as a team: Word for producing the original text documents and InDesign for laying out the pages. For those two jobs there are no better applications available. There are many learning resources out there. For InDesign I would suggest the Adobe Classroom in a Book series. For Word... too many to mention. You will also need at least some familiarity with Photoshop.
     
  6. garycurtis thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    So, if I take the two step approach to this, can I treat Word just as a text creation tool? And not try to learn much more than I presently know? --- By this I mean do I need to go deeply into Styles or Macros? I bring this up because the books on Word '04 are shallow.

    And how similar to Aldus PageMaker is InDesign? Are the tools pallets similar? The bugaboo always seemed to be object insertion: drop caps, text wrap around photos and images. And then the flow of text: widow problems, columns a bit too long, etc. Will my knowledge of PageMaker be of any value at all?

    You folks really sound like the cognoscenti. Thanks
     
  7. Osty macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2008
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    Melbourne, AU
    #7
    Certainly you need to learn to master styles (in both word and indesign) particularly if you are working on long documents with a lot of text. Alternatively as others have suggested, use Pages because it's a half decent word processor and page layout app. I've used it to typeset novels and book covers and I really appreciate how simple (and cheaper) it is compared to the Work/Indesign combination.

    Why do you need to learn macros? They are for automating Word (using VBA) and InDesign (using Javascript) and they are typically used to automate repititive tasks. Im a technical writer by profession and i use them in the enterprise to massage text, connect to and manipulate XML data sources and to have programatic control over document fields and variables.

    ----------

    I learnt Quark and PageMaker first and found it pretty easy to migrate my knowledge to Indesign. However that was back in 2002 and the programs looked much more similar then in terms of their toolbar layout and their feature set. Your knowledge of layout and typography will still apply but if you jump from PageMaker 6 to Indesign CS5.5 you'll have a slight learning curve for the interface. Indesign has a more complex interface than PM6 but with patience and a good introduction to INDD you should be up and running in less than a day.

    As i said though, the basics of layout and typography haven't changed so you'll still use master pages, styles, text frames et cetera.
     
  8. garycurtis thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #8
    I mentioned Macros because it sounds like an impressive, techie word. Thinking perhaps that since Word allows for them, it is an indispensible enhancement.

    It is vital to sent Styles in Word when the text will then be incorporated and massaged by InDesign? Isn't that a duplication of effort?
     
  9. erzeszut macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #9
    If you're still referring to PageMaker as "Aldus" PageMaker, I'm guessing you haven't used it since version 3.5 or 4.0?

    InDesign was a fair leap from PageMaker, even version 7. But Adobe gradually brought the last few versions closer to their style and language after buying out Aldus.

    This is a great quote, and this is exactly how you should be using Word and InDesign today. Word is dreadful, dreadful at page layout and always has been. InDesign is incredibly powerful, but the basics are pretty simple to grasp and not too terribly different than PageMaker or Quark.

    What I'm finding, even after 5 years of working with ID on a regular basis, is that there are still so many things I don't know. The software is so deep and complex, I constantly discover new "tricks."

    Look for books, DVDs, and presentations by an author named David Blatner. He's an InDesign wizard. Saw him at WWDC a couple of years back and he gave a great demonstration of ID's lesser known features.
     
  10. Osty macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #10
    No macros are certainly not essential particularly for the kind of usage you are describing.

    Yes it is vital to set you styles in word - especially on a text heavy document like a novel or a report - because Indesign can import word styles, which will then let you edit your styles in indesign without have to reapply new styles from scratch. Depending on what type of doc you are creating, it can save you hours.
     
  11. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #11
    You might want to read what this writer/publisher recommends. He writes everything in InDesign.

    http://www.bergsland.org/radiqx-press/writing-in-indesign/

    (this is only one article, search his site for more on writing with InDesign)

    Word works okay up to a point; depending on what you are doing, it may or may not fill your need. There is one thing about InDesign, if you take the time to learn it, why not learn it fully and use it instead of trying to learn Word, too.

    I use Mellel for heavy writing because it gives me everything I need in terms of power, especially R-T-L language support (specifically Hebrew). I have InDesign and used it a little, but I don’t have time to learn it in the detail I need for my work.
     

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