Opinions Wanted: Is InDesign good for long documents?

Diomedes

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 5, 2004
250
0
San Francisco
I recently convinced my partner to switch from Windows. His business produces fairly long (80 pages is probably average) documents of a technical nature - not like a user's manual, but that has lots of tables, charts, etc. Currently, they use Word, but they feel Word is not up to the task for what they produce.

Their freelance editor suggested they use FrameMaker, which is no longer available for the Mac. Is InDesign suitable for that kind of document? Or is there alternate cross-platform application that can handle FrameMaker-style documents? (Oh, and cross-platform support is critical to their business needs.)

Oh..and did Adobe stop Mac support for FrameMaker before or after OS X? (If I find a copy of version 7.0, is it a Classic or OS X app?)

I would love to hear from people who have put InDesign CS through its paces, so I can can recommend something to him.

Thanks in advance.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
29
USA
Diomedes said:
I recently convinced my partner to switch from Windows. His business produces fairly long (80 pages is probably average) documents of a technical nature - not like a user's manual, but that has lots of tables, charts, etc. Currently, they use Word, but they feel Word is not up to the task for what they produce.

Their freelance editor suggested they use FrameMaker, which is no longer available for the Mac. Is InDesign suitable for that kind of document? Or is there alternate cross-platform application that can handle FrameMaker-style documents?

Oh..and did Adobe stop Mac support for FrameMaker before or after OS X? (If I find a copy of version 7.0, is it a Classic or OS X app?)

I would love to hear from people who have put InDesign CS through its paces, so I can can recommend something to him.

Thanks in advance.
Adobe no longer supports FrameMaker for the Mac. However, the updaters for the latest Mac version are still on Adobe's web site. Although FrameMaker was a stalwart among NeXTSTEP applications, Adobe claims that it is too difficult to port the app to MacOS X. FrameMaker is still available for certain other Unix distributions, but not Darwin. At any rate, FrameMaker is fully Classic-compatible. It even includes a seemingly complete set of MacOS X icons.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
Strangely enough, with the way tables and charts work in Pages, they should maybe have a look at that also. Indesign may be overkill for what they want to do and anything that's overkill can wind up being more complex.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,124
2
North Carolina
I don't know about InDesign, but Quark is certainly a cross-platform tool that works well for long documents. I've made 1000- page books in Quark. (ducks to avoid InDesign zealots).
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,089
4
Sol III - Terra
wordmunger said:
I don't know about InDesign, but Quark is certainly a cross-platform tool that works well for long documents. I've made 1000- page books in Quark. (ducks to avoid InDesign zealots).
I haven't looked at InDesign or Quark to know which one I'd like better. However, I'm glad there's two major programs on both platforms that compete so both companies will keep making improvements.
 

decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
3,070
70
Quark and InDesign are both page layout powerhouses. Long documents are not a problem whatsoever.
 

eclipse525

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2003
849
0
USA, New York
QuarkXPress is the DeFacto for all types of publishing at the moment and can handle long documents without a problem. InDesign is the new kid on the block and becoming more and more popular by the second. InDesign can handle long documents as well. BOTH are great applications for your purposes. Best of luck.


~e
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Recommend QuarkXpress instead. InDesign sucks. But I think you already made up your mind before even posting.
 

eclipse525

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2003
849
0
USA, New York
Lacero said:
Recommend QuarkXpress instead. InDesign sucks. But I think you already made up your mind before even posting.
Saying ID sucks and not backing it up, doesn't really hold any validity to your statement. If you've use the most recent version of ID then you'd know that it doesn't suck as you say it does. In fact, quite opposite, it's as good if not Better then QuarkXPress and this is coming from a guy who lived and breathed Quark. All you have to do is search the Forums for InDesign and you'll come across all the reasons why it's as good if not better than QuarkXPress.


~e
 

Diomedes

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 5, 2004
250
0
San Francisco
Lacero said:
Recommend QuarkXpress instead. InDesign sucks. But I think you already made up your mind before even posting.
1) Why would I recommend Quark over InDesign? What does Quark have in terms of long-document creation that Adobe doesn't?
2) My mind was not made up before posting. I came to this forum looking for advice/recommendation on whether high-end layout programs are capable of handling specific types of documents - FrameMaker-style documents. Why Adobe? Well, their support and customer service are superior; the two applications seem to have similar feature sets; cross-platform support (essential in this case) is better between Adobe products; and the people I am making this recommendation to have some familiarity with Adobe products.

Saying "InDesign sucks" for no reason (other than your opinion) isn't of much help. Again, are there specific features for long document creation, table management, etc. that Quark has and InDesign lacks?
 

OneTraveler

macrumors member
Oct 16, 2002
63
18
End of the Earth
80 pages InDesign...No Problem

I regularly used InDesign to create 250+ page books...complete with complex layerings, heavy photo usage, and indexing. Never had a hiccup, and I mean NEVER. So much better than PageMaker (which always crashed doign the same thing). I have found the software for me. I would think the 80 pages would be no prob.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,922
169
I live and breathe QuarkXpress 6.5 every day. :eek:

But I would say go with InDesign. The advantages and superiority of the software are well-documented elsewhere... it's the future and when bundled with the Creative Suite, it represents superb value.

If you're working cross-platform on long documents then it's essential to have identical cuts of the same font from the same foundry on each platform in their respective versions, otherwise reflow will be problematic.

Why are we still using Quark?

Inertia, retraining... similar mindset as switching from PC to Mac... my colleagues are hesitant, I'm working on it... :cool:
 

walkingmac

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2003
261
0
Greater Cincinnati
I used Quark, it's what I learned on, it is/was/whatever the defacto. I moved over to InDesign and love it. Very easy to use. Cross-platform is there and easy to use files from the the rest of the Adobe suite (which doesn't seem to be important in this case so much). Large documents we are easy to work with. I would say that a going from Word to InDesign/Quark is quite a jump. I would agree that something like Pages might be better, but you would have to be working around the PC systems (exporting to PDFs for edits are a good option so the masters are intact and only sending out files only to proof). just my humble opinion. cheers
 
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