In the 25 years we been outputting Postscript, we have seen many page layout applications come and go, the likes of Aldus Page Maker, Microsoft Publisher, Corel Ventura – all fraught with technical issues and draw backs.
We are not here to promote Adobe Indesign per se, just simply to explain why it has become the defacto page layout tool.
We have had an enquiry to run out a 27pp full colour A3 ‘Pages’ document, this is a small simple Mac application, here are our thoughts to using such ‘fringe’ applications for professional postscript output.
We have 25 years experience running jobs for Postscript output going to general print, magazine, newspaper and exhibition display work.
Our professional opinion:
There is a myriad of minor ‘page layout’ applications out there (and not so minor, Coreldraw), all written by different programmers, all doing different things under the hood.
In the stressful world of Postscript output (all now wrapped in a lovely PDF) us lucky people at the sharp end need applications we can rely on – and at present there are just 2 page layout apps, Quark and Indesign … the former now fallen from grace.
Work is often time sensitive, so you need tools that you can trust, outputting letters on your home or office PC is a very different to outputting in a production environment.
It is now common practice to shy away from accepting customer made PDF’s – unless the source can be trusted to produce them correctly – which seems a rarity.
If you want something you can trust , then Adobe Indesign is your one and only choice … Quark Express is still out there, but we handle very few files from that application now. Even on occasion theses high end applications will cause issues which require a specific work-flow to resolve.
As a side comment: Acrobat PRO is not a page layout application ! it is a ‘re purposing tool’.
Our unprofessional opinion:
I doubt ‘Pages’ will enclose a document within a PDF to the Adobe Standard, it is designed for just simple work (ignore the glossy images on the box), in essence it may work, but if it doesn’t and the costly process of ‘drop on demand’ print spews out incorrect ‘data’ – you’ll still get a bill from your ‘Service Provider’.
So your call, take a risk (assuming you can put the PDF together properly in the first place), or take the trusted route with the one and only trusted professional package – Adobe Indesign (manual reading obligatory).