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Value for money?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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Hi

 

First time posting here, I think.

 

I use InDesign for a small community magazine that returns all profits to the community. We were battering on using CS6 (and doing very well) on a PC that was about ten years old. It worked perfectly until an involuntary Windows upgrade gave us the dreaded blue screen of death. We managed to save most of the data files we used (some we had backed up, others we hadn't) but the machine was pretty much fried - we simply bit the bullet and bought a new Dell. Couldn't find the disks for CS6 so thought it was time we upgraded to CC.

 

First disappointment was the cost. According to the ads we'd be able to pay a cut-back price for just InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator (maybe Acrobat, but using Reader is probably enough for us) but were quite shocked to find it would cost us slightly more for those three alone than it would for the whole package, most of which we don't need. That was allayed slightly by the cut-price Black Friday deal we found but there's still a bad taste in the mouth. 

 

Second disappointment is the performance of InDesign. So far, in the four weeks I've been using it, we have a continual problem with text frames going blank when characters or words are highlighted. This can quite easily be resolved by moving the frame handle and dropping it back into place - but that's not the point. Not only is it a real irritation - not to mention a distraction - but why is this happening on top-flight software on a brand-new machine? (Please don't give me the old Mac vs PC argument. I spent all my professional career using ID on both Macs and PCs and found there was little difference in the performance of either.) A glance through the discussion boards tells me that this seems to be a problem that has existed for some time, yet obviously hasn't been resolved.

 

There is also a bizarre issue of page numbers not displaying on pages that have a tint-panel background. Doesn't matter what I do, they just don't show. Again - why is something so rudimentary such a problem?

I may be a dinosaur to many of you here but I spent a long time working on software that was three or four versions behind the latest release, simply because it was tried and tested and could be relied upon to be dependable in network-based systems that were seriously deadline-oriented. The problem with text displays alone would have had our office flooded with Adobe reps dedicated to soving the problem, which shows you how big a company it was.

 

But I'm not in that world any longer and Adobe's dedication to the user seems to have ebbed away, somewhat. We still have deadlines, though and if we don't make them we still have printer's bills to cover. This doesn't inspire confidence or make me feel that I, as a user, particularly matter.

 

Which brings me to my question:

 

Where is the value for money in what we have? I've found the CS6 disks and could go back to that version - except that we've signed up to CC for a year, so that's not an option yet. But these niggling problems just make me feel that there will be others that I haven't come across yet, but which might seriously affect production at a crucial time.

 

This CC package may be ideal for a large agency with multiple users - in fact, I'm sure that's what it's aimed at. But we are spending a lot of money (for us, anyway) just for access to software that doesn't seem to work properly. Where is the thought for the smaller user who might struggle to find the resources to pay that kind of money? Are we not wanted on board? 

 

It doesn't feel like it. Convince me I'm wrong. 

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Bug , Performance , Type

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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InDesign is a professional application and requires a powerful computer with plenty  of RAM. (It doesn't matter whether you have a PC or a Mac). Most users don't have the issues you describe, try resetting the InDesign Preferences to see if that helps. if the folios are being covered up by a background colour (or image), change the order so that they are above the tint.  Most users seem to think that at around $50 a month for the whole Creative Cloud pachage is excellent value for money! (There are cheaper subscriptions for students and teachers who qualify.)
If the application is too expensive for you have a look at Affinity Designer.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022

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Hello

What is your new computer, OS, and computer specs, please?

 

Most don't experience the issues you have. 

 

It works out about €60 a month. It's quite reasonable. I put €60 worth of gas(petrol/diesel) intom my car most weeks.

 

It is professional grade software, thoughts being that you should easily be making €60 a month to cover the costs. Afterall, there are people with computer degrees, masters, PhDs, in hardware, software, coding, UI, etc. behind creating this wonderful software. They need to be paid, and them being paid allows this software to be developed which allows you make profit from it. All seems good in that regard.

 

------------

Back to your issues.

We'll know more when you post your specs and OS.

 

Thanks

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I agree with you, Eugene – it's strange that some people seem happy to spend money on hardware but resent paying for the software to run on it!

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Guide ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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The math is simple 😉 

 

1x (hardware) -> 10x (software) -> 100x (data)

 

ID-Tasker - most powerful tool ever created for InDesign

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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You can't download hardware. 😉

 

Although I remember an amusing exchange years ago about the purpose of "hardware error correction" being that it allowed you to DL a CPU without flaws.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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Well, I'm in the other camp.

I'm retired now and can easily understand how it's really hard to justify the expense of an annual subscription if you aren't making money with the software, especially if you don't need the features that have been added to inDesign since CS6 (though the price is pretty good if you are using three or four programs on a regular basis).

I continue to run CS6 on Windows 10, and I think there are still users running it on Windows 11, though not everyone has great success (I've had no insurmountable problems, myself). The downside is there are no patches publicly available so you need to find the updated program files elsewhere (I copied mine from an old Win7 system and overwrote the program folder after installing on Windows 10) and the only tech support you are likely to find is from a few users here.

I tend to agree with you that Adobe has written off the small shop and amateur user market.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I agree. 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I'd agree with that too. That market seems to be moving to Affinity Publisher:

 

https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/publisher/publisher

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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Perhaps - I've tested the software personally and lacks a lot of long document features that InDesign has - plus has no ePub export options. 

 

There are alternatives to InDesign. But Adobe are the leading standard in most printing companies world wide, and sending anything other than Adobe files is likely going to cost an extra few quid to fix up (from native files).

i.e., if sending native Affinity Publisher files for fixups to design stuidos, printing companies, or other. 

Most will send a PDF, but plenty stll need marketing collateral sent in native files for custom edits for their market. 

 

I'd be wary about pushing people towards software that is likely going to cost either them or their client extra to convert in the future. 

 

But hey, times are changing.

 

I do wish Adobe did a plan for print - InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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They absolutely have and the OP has indirectly said why. Adobe simply can't have its base upgrading every ten years.

If you're not making money with this, whether as a single user or a huge agency, this is not for you.

 

The only exception is the photography plan. You will never convince me that it isn't one of the great software bargains out there.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I agree, but Derek nailed it: ID, and CC, is professional software. It isn't for the weekend dabbler or newsletter creator. That very old versions no longer run on modern(ized) hardware and OSes is not much different from most long-lived, multi-generational software.

 

I do feel for those light users who have been shut out, but it has been over a decade; I think it's hard to say they did not get full value and more from their purchase in 2010.

 

And I in no way would want CC to be adapted, functionally or financially, to accommodate this level of user; the results for the pro community would be bad to disastrous.

 

That Affinity Publisher exists and largely allows continuation with existing files and skills is the solution here. If it is imperfect or lacks ID's enormous range of capability... well, I believe ID alone is about US$30 a month, not a burden even for someone using it for noncommercial results. Not in 2022, anyway.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I don't see that there would need to be any change to the software itself to accomodate the small market, after all it's the big users who are driving the development now. We'd just need a perpetual license plan that would allow those who don't need all the new features to continue with an older version until either their needs change or the hardware is no longer compatible. As you no doubt recall, that's the way it used to be.

There's little doubt in my mind that the subscription pricing is a bargain for even a one-man shop doing cutting edge work, but there are still plenty of users that Adobe needn't abandon/push away if they'd offer an alternative plan (which could be priced the same as a couple of years of subscription to discourage the leapfroggers).

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I think I threw out the idea of "InDesign Express" sometime recently, and the answer was "Affinity Publisher." 🙂

 

Forking the product this way would make no one happy, I think. The low-end users would perpetually complain about missing features and bugs, and too much would be taken away from high-end development and maintenance. And far too many "clever" users would opt for the one-time $200 buy (or whatever) and undercut the sustaining revenue for development. (While complaining incessantly, as above — "I bought it, you should support it!")

 

It's a pro tool. If you're not a pro, use something suited to your business needs, whether it directly earns revenue or is just an overall asset. While I object to basic stuff like Word and QuickBooks going to a subscription (and cloud-based!) model, I am 100% behind the subscription model for complex, industry-essential stuff like CC, AutoCAD, etc. It works better for the user base that needs it to work as best as it can.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I am most assuredly not talking about InDesign Express. And if you buy a perpetual license you know that develpment on the product is going to stop. If you need new features you buy a new version. Adobe's record at fixing bugs, doesn't, in my justify a new version, in and of itself -- far too many old bugs still hanging on because they aren't as sexy to fix as it is to offer a new feature.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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And I don't like your logic about pro tools. They tend to work better, in any industry, and if you want to do good work, and do it efficiently, you buy the best tools you can afford.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I'm sorry, what don't you like? Pro tools for pros... at what such tools cost. I was never given the option to buy Snap-On tools at a 90% discount while I was a driveway mechanic, no matter how "nice" that would have been.

 

And I maintain that a very small percentage of users would actually be content buying an essentially orphaned, unsupported version... no matter their usage level or expectations. I used to write shareware, and get bitter attacks because I hadn't yet implemented a feature... from a nonpaying user. That's the real world in software, be it 1990 or 2022.

 

There is absolutely no value in Adobe supporting users below a certain level (financially or skill set)... not for them, and not for the pro users.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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Who said anything about a 90% discount?

And did SnapOn decide that they would no longer sell you tools and instead charge you an annual fee to use them?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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Okay, I won't try to argue it further, other than to note it's not "an annual fee to use them" but "an ongoing charge to keep the tools feature-rich, functional, bug-free(ish) and above all, compatible with the entire industry."

 

There are three options here.

 

One is to buy software and have the unreasonable expectation that it will work forever, even over a decade later, with massive changes to platforms, hardware, OSes, the internet and component file standards. Some software does, but it doesn't tend to be extremely complex, mega-feature stuff.

 

Two is to pay a huge chunk for the software, then pay big chunks at irregular intervals as you need to or see fit for updates. This was the Adobe model until CC. I paid something like $1800 for the master collection, then $300-800 every year for updates, with few fixes or improvements in between. This resulted in an industry that might be using a dozen different software versions and sets, and endless hassle coordinating file formats for output or printing. Those were not good years unless you were lucky enough to work in a very elite tier of "always updated, or have all versions on hand" providers.

 

Three is to pay a very reasonable amount to have ALL the tools, ALWAYS updated and patched, and know that nearly everyone you have to deal with also has those latest, patched, compatible versions. This isn't "paying an annual fee to use the software," it's "subscribing to the professional level of platform and software support so you can just do your job."

 

I really do sympathize with basic users who can't justfiy the $6-800 a year for CC. But that subscription cost is a lot less than the "buy every upgrade" model over time, comes with many benefits, and is within reach of even serious weekend dabblers and small organizations. If you're below that level in functional need or finances... there are free, cheap and low-cost alternatives.

 

There is simply no reason to excoriate Adobe because they don't support that bottom tier of users. Or to see their software model as some kind of evil kapitalist gouging. Especially for the CS6 users who complain at the top of their lungs weekly here, you get — and got — what you paid for.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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Excuse me, renting is exactly what it is. When your subscription lapses you can no longer use the tool.

And my 10-year-old copy of InDesign CS6 still does exactly what it did 10 years ago, and will continue top do so as long as I maintain hardware on which it will run.

I already said that the subscription model was a better deal for those who want/need to stay current with the latest releases. I understand the business decision that prevents Adobe from offering the perpetual licenses, but its a decision, not an imperative, and I think it hurts them in the long run. Little fish grow into bigger fish many times and giving them a boost can win you a good customer down the road. If you send all the little guys to Affinity that's where they will stay. I don't think I called Adobe evil or accused them of gouging, just thought it would be nice to have another licensing model available for those who want it.

But there really isn't more to say except we disagree.

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Guide ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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quote

And my 10-year-old copy of InDesign CS6 still does exactly what it did 10 years ago, and will continue top do so as long as I maintain hardware on which it will run.

By @Peter Spier

 

Not exactly 😉 it will contiune to work - only as long as Adobe won't shut off authentication servers ...

 

ID-Tasker - most powerful tool ever created for InDesign

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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True. But I will point out that Adobe isn't coming to take away your copy of CS6; they and everyone else is happy to let you keep it and keep using it. But it's been a long 12 years in hardware, OSes, connectivity, standards etc., none of which is Adobe's fault. The CS6 users who complain are those who want this ancient edition to run on their new Win11 laptop and be compatible with everything it was in 2008. That's simply unreasonable.

 

Your notion of another licensing model would fall right into that same crevasse; in two years the forum would be filled with complaints that "the software they bought doesn't work any more, bad Adobe!"

 

If you prefer to see it as renting, I guess I can't argue. But again, I'd prefer to rent an always-functional tool than own one that is of ever-decreasing functionality. And I'm not just waving my hands here; I recently had to update a major publication originally done in FrameMaker, and the only good option I had, short of "renting" FM expensively, was to laboriously convert it to ID. But I don't blame Adobe for any part of that, except perhaps in excluding FM from the CC. 🙂

 

Good enough. I don't completely disagree with you; I just don't agree with those who think software should be perpetual and it's the maker's fault when it isn't.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I suspect we agree more than you mifght suspect.

Anyone using an old version on a perpetual license HAS TO REALIZE they are essentially frozen in time. Nobod promised them that it would be updated or would work forever. It's a lot like turning 60.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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I remember turning 60.

 

Or, wait... do I? 😛

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2022 Dec 01, 2022

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60? Good times!

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