Moving from PageMaker to InDesign (Was "Editor")

New Here ,
Mar 05, 2019 Mar 05, 2019

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I have been editing various magazines in Sweden for more than 50 years. The last 15 years I have produced a 24 page club magazine, using PageMaker. Suddenly you couldn't convert PMD files to PDFs for the printers, so I had to switch to InDesign. I really regret that, because I have never worked with a more complicated program and I still can't make decent layouts using it. So now I'm giving it up altogether before I get a heart attack. One thing that really makes me mad is the lack of easy-to-understand hands-on instructions, like "do this if you want this result" etc. I'm not the least interested in all the twists you catalogue, I just want to go on making a decent magazine with headings, photos and regular text parts. Nothing fancy at all. But such a publication seems impossible to create with InDesign, which apparently was created by computer freaks who never worked with other printed matter than glossy brochures that nobody reads. Shame on you!  Is there anyone else out there who feels like I do?       

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 05, 2019 Mar 05, 2019

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InDesign is a powerful, professional level application with a steep learning curve. If you’re not willing to put in the time to learn it, it’s not for you.

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2021 Feb 23, 2021

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well, when you speak of "powerful", i believe you may be referring, at least in part, to all of the "new" features it has that can very easily be done in illustrator or photoshop -- integration is key. the adobe learning curve is not that steep, as many of the key shortcuts are crossplatform (software)...i supspect, much like myself, s/he is just lazy. as a side note for the OP, don't feel intimidated by it either, as i doubt anyone here, who may consider themselves 'expert level', including myself, knows over 30% of what these mindblowing applications can accomplish~!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 05, 2019 Mar 05, 2019

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While I'd agree with Bob's post in essence, there's nothing forcing you to use any particular InDesign feature that does something you don't need.

I still can't make decent layouts using it.

Why not? What happens when you try?

Nothing fancy at all.

I make layouts in InDesign all day every day for technical documents that I'm sure are decidedly less "fancy" than your magazine, and the application doesn't force anything needlessly complex upon my workflow. Your post has made me so curious about the nature of your difficulties, that I really hope you post again with details of something more specific in InDesign that has posed a challenge to your efforts to construct basic layouts. I truly can't imagine what the obstacles might be.

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Guide ,
Mar 05, 2019 Mar 05, 2019

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I've used PageMaker, Quark and InDesign to do page layout. They all do pretty much the same thing in very similar ways. Can you name something that's easy to do in PageMaker that you can't figure out in InDesign?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 05, 2019 Mar 05, 2019

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Hi Alfa:

Have you watched any of the these free tutorials?
InDesign tutorials | Learn how to use InDesign CC

Purchased a book to work through on your own or with an instructor?

Adobe InDesign CC Classroom in a Book (2019 Release)

Watched videos on LinkedIn Learning?

InDesign CC 2019 Essential Training

When I transitioned to InDesign from PageMaker in 1999, I was grateful for how much it worked like PageMaker. In 2019, I'm grateful for all the things I can do quickly in InDesign that PageMaker never supported. Training is the key to the transition. Set aside some time to learn the program, and you may never look back.

~Barb

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2019 Mar 06, 2019

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PageMaker was the first program I used on a computer. When InDesign came out, I transitioned to InDesign. There is a learning curve because InDesign is more powerful than PageMaker. Taking an introductory one or two day class would no doubt go a long way in that regard. In the end I think you'll be very pleased with InDesign.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Barbara, that is my gut feeling as well: what alfa75559246 may need is a hands on introduction to InDesign, not a video or a link to the online help -- useful as they are. Sometimes you have be able to look over one's shoulder to get an idea of what concepts they are struggling with.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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I think it’s important to remember that when most of us moved from PM to ID, it was a pretty smooth transition. Way more features today and PM? Well, it’s 20 years old.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Yes, I think the key is "hands on".

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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I'm all about hands-on training. At least three of us on this thread have made a career out of delivering hands-on training on Adobe applications, so no argument from me.

I will add that hands-on training is the fastest way to get up to speed but also the most expensive. That's why I offered the less expensive options in my original post. For those without a training budget, alternatives are critical. But glad we all agree that training is the answer to alfa75559246's frustration.

I'd be curious to hear from alfa75559246​—at this point we are just chatting amongst ourselves.

~Barb

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Advisor ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Hi,

Where is the official Adobe documentation on how to use InDesign?

P.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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InDesign Help | InDesign User Guide

Not so much as a "how to" but a feature description.

The Adobe InDesign Classroom in a Book series if the official training guide.

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Advisor ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Thank you for the link.

That is funny. I did a search for track changes. Here is the result.

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 19.24.35.png

It is no wonder new users have problems.

P.

Edited to say....

The PDF is more helpful.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Adobe marketing makes it all sound so simple that people think they can just dive in.

These are professional level tools and have a learning curve. I’ve been using InDesign since day one and I still learn something new quite often.

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Advisor ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Ahhh, I switched to Chrome and the search worked. But, it does not search the 'Manual' it searches the 'Adobe Support' which is this forum by the looks of things, not really what you would expect.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Yes, the global search is a pain when one wants to search within a single product.

I usually have better luck googling my problem since my search terms can be broader and the Adobe help will be included in the search.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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Strange, I had no problems in Safari. Here's the original search in the User Guide section:

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 12.30.53 PM.png

Here's the result:

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 12.29.39 PM.png

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 08, 2019 Mar 08, 2019

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BobLevine  wrote

Adobe marketing makes it all sound so simple that people think they can just dive in.

These are professional level tools and have a learning curve. I’ve been using InDesign since day one and I still learn something new quite often.

While that may be absolutely true for clueless n00bs who expect "a fancier Microsoft Publisher" those new to the required professional level of design, I cannot recall any basic problems with InDesign after my transition from PageMaker and Quark XPress, besides learning the proper place to look for how to do something (basically, "oh, all those possible paragraph properties are in a popup window titled "Paragraph". How odd. Better memorize it.").

Do note that alfa75559246 does mention having plenty experience with other graphic design software. That's why I suspect the problems encountered are more due to ID's basic design paradigm -- the concepts of text frames and par/char styles. In that, it is closer to QXP than PageMaker (if I recall correctly), and indeed I remember having trouble adjusting to Quark's "lots of frames everywhere", which PageMaker did not need.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2019 Mar 08, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/%5BJongware%5D  wrote

In that, it is closer to QXP than PageMaker (if I recall correctly), and indeed I remember having trouble adjusting to Quark's "lots of frames everywhere", which PageMaker did not need.

Frames were introduced into PageMaker, but we wondered why and those I knew opted not to use them. Did anyone here use them?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2019 Mar 08, 2019

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Hi Jongware,

I found this on the web:

http://www.tdeslauriers.com/Extended%20Drive/books/PM-IDconvguide_Final.pdf

Topics like "Major differences between PageMaker and InDesign CS" are discussed.

That should help to see the differences in basic design paradigms of the two layout apps.

Unfortunately all official Adobe links that originally lead to this PDF document on the helpx pages lead to a buying guide for subscriptions of InDesign for Creative Cloud.

Regards,
Uwe

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2019 Mar 08, 2019

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The best book on the subject (I think maybe the only one) is one that I wrote with David Blatner and Christopher Smith about 2004 called "Moving to InDesign: Use What You Know About QuarkXPress and PageMaker to Get Up to Speed in InDesign Fast!". It's still available from Amazon through third-party sellers.

https://www.amazon.com/Moving-InDesign-About-QuarkXPress-PageMaker/dp/0321294114/ref=sr_1_2?keywords...

Here's a review from Pariah Burke:

http://iampariah.com/quarkvsindesign/book-review-moving-to-indesign

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2019 Mar 08, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Steve+Werner  wrote

https://www.amazon.com/Moving-InDesign-About-QuarkXPress-PageMaker/dp/0321294114/ref=sr_1_ 2?keyword...

Here's a review from Pariah Burke:

Here’s my review:

It’s an excellent book and I used it for many ”Moving to InDesign” classes many years ago!

Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2019 Mar 08, 2019

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Thanks, Jane. It was a fun project for me. It was my first book project and the chance to work with the QuarkXPress master, David Blatner. I learned a lot! It actually had a processor a year or two earlier, "Adobe InDesign for QuarkXPress Users." But this one was more concise and also included moving from PageMaker.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019 Mar 07, 2019

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For hands-on instruction, check out this link:

Adobe Partner Finder | Adobe Training & Certification

You can change the search parameters as needed.

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