Quarkxpress v. InDesign - opinions?

(I hope this is not a hijack - but the people in this thread seem to be knowledgable)

Has anyone used the online tutorials from Adobe? How comprehensive are they? I just got approval at my work to switch to FrameMaker (currently using Word, so that is a huge step forward!) and I am hoping the 1 year subscription to online tutorials is all I will need to teach myself. I am pretty good at learning new software,.

Well, according to Wikipedia (I missed this when it happened, probably something to do with lots of homework at the time :p) one of the big reasons InDesign took off so well is the new version of Quark that came out in 2002 wasn’t compatible with Apple’s OS X. BIG mistake. InDesign 2.0 came out the same week. There’s a new version - Quark 8 - out this year, so maybe it will make a comeback. We’ll see. It’ll surprise me if it does–for about 4 years there, it looked dead in the water to me.

Sorry! :frowning: Like I said, I could be wrong about it. Also, InDesign’s structure is really very similar to Quark, but I’m assuming the latest versions have changed quite a bit from the original ones that had more direct metaphors to traditional layout methods. If it’s any consolation, us newbies know it wasn’t that long ago, there was just a gigantic shift in the industry in the early 90s. I just happened to land on this side of it. The technology changes so fast that everyone feels nostalgic. (Hell, I feel a little odd that I learned HTML before CSS was standard.) I took a few classes on pre-desktop publishing design, layout, and printing, and I kind of wish I’d had the chance to develop some of those skills. I think people who began studying it in the late 90s and after must have a different…relationship, I guess, with our work than people who were in the industry during the transition.

I personally prefer the Quark interface, but that’s probably just because it’s the first one I learned. And there a few things that intuitively I would think inDesign should do that it doesn’t. That said,

  1. All the other graphic programs are Adobe, so you might as well use their DTP too. Better overall compatibility.
  2. Whereas Quark used to be the industry standard, inDesign is more widely used now.
  3. Quark has pissed off a lot of people with unnecessarily burdensome DRM. Although, all the new Adobe programs have stricter DRM than they used to also.
  4. Everything ends up as PDFs now anyway, and PDF is from Adobe.

So inDesign is probably the better bet.

Don’t feel bad, beanpod, I know how fast this technology stuff changes. For some reason, I’m an old fart who’s able to keep up – or at least not feel left behind by it all. I spent decades sluicing chemicals over film and paper, and pretty damn proud of my skills, but my film cameras are now displayed on bookshelves with my other antiques – I am totally digital! Heck, I’ve used MS Publisher for a decade now for the desktop publishing I do (but I wouldn’t push it to daily newspaper or professional PR firm uses.) One thing I understand is that the jungle in which technology and communications reside is a brutal one and species come and go at a great rate.

I’ve never used Quark, so I can’t speak for its ease of use. But I can say that I tried to teach InDesign to myself about half a year ago, and despite being perfectly comfortable with the Photoshop interface, I could not understand one bit of how InDesign worked. Then, I started taking a class that uses InDesign as the primarily layout program – with the teacher’s guidance, it’s become a million times easier. If you’re going to be trained in how the program operates, don’t fear InDesign.

I work for a small newspaper that still runs on Quark 6, but I’ve got InDesign CS2 at home, and let me tell you: run screaming from Quark.

I have to do some process color work at home because Quark can’t separate PDFs properly, plus Quark is slow and doesn’t have the flexibility that InDesign has.

I was actually trained on InDesign, so it’s possible that I’m just biased from having gone from CS2 to Quark.