7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2010 8:23 AM by BobLevine

    Upgrade or change products?


      I have been using PageMaker (6.5 and before that 4 and 5) for years and I love it. I use it for all my office needs and more recently for creating lace pattern books. I love the simple, easy way I can flow text around odd shaped diagrams. I've tried MS Word and it feels like I'm trying to work with a club instead of a fine instrument. PageMaker may be old, but it suits me.


      Recently I had to replace a hard drive in the computer and since it required an operating system, I installed Vista to replace the XP I had been running on my desktop. Everything seemed to be running fine until I tried to export the file to a PDF which it just won't do no matter how it's tweaked. Creating PDF files is a major concern because some of my books are created in PDF format and more recently my class lessons have been done in PDF. I can always use one of the computers running XP, but I'd rather not. I understand that the replacement software for PageMaker is InDesign and I'm perfectly willing to upgrade as long as the new software does the job that PageMaker does and will let me continue to create PDF files in Vista.


      My concern is that in adding all kinds of new features, they may have knocked out some of the old stuff that I need and use daily. There doesn't seem to be a trial version available anywhere and I don't want to pay for a lot of extra "fluff" I don't need if it doesn't have the bare bones that I do need. I have looked at Serif's Page Plus and it might be a better choice for me. Or if Illustrator has some respectable publishing utilities I might replace both the desktop publishing software and my drawing software with Adobe Illustrator. There are so many unknowns and I don't want to spend a lot of money only to find out that for my need the software is overkill.


      Any ideas or suggestions?

        • 1. Re: Upgrade or change products?
          ReneGnam Level 1

          Try this, although I don't know if it'll work since I don't use Vista.

          Instead of exporting to PDF, try printing to file. That will create a prn file.

          Open the FileName.prn file in Adobe Distiller 4 or 5 (should be on your original PM disks) and then specify the new name for your PDF output. Perhaps it'll work.

          I'm with you on a preferance for PageMaker. It's been a mainstay for me for years and years.

          Good luck.





          • 2. Re: Upgrade or change products?
            Claudio González Most Valuable Participant

            Clicking on the InDesign link provided in this page




            takes me to a page with links for upgrading to InDesign CS5 and for downloading a trial version.

            If I were you, I would take advantage of the large discount for upgrading from PageMaker while the offer lasts. Of course InDesign will have a lot of features you won't use -at least for the time being. Same as Word, that has thousands of more features than most users will ever need. But InDesign is not a dead product as PageMaker has been for many years, and it will run in any of the newest operating systems, which PageMaker simply cannot possibly do. Also, many things you could do in PageMaker are done much more easily in InDesign. So, give it a try; it's free.

            • 3. Re: Upgrade or change products?
              Tatdlace Level 1

              I have already been to the web site and the trial link just goes to an

              InDesign notification page. There doesn't seem to be a download page

              associated with it.

              On further research it appears that the InDesign program won't run on my

              computer any way. The system requirements are for an AMD Athlon 64 and mine

              is a Sempron 32. It'll run on my laptop, but apparently not my desktop. The

              more I look into it the more questions I have.


              • 4. Re: Upgrade or change products?
                Tatdlace Level 1

                I tried your suggestion, but that didn't work either. Thank you for the

                suggestion though it was a good thought.


                • 5. Re: Upgrade or change products?
                  Claudio González Most Valuable Participant

                  I must confess that I found those links but didn't try them. Maybe CS5 isn't still available for buying, which would explain why there isn't a free trial.

                  If you are using an old and not very powerful machine, running on an old operating system, you should have no problem in continuing using PageMaker in that machine for as long as you keep it or it lives. Your problems will start when you are forced to start using any of the latest OSs, in which PageMaker will simply not run properly, if at all. If your laptop meets the minimum standards to run InDesign, my advise would be to upgrade to InDesign while the rebate lasts. When the time comes to replace your desktop by a new one, you will then be able to install InDesign there as well (two machines allowed if not open in both at the same time). Or unisntall it from your laptop and install in your new machine, as you prefer.

                  It would be a pity to have to pay the full price for InDesign in a couple of years. Or to move on to a cheaper but very different program.

                  • 6. Re: Upgrade or change products?
                    Tatdlace Level 1

                    I love PageMaker, and for what I do, it runs on either XP or Vista. Having a

                    computer geek in the house to install and tweak software to it's maximum

                    capability certainly helps The only issue I have is creating the PDFs. I

                    can either use alternate software to create the PDFs, go to a different

                    desktop publishing program, erase Vista and go back to XP, or upgrade both

                    my system and my publishing software to InDesign. Both my desktop and my

                    laptop are AMD. The desktop is a Sempron and the laptop is an Athlon both

                    with only 1Gb of Ram. Some of the forum discussions seem to be pointing at

                    CS4/CS5 having some issues with AMD systems.


                    Vista isn't doing anything more for me than XP so just erasing it and going

                    back to XP may be a better choice. InDesign seems to have a lot of fluff I

                    don't need and won't use, although it looks like it may have some components

                    of Adobe Illustrator which might let me do my lace drawings in the same

                    software that I use for publishing, which would resolve some minor issues

                    with my drawings not displaying correctly in PageMaker. $200 isn't a lot,

                    but it is if it's money down the drain. There are so many questions that

                    would be much more easily answered if there was a trial version.


                    • 7. Re: Upgrade or change products?
                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      CS5 is not yet shipping. Once it is, a free trial should be available rather quickly.