13 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2010 5:51 PM by InSanelyMe

    Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?

    InSanelyMe Level 1

      All right, you've convinced me. I can see that holding on to old technology is not a viable long-term solution regarding PageMaker vs. InDesign. Eventually my old PowerMac Quad will fail and not be able to be repaired. At that point I would be forced into an Intel Mac and new software. I have a ton of PageMaker 6.0 and 6.5 files and will need to convert them to a new version of InDesign. I realize PM6 files will not work with InDesign, that I have to do the initial conversion via PM6.5.


      I've studied the PageMaker forum hoping to see if this specific question has been advanced and answered but saw none. If in fact it has been addressed please understand that at least I did try before writing this.


      My question is this: Will all versions of InDesign IE: CS1, CS2, CS3, CS4 or CS5 open PageMaker 6.5 files? Or will I have to go back to InDesign 2.0, copy/convert all the PM6.5 files and then begin the upgrade process? Surely (and hopefully) Adobe provides a direct upgrade path to the newest InDesign version once you have all PageMaker 6.5 files, rather than making you upgrade to each version individually. If Adobe provides a direct upgrade to the latest InDesign product will this policy be true throughout it's product line? I also have older versions of PhotoShop, Illustrator and Acrobat to be concerned with. (I know, I know... the last couple of sentences are not about PageMaker-sorry)


      If anyone can answer this, please let me know so I can plan accordingly. Begrudgingly, I will probably begin the transition to InDesign soon. Looks like I'm in for a long, long study period to get up-to-speed. Bye-bye PageMaker, bye-bye PowerMac, so sad to see you go.

        • 1. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
          Claudio González Most Valuable Participant

          Chuck, I am not very qualified t

          o answer your questions, but will do my best within my limi

          tations (I am still using InDesign CS3, and I haven't had to work with PageMaker files for years).

          I did open many PM 6.5 files with ID2, and I have just opened a couple in ID3. These two last were rather simple jobs, and opened without a hitch. When I had to open PM files with ID2, I remember some opened flawlessly, most with relatively minor glitches, and some required a lot of work to look the same than the originals. And yes, each version of ID that I have used opens PM files directly; no need to pass from older to newer versions.

          Another thing I remember is that I also had a great number of PM files, which I still keep, but the ones that I have really had (needed) to convert are just a small fraction of them. Maybe you'll live a similar experience.

          As for the learning curve, it surely is there; but in my case, I found it not at all steep, quite the contrary: I was surprised to find how fast I got used to the "new version" of PageMaker. Maybe if I did the move now (to version CS5) I wouldn't find the transition so easy as to ID2. And I know of people who have not found it easy, but don't seem to reacall anyone complaining of how very difficult it was for him/her.

          As for upgrading several products at the same time, you'll have to think carefully what your future needs are really likely to be. You see, Adobe offers a very attractive price for "the whole lot", what they call the Creative Suite. I have however heard many complaints of people who feel they were "trapped" when they followed that route, because when it comes to upgrades, they can only upgrade the whole suite, not each product at a time. So you may be stuck with upgrading products you don't use and think will never use. Sort of what happened with Word and Excel, wich were the basis of MS Office: I understand that nowadays you cannot even buy each product separately, although I may be wrong.

          If I were you, most probably I would upgrade at this time each product separately, keeping in mind that perhaps later it could be better for me to buy the Suite. And regarding this route: Adobe still offers a very convenient upgrade price from PageMaker to InDesign (no choice but the latest version), but nobody knows for how long they will keep this offer. I was one of those who though that when V5 was launched, Adobe would stop selling PageMaker (something that in my opinion they should have done when InDesign appeared), and the upgrade offer would end, but apparently I was wrong on both counts. Just be warned that this particular upgrade offer may be gone any day...

          As for parting with such old and faithful friends, part of the words of a song my grandmother used to sing when I was a child came immediately back to my mind: Un viejo amor no se olvida ni se deja... an old love is never (really) forgotten or abandoned in my free translation, where I use the word "love" with the meaning of "loved person", and the optional "really" I added comes form the rest of the words of the song.

          Hope this helps.


          Initial extra line breaks kindly provided by the software.

          • 2. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
            InSanelyMe Level 1



            Thank you for the information regarding my upgrading to InDesign. I'm 

            going to follow your advice and not go for the entire "package" of 

            Adobe software. I'll start with InDesign, then Illustrator and 

            Acrobat. When I feel comfortable enough with those I'll upgrade 

            PhotoShop, probably the one with the steepest learning curve.


            I have opened several PM6.5 files in ID2 and ID3 with fairly good 

            results. I may have had to reflow text or reformat, but nothing major 

            thus far. The only exception to that have been brochures created in 

            PM6. Most were pretty graphic-intense with eps files and/or color 

            photos. Even with those most of the imported/placed images came 

            through okay... maybe needing to be adjusted or re-imported, but 

            still much better than starting again from scratch.


            Leaving PageMaker behind is akin to loosing your girlfriend. Really 

            sad to part, but a little excited about the prospect of finding a 

            new, exciting relationship.


            I'm going to keep the old software and PowerMac around for a little 

            while... can't just make a clean break and jump head-long into new 

            software. Call me overly cautious, but better safe than sorry. One 

            day soon I hope to realize I haven't used the old stuff for awhile; 

            then I'll make the final break and not look back.


            Thanks again for the input. It's always appreciated.



            • 3. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
              Claudio González Most Valuable Participant

              Chuck, I would suggest replacing EPSs by TIFFs, if it is not too difficult.

              • 4. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                InSanelyMe Level 1



                I did use tiff files for photos, as a standard practice. I'm was 

                speaking of eps graphics, like those from Adobe Illustrator. Almost 

                all of my client's logos were/are created in Illustrator and imported 

                with the "place" command into PageMaker. Some did give me a bit of 

                concern on color, as the imported color did not always match 

                PageMaker's idea of the same color, so I selected everything to be 

                associated with the desired color and used the imported version of 

                the color so I wouldn't end up with more than one shade of that 

                color. Does that sound as convoluted to you as it does to me?


                At any rate, thanks for the tiff tip.



                • 5. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                  Claudio González Most Valuable Participant

                  Chuck, you know your client's needs and how to meet them better than I do... I just thought you were placing all your images as EPSs.

                  • 6. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                    BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    EPS is an archaic file format. If you move to ID I would stongly suggest buying the entire Creative Suite which will allow you to fully utilize the power of the application.


                    I know it's expensive but InDesign does much better with native Illustrator and Photoshop files as well as PDF. You might want to give this article on my website a read. http://www.theindesignguy.com/purchase-advice.shtml


                    And yes, InDesign will open all PM files from version 6, 6.5 and 7 regardless of platform. But those conversions will range from near perfect to near useless so don't toss the old machine just yet.



                    • 7. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                      InSanelyMe Level 1

                      Hi Bob,


                      What? EPS is no longer the format of choice for graphic images? Is 

                      PostScript dead as well? If the answers to those questions are yes I 

                      have a major problem. Have I fallen that far behind in this 

                      business?  A few years ago I had to cut my activities and business 

                      back due to health reasons, so I just didn't keep up with the latest 

                      and greatest goings on in the biz and semi-retired.


                      Now I find myself in a quandary; do I ramp back up, work my tail off, 

                      re-learn everything and rebuild the business or just forget about it 

                      and let it go. Don't know if I have the energy or stamina to do the 

                      former, but the latter doesn't sound all that appealing either. It's 

                      kind of hard for me to fully retire and drive myself and my wife to 

                      insanity, but I can't think of anything else to do. The computer has 

                      been my friend, graphics has been my work and play, (hobby) but now I 

                      just don't know if I have what it takes anymore. Maybe I should learn 

                      to play golf? Maybe shuffleboard? (ha, I'm not THAT old)


                      Do I sound depressed? Well I guess I am. I can't believe I know so 

                      little about an industry I've loved and worked in for more than 25 

                      years! I suppose I should get rid of all my old "junk"... the 

                      PowerMac Quad, more than a few thousand Type 1 fonts, many, many 

                      obsolete programs and just retire and get it over with. Sure would 

                      make for extra room. Do you know of someone in my boat? Too young to 

                      retire, but too old to start over.


                      I know this has little, if anything, to do with PageMaker, but I 

                      didn't see a forum for mental health. : )



                      • 8. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                        ReneGnam Level 1



                        I believe I'm in exactly the same boat, except for the Mac Quad.


                        As long-time posters on this Forum know, I have thousands of PM files in v6.5 on XP PCs. Because of similar posts that have given you some answers, I have resisted (with some success) going to either Vista or Win7. And, after trying ID 1 and 2, gave up and stuck with PM 6.5. (sometimes using 7.0). Also, Photoshop 7 works fine for me. And, as some very wise chap once said if it ain't broke don't fix it!


                        Regular posters here have warned me often that PM may suddenly cease to work on my machines and/or big catalogs and other production files may blow up or become inaccessible. While I understand all that, I have still been able to produce clients jobs with my old faithful software, including seminar files of 500+ pages containing many fonts and pix, and catalogs with hundreds of photos, highly-kerned type, and imported graphics from Corel, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Doomsday may come, but until it does, I'm continuing with PM 6.5 as my major application on WinXP-SP3.


                        At the beginning of this month, I had to resurrect files I created as early as 1988 in MS-Word and was able to get them open and saved as PDFs for placement in a PM6.5 publication. So, the answer to your query is that there are, indeed, some work-arounds.


                        But I would urge you to develop a network of pals who have equipment and software that you don't. Now and then, it's very helpful to ask them to take a graphic that was done in "the latest and greatest" software and save it out for you in an older version so you can adapt it for PM.


                        Another suggestion would be to hold off on trying to re-install PM5 (to convert PM4 pubs to be eventually useful in PM6.5) unless you have a machine that enables you to run Win.ini. PM5 demands it (at least in the PC world). If such conversions aren't important to you, great. If they are, my solution has been to locate a PDF of such file and place it in PM, then -- using layers -- do updates and edits over the PDF placement. Not gorgeous, but it works.


                        Much luck to you. Feel free to e-mail me if you want to take this discussion further than appropriate for this Forum. Rene@ReneGnam.com

                        • 9. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          EPS and postscript are zombie formats. Relics from an earlier time.


                          Neither supports transparency.


                          Preferred workflow involves unflattened transparency through direct export to PDF. PDF/X-4 is quickly becoming the standard. This allows for tagged RGB images (that's right...you don't have to convert to CMYK) and unflattened transparency. Combined with the Adobe PDF Print Engine, you have a modern workflow.


                          Yes, you have a great deal of catching up to do. The good news is that you really don't have to be an expert in any of this. Just use InDesign and place PDF AI or PSD files and use the file > export command. A PDF/X-4 setting is already built in.


                          The reason I recommend you get the entire suite is because on the recent versions of AI and PS will create PDF files fully compatible with InDesign CS5 which will allow you turn layers on and off right in the layout. This allows you to use one file for multiple purposes.


                          Which versions of those apps do you currently use? You'd need CS3 or later.


                          Bob (also not into golf)

                          • 10. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                            InSanelyMe Level 1



                            Looks like we're the only non-golfers around! I tried it once... what 

                            a disaster.


                            Thanks for the tips on current file formats. Looks as though I have a 

                            lot, lot, lot of catching up to do. My Software isn't even close to 

                            CS3, so I have get all new software. Didn't realize just how far back 

                            in history my stuff and my knowledge went. Maybe I should just retire 

                            and get it over with. Then with all my spare time I could take 

                            courses as funds allow, and re-learn graphics. Sad thing is by then I 

                            probably will be too old to benefit from it. : ) At least I'd have a 

                            great hobby! Beats working on the house or cutting the lawn. I have 

                            just under an acre my house sits on.


                            Thanks again,


                            • 11. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                              BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              Honestly Chuck, you have to unlearn than you do to learn.


                              The InDesign forum is a great resource and there are other fabulous web sites such as InDesignSecrets.com.


                              Bob (who cut his 1/3 acre of grass yesterday)

                              • 12. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                                Claudio González Most Valuable Participant

                                Chuck, if this is any comfort for you, I must have been 69-70 when I moved from PageMaker to InDesign, and it wasn't by any means a terrible experience. If I survived it, you should be able to survive it as well.

                                As Bob said, you don't need to know the innards of anything, you just have to use thenew program -which doesn't mean it would hurt you to know them. If you want an analogy: assume you had refused until last week to get near a mobile/cellular phone, and suddenly discovered today that it would be a good thing to move forwards. I don't think you'd worry about taking a course about how the damned things work; I'm certain that you would just buy one and start using it straight on. Many of the features the device has and your line phone doesn't would be unfamiliar at first, but you'd soon learn to use and enjoy them.  After all, a cell phone is just a line phone without the line, in a more convenient format, and with a lot of new features that you may use or not, according to your own needs and wishes.

                                Do take the plunge. You'll not regret it.

                                • 13. Re: Will Newer Versions of InDesign Still Open/Convert Mac PM 6.5 Files?
                                  InSanelyMe Level 1

                                  Hi Cludio,


                                  Was having a bit of e-mail trouble... I think pilot error. Now that I have e-mail again I can respond.  Thanks for the comforting thoughts. I am going to go to InDesign, just don't know when yet. My busy season is soon upon me and that is probably not the best time to learn an entirely software package and a whole new way of doing things graphically. : )


                                  Thanks again for all the tips, suggestions and help. I really do appreciate it.


                                  Take care... I'll let you know how the new venture is going.