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InDesign special edition to lure PageMaker users

Adobe Systems Inc. has released a special edition of InDesign aimed at luring PageMaker users to switch to its newer graphics publishing brother.

“”We’ve never had the option of developing as much for PageMaker as we do for InDesign,”” said Colin Smith, technical resource manager at Adobe Systems

Inc. Canada on the debut of InDesign Creative Suite (CS) PageMaker Edition.

“”InDesign is the future of publishing for us,”” he said, so development of PageMaker will stop at the current version 7, which is two-and-a-half years old.

The special edition, which is expected to be rolled into Adobe Creative Suite sometime in the first half of the year, is scheduled to be shipped at the end of the month. With it Adobe hopes PageMaker users will switch to InDesign — one of the developer’s weaker products — to compete with rival, Quark Inc., whose page layout and Web design products lead the market.

The company expects the majority of PageMaker users in the SMB market, who make up over half of the application’s users, to upgrade to InDesign CS PageMaker Edition. “”There’s a lot of PageMaker users out there that haven’t upgraded,”” said Smith. “”These people haven’t moved to InDesign. They’re not moving to Quark. There’s nothing to sell them and yet there’s a large base of people that want to take advantage of some of the new features that InDesign has.””

Features of interest to the SMB market include Data Merge, which existing PageMaker users are familiar with, which allows users to create customized publications, such as catalogs, direct mail campaigns and business cards. “”It allows you to create documents dynamically where you can blend in the names from a database or spreadsheet into InDesign layouts,”” said Smith.

The template browser, a new feature, has 800 professionally designed templates. “”These customers aren’t always used to creating documents from scratch,”” said Smith.

One of the biggest benefits for VARs, says Smith, is that the special edition is a new product to sell. As for the end-user, Smith says, “”They’ll be able to do a lot more, because they’re more integrated into the rest of our products.””

InDesign CS PageMaker Edition will be sold to registered PageMaker users for US$349. InDesign CS customers can buy and download the Adobe PageMaker Plug-in Pack for US$49 from the Adobe Store (www.adobe.com).