General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Microsoft Publisher vs. PageMaker vs. InDesign: any comments?

Asked by Jeruba (55570points) June 13th, 2010

The system is Windows XP.

The purpose is a monthly 16-page club newsletter.

I am experienced in MS Word and have actually done newsletter page makeup in it, with photos and all; have worked in FrameMaker (albeit clumsily); and have no experience with any of the three programs named.


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13 Answers

Finley's avatar

For my school staff newspaper we use InDesign and its amazing as for creating and organizing your own news letter, but the others might be helpful in having pre set up news letter layouts for you to just fill in. But if you want to organize and and arrange the way you want to (and lovely compatibility for Windows as well), InDesign might be the best bet.

in InDesing you have to create your own text boxes and size everything right, albeit it is frustrating at first but in the long run it can be extremely helpful.

Drcpb's avatar

InDesign CS4 is amazing. However, if you’re using an earlier version than that, you’d be better off to go with pagemaker. If you’re really, really good at graphic design, you might go with Quark. The only qualms I have about quark is that it has a steep learning curve.

Edit: You can preview Quark here-

Finley's avatar

Pagemaker is great for beginners and midwayers, but you’re limited with options so keep that in mind.

PupnTaco's avatar

InDesign. Nothing else comes close.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, I don’t want any preset layouts. I much prefer to have complete control of everything from the weight of the footer rule to the space below a photo caption. But there’s a tradeoff between what you can do and how much complexity you have to struggle through to do it, is there not?

Finley's avatar

InDesign was bloody hell trying to get used to (maybe like an hour give or take) but once I did it was amazing. If you have time just sit down and work through it and if you have questions, ask us!!

Jeruba's avatar

Sounds good, @Finley. If it can be mastered in an hour, that’s nothing. Piece of cake.

lootl's avatar

Xara Xtreme will blow your mind and it’s very, very inexpensive! Go look!

Jeruba's avatar

@lootl, that doesn’t look like a print-oriented product. I am talking about a newsletter printed on paper. Are you? Pardon me if I didn’t get it.

lootl's avatar

Ha ha! No, you didn’t get it! Xara Xtreme Version 6 has recently changed name, not sure to what, but will do everything you need and much more!

PupnTaco's avatar

To clarify my answer: in the world of page layout, simplicity and power are the two attributes you want – to accomplish basic tasks quickly and easily while not being hobbled when you want to dig deeper and do more complex things. InDesign has trumped its nearest competitor, Quark XPress, for years now. It’s the only page-layout program I’d recommend and I’ve been in the design biz for 30 years.

You can get the basic idea of how it works after a couple hours and do a good job on your newsletter. If you want to explore more complex features, they’re there for you.

And I looked at that Xara thing out of curiosity. Bizarre.

steve610's avatar

Don’t know if your still looking for answers but here is my input. I work with publisher, Xara, and word. What you didn’t say is who is going to print your work. if you are using professional printers ask them what program causes them less problems. In design is the top of the line page layout software. Publisher may be best for you since it is very much like an advanced Word, with better layout capabilities. Xara is a vector program similar to illustrator. It has a variety of very good text layout tools. It would be ideal for a newsletter since you can adjust and layout graphics. It would not be so good for straight word processing or booklets with many pages. I do all of my 1–2 page publishing in Xara these days because of the graphics capabilities.

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks for all responses. I decided not to volunteer my services for that project, but I’ll keep these comments in mind for another time.

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