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Tag: InDesign

Adobe to Launch iPad Friendly Publishing Suite

Adobe Systems has launched a new version of its digital publishing suite for individuals: the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition. Essentially it enables freelance designers and small design firms to publish interactive content created with Adobe InDesign CS5.5 software on Apple iPad. Adobe’s Single Edition provides an end-to-end workflow for designers to publish a single-issue application for sale or distribution through the Apple App Store. Designers can now use their existing skills and workflows to create an application for the iPad, saving on development costs while allowing them to maintain creative control. Moreover, Single Edition allows users to publish single-issue content such as a brochure, highly-visual book, annual report or personal design portfolio as an application for the iPad. As an extension of the Digital Publishing Suite line, Single Edition enables users to utilise Creative Suite 5.5 workflows to create an application for the iPad. http://www.adobe.com/

K4 Publishing System Now Also for Rent

Vjoon announced that media companies, publishing houses, and corporate publishers now have the option to rent vjoon‘s K4 Publishing System. According to their individual situation, publishers can hire as many K4 workstations, K4 Web Editor licenses, and other system components such as K4 Overview or K4 XML Exporter as their projects, order position, and workload demand.This new rental offering benefits both new and existing customers. New customers can test the system, existing customers can add additional K4 seats to their current system as needed. The costs for Adobe InDesign CS4 Server and the database are included in the rental fee. This enables Adobe InDesign and InCopy users to test the system and experience the time and cost savings brought on by K4 under actual production conditions. http://www.vjoon.com/

Markzware Releases Publisher-to-InDesign Software for Adobe InDesign CS3 and CS4

Markzware, a developer of data extraction and conversion software and inventor of preflighting, released an upgrade to its conversion tool PUB2ID for InDesign CS3 and CS4. PUB2ID v2 (Microsoft Publisher to Adobe InDesign) is a plug-in that enables users to convert native-application Microsoft Publisher files (MS Publisher versions 2002 through 2007) to Adobe InDesign while preserving the content, as well as the styles and formatting. http://www.markzware.com

SoftCare Releases SoftCare K4 Version 5.7

Version 5.7 of publishing solution SoftCare K4 is now available. The new release of the editorial system includes several enhancements that can help publishers using Adobe InDesign and InCopy. Among these features are a new scripting interface for automating customer-specific processes, and the optional K4 Web Editor 2.0, which allows users to write and edit articles to fit in a Web browser and offers more flexibility in including the staff in the work processes. An improvement in Version 5.7 enables functions specific to the K4 system to be accessed automatically through scripts (JavaScript, AppleScript or Visual Basic), improving speed and productivity by allowing users to automate certain tasks within the editorial workflow. K4 Web Editor 2.0 lets users write, edit and copyfit Adobe InCopy articles in K4 from any computer with nothing more than a Web browser and an Internet connection. Articles checked out with K4 Web Editor are locked in the database; check-in from Web Editor unlocks the file and updates the database. Accurate representations of K4 articles, complete with styling, font mapping and layout geometry, are generated by Adobe InDesign Server and made available via a password-protected browser interface. It also allows users to work offline. Other improvements include the new easy query mode which allows quick searching for document names, and improved accessibility with larger fonts in the job lists. SoftCare K4 version 5.7 is available from K4 System Integrators worldwide. Customers using K4 version 5.0 or higher with valid maintenance agreements are eligible for a free upgrade. The K4 Web Editor is available for purchase as an option for K4 5.6 and 5.7 installations. K4 supports Mac OS X and Windows clients in mixed-platform environments. The server software is available for Mac OS X, Windows, Sun Solaris and Linux. http://www.softcare.de

The Importance of QuarkXPress 7.0

(Full disclosure: I’ve consulted many times with Quark and with Adobe, and was specifically hired by Quark to prepare a brochure called QuarkXPress 7 for Output Service Providers.)

I think that QuarkXPress 7 is an important release for Quark, its customers, Adobe and the publishing industry. We’re well past the days of “feature wars,” so, for example, the addition of OpenType support, something first offered in InDesign 1.5 five years ago, is not shaking my world. There is also new support for transparency, improved color management and PDF support, and various other goodies that you’d expect to find in your Christmas stocking, but none of these are anything much more than “overdue.”

What’s most important from my perspective is Quark’s forward strides in supporting improved publishing workflows, the last frontier for the electronic publishing industry. Two new features stand out in this respect. One is “Job Jackets” and the other is JDF (Job Definition Format) support.

According to CIP4 (www.cip4.org) the non-profit industry association pushing JDF, “JDF is a comprehensive XML-based file format and proposed industry standard for end-to-end job ticket specifications combined with a message description standard and message interchange protocol.” Along with its earlier incarnations, JDF has been in the making for more than 15 years now. It has very broad industry support – hundreds of vendors have added JDF functionality to hundreds of hardware and software products. That being said, it’s still a challenge to find a robust JDF-based publishing installation in the field. The main reasons for this are the complexity of the standard and the need for all of the players in a broad publishing workflow to be in the game – if one key component lacks support the JDF flow grinds to a halt.

Adobe have added JDF support to Acrobat, which is to some extent accessible from InDesign, but Quark has moved ahead of Adobe by building JDF support directly into the page layout application, independently from PDF. No doubt Adobe will follow suit in the next version of InDesign, expected early next year, so the issue is not so much who got there first. But having what is still the mostly widely-used page layout application in the world throw its support behind JDF is of key importance at this time when broad-based JDF adoption by the publishing industry is still in question.

Quark uses JDF also in its Job Jackets feature. A Quark Job Jackets file contains all of the rules and specifications necessary to describe a QuarkXPress project. A Quark Job Jackets file can include specifications for colors, style sheets, trapping, and color management as well as picture color space, format, and resolution. The file can also include information such as the page size, number of pages, and contact information for the people involved with a job. And the file can include rules that specify configurations for font sizes, line thicknesses, box backgrounds, and other project elements. Workgroups can obtain consistent output by using Quark Job Jackets to share specifications across workstations.

For me the most intriguing benefit of Quark Job Jackets is that it re-invents the concept of preflighting. Preflighting has always been a post-process step: create your file, and then find out where you screwed up. With Job Jackets users can ensure that a print job adheres to its specifications from the moment it’s created, and that it continues to adhere to those specifications all the way through the production process until it rolls off the press. I’ve long maintained that page designers would not be able to perfect their process until it was possible to prevent errors, rather than to correct them after the fact. I’m certain this approach will fast become the production norm.

It’s interesting to me that searching through Google News the day after the Quark 7.0 launch in New York, there’s nary a mention in the mainstream press. Neither the New York Times nor the Wall Street Journal seem to have found it worthy of coverage. To me this reflects the new prevailing “wisdom”: Adobe has won the page-layout wars (and every other war for that matter), so Quark’s announcement isn’t newsworthy. I think they are underestimating the importance of QuarkXPress 7.0. Only time will tell.