iWork and Pages, I switched

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    Posted: 12 March 2008 12:33 PM

    Last week I delivered a job to the printers that I laid out in Pages. I was apprehensive because for the last few years I was using InDesign. However, when I upgraded to Leopard I started having problems with InDesign and Acrobat Distiller, weird crashes, couldn’t distill .PS files. Anyway, I had a much more lead time on this project than I usually have so I thought that I would give Pages a chance.

    As with any new program there is a learning curve, but it wasn’t too bad. What I discovered in the process is that Pages while not yet an InDesign killer it certainly is capable of inflicting serious injury. Furthermore the price is excellent. A couple of items:

    1. Text wrap around a graphic is one size for all sides. With InDesign I could tell it to give 4 points on the right margin and 0 on the others. Pages has 4 points, or whatever, on all sides. Makes for a bit of unwanted white space above and below a graphic, in this case photos associated with a biography.

    2. Tracking is by percent and I can not get it as fine as I could with InDesign. Sometimes that thousandth is all you need.

    3. You can export to PDF, including PDF/X, but it does make for a larger file size than using Distiller.

    4. You can also export as .PS, PostScript and distill that file. However, you do not have, or at least I couldn’t find, the options you have when printing to .PS from InDesign. Sidebar: I distilled the file using Acrobat on my ragged old G3 iBook that is running Panther; I didn’t move/copy the file, I just connected using AirPort to my iMac and distilled on location.

    5. No “preflight.” You have to be careful that all graphics are in the color mode you want. This job was black and white. My print shop needs graphics to be CMYK or grayscale, I had to double check that manually.

    6. No “Export to Golive.” With this client I take the biographies I prepare for print and quickly repurpose them for the website.  You can, however, export to HTML and then I could copy and paste from that file into a web page when working in GoLive.

    I will probably upgrade to CS3 sooner or later, maybe not until CS4, but for my current page layout needs, iWork is just fine.


    “Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in the material universe to possess internal order, and that is why, though I don’t believe that only art matters, I do believe in Art for Art’s sake.” E. M. Forster

  • Posted: 14 March 2008 01:08 AM #1

    I couldn’t agree more. Pages may not have all the necessary features which elevate InDesign to the professional sphere but that doesn’t mean Pages can’t be used within a professional workflow.

    I would argue the same for iPhoto. I’ve created photo books for clients using iPhoto and each time they’ve been gobsmacked by the results. Of course, I prefer to use Aperture to create photo books but there are some jobs for which iPhoto is entirely up to the task.

    Some years ago, the “Day in The Life of….” photographic project involved a posse of photographers who were given a disposable camera. The cameras were shit, but the ‘togs captured images that exploited the optimum parameters of the optics and exposure system. The results were stunning.

    It’s not the tool. It’s the user.

    But, of course, users who prefer not to be tools use tools that pro users prefer.  rolleyes


    Karate ni sente nashi

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    Posted: 25 May 2008 01:09 PM #2

    Re: iWork and Pages, I switched

    [quote author=“Sir Harry Flashman”]3. You can export to PDF, including PDF/X, but it does make for a larger file size than using Distiller.

    I really am just an amateur when it comes to page layout, but I’ve found the PDFs produced by Pages to be very large, too. I have found, however, that by not relying on Pages itself to resize images, I can considerably reduce the size of the PDFs. I place the original images first, using Pages, and then, once the layout is satisfactory, check the dimensions of each image and use an image editor to resize the images, saving the new versions. I then replace the images in the Pages document with the resized versions. Adds to the work, of course, but it can significantly reduce the PDF.