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Love Me Love My Horse

Most lists have evolved beyond the flame-war mentality about the these two questions. In fact, we've found many of the responses form people who use both -- whether Quark or Pagemaker, or a Mac or PC -- often have really valuable perspectives to offer those faced with making a decision between these options.

The inquiry to the list is usually something like this: "I'm using Wordstar 1.0 to lay out my books and I'm finally ready to update my software. Should I get PageMaker or Quark?" Sometimes list members will make prejudiced remarks such as "Real professionals only use xxxxx," but despite these types of incendiary remarks, I have always been impressed with how helpful it can be for list members to specifically identify those features of a program that prompt them to select one piece of software over another. Some list members even report that they use both programs, depending upon the requirements of the job they are working on.

Christine Hummel, a former journalist and graphic designer for the Univeristy of Missouri -St. Louis continuing education department, posted a helpful comparison to the Pagemaker list about the differences between these Quark and Pagemaker:

PageMaker was originally designed by a group of journalists, and when you run the program the working area resembles a drafting table that you would use to lay out a yearbook or school newspaper. QuarkXPress was designed by people from the graphic arts industry -- typesetters, compositors, printers, etc. -- but I'm not sure they communicated with each other while creating the elements of QX.

I gave QuarkXPress a try because a friend said I would then be able to expand my free-lance offerings, but I found QX to be cumbersome. PageMaker lets you design "on the fly" and allows you to change your mind easily. For instance, if you started out with a document that has 1-inch margins and 1/2 inch between columns, PM lets you easily change it to 1/2-inch margins and 1/4 inch between columns. I can't recall the specifics of Quark, but I remember that you had to go through several dialog boxes to make such changes and not all options were available for changing. Even the Quark instructor said it might be easier to just start over with a new document. Well, that's not efficient if you're already finished 50 pages!

Technical support from Adobe is very good; support from Quark is nonexistent (and honest Quark users will agree). Quark's attitude seems to be "You bought it. See ya." And here's something I said the last time this discussion came up: The owner of PM is the same company that created Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Streamline, ATM, among others. And they invented PostScript. I can't begin to imagine the great future ahead of "cooperation" between Adobe products. As far as I know, all Quark manufactures is XPress.

Pete Keppel, in response the this issue on the PageMaker list, reported that as a provider of software and technical support in a large prepress service bureau, he finds there are features in both programs that he uses every day. He also agrees that PageMaker is the easier of the two programs to learn, even though he does more work in Quark than PageMaker.

Whether it's Quark or Pagemaker, or on other lists, often Mac or PC, we have selected posts on these two questions which we think offer a lot of incite into why we become so attached to one or the other, whether it's software or hardware.

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Quark or Pagemaker Responses

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Mac or PC

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