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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Pages vs InDesign/InCopy

Pages vs InDesign/InCopy
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Aug 17, 2007, 09:45 PM
 
Anyone want to chime in?
     
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Aug 17, 2007, 10:24 PM
 
On what?

I believe InDesign and Pages are directed at two different markets. While I have both, I rarely used indesign and so far (I've just purchased iwork last week) I've not had a chance to dig into pages.
     
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Aug 17, 2007, 10:57 PM
 
There's no comparison, really. InDesign is a deep program with all sorts of microscopic control over every aspect of page layout (absent custom kerning tables) and Pages is a consumer app for doing basic stuff. It's a nice consumer app, and you can do some nice stuff with it, and it's easy to use, but I don't think you could really expect it to serve as an InDesign replacement.

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
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Aug 17, 2007, 10:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Anyone want to chime in?
Maybe you first tell what you intend to do before people spend time flooding you with answers you can’t do anything with.

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Aug 18, 2007, 03:45 AM
 
Comparisons... hence "vs".
     
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Aug 18, 2007, 09:46 AM
 
I think Moonray is asking for more specific request. As Chris V (and myself) have said that indesign has a ton more features and is directed for a different audience then Pages. Its not as simple as which is better because they're really for different solutions.
     
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Aug 18, 2007, 09:48 AM
 
freudling >> comparisons? not enough to go with there.

Pages - word processing
Indesign - page layout
InCopy - never heard of it, but Wikipedia has: Adobe InCopy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There's the argument that Pages also does Page Layout, but on the same note so does every other word processor, but its just for basic use. Like the church lady making the news letter, or the secretary making a flyer. But when it comes time for an actual full fledged page layout (advertisement, brochure, a book, etc), you go to InDesign. They are two different classes of application, you can't compare the two.
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Aug 18, 2007, 04:17 PM
 
Freudling: without knowing what you want to do with either of these apps it’s difficult to help you compare much more than the price and the overall professionality. You might want and get the manuals of these applications which are available online and see where the features meet your needs.

You also might want to get the free 30 day trial of iWork and give Pages a try to see it’s weaknesses and strengths yourself.

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Aug 20, 2007, 11:27 AM
 
Indesign and InCopy are full professional dtp solutions that will produce printed material suitable to supply to a print shop.

Pages is a quick method of laying out publications to go to your inkjet or laserprinter, or as pdf files. It is quick and easy to use if, and this is a BIG IF, you stick to the templates provided. Trying to edit, alter or create your own templates of any complexity is not for the faint hearted.

Pages is NOT suitable for spot color printing (where you use a limited number of specific color inks) as opposed to process color printing (using the four process color inks). PrintShops will not accept Pages files in the later casde anyway, you will need to supply pdf files and know how to set those up for professional printing. You are hardly likely to know how to do this if you are an amateur DTPer!

There also significant bugs in Pages. One of the worst is where deleting a page break can lose whole pages with their contents. Pages layout is based on XML which causes odd effects to happen when even non-contiguous style markup is deleted, easy to do as they are invisible.

A real killer is that a Pages file saved on a network server can be opened and edited simultaneously by multiple users without the others' knowing.

Tables and bullet points have a nasty habit of breaking down if parts are deleted or merged.

You can not get rid of the header and footer fields they are always on the page and getting in your way.

It is very hard to select things. There is no direct selection tool and it is hit and miss as to what object you click on and whether it selects the contents (text or image) or the object that contains them. Selecting objects on top of each other is a nightmare.

Grouped objects do not act together as expected, for instance if you try to resize the group its individual parts just scatter.

Pages uses iPhotos library as its images source, unfortunately iPhoto won't import pdfs which are the default vector format for Pages.

The shapes used in Pages are in a very strange proprietry format which makes it difficult to create them in 3rd party vector applications and import them.

The Manual and Help supplied are very superficial and only deal with the basic simple tasks which are mostly obvious anyway. The hard to do bits don't get a mention.

To sum up my kids use Pages with one or 2 of the templates to quickly whip up attractive assignments to print out on my home printers. Any more than that and you will need InDesign or Quark XPress.
( Last edited by rubaiyat; Aug 20, 2007 at 12:45 PM. )
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Aug 20, 2007, 02:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by rubaiyat View Post
(Big list of Pages flaws)
While I agree with you in many points, not all of them are important for small or less professional projects. However I don’t find creating templates that hard and there’s small progress: in Pages’08 you can turn off header and footer fields. For the more serious bugs you mentioned it would be nice if you had filed bugreports at apple.

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Aug 20, 2007, 04:48 PM
 
What makes you assume I haven't reported the bugs?

Dispiritingly I have trouble discerning any positive results even after waiting this long for a fully paid upgrade.

Except maybe for the header and footer if that is true.

Oh btw I forgot to mention I, like 95% of this planet work in metric. Pages has an unforgiveable rounding error that makes placing objects precisely, extremely difficult.
( Last edited by rubaiyat; Aug 20, 2007 at 05:01 PM. )
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Aug 20, 2007, 07:13 PM
 
I wasn’t assuming you hadn’t, I was just trying to word my optimism you had.

The rounding steps when placing objects have been a nuisance for me as well. There ought to be a much finer grain internally to accomodate different measuring systems.

And Apple’s update and pricing policy? I don’t like it either, but it’s the same way they sell OS X.

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Aug 21, 2007, 12:51 AM
 
There is no excuse for the rounding errors if they use 72pts to the inch. The inch was "metricated" in the early 1900s and is exactly 25.4mm which seems to escape most USA programmers who don't use the exact conversions.

Even Apple in Page Setup gets the conversions for A4, A5 etc wrong.

Sadly America continues to drag the chain and probably will forever, being "The Only One In The Room".

The pricing is a reality. A reality that is ignored by many making excuses and fudging the real cost of staying up-to-date and with a complete set of applications. Typically they claim the full benefit of the latest suite/OS but ignore how you got to that over the years.
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Aug 21, 2007, 04:56 PM
 
Right, there is no excuse since laziness and ignorance don’t count. The page setup tells you probably the A4 width would be 20.99 instead of 21 cm. Apple could care more about their market outside the US.

The policy to update just serious bugs for free and to keep small bugfixes back a year, call them new version and sell them for a full price again makes me think of disposable software.

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Aug 22, 2007, 12:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by rubaiyat View Post
PrintShops will not accept Pages files in the later casde anyway, you will need to supply pdf files and know how to set those up for professional printing. You are hardly likely to know how to do this if you are an amateur DTPer!
I've just sent off a job, created in Pages, for 6500 glossy colour flyers. I'll let you know how it goes!

Last year I did them in inDesign. I thought this time I'd try Pages and see how well it works. Designing them was fine -- the only feature it didn't have that I needed was bleed, so I had to mess with custom page sizes.

You can not get rid of the header and footer fields they are always on the page and getting in your way.
This one's wrong; it's just in an odd place. From memory, it's Inspector -> Document -> Section -> Has header.

It is very hard to select things. There is no direct selection tool and it is hit and miss as to what object you click on and whether it selects the contents (text or image) or the object that contains them. Selecting objects on top of each other is a nightmare.
True. You get used to clicking off the page (which essentially switches to the selection tool) then back on an object, or drag then deselect the ones you don't want. Could be a lot better!

The shapes used in Pages are in a very strange proprietry format which makes it difficult to create them in 3rd party vector applications and import them.
I used svg2key which converts them into Keynote, and then you can copy and paste to Pages.

My verdict: Some things are easier, some are a pain. If this set of flyers comes back looking OK, I reckon I'll be using Pages for more things in the future, but still not everything.

Amorya
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Aug 22, 2007, 12:16 PM
 
Um if you "design" at home one in awhile. Pages.

If you do any professional work, and know how to use it, InDesign all the way baby.

I loved when I ditched Quark for it.

I'd use Pages before I went back to Quark again.
     
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Aug 22, 2007, 01:54 PM
 
Thanks Amorya for that tip about the header and footer!

I knew about svg2key, as I said it isn't easy. Having to create the shape as a .svg file then going through 2 other apps just to import a shape is weird. Why not just use imported pdfs and make them shapes? Apple has totally ignored the need for good vector and bitmap editing tools in their iWorks suite.

Best of luck with the Pages flyers. Hope all goes well.
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Aug 22, 2007, 02:29 PM
 
Pages takes PDFs.
     
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Aug 23, 2007, 03:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
Pages takes PDFs.
There's a review in Macworld to this. It's titled "Never again".
     
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Aug 23, 2007, 03:29 AM
 
Rubaiyat, as I follow your posts I can see "Pages" can possibly blow your fuses.

InDesign is a little pricey, and the learning curver is possibly steep.

How about "Graphics Converter", "Caffeine", and "LiveQuartz"? How about 4-color in any of them (CMYK)?
     
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Aug 23, 2007, 01:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
Pages takes PDFs.
I know that, of course not via the iPhoto library, but shapes behave differently to mere pdfs.

Most of the special effects in shapes are only possible with internally created shapes or the specially imported svg files.
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Aug 23, 2007, 05:02 PM
 
What are the special effects of shapes that are not available for PDFs?
     
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Aug 23, 2007, 05:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
How about "Graphics Converter", "Caffeine", and "LiveQuartz"? How about 4-color in any of them (CMYK)?
Is this a joke? LiveQuartz is basically a demo, GraphicConverter is a good program but decidedly a non-pro image editor, and Caffeine is not an image editor.
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