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About This Site
Design philosophy: all information in this web site should be accessible to the intended audience regardless of platform, browser, or size of screen. Graphics are kept to a minimum to reduce download times. If you see a frame or an animated GIF, feel free to flame me mercilessly.
This site uses fully compliant cascading style sheets (CSS). Older browsers should display text in their default fonts, while more recent browsers will all display fully formatted text. (However, the styles sheets will look best viewed in Internet Explorer 4.0 or above.) The site also complies with major accessibility standards.
The base font for this page is Trebuchet MS, a free font from Microsoft designed for on-screen readability at small point sizes. The headlines are 32 pt Times bold italic, combining elegance, classical proportions, and compactness.
The logo is variation on the original logo from Aldus PageMaker and depicts Aldus Manutius, a student of Johannes Gutenberg and inventor of italics. This is to echo the roots of desktop publishing, both in the 1450s and the 1980s. The logo uses Courier from ITC to evoke the feel of metal type and Poetica from Adobe Systems to evoke the era of hand lettering.
PageMaker Past, Present, and Future
This page is a work in progress. Send suggestions and corrections to Peter C.S. Adams.
For millennia, humans have struggled to communicate, first with grunts and sign language, then with speech. But it was when humans learned to write that civilization became possible. First we painted on cave walls, then chiseled in stone, then wrote on more practical and portable things, like wood, papyrus, and finally paper. Hand printing ink on paper was the state of the art for hundreds of years until mechanical inventing was invented, first with engraving and then with movable type. But setting type with metal was still slow, dangerous, and difficult work. This was not dramatically changed until the twentieth century with machines like the Mergenthaler and Linotype. In 1984, the state of the art was phototypesetting on large, complex machines that were expensive and where what you was was nothing like what you would get. Then three companies -- Apple Computer, Adobe Systems, and the Aldus Corporation -- changed everything.
The Desktop Publishing Revolution
In the beginning, there was PostScript, the page description language John Warnock and his team at Xerox PARC invented to control the laser printer. Like many other PARC employees (e.g. Bob Metcalf invented Ethernet and left to form 3Com), Warnock became discouraged at Xerox's refusal to market his invention, so he left to form Adobe Systems.
This was a programming language and Adobe released books describing how to use it. They also gave developers some spectacular examples in the Colophon 3 Alphabet. But it wasn't for the ordinary user. A few startup companies developed programs to make these PostScript tools available to artists, but it wasn't until Adobe introduced Illustrator that this became widespread.
Meanwhile, in Cupertino, California, Apple Computer, makers of the immensely popular Apple II computer, was struggling to find the "killer app" that would make its new Macintosh computer as popular as VisiCalc had made the Apple II. The Macintosh had been released in 1984 to much fanfare, but struggled due to its high price and lack of software. Steve Jobs, dissatisfied with the quality of ImageWriter output, had licensed PostScript from Adobe and Apple released the first mass market laser printer. By 1985, Apple was pushing its "Mac Office" -- Macintosh computers networked with the original LaserWriter printer -- but was in trouble. People couldn't see why they should spend close to $9,000 for a computer and a printer.
But the Mac was popular with artists of all sorts, and caught the eye of programmers who saw niches they could fill only with the Macintosh's graphical user interface.
Brainerd was one of those programmers. When the Aldus Corporation introduced
PageMaker 1.0, it revolutionized the publishing industry. Suddenly
design brochures. Publishers had to become computer literate, and Apple started
selling Macintoshes and LaserWriters in large numbers.
Soon there was a critical mass of software buyers and new products like Cricket Draw, Digital Darkroom, and Adobe Illustrator began to appear. The fact that people could begin creating their own art to put into PageMaker made PageMaker and desktop publishing more attractive, increasing sales of PageMaker, Macintosh, and the LaserWriter, further fueling the loop.
PageMaker 1.0 included all the basic elements needed to lay out pages: free form drag and drop positioning of page elements, sophisticated type tools, a well-chosen selection of drawing tools, the ability to import text and graphics (most importantly, EPS files) from other applications, and the ability to print to high resolution PostScript printers with WYSIWYG accuracy. PageMaker not only made desktop publishing possible, it spawned entire cottage industries for clip art, fonts, service bureau output and scanning, and specialty products for laser printing such as foil overlays.
PageMaker continued to evolve, reaching new heights with version 4.2, which had such essential features as text rotation and a story editor. Despite some interesting marketing ploys (see boxer shorts, left) Aldus had lost significant market share to QuarkXPress, which had some powerful features, such as color separation, PageMaker lacked. PageMaker and QuarkXPress were virtually equal , especially once PageMaker 5 added color seps, but momentum is hard to break, and QuarkXPress continued to gain market share, due largely to ignorance and mythology regarding PageMaker's capabilities. Most people who used both preferred PageMaker, but that didn't seem to help Aldus, and their dwindling revenues eventually led to their acquisition in 1995 by Adobe, which re-introduced PageMaker as "Adobe PageMaker" and subsequently upfated it to version 6, 6.5, and finally 7. However, it was quickly clear that Adobe had no real interest in PageMaker or its cusomers. Their interest lay in InDesign.
Founder of Aldus Corporation, which was named after the 15th century Venetian printer Aldus Manutius. The July 1985 release of Aldus PageMaker for the new Apple Macintosh computer revolutionized publishing, which could now be done on a fraction of the budget of before. As well as the Mac, PageMaker relied for its success on Adobes PostScript page description language, and the printer in which it was embedded, the Apple LaserWriter. PageMaker for the PC came out in 1986, but by then the Apple Mac was already established as the platform of choice for desktop publishing (DTP), with Quark XPress (1988) and Adobe Photoshop (1990) completing the suite of killer apps. Aldus went on to offer the FreeHand illustration program, marketed under license from its developers Altsys (who also developed Fontographer). Into the 1990s Quark XPress steadily stole ground from PageMaker, while it seemed increasingly odd that Adobe who had created the standard page description language vital to the so-called desktop revolution still did not offer its own page layout application. This was resolved in September 1994 when Aldus was taken over by Adobe. (Seven years on, Adobe continues to develop PageMaker despite their heavy investment in InDesign.)
As a native of the Pacific Northwest, Paul Brainerd has long been concerned with the health of the region's human and natural communities. His first two careers enabled him to launch a third career -- that of a philanthropist promoting environmental stewardship.
Brainerd Foundation: http://www.brainerd.org/
Books about the History of Computers, Publishing, and Desktop Publishing
The PAGEMAKR Wish List for PageMaker 7.
Intro of InDesign
Current versions of popular programs:
State of the industry
Adobe <http://www.adobe.com/products/adobesupportsOSX.html> lists their support for Mac OS X as including PageMaker, Acrobat, and Photoshop, among others, in classic compatibility mode, and states that it "plans to support Mac OS X native mode in future releases of our flagship products" -- a slight retreat from previous statements (depending on your idea of what they mean by "flagship products."
Following is Adobe's description of PageMaker under OS X. Note the phrase "the next major release of PageMaker" -- this appears to be the company's first formal statement that they are working on PageMaker updates!
Using Adobe PageMaker 6.5 Plus and Macintosh Mac OS X
Adobe PageMaker currently does not offer native support for Apple's new Mac OS X operating system. Below is a list of some of the key issues identified by Adobe that users may encounter running PageMaker 6.5 Plus in Mac OS X Classic mode. Adobe does not plan to offer native support for Mac OS X in the next major release of PageMaker.
Key issues using Adobe PageMaker 6.5 Plus under Mac OS X Classic mode:
Because of limitations to support for SCSI, USB, and FireWire input devices in Classic mode, there is no ability to acquire images directly from scanners, nor is it possible to use a pressure-sensitive graphics tablet.
Under some circumstances, Mac OS X will display the PageMaker application icon incorrectly and/or will fail to correctly associate files with the PageMaker.
The screen may fail to refresh properly when an image is viewed in full-screen mode.
What is not clear for the desktop publisher are the following issues:
ATM in Classic
fonts in Classic
non PostScript proofers
- How OS X manages fonts is a mystery.
That was apparently one of the biggest sources of complaint and was completely overhauled for the final release. I haven't seen the revised OS so I'm curious about this as well. They did include a nice collection of fonts with it, but I'm not sure if they are OpenType fonts with extended character sets or just converted Type 1 fonts.
- OS X seems to have built-in ATM-like capability, but does that work under Classic as well?
- Printing didn't work in the Beta, though it's supposed to in the release version (I haven't tested it yet). I can imagine that most of our carefully figured out printing methods over the years are going to be useless in OS X, though.
- Native PDF support is a great part of X, but you are correct that there seems to be no capability to control any details about the PDF (font inclusion, compression amounts, etc.).
- I'm puzzled by things like the effect of OS X's virtual memory on Classic programs: for instance, Photoshop has it's own virtual memory implementation for handling large images so you're not supposed to use the Mac OS virtual memory, but OS X has virtual memory always on and it tells Classic that it has a gig of RAM to work with, and since you can't set Photoshop's memory partition, Photoshop thinks it has tons of real RAM when it doesn't. But does that really hurt performance if you actually have a lot of RAM?
- UNIX is a lot pickier than the Mac OS about where stuff is located. On a Mac you can just move apps and documents
In general, my design workflow uses such a variety of critical tools that's its hard to imagine OS X being useful for the near future. [...] will printing via OS X create new RIP problems?
Yes, I think you're right about needing a real world eval before you can trust it with anything. Are you volunteering? :-> I have it on order, and plan to use PageMaker and Photoshop on my test machine, but can't really be considered a real-world tester anymore. Almost all my work nowadays is web related, so I can't really put PageMaker thru its paces. But when (if?) I get a machine to put it on, I'll report my progress.
The future of PageMaker is not bright, as InDesign is clearly the future of desktop publishing Adobe.
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Peter C.S. Adams
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