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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.
by Peter C.S. Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One way to learn PageMaker is just to use it. If you have experience in publishing, PageMaker is designed to be familiar to you, like using a light table. There are a few "gotchas," of course, but if you're an experienced publisher, learning PageMaker should be a snap. It's a complex program. But the good news is that PageMaker is a lot easier to learn than competing products like QuarkXPress.
In addition to the obvious the PAGEMAKR mailing list you may want to take advantage of the many training materials available. In 1985, desktop publishing was brand new and unexplored territory. Today, millions of people use desktop publishing software worldwide. Of course, there's a lot more to learning desktop publishing than learning PageMaker: there's typesetting and graphic design, for starters.
If you don't already have PageMaker, get it. You can buy it at Amazon.com, computer mail order warehouses, or and good computer store. It's much easier to learn if you have a copy to practice on. Learn by doing.
There are a lot of good books and other resources available, many listed below. For starters, check out one of the following two books. The Classroom book is best for a step-by-step tutorial approach, the Quickstart book is best for an overview and ... well, a quick start!
Your installation of PageMaker includes a Help file. This will help you with specific topics like creating frames, using the control palette, and familiarizing you with the various keyboard shortcuts. However, it is not a very good tutorial. The manual that comes with PageMaker is quite good as computer manuals go, and will introduce you to the important concepts. However, a real beginner would do well to find an introductory book, CD, video, or training class.
Taking a Class
Many local universities and colleges offer courses in desktop publishing, often featuring PageMaker. Call the art department or the registrar to see if there are classes that might be useful to you. Also ask at your local printer of service bureau to see where their desktop publisher learned the trade. Usually they will say "the school of hard knocks," but they may also have suggestions on local schools, training programs, etc., and will certainly have real-world advice you won't learn in class.
Thunder Lizard Productions <http://www.thunderlizard.com> offers seminars all over the country and come highly recommended by list members.
Taz Tally Seminars <http://www.tazseminars.com> but they don't do PageMaker, just Photoshop, prepress, etc. You might want to consider Taz Talley seminars. A few years ago I attended his Pre-press seminar and it was very informative. I'm not sure if he travels out west though.
You can get training on video or CD from Mac and Windows Academy <http://www.macacademy.com>, Learnkey <http://www.learnkey.com>, and Keystone <http://www.hallogram.com/keystone/pagemaker>. For online training, use a search engine like Google <http://www.google.com> to look for universities offering distance learning, or, for a $179 yearly fee, you can take courses at Element K <http://www.elementk.com>.
VTC Online University <http://www.vtco.com/> has developed over 12,000 software tutorials on various topics, including PageMaker 7.0 and 6.5, and offers them over the internet in Streaming QuickTime format. Other options include premium memberships and CD-ROMs. The tutorials require "the latest version of QuickTime." Blurb from the PageMaker 6.5 tutorials page: "VTC and Diane Presler bring you 19 Hours of movies that will explain in depth how PageMaker works. (VTC has combined 2 titles together, PageMaker 6.5 and PageMaker 6.5 Techniques, so you would now get 2 CDs for the price of one!)"
Keystone Learning offers courses in many area, including PageMaker 6.5.
Many web sites offer tutorials, articles, and tips, including ours <http://www.makingpages.org/pagemaker/tips.html>. Adobe is the best, with Tips <http://www.adobe.com/products/tips/pagemaker.html> and an online magazine <http://www.adobe.com/products/adobemag/archive/qapage.html>, but also try Inside PageMaker magazine and About.com.
Alan Rolfe has a web site for PageMaker training at <http://elgar.tvu.ac.uk/~alan/pm/index.html>
Another great resource is Ben Willmore. He did the book in Photoshop 5 or 5.5 and his travelling training program is top notch. His website has a wealth of info on it. <http://www.digitalmastery.com/tips_effects.html>
Adobe Press offers a book/CD set called Adobe PageMaker Classroom in a Book. I haven't used it, but I have heard good reports about other titles in their CIAB series. There's a whole lot of beginners guides to PageMaker, such as "PageMaker for Dummies" and "PageMaker Visual Quickstart guide." And, of course, PageMaker comes with a tutorial.
I beta-tested DigitalThink's Pagemaker to Perfection series of online courses (Introduction / Intermediate / Advanced) more than a year ago and found them very helpful. Have a look at <http://www.digitalthink.com/catalog/series/se004.html> But at $195 a pop (or $525 for the series) it might be too expensive for non-US users. Another (cheaper) option would be to get a good manual (for about $30-$40) and work through it at your own pace.
Go to Adobe.com, click Support which takes you to Customer First Support > Top Issues > PageMaker and browse to your heart's content. There is one paper "Recommended Workflow for Creating PageMaker Publications" (you may have to do a search for it) which could have some relevent tips in it.
Marc Zeedar has written a number of tutorials for his students (most of the info still applies (though some of the screens may be different now). Free tutorial PDF documents on his site include an Introduction to Electronic Publishing, which explains the basic differences between vector and bitmap graphics, a one-page tutorial on using Tabs in PageMaker, and an introduction to printing.
If you have a little more money, Mac and Windows Academy have video and CD-ROM based training on just about any topic in computing. CDs are usually in the $29-49 range and come in sets. PageMaker's set is around $240. They would have both 7.0 and 6.5 training.
Send Adobe suggestions and feature requests at: http://www.adobe.com/supportservice/custsupport/feature.html
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Peter C.S. Adams
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