Professional Web Applications Themes

New User Switching from MS Word - Adobe Indesign Windows

We have used MS Word for several years to produce mixed source doents (Architectural proposals) these include text, Excel spreadsheets (linked in via OLE) Acad DWGs (would be nice to link but that's never worked that well) and JPG images. I've heard that ID does a much better job of such stuff than MSWord (wouldn't be dificult since Word does it so badly) and as a result, we are thinking of switching to ID. Is it really so good? Would it be hard to convert exixting DOC files to ID? Honestly now, are there any "gotchas"? We often work with ...

  1. #1

    Default New User Switching from MS Word

    We have used MS Word for several years to produce mixed source doents (Architectural proposals) these include text, Excel spreadsheets (linked in via OLE) Acad DWGs (would be nice to link but that's never worked that well) and JPG images.

    I've heard that ID does a much better job of such stuff than MSWord (wouldn't be dificult since Word does it so badly) and as a result, we are thinking of switching to ID.

    Is it really so good? Would it be hard to convert exixting DOC files to ID? Honestly now, are there any "gotchas"? We often work with outside consultants - most of them will stay with MS Office - will it be hard to integrate their work?

    I see from the ID demo that it seems to be a multi-user application where several users can input data in parallel working on the same master file - Is this correct? Do I need a separate license for every seat?

    Any help, suggestions, horror stories would be appreciated.
    Mike_Mulvey@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    MS Word is a word processor. InDesign is a pagelayout application.

    While they are certainly related, you wouldn't really use one to replace
    the other.

    From your brief description, yes, you could accomplish this in InDesign
    but I would strongly encourage you to download the demo and check it out
    yourself. There are a lot of word processor features that you may take
    for granted that you won't find in InDesign.

    And yes, you need a seperate license for each user.

    Bob
    Bob Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    Thank you.

    I appreciate the difference - unfortunately no one application seems to have the exact feature set we need. I guess it will be a trade-off to see which application has the closest fit - All I know ids that we seem to have been fighting MSWord for years - Produced some excellent doents using it but most are a testament to how well we have managed to overcome Word's limitations rather than how good the application is.

    Unfortunately, the cost will probably sink the deal. When we can buy MS Office licenses for a couple of hundred, upgrade the ones we have for less and buy new PCs with it pre-installed at minimal cost, it's hard to justify spending $700/seat on a new app.
    Mike_Mulvey@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    Frankly, I am both a professional ID user and a professional MSWord fighter. I don't know how you produce or handle doents, but if you have someone on staff who knows ID, it might be a massive timesaver to be able to say, "Making this happen in Word will take hours/days/far too long. Just give your mockup and the text to Joel, and he'll be done before EOBD/before lunch/long before whenever it is that you need it."

    Just a thought. Getting a whole bunch of non-designer doent-producers who are used to Word to switch to ID sounds like a massive PITA, but simply working around, um, with Word's garbage, er, personality can be just as bad, or worse.
    Joel_Cherney@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    com schrieb:
     

    No, it isn't a multi-user application, a layout file can be opened one
    time at the same moment by one workstation. But others can prepare image
    data that the one with InDesign will use for his work.

    Jens
    Jens Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    InDesign is not the only page layout application in town. Dare I say you might also be able to use Microsoft Publisher? Also consider PageStream and RagTime, two lower cost page layout applications that you can google for online.
    Jim_Oblak@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    My understanding of InCopy (limited) is that it does allow more than one user to work on the same doent at the same time.
    Stu_Bloom_x@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    Thank you all. I now have a much better picture of what ID can and cannot do.

    Seems a pretty common problem in almost every application category that the most popular one gets there through marketing or other means while far better apps just don't get the same market share.

    Have had a love/hate relationship with Word for many years and would love to replace it but whatever does replace it will have to be very compatible with all the other apps (including Word) that we and our consultants run.
    Mike_Mulvey@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    My understanding of InCopy (limited) is that it does allow more than one user to work on the same doent at the same time.

    Adobe aught to market InCopy as a word processor. The price point is already similar to that of MS Word and the feature set is roughly comparable. Plus with InCopy you get seamless integration into a great page layout application.

    My 2 cents,
    Phil Redman
    pjredman@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: New User Switching from MS Word

    If management is counting pennies spent on software, and not on pennies wasted using inappropriate software, you won't be able to convince them of switching to Indesign. The real issue in my experience is that Word does such a bad job of linking in vector or line drawings. And if something is not working then you just have to switch. No amount of praying and trying is going to make a sportscar work well pulling a semi trailer.

    Word does fine with it's own spreadsheets, and it sort of works with simple raster pictures like photographs, but line drawings simply don't work with recent versions of Word in my experience. You should not be thinking of Indesign, rather think about using Creative Suite. In my opinion the only way of reliably getting text, vector, raster, to work is by getting all programs for handling these from the same company and convert to that format. Convert the AutoCAD drawings to Illustrator. Convert the pictures to Photoshop. Link them into Indesign.

    If it's too expensive for everyone to use Creative Suite, I agree with the suggestion to have a few experts in the company do the publishing. Others should supply raw bits and pieces and not the final format. Indesign imports Word well including styles if it's minus pictures and drawings.

    Creative Suite including Indesign is not perfect but will likely work well enough for your application. Weigh the following. It is likely going to stay around for awhile while other companies and products are more likely to fold or get bought out. It will get better. It is quite stable in operation compared to some of the competition. It is not that expensive. It might be the only popular desktop publishing program that is pretty well equally used by both Apple and Windows users. Framemaker is widely used in technical publication but presently is not Apple supported which likely will result in it becoming unpopular. It is probably the only desktop publishing program that has full resolution image preview which is important when viewing drawings mixed with text. Though Indesign was designed for creative publication such as magazines and brochures, it's my hunch that it is getting a high following in the book and technical doent fields due to the above reasons.
    Ben Guest

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