Re. Quark vs. PageMaker

Subject: Re. Quark vs. PageMaker
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 3 May 1995 14:04:42 LCL

Dave Meek asked for some details about why Quark might be chosen as
the best page-layout software. First off, let me note that this comes
down in many respects to the same religious argument that separates
Mac vs. PC users and MS Word vs. WordPerfect users. Much of this comes
down to a matter of preference. That being said, here are some

- Quark offers far greater typographic and artistic control than
PageMaker, although some of the "greaters" are functionally
meaningless (e.g., kerning in increments of 0.001 em instead of 0.01
em, which most non-artists will never notice). On the whole, though,
Quark has more and stronger features than PageMaker; the tradeoff is
that as with MS Word, you pay a price in convenience and bulk/speed.

- Out of the box, PageMaker is slightly better for long documents than
Quark; Quark used to be primarily for layout-intensive tasks, but has
now closed the gap with PageMaker. I've read PageMaker is still
superior, but can't confirm this.

- Quark has a reputation for buggy first releases, with stable
maintenance releases. They also have a universal reputation as having
the most user-hostile policies (in part tech. support, in part
corporate arrogance) in the universe: nonetheless, they have a large
and loyal following, which says something about the quality of the

- Despite Aldus' recent addition of extensability to PageMaker, Quark
has more and better third-party add-ons. This is particularly true if
you're prepared to pay a few thousand for stuff such as and
Quark Copy desk for workgroup publishing (e.g., to put together a

I prefer PageMaker, but then, I've never tried Quark and base this
opinion on what I've read: I work effectively with PM, and see no need
to switch. Objectively, Quark sounds like the better product and is
reviewed as such in most computer magazines.

--Geoff Hart #8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: These comments are my own and don't represent the opinions
of the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada.

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