Pagemaker vs. Quark - summary

Subject: Pagemaker vs. Quark - summary
From: Shari Scott <SScott -at- COMPLEXIMAGING -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 08:09:00 -0600

Several weeks ago I asked for opinions on Quark vs. Adobe. There wasn't
really a clear-cut favorite. I know it is a matter of preference and I was
glad to hear people's opinions. It gave me a few more things to consider
that I hadn't thought about. I downloaded the trials for both Quark and
Pagemaker and they seem very similar. I just need to figure out how to get
legible screen shots. The ones I have turn out very pixilated. As for what I
am going to do, I think I am going to get that Adobe pack that has
Pagemaker, Illustrator, and Photoshop. That should cover my bases. Many
people seemed flabbergasted that I was using Microsoft Publisher. It has
worked for what we have been doing so far but now we need something more.
For the record, I will still use Publisher for things that will be printed
here. It is so easy to use.

Thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy workdays to give me an

Below are a sample of the responses I got (many items have been snipped for

I haven't used PageMaker in years, but we currently use Quark XPress, and
one of its biggest problems is that it cannot create *or* import tables,
which may be a big handicap for you. There are some "extensions" available,
but the one we tried cost almost $300 and didn't work very well.
As for your original question, it's really a matter of preference. I'm a
big Adobe fan & so use Pagemaker. Our marketing people are all former Mac
users who wanted to continue using Quark. It's my understanding that Quark's
biggest advantage is in typography and in the number of Quark Extensions
available. If you're just doing simple stuff, I don't think it matters - you
won't go wrong either way.
Oh, the one other advantage of Pagemaker is that it comes bundled w/Adobe
Type Manager, Adobe Acrobat Distiller, and Photoshop LE (which works well
for most low-end Web and print production). This makes it a nice solution
for a small shop with many documentation needs.
I've used both Page and Quark, and I like both. Quark is much more powerful
and is a real good app to know how to use (excellent to have on your
resume). But if you only ever need to create 1-2 page brochures, I think
Page should be able to do the job.
If you want more information than you can possibly handle about PageMaker
vs. QuarkXPress, have a look at the PageMaker listserv archives. Sorry I
can't give you a URL, as I'm not working from my usual location at the
moment and don't have access to my archives to dig it out-a search on the
net should find it, and the listserv's name is PAGEMAKR. The subject's been
beaten to death on there.
I no longer belong to the list as I'm not using pagemaker as often as I was
a few months ago. But just before I left, another skirmish broke out, and I
think the general conclusion was:
Most things PageMaker can do Quark can do and vice versa. There are some
things one can do but the other can't do. BUT to do many of the things you
can do in PageMaker in Quark, you need to buy expensive plugins. Plus Quark
is notorious for poor support, whereas Adobe is very good.
Having worked with both softwares, I find
that Quark was the more stable of the two.

In my opinion though, it's all what you get used to and Pagemaker and Quark
both have the same bells and whistles.
If I were in your spot I'd choose Quark, but that's a personal preference I
Don't assume that Mac graphic designers use Quark. Many use Pagemaker. But
in truth, many designers use both-taking advantage of the best of both.
I have some information on Pagemaker versus Quark on my Document Design
pages un the O.K. Corral section.
I am a Pagemaker user on a mac, so you will notice the pc-Quark crowd is
not well represented. :>
< <> >

I think if you're doing mainly layout and writing, PageMaker will work
admirably. The company where I used to work still uses PageMaker for over
50-page proposals. Quark is almost like a 3-in-1 software where you can do a
little of everything what Illustrator, Photoshop and PageMaker do, so I'm
not sure if Quark has as good text handling features as PageMaker does. I
personally use the three Adobe softwares because I like Illustrator's and
Photoshop's power.
Hope this helps a little.
I use and like both Quark and PageMaker. I learned PageMaker 3 or 4 years
before I had even heard about Quark. Quark has advantages when talking about
graphics. With Quark, graphics (and text as well) are placed in boxes. With
graphics this means that you never have to worry about the graphic hanging
out of its border. But it also means that for a border around text, you
really need a text box within a graphics box. Quark had advantages for long
documents over PM in that once a text flow is setup from text box to text
box, it will always occur that way. In PM, when text is cut short, you must
manually place the running text back where you want it.
I have used both programs, admittedly I've used PageMaker more than Quark. I
prefer PageMaker, though I'm not sure that isn't completely because I used
it First.
The two programs are really capable mostly of the same things, with
different shortcuts. For a 1-2 page brochure with this kind of artwork, I
would recommend PageMaker. It is ideal for brochures with the ease of
placement for artwork and the simple ways you can move the text around that.
I still use it (over FrameMaker) for my small brochures and newsletters.
Again, I want to thank everyone who took the time to send me their opinions.
It was very helpful.


Shari M. Scott
Technical and Marketing Communications
Complex Imaging Systems, Inc. <>

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