The new, streamlined print interface provides feedback about what output settings are enabled and how these settings interact with each other. In addition, version 2.0 provides previews of spreads, simulates overprinting when printing proofs to desktop PostScript printers, enables bleeds to be specified independently on all four sides of a page, and eliminates the need to use the Adobe PS driver. Users also can save a summary of all of the print settings specified for a job in a separate text file, which then can be handed off to the print production process or archived with the job.
For applications beyond print, InDesign can import and export XML files, with embedded meta-data tags making it easier to track, manage and retrieve documents. The application can build XML-based structures into new and legacy documents, and can generate tagged Adobe PDF files for eBooks.
In positioning the layout application versus its other offerings, Adobe asserts that PageMaker is targeted to business publishers who create brochures, newsletters, signage and reports; and FrameMaker is designed for corporate publishers who produce printed manuals and e-books.
Adobe still faces an uphill battle in the market, since surveys of prepress/print operations have found they currently are receiving few or no InDesign files.
As the market leader, Quark doesn't have to position its latest upgrade as an answer to Adobe's challenge, but QuarkXPress 5.0 does boast most of the same feature upgrades. The company is stressing the extensive beta testing of the product that was done, undoubtedly in response to problems associated with the initial release of version 4.0.
Version 5.0 is said to offer a wide range of new and enhanced features to support print, Web and PDF workflows. Users can import and/or export dozens of file formats, including HTML, PDF and XML.
A key new feature is "Tables" functionality, which enables users to create graphically rich tables with cells that can contain pictures and text. Tables reportedly provide virtually the same level of typographic and image control provided for page layouts.