Plugging Into InDesign

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One strength of Adobe's new InDesign software is its extensibility. Even many built-in features, such as toolbars and import/export functions, are implemented as InDesign plug-ins. So it shouldn't be surprising that a host of software developers have lined up to announce plug-ins for the new program. Others have announced that they will use InDesign as a page-layout engine for integrated production systems aimed at magazine and newspaper publishers. Most of these products are scheduled to ship shortly after InDesign is released this summer.

Among them:

Mapsoft ( ), which developed the Create PDF and Save for Service Provider plug-ins for Adobe PageMaker, announced Sherpa for Adobe InDesign, a plug-in that permits creation of Adobe Acrobat PDF files that include links, bookmarks, forms, action handlers, and other interactive features.

PowrTools ( ), a new company, unveiled PowrTable, which allows publishers to embed text tables in InDesign documents. The plug-in offers kerning and leading features along with support for spot and process color libraries. The company says that the table editor will be the first product in a suite of InDesign utilities.

ShadeTree Marketing ( ), which has developed add-ons for QuarkXPress and Adobe PageMaker, says it will offer an InDesign version of Fraemz, a program that lets you apply one of 404 high-resolution borders to text and picture boxes in InDesign documents. The program also features a drop shadow function.

Virginia Systems ( ) announced an InDesign version of Sonar Bookends, a $195 indexing utility. You can index books that span multiple documents, automatically reverse first and last names, and sort single- or multi-level word lists.

LizardTech ( ) announced that it will offer an InDesign plug-in that lets you compress image files using the company's Multiresolution Seamless Image Database (MrSID) format. LizardTech will offer the plug-in as part of a suite of publishing tools and says it will also be included in the InDesign package.

EnFocus ( ) says it will offer EnFocus PDF Check-Up for InDesign, a $150 preflighting program that inspects PDF files saved in InDesign for conditions likely to cause output problems.

Extensis ( ) announced that its Preflight Pro preflighting software will support InDesign.

Em Software ( ) announced InDesign versions of its database publishing plug-ins. InData automatically formats database or spreadsheet information for use in catalogs, directories, and other structured publications. InCatalog creates hot links between a product database and an InDesign document, so that changes in one are automatically updated in the other.

A Lowly Apprentice Production ( ) announced that it will develop InDesign versions of ShadowCaster, a QuarkXTension for generating shadow effects, and Xpert Tools, a set of page-layout productivity aids.

Three other developers of QuarkXTensions, Markzware ( ), Vision's Edge ( ), and DK&A ( ), say they plan to offer InDesign plug-ins, but have not announced specific plans or timetables.

Several companies say they will integrate InDesign with existing publishing systems targeted at magazines and newspapers. Managing Editor ( ) will offer a plug-in that lets you use InDesign in conjunction with its MagForce suite of magazine production tools. Digital Technology International ( ) says it will use InDesign as the page-layout engine for its multi-user newspaper publishing system. Another vendor of newspaper systems, Sii ( ), announced that it will integrate InDesign with Coyote Layout, its newspaper pagination system. Sii also plans to make InDesign the primary page-layout product in a suite of workgroup publishing tools.

Gannett Media Technologies says it will incorporate InDesign into its Celebro Advertising Solutions software suite. HexMac ( ) announced that it will include InDesign in the HexBase Publishing System for Web developers. Finally, Ultimate Technographics ( ) says it will support InDesign in its full line of prepress production software, which includes tools for trapping, electronic imposition, preflighting, and workflow management.

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