Plugging Into InDesign

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One strength of Adobe's new InDesign software is its extensibility. It implements even many built-in features, such as the toolbox, as InDesign plug-ins. One developer, a new company called PowrTools, says that with InDesign's flexible architecture, plug-in vendors can make the page-layout program "sit up and beg."

PowrTools (604/649-7560, ) is one of several companies that say they will ship InDesign plug-ins shortly after the host programs expected summer release PowrTable, the first in a planned series of PowrTools utilities will let you create text tables for use in InDesign documents".

Also in the works:

Mapsoft ( ) has announced Sherpa for Adobe InDesign, a plug-in that permits the creation of Adobe Acrobat PDF files that include links, bookmarks, forms, action handlers, and other interactive features.

ShadeTree Marketing (800/678-8848, ) 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 (804/739-3200, ) 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-level or multilevel word lists.

Enfocus (888/363-6287, ) 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.

Em Software (740/264-0583, ) announced InDesign versions of its database publishing plug-ins. Em's 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 InDesign document so that changes in one automatically update in the other.

A Lowly Apprentice Production (888/818-5790, ) 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.

LizardTech (888/320-9969, ) 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. The company says that MrSID, which uses wavelet compression technology developed for the federal government, offers a 30:1 compression ratio with minimal loss of image quality. LizardTech will provide the plug-in as part of a suite of publishing tools and plans to include it in the InDesign package.

Other developers, including several vendors of QuarkXTensions, are less certain of their plans. Extensis (800/796-9798, ) promises that its Preflight Pro preflighting software will work with InDesign files, but says it plans to hold off on developing InDesign plug-ins until the program gains some significant market share. Markzware (800/300-3532, ), Vision's Edge (800/983-6337, ), and DK&A (888/488-8118, ) say they plan to offer InDesign plug-ins. However, they have not announced any specific product plans or timetables.

June 1999 page: 28

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