The desktop publishing wars are indeed on.
Adobe Systems Inc.
reps canvassed the Macworld CreativePro Conference & Expo floor urging people to attend their “Adobe InDesign 2.0 vs. QuarkXPress 6.0” sessions. The results were usually a packed house in the relatively small presentation room.
The minute you walked into the room, you were given a document entitled, “Adobe InDesign Conversion Guide: Switching from QuarkXPress to InDesign.” Peder Engrob, the worldwide product evangelist for Adobe InDesign, conducted the session. He kicked the session off by saying that “thousands of major customers in all vertical markets worldwide are now piloting or fully using InDesign.” He cited such customers as the Hearst Corporation and Wal-Mart.
“It’s not just about InDesign and QuarkXPress,” Engrob said. “It’s about the whole infrastructure surrounding these products.”
He said that Adobe’s application is making many inroads against Quark’s solution. Over 4,000 service providers worldwide are now accepting InDesign files. Over 400 design schools have adopted InDesign within their curriculum. All major system integrators worldwide are now selling InDesign solutions. And from 2001 to 2002 the number of developers creating InDesign and/or InCopy solutions tripled, Engrob said.
A lot of people have doubtless been awaiting QuarkXPress 6.0 because of its Mac OS X support. However, Engrob said that most professional applications — including all Adobe solutions — have been running on Mac OS X for over a year. InDesign and InCopy solutions are being deployed today, while XTensions for QuarkXPress 6 still need to come to Mac OS X, he added.
Engrob also did a price and feature-to-feature comparison of the Adobe and Quark applications, naturally giving the edge to his company’s product. For instance, QuarkXPress 6.0 incorporates PDF creation technology. This validates that PDF is the preferred output and delivery format, replacing the native QuarkXPress file system, he said. Also, PDF export in QuarkXPress 6.0 is PDF 1.3 and 1.4; there’s no support for 1.5, Engrob noted.
The Adobe rep also said that InDesign “continues to provide richer and more creative controls than XPress.” Finally, Engrob said that QuarkXPress 6.0 is still missing features such as OpenType support, transparency, a paragraph composer, and crash support.