Case Study: Adobe PageMaker 6.5

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Case Study: Adobe PageMaker 6.5

Anticipating the boom in desktop publishing, Robert Scott, editor of EOS magazine, has been working with Adobe PageMaker since 1986

In the early 1980s, publisher, Robert Scott, left his job as editor of a consumer photographic magazine to start his own independent publication. Scott approached Canon to produce a magazine for their camera user groups.

Published initially by Cannon under the name Canon User, the first issue was published in 1982 as a subscription only title. Cannon User was initially produced using traditional methods ( typesetting and paste-up. However, Scott soon became aware of desktop publishing when he saw a colleague producing a similar camera club newsletter using computers. In 1986, Scott acquired a Macintosh Plus computer, a LaserWriter printer and the original release of Adobe PageMaker.

Because computer-based printing services were rare at that time, a black and white magazine was produced for some years using only the output of the LaserWriter.

In 1993, Canon User was replaced by EOS magazine, dedicated to providing information on Canon's EOS range of cameras. Over the years, Scott regularly updated both his Macintosh system and his PageMaker software. Today, EOS magazine is produced on Adobe PageMaker version 6.5 and enjoys a current circulation of 18,000.

"PageMaker really started desktop publishing for us," explains Scott. "Back in 1986 it really was the only viable package available. Since then, we've grown up with PageMaker and now we do a lot of our own colour scanning."

EOS magazine combines detailed analysis of products with tips and techniques for Canon users. Therefore, images that have been sourced from Canon itself are assembled on the page with images that have been produced in-house. Articles on photographic techniques often feature a series of photographs of the same subject. These images are then combined, with advice columns and tables of data, explaining how to reproduce certain effects. Pages such as these combine material from at least three different sources. Titles and headlines are also added to the magazines cover.

Among Scott's favourite PageMaker features is the pasteboard. Reminiscent of a traditional typesetting desk, material can be laid around the page and then laid in or taken out at the editor's request. Because this feature was based on the methods Scott had been trained in, the transition to desktop publishing was relatively simple. "Like a lot of PageMaker features, it harked back to techniques I'd been using for years. It's a lot more convenient but doesn't alienate people used to traditional publishing techniques."

Scott also makes frequent use of the package's frame features. In PageMaker, a series of frames can be created and filled with either text or images. These frames can also be linked so that a long piece of text can easily be spread across several frames.

Finally, Scott praises the package's Story Editor. This feature allows the user to edit content, even after layout has been completed, and contains word processing tools such as search and replace. "I'm a writer more than a designer," Scott says. "So the story editor gives me total control over the article."

In the past two years, Scott has employed Anthony Viney as art director for the magazine. "When Anthony joined he was used to working with Quark Xpress," says Scott. "But because we've been using PageMaker for 13 years, we asked him to change systems, and it didn't take him very long."

By Richard Pitt


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This was first published in July 1999

 

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