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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Erik Youngren on April 14, 2011, 09:21:37 PM

Title: Switched
Post by: Erik Youngren on April 14, 2011, 09:21:37 PM
Hey everyone. Been a while since I have been in here. Looks like the scripting parts of the forum are still fairly current though.

How's it going Michel, JMS, Glenn, Mark?

Well…looks like I've switched programs here. Two years of struggling in my current employment and I'm looking for a way out. But most of the jobs I'm finding, the employers want InDesign experience. Well, I have ID CS4 at work and home so in order to get experience so I can legitimately apply for a position I have switched us over at work to ID. So far it's going ok. Not well, but not down in flames either. Starting to discover the power of this program. Now I have not abandoned XPress (going to keep working in that on my own computers), but we are well on our way to complete ID conversion at work.

I didn't bring it up over at the Quark forums simply because I have not abandoned Quark (I just need experience in ID) and I don't want it to become an issue there. Anyway, thought I'd say hi over here since it's been a while.

Anyone got ideas or thoughts about ID?
Title: Re: Switched
Post by: cdms on April 19, 2011, 03:30:40 AM
Hello Erik, I have been using ID for about 7 years and only very occasionally dip back into the Quark world.
There are some things you will find a lot better/easier than Quark (e.g. direct use of layered Photoshop documents) and some features like the effects panel which you would need to load Quark full of Xtensions to get anywhere near. On the other hand I know people who will tell you you do not have anywhere near the same level of typographical control that you have in QXP (I believe kerning tables are a bone of contention here) so I guess it really is what you see as important.

From a scripting point of view I have found the InDesign dictionary to be much more informative in ID and the element structure to be much more cleanly and usefully defined. (e.g. a paragraph in ID is actually the block of text between the return characters as opposed to QXP's approach of 'characters from x to y').

At the risk of being shot down, there do not seem to be many InDesign scripters on here yet so we will have to see how it goes.

Title: Re: Switched
Post by: Erik Youngren on April 21, 2011, 11:28:37 AM
Hey cmds, thanks!

I'm getting used to it and finding out what it can do. I'm not scripting in it (I've done some other work in other apps, but I'd classify myself as a newb in scripting), but it's working for me.

The industry I work in (or at least my particular job) doesn't call for highly accurate text formatting. It's enough just to say "it's justified," and so on. So I haven't really gotten in to the typography aspect yet. My biggest problem is navigation. I'm a keyboard shortcut person, so learning ID's shortcuts has been the most difficult part, along with finding out where things are and then having to adjust to some issues that are palette only. I can't directly go to indents for a paragraph say. I have to use either the paragraph palette or the tabs ruler. Although I probably could switch to the control palette using the paragraph part and then CMD+6 into it now that I think about it.

Adjusting to the selection tools is another difficult part although I may be starting to get the hang of it. It was rough going the first two weeks because the last time I tried this I ran in to issues that I didn't know how to handle. This time around I managed to break through. Dealing with anchored objects and text wrap was one of those issues. XPress requires you to turn runaround on when you anchor an object in text. ID is the other way around (or funny things start happening). Additionally, you can anchor an object in ID with options (something QXP does not have).

My other issue is trying to limit myself to creating shortcuts. I've made a few, but I don't want to make too many because I will end up relying on and learning them. My problem with that is that the whole reason I switched is to gain ID experience so I can find another job. I have to know the default ID shortcuts because a new employer isn't going to allow me to be modifying their program if I have a test or so. Additionally, if they don't allow their operators to change shortcuts then I'll have to relearn again. One of the reasons I started with the ID default set and not the XPress shortcuts.

Anyway, I'm on the learning curve and moving forward at least.
Title: Re: Switched
Post by: Glenn on May 11, 2011, 08:59:05 AM
 :P Erik, smilies work here,

returns work here  8)

Its quite rare I visit but everyone is always friendly, Mark has switched to Indesign completely so should be able to give you pointers.

Most of the designers I deal with reckon ID is quicker once you get used to it, most don't want to go back to quark even if it was cheaper.

From my point of view InDesign just works with PDF's in and out, Colour Management and Ink Mapping work reasonably logically (as long as you stay away from placing EPS) My one gripe is cutting and pasting pictures into fixed position boxes doesn't work like quark... well that and the constant upgrade costs.
Interested to know how your output device is able to cope with the new workflow? I take it you aren't embracing live transparency just yet.
Title: Re: Switched
Post by: Erik Youngren on May 14, 2011, 05:37:08 PM
Hi Glen!

Thanks for the info. I'm having to get used to a format change. Been working with EPS for quite a while. I "knew" that ID dealt with PDF much better, but now I'm learning about it. So my workflow has changed.

Yes, we (or at least me, my coworker hates anything that isn't labeled Pagemaker) are utilizing transparency. I'm bringing in AI and PSDs now and using clipping paths instead of alpha channels. At first I made a bad assumption that ID would handle just about any PDF. We dropped out portions of an ad one week because of that. So, went back to EPS, but that's when in trying to use ID I ran into transparency issues. Sooooo. What I have started doing is saving out an optimized PDF from Acrobat of whatever we get (PDF wise) from a customer and importing that. Once the ads are done we are saving out a PDF/X-4 (funny, I didn't not that format was around until now) for proofs. Before it was an EPS dropped in to a hot Distiller folder. We used to pull in the EPS for the newspaper. Now it's the PDF/X-4 proof we made.

Seems to be working real well. I decided to do it that way partly because we had a customer who could see the flattening effects on a PDF we sent to her. It doesn't print, but she wouldn't approve the ad so we had to send her a transparent PDF. No way I could get that using EPS somewhere along the line.

My panels on screen have changed a few times as I develop a workflow. I'm still very much using keyboard shortcuts and have made a few. The other day I finally got rid of my headache on being able to select a text frame below a text frame and edit it without selecting the top most text frame. And now my style sheet panels have been minimized because I've found the Quick Apply box (CMD+Enter). I'm comfortable with the pen tool and panning because that transfers from XPress 7. And, I also found a panning shortcut I can use when I am unsure if I have a text box selected or not (OPTN+Spacebar). I like how ID does thumbnail drag (real simple), but haven't yet figured out why I can drop in pages and I have to reset columns and sometimes fonts. Perhaps it has to do with the differences between the default stylesheets - I don't know. Anyway, I like it.

Getting my experience with ID here and then when I feel comfortable enough to say I know the program I'm moving on.
Title: Re: Switched
Post by: larsen67 on July 10, 2011, 10:16:36 AM
Yep… Switched 'completely' around two years back… Started out learning it at home a year or so before. The economic set backs put a lot of jobs on the at risk list mine included eeeek… Knew that most places would now want ID over Quark so bought an iMac n taught myself… At the same time I also switched to scripting with the ESTK and Adobe's version of JavaScript. Loving both while I do still use AppleScript, Quark has been put down… Never had a version that ran well on the intel. Almost all of my work is catalogue based, 99% PDF workflow, ID has served me very well so far… I still kept my eye on Quark and its improvements but when I see feature requests contained things I had in ID CS2 out the box??? The cost was a major factor for my employers, needed CS for all the other stuff so why buy a stand alone to run along side when you can learn to use the one provided…

Anyhows a big hello to all it's been a while…  ;D still about but mostly like to hang around the Adobe scripting forums these days…
Title: Re: Switched
Post by: AutoFetishist on July 26, 2011, 08:50:17 PM
So why isn't there more ID applescripting talk?

Or is Javascript really the dominant method in InDesign....

Title: Re: Switched
Post by: larsen67 on July 28, 2011, 02:21:25 AM
I still respond to AppleScript questions posted in the ID scripting forum… There are not so many though. By the time I switched which was quite late I was already using JavaScript for the other apps PS, Br & Ai so I've never really got stuck-in from the AppleScript side only use it when others are stuck… JavaScript is by far the dominant language used… Never understood Quarks mac only stance…
Title: Re: Switched
Post by: cdms on July 28, 2011, 06:04:53 AM
My ID scripting is exclusively applescript both for desktop and server versions (it fits with our workflow technology). I haven't found anything yet that I can't do in AS that can be done in Java. (this is not true for Acrobat). I have managed to do some performance tests with another company and can find no performance benefits from either solution. So I guess it's personal preference unless cross platform is an issue.
Title: Re: Switched
Post by: AutoFetishist on July 28, 2011, 07:58:17 PM
this is not true for Acrobat

You said it.

Acrobat is pretty lame when it comes to A/S.
Always wondered why Apple didn't make scriptable.

There is new "action" recordable feature in Acrobat X, I hear.
Title: Re: Switched
Post by: cdms on July 29, 2011, 03:07:33 AM
Moving slightly off topic. Have you tried Skim for PDF with AS. It's a nice lightweight PDF viewer with a good AS dictionary.