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  1. #1
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    Default Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    I'm very happy with Xara's excellent range of graphics software, but there's one thing I've always thought was missing from the list: a proper DTP program along the lines of Serif's PagePlus. Something else aside from PagePlus to provide decent competition for Adobe's InDesign, coupled with the added benefit of tighter integration with the rest of Xara's software.

    I recall back in the dim and distant past, a certain company by the name of Computer Concepts producing an excellent range of graphics and DTP software for the Acorn Archimedes/RISC PC range of computers. Artworks was the most famous, the ancestor of Designer Pro and Xara's other graphics programs. But there was also Impression Publisher/Impression Plus, a fantastic document processor/DTP program, which was one of my favourite pieces of software on the Acorn machines.

    Is there any remote chance of Xara ever re-creating Impression Publisher on the PC, or failing that, a new DTP program? That would be the bees knees as far as I'm concerned, and would make Xara's range of software pretty complete, IMHO.

    Any thoughts on this?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    We're hoping Phil. We need more people like you asking this question. Welcome to TalkGraphics.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  3. #3
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    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    What is it that great DTP programmes can do, that Xara can't?

    I ask this, because I use Xara mainly for doing drawing.
    But... I have produced documents, that I may have in the past produced in MS Publisher.
    In fact, what I produced was dead easy in Xara, and I think it would have been a bit harder in Publisher.

    So, I'm curious about what is being asked by Phil.

    Featured Artist on Xara Xone . May 2011
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    Quote Originally Posted by gwpriester View Post
    We're hoping Phil. We need more people like you asking this question. Welcome to TalkGraphics.
    Thanks Gary. I've been a Xara customer for a long, long time, but new to the forums. Maybe I should hang out here more.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rik View Post
    What is it that great DTP programmes can do, that Xara can't?

    I ask this, because I use Xara mainly for doing drawing.
    But... I have produced documents, that I may have in the past produced in MS Publisher.
    In fact, what I produced was dead easy in Xara, and I think it would have been a bit harder in Publisher.

    So, I'm curious about what is being asked by Phil.
    Take a look at Adobe InDesign or Serif PagePlus, and you'll see what I mean. Designer Pro is fine for documents of a few pages in length or short brochures, but isn't really suitable for extremely large documents. Genuine DTP programs can handle documents of pretty much any length, including long books. In addition, DTP programs have text processing capabilities on a par with wordprocessors such as MS Word. I know of more than a few people who use Serif PagePlus as both their DTP and wordprocessing software. As good as Designer Pro is, it's essentially a drawing/art program, and not suitable for lengthy DTP or text processing work.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    As good as Designer Pro is, it's essentially a drawing/art program, and not suitable for lengthy DTP or text processing work.
    While I agree with you, if the only tool you have is a hammer, every solution looks like a nail. I have produced two books, published through Create Space, that I am very happy with. Yes, flexible page numbering would have enabled me not to number each page manually. But there are small things like the kerning and tracking adjustments that enabled me to eliminate widows or extend a paragraph by a word or two while being subtle enough as not to draw attention to itself. I did spend 15 years in advertising and 12 years in graphic design back in the days when we worked with typesetting companies who were staffed with professional typesetters and there was much to be learned from their skill and knowledge. My point is, it can be done. I looked at Serif Page Plus before doing these books and I was tempted by things like master pages, OTC support, and other as you point out professional DTP features, but in the end I decided I knew Designer well enough and knew what my vision for the typography was and so I used the tools I had and was able to produce two book. One of which won First Place for Adult Fiction in the National Federation of Press Women competition. The book did not win for the typography, but if it had been anything other that professional, it might have made a difference. The author and I also won best cover design in the New Mexico - Arizona book awards.

    So it can be done.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook






  7. #7
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    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    Quote Originally Posted by gwpriester View Post
    While I agree with you, if the only tool you have is a hammer, every solution looks like a nail. I have produced two books, published through Create Space, that I am very happy with. Yes, flexible page numbering would have enabled me not to number each page manually. But there are small things like the kerning and tracking adjustments that enabled me to eliminate widows or extend a paragraph by a word or two while being subtle enough as not to draw attention to itself. I did spend 15 years in advertising and 12 years in graphic design back in the days when we worked with typesetting companies who were staffed with professional typesetters and there was much to be learned from their skill and knowledge. My point is, it can be done. I looked at Serif Page Plus before doing these books and I was tempted by things like master pages, OTC support, and other as you point out professional DTP features, but in the end I decided I knew Designer well enough and knew what my vision for the typography was and so I used the tools I had and was able to produce two book. One of which won First Place for Adult Fiction in the National Federation of Press Women competition. The book did not win for the typography, but if it had been anything other that professional, it might have made a difference. The author and I also won best cover design in the New Mexico - Arizona book awards.

    So it can be done.
    It's nice to know that it CAN be done, Gary, if only with a lot of effort. But it would surely take a lot of jumping through hoops to get Designer Pro to do these things, as it wasn't created for that purpose. And you have to remember that you're a long-time Xara demi-god who can cajole Designer into doing virtually anything for you , whereas the rest of us mere mortals would find the experience extremely frustrating or just too difficult. I'd still greatly prefer a new program with professional DTP features.

    If we don't get a new dedicated DTP program, I would settle for Xara greatly beefing up Page & Layout Designer to gain most of these features, which would then all be carried across and integrated into Designer Pro. There is something very attractive about having a single piece of software to do all of these things, which is why I've always preferred working with Designer Pro rather than all the individual separate Xara programs. If DP was ever to gain these professional DTP features, it would become a truly awesome piece of all-purpose DTP/graphics software.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    I honestly think that Xara should do this before Serif eventually bring their extremely slick new Affinity range of products over from the Mac to the PC, as they are sure to do at some point, to replace their ageing Plus range of software programs. If that happens, and with the incredibly low prices that Serif is charging for those products, Xara will be facing some scarily serious competition.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    I myself am against the thought of XDP having serious page layout capabilities added to it. At least at the expense of certain enhanced and/or added drawing capabilities.

    CorelDraw is far more capable in layout than XDP is. I would sooner gouge my eyes out than use it for laying out a publication. There will never be what is primarily a drawing application cable of doing serious layout work. It cannot be done, all due respect to Xara's programmers.

    A drawing application cannot be all things to all men. Ain't possible. That isn't to say Xara shouldn't further develop what it has started. They should. Will they ever truly incorporate tables? Those would be needed and are also useful for the web folk. Color management? Needed. Primary document color mode? Needed. Better text frames? Needed. The list of needed features is near endless. Btw, Page and layout designer also cannot ever be made to be a real layout application except in name only.

    And who is going to plunk down what XDP costs for page layout? A new license for PagePlus is how much? And what does it cost to purchase one version back for PagePlus? A upgrade from any version of QuarkXpress to the newest version costs about the same as a new XDP license.

    Mike

  10. #10

    Default Re: Will Xara Ever Create a DTP Program (like PagePlus)?

    Personally I feel that merging everything under one software is a mistake. It is impossible to be all things to all people and trying will only make the user inteface hard to approach, over complicated and messy. Your time working should be used on the task and not wandering what part of the user interface will accomplish that.

    The thing that made Artworks and Impression so good and revolutionary at the time was the clean and easy to approach user interface. Everyone from children to grannies could just start doing things and it was possible to get good results by experimenting without spending long time reading manuals first.

    For non English people, Impression looks like this:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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