design, technology

Jump ship? Sure!

The icon that never left.

I’ll bet they were all dancing in the cubicle farms over at Adobe today.

QuarkXpress 4.11 was the mainstay of a lot of shops full of worried older guys. Many missed their chance to switch when InDesign CS2 appeared. Why? Fear and partisanship for a product that didn’t return their loyalty.

That was when QuarkXpress 4.11 began to look like what it was: an unstable patchwork of hacks with a half-decade-old interface and missing needed features. At one trade show I attended then, lines were drawn in the sand by those worried older guys.

Bye-bye, worried older guys.

In the previous decade, I worked in what became a very busy textbook production group that was, by necessity, standardized on QuarkXpress 4.11. We saw InDesign appear, scrutinized its new features, and waited for it to get beyond its growing pains. It did.

We pitched a transition and implemented it. The few people who claimed they missed Quark afterwards weren’t exactly what I’d have called our star players.

We converted as many legacy documents as we could, given what downtime existed. We made good new books with InDesign, and hated having to wade through the muck of legacy files on the few occasions we had to harvest old content.

Sometimes avoiding pain causes greater injury.


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