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Panpa Bulletin : March 2006
QIs InDesign really that much better thanQuarkX- Press? I get this question more than any other. I'm not on the payroll of Adobe or Quark, so it doesn't really matter to me which soft- ware a newspaper uses. But the question is asked, so I acquiesce. Yes, the version (CS2) of InDe- sign currently available is, in my opinion, superior to the version of QuarkXPress that is currently available (6.5). I don't have any inside information, but I wouldn't be surprised if QuarkXPress 7.0 is on the market by the time many of you read this. If you want to know how QuarkXPress 7 will compare to InDesign CS2, I'll let you know after I've had a chance to test the new software. QIf you were spending your money, which digital cam- era would you purchase for newspaper purposes? I was spending my money and I purchased the Canon Digital Reb- el XT. People who know a lot more than I do tell me it's the best cam- era available for less than $1,500. I took their word for it and I've been pleased with my purchase. QHow hard will it be for my newspaper to move up to OS X and InDesign from OS 9 and QuarkXPress (or Page- Maker)? That depends on the size and makeup of your newspaper staff. There's always some resistance to change. Having worked with hun- dreds of newspapers who have made similar conversions over the years, I've learned it can take as little as two days and as long as a few months. When I've been involved, it usually includes time to determine software and hard- ware needs and purchase new equipment. This is followed by installation of the new hardware and software (1 to 3 days, depend- ing on the size of the staff), two or three days of training in the new software, followed by transition to the new workflow. In the best case scenario, the entire process can happen as quickly as a few days (after the equipment and soft- ware has been installed). In larger operations involving a pagination workflow (similar to Baseview or Managing Editor), additional time is involved for training in the workflow process. QOur photos always seem to be too dark. Is there something we're missing? Most newspapers I visit haven't adjusted their colour settings in Photoshop to match their print- ing process. Photoshop's default settings are created with maga- zines in mind. Photos saved with these settings will produce too much ink which, in turn, soaks into the newsprint and comes out dark and muddy. To get better re- sults, adjust the color settings in Photoshop, especially the black ink limit. QAre Macs really better for newspaper pagination than PCs? Yes. I have no stock in Micro- soft or Apple, so it matters not to me which you use. Coming from a guy who spent most of his years on the PC side of things, I've learned the hard way that Macs have far fewer printing issues, are faster and aren't susceptible to all those viruses that plague Win- dows-based machines. The idea that PCs are cheaper than Macs is false. Similarly equipped ma- chines are pretty similar in price on both platforms. Besides, most of the money goes into software and maintenance, not hardware costs. QWhat's your favorite font management utility? It's always been a toss- up between Extensis Suitcase and Font Reserve. They've recently been combined into one utility called Suitcase Fusion, so I guess that will be my new favorite. QWhat are the best restau- rants you've found in your travels? The Sunset Diner in Lebanon, Tennessee and Jersey Joe's in Tuc- son, Arizona. OK.There you have it. The most common questions posed during my speaking engagements. That doesn't mean you should skip my next session in your area. I might find a new restaurant between now and then. kevin Slimp is the director of the institute of Newspaper tech- nology in knoxville, tennessee. 44 | PaNPa bUlletiN March 2006 SoftWare MatterS KeVIn SlIMP Over one week, kevin Slimp spoke at four press association conferences on the topic ‘New Technology for Newspapers’. He noticed the same questions being asked every time, so has answered them here. What i’m always asked.Q