David Blatner: InDesign Feels Better To Use

2005
Nov
01

This morning Adobe presented the first in a series of live eSeminars featuring world-reknowned InDesign expert David Blatner crowing about his favorite features of InDesign CS2. David Blatner, host of InDesign eseminar series. In between demonstrating separation preview, transparency support, and the info palette to the standing room only Web and telephone attendees, David defined [...]

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This morning Adobe presented the first in a series of live eSeminars featuring world-reknowned InDesign expert David Blatner crowing about his favorite features of InDesign CS2.

David Blatner portrait
David Blatner, host of InDesign eseminar series.

In between demonstrating separation preview, transparency support, and the info palette to the standing room only Web and telephone attendees, David defined his frustrations and experiences with QuarkXPress, which he used professionally since 1987. “Everytime I had to swtich back to QuarkXPress [when working on a recent project] I would find myself getting tense and grinding my teeth.” InDesign is “a visceral experience.”

“I’m not a designer,” he stressed. “When I can be more efficient in a tool, that’s when I really get excited.” He illustrated his joy over InDesign’s efficiency by dragging images into graphics frames, then placing an image without pre-creating a frame–an impossible efficiency in QuarkXPress.

Focusing on introducing InDesign to eSeminar attendees who are productive in QuarkXPress, David summed up InDesign’s superior typography controls by advising: “The more you care about good looking pages, good looking design, the more you’re going to like InDesign. If you’re merely knocking out pages, you don’t really care about the design, the typography, QuarkXPress might be for you.” QuarkXPress’s typography engine, he explained, hasn’t been updated sine 1990.

In fact, several features in QuarkXPress haven’t been updated in over a decade despite numerous complaints.

Comparing via desktop sharing InDesign CS2′s Lock object command to the same command in QuarkXPress 6.5, he proved that the latter did very little. While locking an object in InDesign prevents that object from moved, deleted, or alterted, the same is not true in XPress, which allowed David to move and delete a supposedly locked object. David noted that has complained to Quark about the non-functioning Lock feature every couple of years since 1992, a time when he was known as the pre-eminent expert on QuarkXPress, and enjoyed greater access to the various resources at Quark than any other writer or analyst.

“I believe,” he explained. “That it’s so deep down in the code of QuarkXPress… I don’t think they have anyone at Quark to go in deep enough to even figure out how fix the Lock feature. If they can’t fix the lock feature what else can’t they fix?”

Musing to himself, David took the thought one step further and questioned Quark’s ability to pull off functional transparency in version 7, due out early next year. Noting that even Adobe, who pioneered much of what is considered the standard in digital transparency and blending modes, took three versions to ge it right within Illustrator; so then Quark expects to get it right in only one version?

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said in summation of the much vaunted QuarkXPress 7.

At times, the desktop sharing visual portion and dial-in telephone audio of the presentation failed to sync up, resulting in the fast-talking David racing past his onscreen demonstration by several tools. Additional glitches with the WebEx desktop sharing system and an uncooperative RTF sample file barely tripped up the venerable presenter, who lectures not through easily derailed planning and preparation, but by simply talking away, excitedly sharing his enthusiasm for InDesign like a little boy with his birthday present. One could hear a smile spread across his face as he opined: “InDesign feels better to use.”

Despite stating in the middle of the presentation that his agreement with Adobe allowed him to say anything–which he evidenced with a complaint about a text wrap bug in InDesign–the presentation ended with David reading a canned statement from Adobe promoting sales of Adobe Creative Suite 2. After plugging for Adobe, David promoted his own projects, including InDesign Magazine, his book InDesign CS/CS2 Breakthroughs, and leaked details about a book he only yesterday sent to press: Photoshop CS2 Breakthroughs.

The morning’s “InDesign Advanced” eseminar was followed up by “InDesign for QuarkXPress Users,” which delved deeper into the specific similarities and differences between the applications, as well as how to open QuarkXPress files in InDesign.

Additional eseminars with David Blatner, including a second session of “InDesign for QuarkXPress Users,” are scheduled for Thursday, 3 November and Tuesday, 8 November. Complete dates and times are noted in the original press release.

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2 Responses Discussing “David Blatner: InDesign Feels Better To Use”
  1. [...] In early November 2005 Adobe presented a series of eSeminars directed at the design professional who uses, has used, or is coming over from QuarkXPress to InDesign. With valuable information and insights from David Blatner (the noted quondam QuarkXPress evangelist) the series had insights valuable to new InDesigners as well as established users and those experienced in Quark, they were so well attended that the talk on InDesign Tips and Tricks was waitlisted, requiring the establishment of a second session (QVI’s Pariah S Burke passed along the info to you here, and Pariah reported on David’s first seminar here). [...]

    16 Dec 2005
    19:00 PT
    #1
  2. Please advise me of any upcoming classes in InDesign. I have been using quark since 2000 and am now being asked to switch to InDesign and need to grasp it at a fast pace. I am also looking for any manuals that you suggest for me.

    Sincerely, Gina Anderson

    #2
    11 Jul 2006
    13:23 PT

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