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Software Dispute

Note: This discussion will not include the ever lasting debate of paper/pencil vs. computer.

Everybody favors one kind of software over another. But what makes you choose? let’s put our favorite programs on the table and see who wins.

- Vector: Adobe Illustrator // Macromedia Freehand // Corel Draw

- Photo editing: Adobe Photoshop // Is there anything else?

- Page layout: QuarkXPress // InDesign

- WYSIWYG HTML editor: Macromedia Dreamweaver // Adobe GoLive

- SWF Animations: Macromedia Flash // Adobe LiveMotion

- Image optimizing: Macromedia Fireworks // Adobe Imageready

- Font development: Fontographer // Fontlab

- System: OS 9.x // OS X

- Platform: Mac // PC

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ARCHIVE ID 1274 FILED UNDER Hardware/Software
PUBLISHED ON Oct.16.2002 BY Armin
Ben’s comment is:



Quark (for now at least...)




Fontographer ('cause i'm cheap...)

On Oct.16.2002 at 10:03 AM
Jon’s comment is:

I'm an Illustrator/Photoshop guy. I don't use Quark that much, and perhaps on the next version will switch over to InDesign, because I hate Quark as a company.

On Oct.16.2002 at 10:39 AM
Mike Langlie’s comment is:

Vector: Freehand

Photo editing: Photoshop

Page Layout: QuarkXPress


Optimizing: ImageReady

Fonts: Fontographer

Game: Snood!!!

On Oct.16.2002 at 10:48 AM
Armin’s comment is:

As much as InDesign seems to be a threat for Quark my feeling is Quark will stay as the primary page layout program. It's almost like trying to switch a PC user to a Mac.

On Oct.16.2002 at 11:12 AM
fish’s comment is:

illustrator/photoshop/flash/imageready/phontographer/bbedit/fontographer/QUARK. erm yeah fontlab if I could get it would be just fine thanks.

On Oct.16.2002 at 11:33 AM
Jose Luis’s comment is:



INDESIGN // if you use any other adobe tools you'll feel right at home here. Younger-up-and coming designers will see no point in learning the old quarky (no pun intended) and akward Quark, that a lot of people use 'cos at the time they started didnt have any better.



FIREWORKS // gotta give it to macromedia, this keeps getting better and better, to the point of using it as an Quark / InDesign for the web


On Oct.16.2002 at 12:40 PM
steven lyons’s comment is:



//////// leaning to Indesign

BBedit .. I know its not wysiwyg, but I just can't bring myself to use one of those


Imageready... Just because it comes with photoshop


On Oct.16.2002 at 01:09 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>Imageready... Just because it comes with photoshop

Same here. I know Fireworks is better, but never got around to buying it.

>Younger-up-and coming designers will see no point in learning the old quarky

A couple of years ago when I considered myself a younger-up-and-coming designer I had an agenda against Quark too, and tried to convert the creative department at marchFIRST to InDesign. We didn't do much print though. But now, as my young-up-and-coming status is coming to an end I feel very loyal to Quark, I will definitely give InDesign another shot when OS 9 is really dead, printers switch to OS X and Quark hasn't done a OS X native version. Integration with other Adobe products is such a big plus for InDesign, but printers work much better with Quark.

On Oct.16.2002 at 02:02 PM
Jon’s comment is:

Perhaps as an alternate thread, I'd like to know what's up with OS X. Have most people switched? If you have, are you happy with it? I'm still on 9.1. My old company hasn't switched over either. I don't know many that have. Just curious.

On Oct.16.2002 at 02:53 PM
Armin’s comment is:

>as an alternate thread, I'd like to know what's up with OS X

We can do it here, I'll update the original post.

On Oct.16.2002 at 03:00 PM
Trish’s comment is:

Vector :: Illustrator

Photo Editing :: Photoshop

Page Layout :: Indesign

HTML :: Dreamweaver

SWF :: Flash

Image Optimizing :: Imageready

Font Dev :: Fontographer (looking at pfaedit.sourceforge.net)

System :: OSX (at home)

Platform :: Mac at home -- PC at work

On Oct.16.2002 at 04:17 PM
Trish’s comment is:

When I got my iBook I went straight to OSX and hardly ever go into Classic Mode. I've never liked the memory management that you had to do to work on the old Mac OSs -- seems to me that an Operating System should be able to do that for you. Plus I've always liked the power of Unix and the ability to go right down to the command line to get tasks done quickly.

On Oct.16.2002 at 04:21 PM
john boren’s comment is:

Vector: Corel Draw. I've used it going on nine years now, with no major problems. No minor ones either.

Photo Editing: Corel Photo Paint, Paint Shop Pro, and Corel ( formerly Metacreations ) Painter.

You couldn't pay me enough to make me use Photoshop.

Page Layout: Quark, although I use Corel Draw as a page layout program whenever I get the chance. :')

Font Development: Surprise! Corel Draw again, with hinting/kerning in Font Creator Program 3.0.

System: Windows 95. That's right. Win95. No bloody 98, 2000, ME or XP!

Platform: PC, of course. What else is there? :')

Seriously, no offense to Mac heads intended.

However, I must state for the record that I hate hate HATE Adobe and its near-monopoly on the design market.

On Oct.16.2002 at 04:55 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

"I feel very loyal to Quark"

Has Quark, as a company, ever been loyal to you?

XPress is the MSWord of graphic design. It's awful, but everyone uses it.

Adobe product have become bloated. InDesign looks good...especially with it's XML support. Macromedia is always the underdog people want to root for, but I've been really dissapointed with MX. It's very buggy software.

I was forced to use PaintShopPro for a bit. It's quite the Photoshop contender, IMHO.

Anyone using StoneDesign software?

"Perhaps as an alternate thread, I'd like to know what's up with OS X. Have most people switched? "

To be honest, I'm not happy with any OS. They all have user experience problems. OS X is nicer than 9 in that it doesn't crash. I suppose that's enough for me for now. XP isn't too bad either.

On Oct.16.2002 at 04:55 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

BTW, kudos to Armin for actually saying QuarkXPress. I always throw out resumes that state 'Quark' as one of the skill sets.

On Oct.16.2002 at 04:56 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

"However, I must state for the record that I hate hate HATE Adobe and its near-monopoly on the design market."

Well, it doesn't really have a monopoly. It acts like one, but there are actually a lot of options out there. The problem Adobe has is that it's run out of software. Most of it's apps are mature now. No real need to upgrade them. And they still haven't really embraced the internet. (GoLive and PDF do not an internet make).

I hate Adobe for the silly lawsuit against Macromedia and the tabbed interface. Now we all have to pay more for crappier interfaces. Thanks Adobe.

On Oct.16.2002 at 04:59 PM
Armin’s comment is:

John B, you seem, and I really mean this with no offense at all - more as a joke - like a designer of Bizarro World. You know, Seinfeld's theory that there is someone exactly like you in Bizarro World but does everything the opposite way. I had never heard of anybody using all those programs. Together!. Glad it's working for you.

>Adobe and its near-monopoly on the design market.

Well, they have a monopoly for a reason. They are good.

>Has Quark, as a company, ever been loyal to you?

I have only once called customer support and they were really friendly and helpful. But I don't ask much from them, so I stay out of their way and they stay out of mine.

>Anyone using StoneDesign software?

Never heard of it.

>actually saying QuarkXPress

Some people call me Arm, drives me insane.

On Oct.16.2002 at 05:08 PM
Martin’s comment is:

Vector: Illustrator 10

Photo editing (And a lot of other stuff): Photoshop 7.0

Page Layout: Indesign 2.0

HTML: Dreamweaver or simpletext.

Optimizing: ImageReady

Fonts: Not quite there yet... Extensis Suitcase for fontmanaging, but I�m guessing that�s not what you were talking about...

System: OS X

Platform: Mac, and obnoxious about it...


On Oct.16.2002 at 07:25 PM
Martin’s comment is:

Oh... And Flash MX...

Forgot about that one.

I�d actually really like to hear som reviews from people who have used both Flash and LiveMotion.

What's the verdict?


On Oct.16.2002 at 07:27 PM
Marc’s comment is:

well as its a list:

Quark - for books.

Illustrator - posters, packaging and stuff that isn't more than one sheet.

Photoshop - print only image stuff and scanning.

Dreamweaver - all web.

Fireworks - all comps and web stuff, this does get better all the time, memory management however is still dreadful.

OS 9.1

I keep saying I will try InDesign but haven't got around to it, maybe this year.

On Oct.16.2002 at 08:33 PM
john boren’s comment is:

"John B, you seem, and I really mean this with no offense at all - more as a joke - like a designer of Bizarro World."


Thank you. Actually, I kind of like that moniker.

Let me explain:

I graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta, which could easily qualify as a "two-year vocational chump school". They only had one Mac in the computer lab, and it was already five years old then ( this was 1989!!). Well, I never got to use it. I did get to use a PC, loaded with CorelDRAW! (That's how they used to write the name. Perky, no?)

My first job out of art school was...modest. I was a one-man art department at an advertising premium company, setting logos and chunks of text onto coffee mugs, t-shirts, and embroidered onto ball caps. (Did you ever kern type for a logo for hours, only to see it turned into a massive glob of purple and yellow thread?) Anyway, I worked there for (gulp!) seven years, doing as much freelance on the side as I could; some comps for a video game, a poster for a theater group, etc., pushing for that big break into "real" design...


It hasn't happened yet, and it's only in the last two years I've gotten experience on a Mac...

Working at a Kinko's, then the copy desk in an OfficeMax.

In West Virginia.

Big Sigh.

For a while there, I've been up to my eyebrows in White Trash Graphic Theory:

"Could you stretch that word out real big?"

"Could you blow that up? And center it?"

"Make that blue! No, red! No, stupid, THAT red!"

"Can you show me how to make a double sided copy?"

( Repeat in an old crochety voice 532 times. )

Well, I haven't given up yet. I've moved to North Carolina, and I am working hard (REALLY hard) to get back into freelancing. I'm putting together some brand-spanking new samples, and highlighting listings in the new Artist's Market.

Let's see, I'm doing all this (no joke) on a five-year-old Compaq Presario, with obsolete software and cheesy knock-off fonts from a ten dollar CD-rom...


John Boren

Bizzaro World Designer #1

: ' )

On Oct.16.2002 at 09:50 PM
Todd’s comment is:

Googlefight Results:

Imageready, 84,600 results vs. Fireworks, 1,560,000

Illustrator, 1,650,000 results vs. Freehand, 494,000 results

QuarkXpress, 247,000 vs. InDesign, 242,000 results (!!)

Dreamweaver, 1,580,000 results vs. GoLive, 811,000 results

Flash, 17,700,000 vs. LiveMotion, 127,000 results

On Oct.16.2002 at 09:54 PM
Darrel’s comment is:


Stone Design: http://stone.com/

They were a NeXT Step developer and were the first to port a graphics suite to OSX. Their great feature is that if you buy their software, you get free upgrade for life.

And, I believe, Corel was actually the second company to produce OSX native graphics software. Anyone use Corel on OSX?

Adobe is good when they have to be, but like Microsoft, they get lethargic on their apps that have total market penetration. They really haven't done much in terms of true innovation since the PDF format.

QuarkXPress is a true monopoly. Their software is perpetually 5 years behind everything else in the industry, yet, because they were first to market, and graphic designers are notoriously lazy and technophobic, they remain the market leader. They have done nothing in the last 5 years that hasn't already been done by someone else. Quark 3, when it first came out, was a truly remarkable piece of software. Quark 5, 10+ years later, isn't much to look at in terms of improvements.

Macromedia tries. They don't always succeed and have a track record of abandoning a lot of their applications (Homesite, Sitespring, Fontographer, etc.) They do have a good user network, but lately they've been releasing increasingly buggy software. I don't like that.

On Oct.16.2002 at 09:55 PM
pk’s comment is:



InDesign (cheaper than XPress, better support, native to OSX, same control, easier interface. what's not to love?)

Dreamweaver (have you seen the GoLive interface? sheer confusion.)

BBEdit (there really is no other text editor)

Macromedia Flash (livemotion is utterly useless)

Maxon Cinema 4D (gives gorgeous painterly light quality to 3D imagery...weird to learn, but faster than maya.)

Adobe Imageready (but i really don't care, i'll use anything)

Fontlab (fontmaking is actually on hold for now; nobody seems into porting to OSX just yet and i'm not running OS9 on any of my machines)

On Oct.16.2002 at 09:58 PM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

Great topic.

Acrobat 5

Illustrator 10

Photoshop 7

InDesign 2

GoLive/BBEdit 6

ImageReady 7

FileMaker Pro 6

OS 10.2

Dislike Microsoft, Macromedia and Quark. Bleech.

On Oct.17.2002 at 12:14 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

And Corel. Yuck.

On Oct.17.2002 at 12:18 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>Stone Design: http://stone.com/

Oh! yes, I had heard of them. I looked at the site, doesn't look very promising, seems like a bad amalgamation of freehand/illustrator/photoshop/corel.

>And Corel. Yuck.

I dislike it very much too. Mostly because my first boss (in Mexico) had me go to his office on a saturday morning at 9:00 am and wanted me to learn Corel, one of the old versions, right at that moment. I spent 15 minutes, said I had another commitment and basically quit at that point, without knowing. The job was shit anyway.

On Oct.17.2002 at 09:01 AM
codeman38’s comment is:

John Boren: Yes...PhotoPaint, Paint Shop Pro, and even The GIMP (interface is a bit unusual, but you can't beat the price!) deserve mention as other viable photo editing programs. I admit that I'm a long-time Corel user myself-- it all started with a clearance-priced copy of Draw 3 running under Win31, to boot.

As for font editing, the aforementioned Font Creator Program is a nice little piece of shareware at quite a decent cost. PFAedit is promising as well; a bit more difficult to set up, especially on a Windows platform, but again, you just can't beat the price.

On Oct.17.2002 at 10:10 AM
codeman38’s comment is:

Er. Correct the above link to www.gimp.org. Funny, *most* open-source-related sites work without the "www" subdomain...

On Oct.17.2002 at 10:11 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>Maxon Cinema 4D (gives gorgeous painterly light quality to 3D imagery...weird to learn, but faster than maya.)

And cheaper I assume, unless you got 10 grand to spend, I don't know if that's still the price for Maya. For 3D work I use Eovia's Carrara, not the best but it's pretty cheap and does a really good job at rendering. And I've used Swift 3d once or twice to transfer an animation to flash.

On Oct.17.2002 at 05:10 PM
ale’s comment is:
  • Vector: Freehand
  • Photo Editing: Photoshop
  • Page Layout: Quark Express
  • HTML: Homesite
  • SWF Animation: Flash
  • Image Optimizing: Photoshop
  • Font development: Fontographer
  • System: Win2k (is OS 9.x really a system?)
  • Platform: PC
On Oct.18.2002 at 03:28 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>is OS 9.x really a system?

I was referring to either OS 9.1 or OS 9.2 the x just left room for either one.

On Oct.18.2002 at 07:02 AM
ale’s comment is:

>is OS 9.x really a system?

well, thanks armin...

I mean, it's ok, I reallized that, what I was trying to say is: are the OS 9.x(whatever version) really an operating system?

sort of ironic...

On Oct.18.2002 at 08:46 AM
Armin’s comment is:

>what I was trying to say is: are the OS 9.x(whatever version) really an operating system? sort of ironic...

I think I'm a little slow in waking up this morning. But besides that, I'm still on OS 9.2 and think it's a great System. I take pride in the way I take care of my mac, I rarely get crashes, all my apps work great. I've only had one major problem with this OS, and it was on of those mac-possessed-by-devil kind of things. So, OS 9.x if used well, and loved enough, is a good system.

On Oct.18.2002 at 08:51 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

"OS 9.x(whatever version) really an operating system?"

Uhh...as much as Win2k is. They're both buggy and annoying in their own ways, but each has their own bit of charm.

On Oct.18.2002 at 09:12 AM
ale’s comment is:

>They're both buggy and annoying in their own ways, but each has their own bit of charm.

Not to enter the annoying-looping querelle about PC vs MAC, but working in a company with 30+ clients on a Win2K LAN, with PCs doing from apps development to web graphic, from system administration to office automation, from data management to security analysis/probing, and having had to do with MAC, while my girlfriend actually works on the OS 9.nightmare, I think in total honesty you may not talk about MAC OSes as a serious alternative.

Unless you are not solely using it for Photoshop and QuarkXpress, but even like that, I fear things changed a long time ago.

And I say that while I'm a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y n-o-t pro MS.

I do not know the OS X, builded on a Free BSD basis maybe things are going better, but my personal opinion is the MAC is not that kind of technology that fade away while actually being superior (remember Betamax? or Nintendo64?).

On Oct.18.2002 at 10:07 AM
Michael’s comment is:

> I think in total honesty you may not talk about MAC OSes as a serious alternative.

—Them fightin' words around these parts. Watch your back man.

My two cents:

Quark 4 (would like to try InDesign though)

Acrobat 4

Illustrator 9



Flash 5

OS 9.2

On Oct.18.2002 at 12:13 PM
ale’s comment is:

I just tried pfaedit on a cgwyn "sub-system",

and it tastes really grate, it runs smooth and clean even on this environment.

Must be real fun on Linux!

See a screenshot heretook while editing my first font letter (ehi, it's an 'A')

On Oct.18.2002 at 08:18 PM
kippy’s comment is:

All Adobe, all the time, all OSX.

Oh and the Macromedia Studio MX.

I tried Quark, but the support of image types sucked the big one, so I switched to inDesign.

On Oct.18.2002 at 09:50 PM
pk’s comment is:

carrara's okay. i picked it up when it was still ray dream studio, way back in version 2. can't deal with that ridiculous interface on the new version.

yeah, cinema's a bit cheaper; runs about US1500 for an initial license. after some testing, it beat carrara, maya, and renderman all hollow for speed and natural lighting effects (which is important since most of my work relies on suspension of disbelief. gotta look real to make it work).

On Oct.18.2002 at 10:11 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

"I think in total honesty you may not talk about MAC OSes as a serious alternative."

Ok, that's fine to state that, but where's your data backing up your opinion? Just saying 'I think...' is somewhat pointless. Everything you mentioned you guys are doing with your 30+ PCs can be done with 30+ macs or linux boxes too, so I don't see your logic. BTW, I'm completely OS Agnostic. I use them all. I'm just curious as to how you formed your opinion.

On Oct.19.2002 at 11:11 AM
ale’s comment is:

> Everything you mentioned you guys are doing with your 30+ PCs can be done with 30+ macs

Do you really think that?

On Oct.19.2002 at 08:13 PM
Todd’s comment is:

> Everything you mentioned you guys are doing with your 30+ PCs can be done with 30+ macs

Do you really think that?

You really don't? Truthfully, the two OSes are virtually interchangable for most tasks at this point.

On Oct.20.2002 at 03:02 PM
ale’s comment is:

> YoTruthfully, the two OSes are virtually interchangable for most tasks at this point.

I don't think you may pass the laugh test with this one.

On Oct.20.2002 at 06:20 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

"Do you really think that?"

Ummm...well, yea...that's why I said it. Everything you mentioned you can do with a Mac. Or a linux box for that matter.

Ale, you have yet to say anything with substance. I'm interested in your POV, but you haven't backed it up with anything, making it a rather silly debate...

On Oct.20.2002 at 11:17 PM
ryan’s comment is:

1.vector: illustrator

2.scanning: photoshop

3.page layout: indesign. a lot of people i knew kept telling me that once they tried it they never looked back. neither have i.

4.web: go live

5.flash: macromedia.

6.os: OS X 10.2

as for the operating system debate, i was a pretty hardcore pc guy for years. after running 10.2, though, just looking at windows hurts my eyes. i still keep up the pc, but the only software i have installed are games. everything else i do on the mac. in terms of physical capabilities and available software, they both do pretty much the same stuff, some a little better than the other. they both have some pluses and minuses, but i find that the mac is way more user friendly, in terms of both hardware and software. and it's way more stable. i like my pc, but i love my mac. i know it's off the original subject, but i just wanted to throw in my two cents.

On Oct.21.2002 at 02:02 AM
rorie’s comment is:

I'd just like to post >

-Font Development - Fontographer + -System osX.2 = tears

please macromedia make it opensource, update it, sell it, do SOMETHING!!! :D


On Oct.21.2002 at 05:44 AM