Jump to content

Indesign alternatives?


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Yes, a friend of mine is InDesign pro since beginning. He says Affinity Publisher is a good alternative if someone is not dependend on a special workflow like agencies might have.
A Agency with 100 InDesign licenses does not want some Affinity workers…
But if someone is working for his own it is brilliant.
It has of course a learning curve but there are a lot of tutorials and videos in the www.

Link to post
Share on other sites

LaTeX can create a beautiful book, but you definitely need to know what you are doing. (I have a book on Amazon done in LaTeX, with the Kindle version created in Flare) It is very unintuitive coming from any of the other DTP programs, but rock stable once you have set up all the parameters. It is really for longer books or math intensive projects where you want to use a set of rules to define placement of text and images (like Framemaker and MadCap Flare) or have complicated cross references and bibliographies. LaTeX is not good for color management, unlike InDesign or Quark. InDesign, like Quark or Pagemaker, is a paste up DTP -  where you can put images anywhere you want, but it doesn't really use rule based positioning.

I've published books with most of the major DTP programs over the years and would recommend InDesign in general for graphic intensive books and Affinity Publisher as a cheaper alternative (assuming you don't need Photoshop, Illustrator, etc and have not bought the Affinity alternatives).  

One thing to consider is multisourcing. You might want to create a Kindle or ePub version as well as a print version. LaTex is bad for that. InDesign is fair and Flare is better. 

Edited by isleofgough
Link to post
Share on other sites

I started my career with Pagemaker then moved to Quark then to Indesign. Having retired a few years ago I no longer have an employer footing the bill for the full Adobe suite so I started looking into alternatives to do some personal zines and settled on Affinity Publisher. The key function I was looking for was the ability to print a "booklet" that would output the page spreads in the correct order. Plus the ability to first print only the odd numbered pages on one side of the paper, then flip the stack over and print on the other side for the even pages. If you used any other page layout app Affinity is pretty easy to figure out and seems to have all the features I will ever need. Cheers, jc

Link to post
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, jkcampbell2 said:

I started my career with Pagemaker then moved to Quark then to Indesign. Having retired a few years ago I no longer have an employer footing the bill for the full Adobe suite so I started looking into alternatives to do some personal zines and settled on Affinity Publisher. The key function I was looking for was the ability to print a "booklet" that would output the page spreads in the correct order. Plus the ability to first print only the odd numbered pages on one side of the paper, then flip the stack over and print on the other side for the even pages. If you used any other page layout app Affinity is pretty easy to figure out and seems to have all the features I will ever need. Cheers, jc

Thanks - laying out pages for print like this is just what I'm looking for. I want to print double sided on A2 or A3 then cutting the sheet down to pages for folding & stitching.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
10 hours ago, P1505 said:

Affinity will do what you need. It’s half price currently.

I have been using the trial version of Affinity and although it is impressive, it will not do what I want. It will print a single signature/section, getting all the pages in the right order, but it cannot handle a multi-signature book - e.g. you cannot tell it that your book is made up of 16-page signatures. If you cheat by printing out just the first 16 pages of, say, a 48 page book, then it still treats your book as one large 48-page signature, and prints page 1 next to page 48, not page 16.

I have bitten the bullet (found a another subsciption to cancel!) and taken up Indesign, which can do this. It's a pity - it can't be too difficult for Affinity to implement. I'll keep an eye on it and switch back if they update it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Now retired I reluctantly ditched Adobe CS when it became cloud subscription only. Retaining a couple of clients that require industry standard press ready files, while not equal I can attest Affinity Suite can and will deliver, when you've got your head around the differing terminology. The real difficulty is not the program but struggling to adapt to a different work flow/keyboard shortcuts. FWIW at the current asking price it's no/low risk. Youtube tutorials are plentiful - though you are welcome to give me a shout - if I can help!

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, P1505 said:

Fair enough. I don’t fully understand what you mean though 😀

Take any large traditional book (with a sewn spine) and look at it from the top: each of those several little booklets which have been sewn together into the spine is called a section or signature, each made up of several double sheets, folded. Now imagine the app printing those double spreads, double sided: it has to place consecutive numbered pages at the right location on the right double spread, across all signatures, so that, after folding, sewing and binding, pages end up in sequence. Indesign can do that, Affinity Publisher cannot (though Affinity can handle a single signature/booklet).

Edited by LocalHero1953
Link to post
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, P1505 said:

Thanks. I had seen that, but they are referring to a different kind of section: more like chapters. Nothing to do with how the book is bound. It's confusing terminology, which is why I use the older term 'signature'. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, jrethorst said:

I'm no expert (and will perhaps prove it now) but I wonder why no one has mentioned Adobe Framemaker for Windows. It was at one point the standard for book-length layout. The most recent release was in 2019; it now costs $29 a month.

John R.

Interesting. Framemaker isn't on offer in my Adobe CC app, yet if I search for it on the web as a whole, it shows up - perhaps it is not fully compatible with the CC ecosystem? Nevertheless Indesign does the job for the same subscription price (£20/month), and FM looks more text oriented (I could be wrong), so I'll stick with the former.

Link to post
Share on other sites

vor 23 Stunden schrieb LocalHero1953:

I have been using the trial version of Affinity and although it is impressive, it will not do what I want. It will print a single signature/section, getting all the pages in the right order, but it cannot handle a multi-signature book - e.g. you cannot tell it that your book is made up of 16-page signatures. If you cheat by printing out just the first 16 pages of, say, a 48 page book, then it still treats your book as one large 48-page signature, and prints page 1 next to page 48, not page 16.

I have bitten the bullet (found a another subsciption to cancel!) and taken up Indesign, which can do this. It's a pity - it can't be too difficult for Affinity to implement. I'll keep an eye on it and switch back if they update it. 

Wouldn't splitting the book in several documents do the job?

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, fotomas said:

Wouldn't splitting the book in several documents do the job?

Yes, it works, but not comfortably. My book had page numbers, so splitting it into separate documents made the page numbers restart in each one (though that could be adjusted). And after splitting them, I could no longer make changes in one document that caused reflow of text across documents. It's doable, but at risk of human error.

Edited by LocalHero1953
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...