ⓘ Adobe PageMaker

                                     

ⓘ Adobe PageMaker

Adobe PageMaker is a discontinued desktop publishing computer program introduced in 1985 by Aldus on the Apple Macintosh. The combination of the Macintoshs graphical user interface, PageMaker publishing software, and the Apple LaserWriter laser printer marked the beginning of the desktop publishing revolution. Ported to PCs running Windows 1.0 in 1987, PageMaker helped to popularize both the Macintosh platform and the Windows environment.

A key component that led to PageMakers success was its native support for Adobe Systems PostScript page description language. After Adobe purchased the majority of Aldus assets in 1994 and subsequently phased out the Aldus name, version 6 was released. The program remained a major force in the high-end DTP market through the early 1990s, but new features were slow in coming. By the mid-1990s, it faced increasing competition from QuarkXPress on the Mac, and to a lesser degree, Ventura on the PC, and by the end of the decade it was no longer a major force. Quark proposed buying the product and cancelling it, but instead, in 1999 Adobe released their "Quark Killer", Adobe InDesign. The last major release of PageMaker came in 2001, and customers were offered InDesign licenses at a lower cost.

                                     

1. Release history

  • Aldus Pagemaker 1.2 for Macintosh was released in 1986 and added support for PostScript fonts built into LaserWriter Plus or downloaded to the memory of other output devices. PageMaker was awarded a Codie award for Best New Use of a Computer in 1986. In October 1986, a version of Pagemaker was made available for Hewlett-Packards HP Vectra computers. In 1987, Pagemaker was available on Digital Equipments VAXstation computers.
  • Aldus PageMaker 4.0 for Macintosh was released in 1990 and offered new word-processing capabilities, expanded typographic controls, and enhanced features for handling long documents. A version for the PC was available by 1991.
  • Aldus Pagemaker 1.0 was released in July 1985 for the Macintosh and in December 1986 for the IBM PC.
  • Adobe PageMaker 6.5 was released in 1996. Support for versions 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, and 6.5 is no longer offered through the official Adobe support system. Due to Aldus use of closed, proprietary data formats, this poses substantial problems for users who have works authored in these legacy versions.
  • Adobe PageMaker 6.0 was released in 1995, a year after Adobe Systems acquired Aldus Corporation.
  • Aldus PageMaker 5.0 was released in January 1993.
  • Aldus Pagemaker 3.0 for Macintosh was shipped in April 1988. PageMaker 3.0 for the PC was shipped in May 1988 and required Windows 2.0, which was bundled as a run-time version. Version 3.01 was available for OS/2 and took extensive advantage of multithreading for improved user responsiveness.
  • Adobe PageMaker 7.0 was the final version made available. It was released 9 July 2001, though updates have been released for the two supported platforms since. The Macintosh version runs only in Mac OS 9 or earlier; there is no native support for Mac OS X, and it does not run on Intel-based Macs without SheepShaver. It does not run well under Classic, and Adobe recommends that customers use an older Macintosh capable of booting into Mac OS 9. The Windows version supports Windows XP, but according to Adobe, "PageMaker 7.x does not install or run on Windows Vista."
  • Aldus Pagemaker 2.0 was released in 1987. Until May 1987, the initial Windows release was bundled with a full version of Windows 1.0.3; after that date, a "Windows-runtime" without task-switching capabilities was included. Thus, users who did not have Windows could run the application from MS-DOS.
                                     

2. End of development

Development of PageMaker had flagged in the later years at Aldus and, by 1998, PageMaker had lost almost the entire professional market to the comparatively feature-rich QuarkXPress 3.3, released in 1992, and 4.0, released in 1996. Quark stated its intention to buy out Adobe and to divest the combined company of PageMaker to avoid anti-trust issues. Adobe rebuffed the offer and instead continued to work on a new page layout application code-named "Shuksan" later "K2", originally started by Aldus, openly planned and positioned as a "Quark killer". This was released as Adobe InDesign 1.0 in 1999.

The last major release of PageMaker was 7.0 in 2001, after which the product was seen as "languishing on life support". Adobe ceased all development of PageMaker in 2004 and "strongly encouraged" users to migrate to InDesign, initially through special "InDesign PageMaker Edition" and "PageMaker Plug-in" versions, which added PageMakers data merge, bullet, and numbering features to InDesign, and provided PageMaker-oriented help topics, complimentary Myriad Pro fonts, and templates. From 2005, these features were bundled into InDesign CS2, which was offered at half-price to existing PageMaker customers.

No new major versions of Adobe PageMaker have been released since, and it does not ship alongside Adobe InDesign.

                                     

3. Reception

BYTE in 1989 listed PageMaker 3.0 as among the "Distinction" winners of the BYTE Awards, stating that it "is the program that showed many of us how to use the Macintosh to its full potential".