Automated Publishing

Automating QuarkXPress, InDesign, and FrameMaker

Desktop-publishing software such as QuarkXPress, InDesign, and FrameMaker provide the means to put text and images together in sophisticated ways while enabling the finished product to be printed on a printing press. (QuarkXPress and InDesign are the tools of choice for graphic designers who use them to create many types of marketing communications. FrameMaker is the industry-standard for long-documents that involve a table of contents, chapters, figures, and an index.)

One technology which is affordable and works great is PatternStream. PatternStream is an integrated development environment [IDE] for creating software applications that perform automated desktop-publishing. It can produce InDesign, FrameMaker, pdf, html, and xml files. Solutions from Active Lightning achieve 100% automated production.

PatternStream [a product of Finite Matters Limited] has a graphical user interface and object-oriented approach that provide efficiencies for doing variable-data publishing. It has a "lite" version that enables PatternStream applications to run without owning the license for the full design environment. The license for this lite or "runtime" version is under $6,000 which makes it very affordable for small businesses. In this case, Active Lightning builds the software and you, the client, run it.

QuarkXPress is a tool designed to aid a human being do manual tasks; it is difficult to get it to do desktop-publishing output that is 100% automated. Here are some considerations about using QuarkXpress versus FrameMaker.