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Are you talking about IDMarkz? Here's a user guide:
Here's a video tutorial:
... there's apparently a 50% off promotion through tomorrow (Dec. 5) only, via promo code IDMarkzLaunch.)
I jumped on this sale immediately. Several reasons:

- MarkzWare has been around a long time and makes quality software.​
- A dedicated export tool is likely better than Adobe's export offering, and the direct-to-Affinity Publisher option is very attractive.​
- The app is offered for a one-time lifetime license fee or a cheaper annual subscription. I bought the perpetual license for $99.50.​
 


When Publisher first arrived, I said it needed a translator to convert the masses from Adobe. At the time, I didn't realise just how good a job it did from PDF. The very first document I converted was a 110-page photo book with plenty of text (although not much by way of linked boxes). I was pretty staggered by just how good a job it did.

I don't think I'd be paying for a conversion plugin until I'd at least tried opening from a PDF. Serif have done a remarkable job creating Publisher files from PDF - I am genuinely impressed.
 


I tried the upgrade link for the perpetual version, but after success with recognizing my MarkzTools license, the resulting shopping cart page states
IDMarkz (1 Year Subscription) Mac - 1.01​
Not sure I need a subscription...
Just went to their website – 50% off the permanent license of $199.

Since I won’t ever upgrade InDesign again, I won’t need to upgrade the convertor.
So, for $100 I get permanent access to all my old indd files.
 


I just saw these posts about IDMarkz and was so excited, I immediately purchased a copy. (By the way, the 50% sale is still active at 12/6/19 2:00 EST.)

Unfortunately, I should have looked before I leaped. I'm definitely missing something regarding InDesign -> Affinity Publisher.

This does not convert layouts as I expected. It converts the InDesign file to a PDF, which is then opened in Affinity Publisher. It does not actually open or convert directly from InDesign to Afffinity, as stated on their product page.

If you have InDesign, you can create the PDF yourself and open that in Publisher. If you already have layouts in PDF format (as I do for all my INDD files, since that's what the printer gets), then you can get the same exact results by opening the PDF in Publisher.

I imagine if you have no access to InDesign, and a client sends you an InDesign file, this is better than nothing. It does have some nice preview features. But a conversion tool it is not.

PDF -> Publisher may work for some but produces unusable results for my layouts. I've requested a refund.
 


Mik

Me too! I jumped on the discount before seeing Joe’s post and have just requested a refund.

From their site: "export your InDesign document as IDML. PDF, TIFF, PNG, JPEG or GIF”.

Serif has been promising a Publisher IDML importer for some time, and it’s in the 1.8 beta. I haven’t tried it yet, but the beta support forum has several threads on IDML, and it looks promising.

(InDesign user since version 1)
 


This does not convert layouts as I expected. It converts the InDesign file to a PDF, which is then opened in Affinity Publisher. It does not actually open or convert directly from InDesign to Afffinity, as stated on their product page.
To their credit, Markzware responded quickly. They have provided me a pre-release of their upcoming version and asked me to try it with the Publisher 1.8 beta. Supposedly, that will take an INDD file and use that to send an IDML to Publisher.

Hopefully, that will work. I do believe they could have made the product description a little more clear. What Mik wrote is correct... further down the product page it states the export formats. However, I do not want to export. As the lead-in on the product page states, I want to "convert" and "open my InDesign files in" [Affinity Publisher].
 


To their credit, Markzware responded quickly. They have provided me a pre-release of their upcoming version and asked me to try it with the Publisher 1.8 beta. Supposedly, that will take an INDD file and use that to send an IDML to Publisher.

Hopefully, that will work. I do believe they could have made the product description a little more clear. What Mik wrote is correct... further down the product page it states the export formats. However, I do not want to export. As the lead-in on the product page states, I want to "convert" and "open my InDesign files in" [Affinity Publisher].
I'm a developer with Markzware, so I can clarify the issue. IDMarkz (the current version available) does export IDML, which can be opened in Affinity Publisher v1.8 (currently in beta) or greater.

IDMarkz also has an "Open in Publisher" feature, which automates the conversion and opening (just to simplify the process).

At the time of the IDMarkz release, Affinity hadn't released the v1.8 beta with the IDML import feature, so IDMarkz relied on the PDF importing of Publisher. We have since built a prerelease version that will export to IDML (rather than PDF) and open that in Publisher, if v1.8 or greater is installed.

The current release would also work, but rather than using the "Open in Publisher" feature, you would need to export the IDML then manually open that in Publisher v1.8 or greater.

We expect to have the prerelease out as a general release next week. But in the meantime, for anyone who might have purchased or intends to purchase, here is a link to the prerelease which doesn't require the work around. If you have any issues, please feel free to reach out to me.

 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A little background info for what it's worth:
Adobe said:
Save documents in InDesign

Save an InDesign Markup (IDML) document

In some cases you may want to save an InDesign in interchange markup format. It’s especially useful to save in this format when you open a QuarkXPress or PageMaker publication in InDesign, when you open a document created in a previous version of InDesign, or when you’re experiencing problems with your document, such as not being able to delete color swatches.
  • Choose File > Save (CS6) or File > Export (CS5).
  • From the Save As Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS) menu, choose InDesign Markup (IDML).
  • Click Save.
You can open the saved IDML file in InDesign CS5 and InDesign CS4 but not in any previous version of InDesign.
Adobe said:
Adobe InDesign Markup Language (IDML) Cookbook [PDF]

... IDML files represent complete InDesign documents. Because they are ZIP (or, more accurately, UCF) archives, they commonly are called packages. These packages contain a hierarchy of XML files representing various parts of the InDesign document. An equivalent XML representation is used in single-text-file (non-archive-based) InCopy story files, snippets, and assignments. These are not ZIP files but rather single XML files that contain all elements necessary to reconstruct a particular piece of content.
IDML was designed to facilitate the inspection and construction of InDesign content outside of InDesign....
 
  • appreciate
Reactions: Mik


I tried the upgrade link for the perpetual version, but after success with recognizing my MarkzTools license, the resulting shopping cart page states
Not sure I need a subscription...
I believe the problem is that the MarkzTools license you have is a subscription license, so it'll only let you upgrade to the subscription license of IDMarkz.

You can visit the IDMarkz product page to purchase a perpetual license directly; use coupon code IDMarkzLaunch to get the 50% discount (which I believe is cheaper than the upgrade would be anyway).

The IDMarkzLaunch promo has been extended through the end of the year (2019).
 


Mik

Thank you to Markzware for their prompt response and for the refund. The person I spoke to said a number of people had complained about the difference between the marketing language on their site and the reality.

Ric clarified that InDesign can already create an IDML file (that Publisher 1.8 can import). I’ll be testing that this weekend.

And of course InDesign can export a PDF file that Publisher can import. I’ve been learning about this method over the last few months, and have found much useful advice on the user forum.

I’m impressed with the Serif apps (and their support) and I’m enjoying my new tools.
 


Serif's Affinity discounts have been extended on the heels of an Apple award:
When buying from Affinity's website, do Americans get their credit card charged in USD from a UK company? I see prices shown in $. Or is there some fluctuating exchange rate magic done?
 


It seems a bit ironic for the converter to cost at least 4x what Affinity Publisher costs...
if I recall correctly, Markzware's product prices have remained fairly consistent over the decades, and have always been a good value for the cost where print design and production is a concern.

The outlier here is Serif and their Affinity product line. Given their feature sets and the praise they've received, Publisher and its companion apps could easily cost four times as much as they do, and still provide a better value than Adobe's offerings.
 


Thank you to Markzware for their prompt response and for the refund. The person I spoke to said a number of people had complained about the difference between the marketing language on their site and the reality.
I'll second that. Markzware was very prompt in issuing my refund. In our email exchange, they explained the shortcomings much better than the marketing language. They should really clarify things on the website.
Ric clarified that InDesign can already create an IDML file (that Publisher 1.8 can import). I’ll be testing that this weekend.
I just found the latest Publisher 1.8 beta and can confirm - it does import an InDesign IDML file. I didn't do much other than test the import function on a few files, but multi-page layouts with plenty of text and graphics looked very good in Publisher. Certainly better than the results from the original QXP -> INDD conversions.
And of course InDesign can export a PDF file that Publisher can import. I’ve been learning about this method over the last few months, and have found much useful advice on the user forum.
Yes, Publisher can import a PDF file. I would caution against relying on this method. I imported a single-page PDF of an ad with text and graphics. The Markzware app and just a straight import via Publisher produced the same, poor results. Text paragraphs were split into individual lines, graphics were cut off. I guess in a pinch, the function might be a good starting point to recreate a layout, but it would take a lot of work to make something usable from the layouts I tested.
I’m impressed with the Serif apps (and their support) and I’m enjoying my new tools.
100% - Serif is doing some amazing things. In my opinion, the upcoming IDML import is going to be a killer feature that makes some professional houses consider a switch.
 


The outlier here is Serif and their Affinity product line. Given their feature sets and the praise they've received, Publisher and its companion apps could easily cost four times as much as they do, and still provide a better value than Adobe's offerings.
As much as I love it, the incredibly low price for Serif products is the only thing that worries me. It will (and has) help them break into the market. It also has the potential to pick up business from freelancers and small operations that cannot justify Adobe's subscription price.

But what happens a few years down the road? Is the low price model sustainable? Adobe (and Quark before them) were built on an "enterprise" pricing model. Even with that, Adobe had to move to a subscription model to keep the investors happy.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
As much as I love it, the incredibly low price for Serif products is the only thing that worries me. It will (and has) help them break into the market. It also has the potential to pick up business from freelancers and small operations that cannot justify Adobe's subscription price. But what happens a few years down the road? Is the low price model sustainable? Adobe (and Quark before them) were built on an "enterprise" pricing model. Even with that, Adobe had to move to a subscription model to keep the investors happy.
Adobe and Serif are operating under radically different business models, and I think that it's possible for the smaller company to survive and prosper while charging lower prices for its products. (We have a some great examples in the Mac ecosystem, such as Bombich Software, ProVUE Development, Bare Bones, Thorsten Lemke, SoftRAID, and more.)

Adobe is spending billions upon billions of dollars a year as a public corporation, and I suspect that good software can be developed for a whole lot less. Serif is a far smaller, privately held company, employing about 200 people vs. an Adobe employee count of some 20,000.
 


As much as I love it, the incredibly low price for Serif products is the only thing that worries me. It will (and has) help them break into the market. It also has the potential to pick up business from freelancers and small operations that cannot justify Adobe's subscription price.

But what happens a few years down the road? Is the low price model sustainable? Adobe (and Quark before them) were built on an "enterprise" pricing model. Even with that, Adobe had to move to a subscription model to keep the investors happy.
As someone who has had feet in both the enterprise/corporate and the independent publishing worlds, I think you're spot on here, Joe.

Affinity is making some killer products that are fairly deep in terms of features, but they will need a bit more history in the market before many larger shops look at them as a true replacement for ID or QXP (and Photoshop and Illustrator). It's not impossible, and it isn't inconceivable; Affinity will need time to prove that they're in this for the long haul — and can adapt to the needs of larger organizations.

When I ran MacWEEK and Macworld, our production teams were 'locked down' into QXP; we were often at least a revision behind, both in the app and the OS, because printing was the critical point in our workflow. MW ultimately went to ID, after an extensive 'shadow' period with tests and retests and discussions with Adobe support people. While the print magazine world is much diminished these days, I can't see some larger organization moving to Affinity because they're cheaper and have a lot (not all) of the features found in the big guys' products.

I use ID today as a small publisher, and I've looked at Publisher with interest. It is a good, potentially great, product, but it still doesn't add anything that would significantly improve my workflow, which is my critical point.

Sure, I'm always happy to pay less $$, but for now, I pay the CC tax without too much hesitation. I use enough of the CC apps that I can justify the yearly expense (and find the odd discount sale from time to time). If I didn't have a small business, I would feel differently.

One of the cool things about the overall reaction to Adobe's subscription services is that the world of creative apps is so much deeper today than it was five years ago. It's refreshing that a company like Affinity can come out of nowhere and have a suite of creative apps that come close to ID, Illustrator, and Photoshop. And the image-editing world is just as wide-open today as well. Five years ago, I was lamenting the fact to a friend that, if you didn't like Lightroom and Photoshop, you didn't have a lot of good options. Today, that's not the case. That, to me, is a good thing for the market, and for us as users of all types.
 


As much as I love it, the incredibly low price for Serif products is the only thing that worries me. It will (and has) help them break into the market. It also has the potential to pick up business from freelancers and small operations that cannot justify Adobe's subscription price.
I've no comment on the enterprise issues, but I've been a designer long enough to remember when Adobe gave away InDesign for free with a new Mac tower in its early days, trying to break apart Quark XPress's dominance. Maybe the first CS?

That's when I got my first InDesign version. I didn't play with it much then, as my main textbook publishing client was firmly entrenched with QXP. They are now equally entrenched with InDesign CC.

I've been toying with dumping the whole suite in favor of a single-app subscription for just InDesign and using Affinity's software for my Illustrator/Photoshop needs to save costs; I'm just a solo designer. Acrobat is the kicker though. I need that, too. Any ideas from the group? Acrobat has some press refinements (CMYK > grayscale, etc.) that aren't replaced with a run of the mill PDF program.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Acrobat is the kicker though. I need that, too. Any ideas from the group? Acrobat has some press refinements (CMYK > grayscale, etc.) that aren't replaced with a run of the mill PDF program.
Affinity Publisher seems very PDF-capable. Could that possibly replace Acrobat?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm a developer with Markzware, so I can clarify the issue. IDMarkz (the current version available) does export IDML, which can be opened in Affinity Publisher v1.8 (currently in beta) or greater.
Thanks for joining the discussion here, Eddie. Just to clarify: IDMarkz can open native InDesign files (INDD) and convert those into IDML without needing InDesign itself?
 


Affinity Publisher seems very PDF-capable. Could that possibly replace Acrobat?
Publisher's PDF export functionality looks to be quite good:
Professional Printing
  • Full CMYK handling and ICC profiles
  • Spot colors
  • Overprint controls
  • Trim, bleed and crop marks
  • Bleed preview with bleed setup directly from new document
  • K-only grayscale images on CMYK output
  • Create CMYK PDF/X files for pro printing
  • Compatible with PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, and PDF/X-4
ClaireSN could weigh in on some of their Acrobat-specific requirements, but, assuming that there aren't any real issues with the PDF/X-xx specs, Publisher should work for the type of books I've done. (Given some of the issues I've had, I will proof the crap out anything done with any app.) Acrobat does have some very specific options for different press types and screening, although I do believe that ID does a lot of that now.

One thing that people haven't mentioned (or I've missed) is scripting. I use ID scripts or the built-in grep all the time to perform tons of text- and layout-specific tasks. Those two things — and the extensive customization aspects of the ID user interface — are a big reason why I stick with ID, and there is a huge community of scripters feeding the ID market. It would be pretty important for some customers to have a path forward there, in my opinion.

I'm in no way trying to throw shade on Publisher, especially since there are plenty of bugs inside ID that get in the way when I'm working.

It is funny to think that, from the 90s through 2001-2002, Adobe was the underdog in the publishing market. They blew it with PageMaker, and ended up giving ID away to big publishers — with support — to try and wrest market share away from Quark. Those first couple of ID revisions were pretty bad, as I recall, but they got better quickly. Having the Photoshop/Illustrator/ID combo definitely helped Adobe, and it could do the same for Serif.

Hopefully, Serif is doing well enough that they can keep pushing in this space. I looked at the first rev when it came out, but I'm feeling like I need to play with it again. This has been a good discussion.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Hopefully, Serif is doing well enough that they can keep pushing in this space. I looked at the first rev when it came out, but I'm feeling like I need to play with it again.
I haven't spent much time with Affinity Publisher, but I can tell you that Affinity Photo improved dramatically in subsequent releases, with major performance improvements vs. the first version.
 


Does anyone know if any of the three Affinity products are multi-threaded to take advantage of multiple CPUs? If so, how many CPUs are supported in each program?

Looking to upgrade to a new laptop and desktop in the near future.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Does anyone know if any of the three Affinity products are multi-threaded to take advantage of multiple CPUs?
Affinity Publisher specs specifically note multicore optimization, and Affinity Photo can even use multiple GPUs (which may be in play with the 2019 Mac Pro, as well as eGPUs).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
One thing that people haven't mentioned (or I've missed) is scripting. I use ID scripts or the built-in grep all the time to perform tons of text- and layout-specific tasks. Those two things — and the extensive customization aspects of the ID user interface — are a big reason why I stick with ID, and there is a huge community of scripters feeding the ID market. It would be pretty important for some customers to have a path forward there, in my opinion.
It's not there yet, but I think they're working on it. It seems to involve a thorny mess of issues:
Affinity Forum said:
There are "macros" at least in Affinity Photo, though I know this doesn't address the issue you're talking about.
Affinity Forum said:
 


It's not there yet, but I think they're working on it. It seems to involve a thorny mess of issues...
That Scripting thread in the Affinity forums is interesting, if a bit wonky. The original poster (mid-2018) was spot on in terms of what many people needed for scripting, but the whole thing turned into a long, hot mess of "Javascript vs AppleScript vs Python" et al. And I didn't see any real response from Serif in that thread. There are links in other forum messages about an Affinity 'roadmap,' but the links are all dead, at least as far as I can see. That might be a good thing for them to keep updated, if even on a more 'big picture' scale.

One positive thing I found when poking around with Publisher today was that they do include regular expression searches. That's good. (I don't recall seeing it in those first versions, but it might have been.) I'll play around with that a bit to see how deep it goes.

The Photo macros appear to be similar in intent to Photoshop Actions, although I can't comment on whether they're full-featured or not. (Other than purchasing it to take a look at the basics, and running it from time to time, I don't really use Photo on macOS. The performance does seem to have gotten better with time, though. I'm actually more intrigued with Photo on the iPad -- I think it's a pretty good app over there.)
 


Thanks for joining the discussion here, Eddie. Just to clarify: IDMarkz can open native InDesign files (INDD) and convert those into IDML without needing InDesign itself?
Yes, Ric, IDMarkz can take a native INDD file and convert it to IDML, without InDesign. It can also convert to PDF, EPS, PNG, JPG, and GIF.

Of course, a user could use InDesign to convert an INDD to IDML, but there are some other cool features in IDMarkz. The target market is people who have moved away or never owned InDesign who have or receive InDesign files. IDMarkz gives users an option for handling INDD files without InDesign.

I know that many people who are using Affinity Publisher are still using InDesign; they're using Publisher because it's cool and new and to check it out. Those same people may find IDMarkz interesting enough to purchase. If not, there is always the IDMarkz freebie (previews without conversions) to give a try.
 


They blew it with PageMaker, and ended up giving ID away to big publishers — with support — to try and wrest market share away from Quark. Those first couple of ID revisions were pretty bad, as I recall, but they got better quickly.
One thing that Pagemaker and subsequently InDesign always did better than Quark was to provide support for other languages than English. Our needs were pretty simple, but we often produced materials in foreign languages. Fairly early on you could buy add-on language dictionary support for Pagemaker, for a modest cost; a version or two after that they included those dictionaries. And of course that capability was in ID from the get-go. Quark wanted Quark users to shell out an obscene amount of money for Quark Passport just to have the foreign language support that Aldus and Adobe were including.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
One positive thing I found when poking around with Publisher today was that they do include regular expression searches.
I'm clueless about what you or Trilo or others need for scripting, but I idly wondered if some sort of "scripting" might be possible by exporting IDML, hacking that with text-processing scripts (e.g. in BBEdit) then re-importing.
 


The original poster (mid-2018) was spot on in terms of what many people needed for scripting
I'll take that as a compliment, as I was the original poster.

I'd love to hear from Affinity regarding their plans. Nothing would be more frustrating than to have them suddenly dump some form of scripting that widely missed the mark of what production environments require. I really hope they pre-emptively talk to people who are active in scripting the Adobe apps to see what sort of thing is required.

Let's face it, most serious scripting is done in multi-artist organisations where the benefits will greatly outlay the time and cost of creating the scripts. I doubt many single users have the time, or perhaps expertise, to create complex scripts.

My two greatest concerns are:
1) they won't do it at all, or​
2) they make it so application-specific that it can't communicate with anything else (databases, mail, FTP servers, shell, etc.).​

Whilst I certainly understand the shortcomings of AppleScript, as a general purpose language for tying multiple, dissimilar applications together, it's hard to beat.
 


I'm a developer with Markzware, so I can clarify the issue. IDMarkz (the current version available) does export IDML, which can be opened in Affinity Publisher v1.8 (currently in beta) or greater.

IDMarkz also has an "Open in Publisher" feature, which automates the conversion and opening (just to simplify the process).

At the time of the IDMarkz release, Affinity hadn't released the v1.8 beta with the IDML import feature, so IDMarkz relied on the PDF importing of Publisher. We have since built a prerelease version that will export to IDML (rather than PDF) and open that in Publisher, if v1.8 or greater is installed.

The current release would also work, but rather than using the "Open in Publisher" feature, you would need to export the IDML then manually open that in Publisher v1.8 or greater.

We expect to have the prerelease out as a general release next week. But in the meantime, for anyone who might have purchased or intends to purchase, here is a link to the prerelease which doesn't require the work around. If you have any issues, please feel free to reach out to me.

IDMarkz v1.3.1 is now available as a free update. For those who have previously purchased, you can download the IDMarkz updater, and install it. Among other things, this update adds the ability to convert INDD to IDML and open in Publisher, in a single step.

View the IDMarkz Release Notes for a full list of new features, improvements, and bug fixes.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Whilst I certainly understand the shortcomings of AppleScript, as a general purpose language for tying multiple, dissimilar applications together, it's hard to beat.
But AppleScript is Mac-only (and is even being deprecated by Apple), while Affinity’s suite has to support Windows as well. On the other hand, Affinity does use Apple’s proprietary programming libraries (e.g. Metal). Is Adobe’s scripting based on Lua? Oh, it looks like Adobe supports multiple means of scripting...
Adobe said:
 


Long-time InDesign scripter here (and hi to Rick – long time, no see). Unlike (almost) every other Adobe product, InDesign was crafted from the ground up to support a very rich scripting model. They did that by separating the core application code from the user interface code, in such a way that you could even run a "headless" version of InDesign; that's what InDesign Server is, the InDesign engine without the UI.

In architecting it this way, Adobe paved the way for both prosumer and enterprise-level script development. InDesign's scripting was easy enough to learn for individual AppleScripters, yet powerful enough for professional JavaScript people to write huge libraries of complex scripts. You'd be surprised how many publishing operations (and web-to-print websites) use complex systems based on InDesign and JavaScript.

A big problem for both newbie and experienced InDesign scripters is the richness of its object model: everything in InDesign, from a single character up to an entire document, is accessible as an object with its own set of properties and methods. This makes it extremely powerful, but it's often difficult to find what you're looking for in the extensive documentation. This is an excellent architecture, and one that stands head and shoulders above any other Adobe product, especially Photoshop and Illustrator.

I can only hope that Affinity has learned something from the way InDesign is put together, because it would be great if they had the same kind of scripting support that InDesign has.

That being said, I don't think AppleScript should be a long-term goal for Affinity, because the handwriting has been on the wall ever since Sal Soghoian (AppleScript product manager and all-around great guy) was let go from Apple. As good as AppleScript was and is, Apple is not interested in keeping it alive; AppleScript has been on life support for a number of years now.

Having spent many hours in various trade show booths demonstrating AppleScript+Quark+FileMaker (and later, AppleScript+InDesign+FileMaker) solutions back in the day, I can say confidently that those days are pretty much over. Any modern language (Python and JavaScript come to mind as both easy and feature-complete) would be a better choice for Affinity to latch onto for their scripting support.

Anyway, sorry for the overly long rant. I miss the days of Big Publishing and people obsessing over kerning.
 


My two greatest concerns are:
1) they won't do it at all, or​
2) they make it so application-specific that it can't communicate with anything else (databases, mail, FTP servers, shell, etc.).​
Whilst I certainly understand the shortcomings of AppleScript, as a general purpose language for tying multiple, dissimilar applications together, it's hard to beat.
The choice they make will go directly to the foundation of the applications, and that isn't an easy choice to make.

Python is a popular choice in the entertainment media industry (3D, special effects, etc), and it is reasonably accessible to non-programmers, but it is still somewhat of an odd language, and there really isn't a great, complete Python tool out there that does everything (which is fine for most pro programmers). If languages were political parties, Python would probably be Libertarian.

JavaScript, though, is much more broadly used, and there are some popular development platforms that have built in support for it. If Serif used Qt, for example, they have a very good JavaScript engine built right in. That's one of the reasons why we chose it for scripting reports in our Valentina Reports-related products.

In either case, the developer has to commit to very deep support and structure of their application, so it doesn't become a support nightmare for them that quickly.
 


I'm clueless about what you or Trilo or others need for scripting, but I idly wondered if some sort of "scripting" might be possible by exporting IDML, hacking that with text-processing scripts (e.g. in BBEdit) then re-importing.
I'm a big BBEdit user, but importing/exporting between BBEdit and InDesign isn't something I want to do, especially via IDML. I do prep a lot of text before putting it into InDesign, but most authors use Word or Pages (which has to be converted to Word format for import), and doing the text-massaging inside InDesign is usually the easiest way to go.

InDesign's grep is pretty awesome. I'd love it if it had BBEdit's most recent UI extensions to regex, but it does the trick for me.

InDesign's scripting is, as Chuck noted, quite extensive, and used for everything from data-driven publishing to layout adjustment, font management, hyperlink treatments and more. Regex and scripts really are two separate things in the InDesign world, although some of the scripts I have use regular expressions as part of their operations. One of my favorite sessions at the Creative Pro conference is the scripting one; people do some amazing things with JavaScript in InDesign. (Search for 'free InDesign scripts' to get an idea of what's out there.)

One side note on InDesign, saving files, and IDML: When I finish a project, I use InDesign's Package command to save a final version of the document, complete with a PDF and IDML files. This gives me a folder with all of the InDesign's files, the linked graphics, fonts and the aforementioned PDF and IDML files. That folder then gets backed up in a couple of places. If I were planning on giving up on Adobe, I'd at least have files that could potentially be used again with an app like Publisher.

I tried the PDF open option in Publisher today (from an InDesign package folder), and wasn't too impressed. It did mostly work on a 65-page book, but I would have needed to do a lot of work on it to get it into a form that would let me build a major revision. Direct IDML import would hopefully be an improvement there, especially if it supported threaded text frames and linked graphics. I'll be interested to see it when Serif has it out of beta.
 


Many of our fears and experiences are the same as Rick's and C.Weger's.

We started with InDesign at Version 2 around 2005. At the time, we had a very close association with Adobe, as they were desperately trying to break the Quark stranglehold in the publishing industry. Our parent company had several hundred seats and was seen as a clear target to get some credibiity in the industry.

I spoke with our Adobe contact about scripting support, and based on that simple conversation, they arranged a scripting workshop at their Sydney office with Shane Stanley (who many will recognise as one of the master Adobe scripters). If only Adobe were so open nowadays...

The language choice is difficult. As we use AppleScript to talk with so many different apps and servers, our desire is something that has similar hooks to AppleScript. We need to do OS-level integration - at the very least, things like writing files, creating folder hierarchies, copying and moving files around etc - but also integration with FileMaker, MySQL, WordPress, Mail, FTP and more. Clearly, these might become an issue as Apple continues down the path of locking down the system to prevent users from doing what they wish to do.

When Sal departed, which if I recall correctly, was around the time Swift was initially announced, I thought there may have been plans for Swift to include a modernised replacement AppleScript. Who knows, maybe there still are.

As for Serif, if they choose not to do AppleScript, it could be seen as a sign there is little future in AppleScript. Hopefully, they have communication with Apple [about] the future of AppleScript. A real tragedy would be if Serif spent a huge amount of time creating an Adobe-like AppleScript Object Model only to have Apple pull the rug from under them and have to start again.

Hopefully someone at Apple can see the value of AppleScript. Right now, it's the sole reason we are still on macOS.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
When Sal departed, which if I recall correctly, was around the time Swift was initially announced, I thought there may have been plans for Swift to include a modernised replacement AppleScript. Who knows, maybe there still are.
I could be missing something, but it looks to me like Apple is moving to "Siri Shortcuts" for automation.
 



Affinity Publisher specs specifically note multicore optimization, and Affinity Photo can even use multiple GPUs (which may be in play with the 2019 Mac Pro, as well as eGPUs).
In fact, Affinity is the only commercial developer I've found that uses my Mac Pro (late 2013) second GPU.
 


I believe the problem is that the MarkzTools license you have is a subscription license, so it'll only let you upgrade to the subscription license of IDMarkz.

The IDMarkzLaunch promo has been extended through the end of the year (2019).
Aha! Yes, when I last bought MarkzTools for InDesign I was forced to purchase a 1-yr subscription, which I didn't need after a month or two of usage. Hence questioning if I need a subscription. But you're right about the subscription costing less. Thanks for extending the promo.
 


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