Adobe Magazine May/Jun 1995 PageMaker Q&A

Adobe Magazine May/June 1995 Cover

For a few years I wrote PageMaker and Acrobat Q&A sections for Adobe Magazine. This is the May/June 1995 column and the final PageMaker Q&A column I wrote before starting the then-new Acrobat Q&A column.

The article is scanned into Acrobat and its OCR functionality was used to recognize the text. While OCR is a wonderful invention, the cleanup process (I pasted the content into Word and did it there) is more time consuming than expected. Note that Adobe Magazine didn’t provide bylines for Q&A articles, though the authors are listed as contributors in small print in the credits, as can be seen on the last page of the scanned PDF at the bottom of this post.

This series of questions and tips includes information about old Network Copy Detection (NCD) issues, converting PageMaker publications to PDF (which makes sense given the recent Adobe acquisition of Aldus), and more. You really know this is old when you run across references to CompuServe and America Online.

Q: Whenever I try to draw a rectangle or oval in PageMaker, I get a perfect square or circle—what’s the deal? (PC)

A: Normally, if you want to draw a perfect square or a perfect circle, you use the rectangle or ellipse tool while holding down the Shift key. If you’re getting perfect squares and circles even when you don’t have the Shift key held down, chances are your problem is being caused by an old driver (dated 1/11/93 or earlier) for a Logitech three-button mouse. To fix it, update the Logitech driver to version 6.24 or later. To do so, download the most current version of MOUSE.COM and LMOUSE.DRV from the Logitech forum on CompuServe (type GO LOGITECH) or from Logitech’s BBS (510-795-0406)

Q: I keep hearing about PPDs. They sound pretty important, but I don’t quite understand why. What exactly are they? (PC/Mac)

A: PPD (PostScript printer description) files are text-only files, written in the PostScript language, that describe the model-specific characteristics of PostScript devices (printers, imagesetters, and so forth). PageMaker and other applications that use PPDs rely on these files to give them the information they need to print correctly and efficiently to PostScript devices.

When you print from PageMaker, you should select the right PPD file for your Postscript device from the “Type” pop-up menu in PageMaker’s “Print document” dialog box. If you don’t use the right PPD, chances are you won’t be able to take advantage of all your printer’s features, your jobs might print less quickly, and (in extreme cases) you could even receive PostScript errors.

Here’s a partial list of the model-specific features described in a PPD file and why PageMaker needs that information when it prints:

  • How much free virtual memory your PostScript device has. The free virtual memory setting in a PPD reflects how much RAM your PostScript device has available to produce the rasterized page descriptions of your files (“free virtual memory,” in this case, is actual RAM and has nothing to do with your printer’s hard disk). PageMaker uses this number to determine the most efficient way to download PostScript resources such as fonts. If you’re using a PPD that says your printer has less free virtual memory than it really does have, PageMaker might download, flush, and redownload fonts more frequently than necessary, thereby needlessly increasing your print times. If your PPD file has a free virtual memory setting that’s too high, you could experience PostScript errors.
  • What fonts are built into your PostScript device. PageMaker uses the PPD’s list of built-in fonts to deter­mine which fonts it must download. Using the right PPD with the right font list will ensure PageMaker can download the correct fonts for the fastest possible output without font substitution.
  • Your PostScript device’s paper options. PPD files include information about what paper sizes and trays your PostScript device supports, and whether or not it offers custom paper sizes. Using the right PPD file ensures you can take advantage of all your PostScript device’s paper features.

PageMaker 5.0 ships with dozens of PPD files—if you need to install one, just run the setup program “ALDSETUP.EXE” or PM5SETUP.EXE (Windows) or “Aldus Installer/Utility” (Macintosh) on the first PageMaker installation diskette. If PageMaker didn’t come with a PPD file for your PostScript device, there are several places you can obtain one. First, try Adobe’s free BBS at (206) 623-6984 and look in the “PPD files” folder in the “File Library” section. If you don’t have a modem, try the nearest Adobe Authorized Service Provider, who may download the file for you. If those options don’t pan out, try going directly to your PostScript device’s manufacturer, who can supply you with a PPD file or recommend one that’s a close match.

The information in PPD files reflects the model-specific characteristics of your PostScript device as it was manufactured. However, if you’ve changed your PostScript device—by adding fonts, memory, or other features—your PPD won’t accurately describe your device anymore. If you want to take full advantage of the features you’ve added, you’ll need to update the information about your printer. Fortunately, Adobe offers some utilities that make that easy.

If you use the Windows version of PageMaker, you can get a utility called “Update PPD”—the current version is 2.0 and it’s available on Adobe’s free BBS (call 206-623-6984 and download the “UPPPD2.ZIP” file from the section File Library:PM5:PC:UpdatePPDV2) and on Adobe’s forums on CompuServe and America Online (see pages 114-15 for information on those forums). It’s also included in the PageMaker 5.0 Enhancement Pack for Windows, available through Adobe Customer Services at (800) 628-2320 for a shipping and handling charge of $9.95.

If you use PageMaker 5.0 for the Macintosh, you can use the “Update PPD” Addition, which came with PageMaker. The most recent version of Update PPD is 1.7, and it’s available on Adobe’s free BBS (download “UPdp17.sea” from the section File Library:PM5:MAC:UpdatePPD) and on CompuServe and America Online. It’s also in the Macintosh PageMaker 5.0 Enhancement Pack (see the previous paragraph for ordering information).

Both the Windows and Macintosh “Update PPD” utilities create a custom printer file, which is a special kind of PPD file that appends or overrides the information in the original PPD file. After creating a custom printer file with one of these utilities, be sure to use it when you print—select the new file instead of your original PPD from the “Type” popup menu in the “Print document” dialog box.

If you want to learn more about PPDs and custom printer files, the following FaxYI documents can help:

  • 215120—Creating custom printer files: Comprehensive overview
  • 100101—Adding custom paper sizes to a custom printer file using a text editor
  • 100102—Updating PPD files to reflect available virtual memory using a text editor
  • 100103—Adding fonts to a custom printer file using a text editor.
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Have a PPD that’s not showing up in your “Type” pop-up menu? Perhaps the PPD file is in the wrong folder or directory. In Windows, make sure your PPD file is the ALDUS/USENGLSH/PPD4 directory (or whatever your PPD4 directory is according to the “PPD4= …” line in the [Aldus] section of your WIN.INI file). On the Mac, make sure it’s in the “Printer Descriptions” folder in your “Extensions” folder within the System Folder.

Q: My office recently installed Adobe Acrobat Pro, and now we want to be able to create PDF files from our PageMaker publications. What’s the best way? (PC/Mac)

A If you installed the “Pro” version of Adobe Acrobat, you have all four of the major components of Acrobat: the Acrobat Reader, the PDFWriter, Acrobat Exchange, and Acrobat Distiller. With these tools you have two options for creating PDF (Portable Document Format) files from PageMaker or most any application.

The easiest way is to use the PDFWriter, a special-purpose printer driver that lets you use the “Print” command to print directly to a PDF file. However, using the PDFWriter won’t always give you the best results. The PDFWriter is a non-PostScript driver, and as such won’t produce ideal results with documents from high-end layout programs, such as PageMaker, that are designed to produce their own PostScript code. If you use the PDFWriter to produce PDF files from PageMaker, you may notice color shifts in your documents, your transformed graphics may print untransformed, the screen previews of EPS files will print instead of the EPS files themselves, and your PDF files may be inconveniently large (larger than the PageMaker publication files from which they were created).

Despite these limitations, using the PDFWriter may be a good option if you want to quickly make a PDF file from a simple publication, if your PDF file will be viewed primarily on screen, or if your publication doesn’t contain EPS files. Here’s how to use the PDFWriter.

  1. Select the Acrobat PDFWriter driver. In Windows, you can set that right in PageMaker—select “Acrobat PDFWriter” from the “Print to” drop-down menu in the “Print document” dialog box. On the Macintosh, select “Acrobat PDFWriter” in the Chooser.
  2. Print your document as you normally would.
  3. Enter a name for your PDF file when the Acrobat PDFWriter prompts you to. We recommend keeping the filename to eight characters or less and adding a “.PDF” extension to the end of the filename—that ensures your PDF file will be easy to identify and open on any platform (Macintosh, Windows, DOS, or UNIX).

Another way to create a PDF file from PageMaker is to print to a PostScript file, then process that file through the Acrobat Distiller. Using this method gives you more control over how your graphics will look and print in the PDF file and, in many cases, will also give you higher-quality results (especially if your document contains EPS files). Also, if your publication contains high-resolution bitmap images that you want to downsample for on­screen viewing or relatively low resolution printing, you should use the Distiller.

To use the Distiller to create a PDF file from a PageMaker publication, follow these steps:

  1. When your publication is ready to convert to PDF, save it and select “Print…” from PageMaker’s File menu.
  2. In PageMaker’s “Print document” dialog box, make sure you’re set to print to the right device. If you’re using PageMaker for Windows, change your “Print to” printer to “Acrobat Distiller on \DISTASST.PS” (you can also select another PostScript printer driver, but if you do, you must select the “Write PostScript to file” option in step 4). If you’re working on the Macintosh, make sure you’ve selected the “LaserWriter 8.1.1” or “PSPrinter 8.1.1” (or later) driver in the Chooser.
  3. Select the Acrobat Distiller PPD from the “Type” pop-up menu in the “Print document” dialog box. If you’re using PageMaker for Windows and the “Acrobat Distiller” PPD isn’t available on this menu, you probably need to change its location on your hard disk. When you install the Distiller in Windows, it puts the Acrobat Distiller PPD (ACRODIST.PPD) in the ACRODIST\XTRAS directory. However, PageMaker won’t see it there, so make a copy of that file and put it in the ALDUS\USENGLSH\PPD4 directory.
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If you create a PDF from PageMaker using the PDFWriter and your pages end up in reverse order, print your publication to PDF again after selecting the “Reverse order” option in PageMaker’s “Print document” dialog box.

  1. Make sure your publication will print to a PostScript file. On the PC, there are two ways to do this. One way is to select the “Acrobat Distiller C:\DISTASST.PS” device from the “Print to” drop-down menu. This will make your publication print to a PostScript file called DISTASST.PS, which will be located in your root directory. If you run the Acrobat Distiller Assistant, it will automatically distill this file for you. (The Distiller Assistant is available only on the PC; for more information, see its documentation.)

The second way in Windows—and the only way on the Macintosh—that you can make PageMaker print your publication to a PostScript file is by selecting “Write PostScript to file” in the “Options” print dialog box and entering a name for your file in the adjacent text field.

  1. In the “Postscript” section of PageMaker’s “Options” print dialog box, make sure the “Normal” option (not “EPS” or “For separations”) is selected.
  2. If you’ll be distilling your PostScript file on the same computer on which you created it, or from some other computer that will have all the fonts you’ve used in your document installed, you can deselect the “Include downloadable fonts” option in PageMaker’s “Options” print dialog box. Leaving that option selected would make your PostScript file unnecessarily large—if those fonts are installed when you process the file through the Distiller, it will be able to obtain all the font information it needs from your operating system.
  3. If you’re printing a file that contains bitmap graphics, we recommend you select the “Normal” (instead of “Optimized”) graphics option.
  4. Select any other printing options you want, and press “Save” (or “Print” if you’re in Windows and did not select the “Write PostScript to file” option). PageMaker will print your document to a PostScript file.
  5. Once you’ve created your PostScript file, you’re ready to process it through the Distiller. (If you’re in Windows and you’re using the Distiller Assistant, you won’t need to perform this step—Distiller Assistant will do it for you.) Refer to the Distiller documentation for information on how to control font embedding and graphic compression.

Q: I’m getting an error that says I have exceeded the number of concurrent users permitted for this copy of PageMaker, but I know my copy is legal. What’s wrong?  (PC/Mac)

A: If you receive this error message, either too many people on your network are using a single copy of PageMaker, or you might be running into a symptom of outdated Novell NetWare drivers.

Typically the error you’re receiving occurs when more people are trying to run PageMaker than the license for that copy of PageMaker permits. PageMaker 5.0 uses Network Copy Detection (NCD) to record the number of people on the network who are using each copy of PageMaker—if that number exceeds the number permitted by the license, the user who most recently launched PageMaker will receive the error message, and will then have to close PageMaker (PageMaker lets you save your work before it closes).

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If you run into NCD errors because more users are running the same copy of PageMaker than is permitted by that license, you can use the “WIN BUMPS” utility (located in the ALDUS\USENGLSH\UTILITY directory) to increase the number of users permitted to run that copy of PageMaker. But first you’ll need to buy enough copies of PageMaker or PageMaker licenses to cover that increase, and you’ll need to get a password from Adobe Customer Service. See FaxYI document 315404, “Running PageMaker 5.0 WINBUMPS Utility…” for more information.

If your company has purchased enough copies (or licenses) for all its PageMaker users and you’re receiving this error message, it could be that the disk set used to install PageMaker on your computer was used to install PageMaker on too many other computers. (Someone in your company may have installed PageMaker from your disk set, mistakenly believing that entering a unique serial number during their installation would prevent NCD errors. However, it won’t—NCD doesn’t look at serial numbers, but at a unique network ID number embedded in each copy of PageMaker.)

To see your network ID number, select “About PageMaker…” from the Help menu (Windows) or Apple menu (Macintosh)—it’ll be the number listed below your serial number. Following it is another number that indicates how many users are licensed to run that copy of PageMaker concurrently. When you re­ceive an NCD error, make a note of that ID number and check with your colleagues to see who else has that ID and is therefore running your copy of PageMaker. If you receive NCD errors when you and your colleagues are not exceeding the number of concurrent users permitted by your PageMaker license, and you’re running the Windows version of PageMaker 5.0, your problem might be a symptom of outdated Novell NetWare VLM drivers.

Check the date of your NETWARE.DRV file in the WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory. If it’s 11/24/93 or later, you should be using VLM drivers instead of IPX and NETX drivers. When PageMaker’s NCD component queries the network for the name of the server and you’re using a version of NetWare prior to 4.02 with the 11/24/93 NETWARE.DRV driver and the version 1.1 VLM drivers, the server returns the wrong information to PageMaker, causing it to report an NCD error.

If you’re having this problem, update your NETWARE.DRV file to the version dated 9/22/94 or later and get the VLM drivers version 1.20 or later. These files can be found on Novell’s forum on CompuServe. Type GO NOVFILES and download the WINUP9.TXT and DOSUP9.TXT files, which explain what other files you must download and what you should do with them to fix your network problems. If you don’t have access to CompuServe, your local Novell reseller may be able to supply you with the files, or you can obtain them directly from Novell by calling (800) NETWARE.

Q: I have “Autoflow” turned on, but when I’m typing in PageMaker and get to the end of a column, my text doesn’t automatically flow into the next column. What’s wrong? (PC/Mac)

A Nothing’s wrong. PageMaker’s “Autoflow” feature just isn’t designed to affect text you enter manually in Page­Maker. To use the “Autoflow” feature, you must be flowing text from a loaded text icon. If you have a story in Page­Maker that you’d like to autoflow, but it isn’t in a loaded text icon, try this:

  1. Make sure “Autoflow” is selected (it should have a check next to it at the bottom of the Layout menu).
  2. Use the pointer tool to select the last text block in the story you want to autoflow.
  3. Click on your story’s bottom windowshade handle and roll it up until all your text disappears.
  4. Click on the bottom windowshade handle’s red arrow. A loaded text icon will appear.
  5. Click the loaded text icon where you want the text to begin autoflowing. PageMaker will add pages as necessary until your entire story is flowed. If you want PageMaker to stop, press the spacebar.

For more information on PageMaker’s “Autoflow” feature and how to use it, see pages 246-47 in the Aldus PageMaker 5.0 User Manual.

Q: I’ve been having printing problems ever since I installed QuickDraw GX and the LaserWriter GX driver. Aren’t they compatible with PageMaker? (Mac)

A No, QuickDraw GX and the LaserWriter GX driver aren’t entirely compatible with PageMaker. Unfortunately, in the last issue of Adobe Magazine (March/April 1995), the “So What Is GX, Anyway?” article incorrectly stated that the LaserWriter GX driver works “just fine” with PageMaker 5.0.

If you print from PageMaker using the LaserWriter GX driver, extra blank pages may print and some PICT graphics may not print at all from some publications. Also, the LaserWriter GX driver is incompatible with the current version (1.7) of the “Update PPD” Addition and utility. If you try to use Update PPD with this driver, you’ll receive the error message, “Update PPD v1.7 will not run with QuickDraw GX enabled. Please disable it to run Update PPD.” In addition, when Desktop Printing is disabled, Background Printing is enabled and the option to disable Background Printing is unavailable in the Chooser. If you remove the PrintMonitor from the System Folder, you’ll receive the error, “Nothing can be printed now, because PrintMonitor could not be found. To print, put PrintMonitor into the Extensions folder in the System Folder.”

If you encounter these problems you have a few options:

  • You can restore standard printing for all your applications by removing QuickDraw GX files, restoring Type 1 fonts, and setting up a PostScript printer.
  • You can disable the “QuickDraw GX” and “PrinterShare GX” Extensions, restore Type 1 fonts, and set up a PostScript printer.
  • You can restore standard PostScript printing for PageMaker 5.0 while retaining QuickDraw GX’s Desktop Printing for other applications.

For more information on the LaserWriter GX driver and PageMaker, or for instructions on how to restore standard Macintosh printing for some or all of your applications, see FaxYI document 215135, “Unable to Print from PageMaker 5.0 After Installing QuickDraw GX…”

By the way—the PageMaker printing problems related to the LaserWriter GX driver need not prevent you from installing System 7.5. As of early March, there is only one known, confirmed problem between PageMaker 5.0 and one of System 7.5’s components. The “Macintosh Easy Open” Control Panel, which is installed with System 7.5 by default, can interfere with some PageMaker 5.0 filters (this problem is not difficult to resolve). For more information on this problem, see FaxYI document 215604, “Error, ‘The document named [filename] was not…'”

PageMaker Tip (PC/Mac) – Sharing styles among publications

If you’ve ever designed a series of publications that need a consistent graphic identity, you probably know it’s important to use the same styles throughout those publications. That’s easy enough to do if you create all the publications from the same template (and just define all your styles in that template before you start on the individual publications). But most of us update our styles as we work, experimenting with and changing our “draft” styles. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to share styles among publications after you’ve begun work on them.

Use the “Copy” command in the “Define styles” dialog box to copy all the styles from one publication to your active publication. Select “Define styles… ” from the Type menu and, in the “Define styles” dialog box, click on the “Copy” button. PageMaker will display the “Copy styles” dialog box, in which you can select the publication whose styles you want to copy into your active publication. Click “OK.”

If you use the “Copy” command in the “Define styles” dialog box to copy a PageMaker style into a publication that already has a style by that name, the incoming style definition will replace the definition of the existing style (you’ll receive the alert pictured at right). In addition, if some of the styles in your publication are based on a style that’s overridden by an incoming style, some of those styles’ attributes may change too, just as they would if you edited the original style on which they’re based. If you want to prevent incoming styles from overriding or affecting existing styles, name your styles differently from publication to publication.

Use the Clipboard to copy one or a few styles from one publication to another. To do so, open the publication that contains the styles you want to copy elsewhere. Select text that contains paragraphs assigned each of the styles you want and copy it to the Clipboard (select “Copy” from the Edit menu, or press Ctrl + C in Windows or Command + C on the Mac.

Open the publication into which you want to copy the styles. Select “Paste” from the Edit menu or press Ctrl + V (Windows) or Command + V (Macintosh) to paste the text and copy the styles to that publication’s Styles palette. If you use this method to copy a PageMaker style into a publication that already has a style by that name, the existing style in the active publication will not change to the incoming style’s definition—and the incoming text assigned that style will take on the attributes of your existing style definition.

The scanned article complete with images and nostalgic advertising:

Adobe Magazine May/June 1995


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