Adobe today will announce that it has ceased development on its once market-leading desktop-publishing application, PageMaker, but has introduced the InDesign CS PageMaker Edition product to fill the gap. It has also moved to abandon Mac OS 9 support in this release.

InDesign CS PageMaker Edition consists of InDesign CS along with a set of new plug-ins for that application based on popular PageMaker features, such as an easy-to-use template browser and 80 professional pre-built document templates. The product also offers comprehensive training materials to help existing PageMaker users upgrade to Adobe's next-generation DTP software. These materials include video materials and an online help system.

The included plug-ins offer a range of handy features that replicate those found in PageMaker, which continues to be widely used in some larger corporate organizations. It's thought that Adobe hopes to use the release to help expand InDesign CS' marketshare – and to popularize it among business users at the future expense of QuarkXPress.

Easy migration

One plug-in, the PageMaker 6.0 publication converter – will convert PageMaker 6.0 documents and templates into InDesign CS format. It can even fix some damaged PageMaker files. This extends the conversion capability of InDesign CS, which already opens PageMaker 6.5-7 and XPress 3.3-4.x documents. To make migration to InDesign easy for existing PageMaker users, Adobe has made it possible for them to reset InDesign's keyboard shortcuts to match those they use in PageMaker.

The PageMaker Toolbar introduced within the product lets users access commonly used commands through a Windows-style toolbar – and this feature is also available for Macs. This will also launch other applications, such as Illustrator or Photoshop.

Both Mac and Windows versions of the product are available. Windows users need to be running Windows XP or 2000, while Mac users require at least a PowerPC G3 processor, Mac OS X 10.2, and 128MB RAM.

The Adobe PageMaker Plug-in pack costs $49, while Adobe InDesign CS PageMaker edition costs $349. UK prices will be announced later.