The Mac operating system offers more to the publishing market than Windows, with Windows users relying on Adobe Creative Suite extras to get access to features that Mac users have by default, according to a report today.

Mac OS X Panther already offers useful features to publishing creatives such as the sidebar in file-navigation windows, and Exposé. Of Exposé Publish writes: "This feature is extremely popular with designers and graphic artists, since it makes it easy to switch rapidly between different documents."

Reporter Andreas Pfeiffer notes that Tiger will extend this functionality. "The search technology Spotlight effectively changes how one accesses and works with files since the precise location of the file is of less importance," he writes.

"Spotlight is likely to be another big hit in the publishing world: In a deadline-driven industry such as design and publishing, anything that can speed up file access is essential," the report states.

This is backed up by Pfeiffer Consulting. The company's research into creative markets found that design and publishing users "perceive these user interface refinements as very useful and tend to use them extensively to speed up their work."

There's more

Other bonuses offered by Spotlight are also examined in the piece. These include the ability to search the EXIF metadata generated by most modern digital cameras. "This means, for instance, that a user can find all pictures taken with a 35-mm lens, or shot using a 400 ISO camera setting," writes Pfeiffer.

"Microsoft's attention to creative professionals and publishers is relatively minimal – and it seems to be decreasing," he writes.

Windows users must rely on key developments in Adobe Graphics Manager to shield them "from the shortcomings of Windows," writes Pfeiffer.

Pfeiffer uses Typography to illustrate his claims: "The standard Windows character set does not support ligatures (specially designed glyphs which replace the letters "fi" and "fl" in many fonts)," he explains, the Mac on-the-other-hand "has always supported basic ligatures".


Adobe Bridge also offers more to the Windows user than the Mac user. "It brings some file-management features that don't exist on Windows, such as a sidebar to the main browser Window that can display user-defined favourite folder locations to speed up file access," writes Pfeiffer.

However, Pfeiffer notes that as Adobe brings these Mac only features to the Windows platform, Apple could lose out to the PC world.

"It could well be that Adobe's software suite will increasingly become the lingua franca of professional design and publishing. And this might spell trouble for Apple if the company does not keep innovating," he concludes.