PageMaker was the program that launched desktop publishing as a popular function of computers in the 1980s. First released for the Mac, a PC version followed, and it remained under development until its discontinuation in the early 2000s. In the meantime, it had been acquired from its original publisher, Aldus, by Adobe.
Its file formats are many, across a number of versions, platforms, and international localizations, and the format is complicated and proprietary. Different versions have limited abilities to import/export other PageMaker file versions. Usually, between the three things that can vary (PageMaker version number, platform, and language version) you can only vary one at a time when converting files, so PageMaker 6.5 for Windows in English can convert files from PageMaker 5.0 for Windows in English or PageMaker 6.5 for the Mac in English or PageMaker 6.5 for Windows in French, but not PageMaker 5.0 for the Mac in German. A multi-stage transfer requiring several different versions is necessary to get files through such a multi-factor shift. The lack of further development by Adobe means that it is increasingly difficult to get the program to work on modern machines due to hardware and software changes since development ended.
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- InDesign (successor)