Graphic Design Coordinator, Gordie Dunlap, UPMC Susquehanna, Williamsport PA, reviews PDF2DTP (PDF to InDesign) file conversion software and gives his testimonial review of this InDesign plugin from Markzware:
David Dilling interviews Gordie Dunlap, an Adobe InDesign user in Pennsylvania, who talks about his experience with Markzware’s PDF2DTP InDesign plugin, which is available in a bundle that converts PDF to InDesign CS6-CC 2019.
Here is the transcript of the video:
DAVID: Hi, everybody. David Dilling for Markzware. And, today, on the line, we have Gordie Dunlap from Pennsylvania, in the middle of Pennsylvania. And he’s a graphic designer and he’s going to tell us about his experiences with Markzware’s PDF2DTP and it’s a PDF to InDesign conversion filter. And let’s get over to the Skype, now, and hear from Gordie, himself. Gordie, how are you?
GORDIE: I’m doing great, thanks.
DAVID: Excellent! Yeah, maybe you can tell us a little bit about about yourself and what you do.
GORDIE: Sure thing. I’m a graphic designer. I started in 1987 working on mechanicals and paste-ups, before the advent of the computer. And, then, we got our first computer in 1988, in the advertising agency I was in. And everything has been learned on the job, since then. I work in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. Those are probably the three main workhorses that I put to use, everyday.
DAVID: Right. Where do you work? In a hospital group?
GORDIE: Sure. I work for an organization called UPMC Susquehanna, which includes seven hospitals and it is kind of a hub of a larger healthcare system, based in Pittsburgh, called UPMC.
DAVID: Right. Thank you.
GORDIE: And, so…
DAVID: Yeah, sorry.
GORDIE: Go ahead.
DAVID: Yeah, are you doing design work for all seven, or is it like a department?
GORDIE: Yeah, I am doing design work for all seven, yes, actually all seven hospitals in our hub. So, I definitely am very busy. I mean, amongst other things, we’re in the middle of a huge rebranding, because we were previously… We used to be called Susquehanna Health. Then, we became part of that larger organization in Pittsburgh, UPMC.
So, we’re adopting all of their branding guidelines and their fonts and colors and everything. So, everything we have is going through a rebrand over the last few years. So, it’s job security.
DAVID: Yeah, a massive amount of work.
DAVID: Yeah, well, I remember I broke my leg about five years ago. And I remember, right before the operation, they give you like a packet of all this print work. All the… It was… And I thought the only thing good about this is it’s good for printers, this broken leg, but, anyway, yeah, yeah. I guess you make it. You’re doing print work and online work?
GORDIE: Sure. I don’t do much online. Everything I do is pretty much print advertising and collateral, so, like brochures, rack cards, print ads, billboards, things like that. Actually, sort of working my way into InDesign, your software has been a major influencer. So, just a little bit of background.
Every designer probably knows that you can take a PDF file and reverse-engineer it, by opening it in Illustrator and, presto, you have an editable file. But there’s a lot of drawbacks to working in Illustrator that do not exist in InDesign.
For example, you bring it into Illustrator. Some of the text is converted, the paths, some of the text is in individual lines, instead of paragraphs, or even individual characters, which is insane. It’s very difficult to work in. And I thought, up until I found your software, I thought, “Oh, yeah, I’ve got the big secret, here. I can open stuff in Illustrator, and work on it, and reverse-engineer.”
But, once I tried your product, working on stuff in InDesign is so much easier. That’s why I don’t really know a whole lot about InDesign, yet, is because I am… Have you ever heard of the program, FreeHand?
DAVID: Yeah, sure, yeah.
GORDIE: And that is what I was kind of born and raised on, as a graphic designer, starting in the 80s. And that led to working in Illustrator, just as a natural progression, because Illustrator is very similar to FreeHand. Once FreeHand died, that’s where I went.
GORDIE: But… but it’s not…
DAVID: You were doing everything in Illustrator, for all your ad work, in Illustrator?
GORDIE: Yeah and so I’d come to find out that InDesign… Let’s say you have an ad and you have to format in 17 different sizes for 17 different publications. InDesign has the Adjust Layout feature, which is incredible. It makes life so much easier. I mean, I used to do all that manually, which is insane.
GORDIE: So, …
DAVID: Well, that’s why it has the advantages. Yeah.
GORDIE: A lot of this is more of a testimonial to InDesign, but your product is what kind of opened the door for me to work in InDesign.
DAVID: And how did you find… ?
GORDIE: What was that?
DAVID: Sorry. Say that again, Gordie. Okay.
GORDIE: I was going to say that I I still like to work in Illustrator. I still feel more at home in that environment, but it’s just InDesign is really making a lot of things so much easier that, yeah, I’m in a learning curve.
DAVID: Right, right. Well, I know I’ve had several designers over the years that worked with us or for us, and a couple of them also swore by Illustrator, everything in Illustrator, whenever possible. And one even was Photoshop, everything in Photoshop,…
DAVID: … which, for the text, I found a little more tricky. But, anyway, he made some cool stuff.
GORDIE: I think I had heard of it before, like you guys have some other products, converting Quark files…
GORDIE: …to InDesign, and, a while back, I had a reason to need to convert a lot of Quark files to something I could edit, once Quark was kind of was phased out, at least of my life. I think it still exists, but…
GORDIE: Everyone kind of converted over to the Adobe platform and I had some Quark stuff that I needed to convert. So, I think I did purchase the Quark to InDesign product,…
GORDIE: …several years ago, so it was in the back of my mind. And, maybe within the last year I thought, “I wonder if there’s a product to convert PDF to InDesign.
And what tipped me off that InDesign might be a good place to work on stuff was I went to the Adobe MAX conference, back in October, and learned about about Adjust Layout, there. And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh! This is insane. I’m doing all this stuff manually, in Illustrator.”
InDesign becomes necessary. So, that’s what prompted me to look, just do a … Google search … for your product. … Anyway, there it was, and I ordered it, and I might pretty much use it, almost every day, I would say.
DAVID: Wow. And what sort of files are you converting? Is it internal work, I guess, is that all you have is the PDF left?
GORDIE: Yeah, external facing stuff, like brochures, like, let’s say somebody in the hospital auxiliary has done a brochure about that and they’ve done it in Microsoft Word, and I need to take that and put it in our new UPMC Susquehanna brochure format. It’s just something that becomes a lot easier with your product.
DAVID: Sure, sure.
DAVID: Just click and it comes in. Yeah, yeah.
DAVID: Great! Well, I think you covered a lot of really great stuff. Do you have any particular… anything else you want to add about where PDF2DTP has saved the save the Friday afternoon or the Monday morning?
GORDIE: No. I was gonna throw in some suggestions, if I can.
DAVID: No, sure. Hey, that’s great.
GORDIE: Yeah, and probably not for the video testimonial, here, but, when I use your product, it, 99% of the time, does a perfect job. So, that’s great. One thing that I wish could be different is the way that it names. Like, it brings in photos that are in a file that I’m converting.
GORDIE: And it names them all. It uses the same exact name convention for them all. So, like a year later, six months later, I need to find the photo that is used in this brochure. There are probably 50 other TIFF files on my computer with that exact name. And I wish that there was a way that it could… I know it would make filenames a lot longer, but I wish it could take part of the filename that it’s converting and use that in the name of the photo.
DAVID: That’s a great question! That’s a great request. It’s a great question. Probably, we’ll leave it in the video, because a lot of people have this question.
GORDIE: Okay. The problem is, most the time, it has to do with the way the PDF was exported or created.
GORDIE: And, generally, they’re older PDFs. And what you’ll see is that, with older PDFs, that it does, with Acrobat, literally, did not preserve the file name. So, all you get is an IMG1, IMG2, IMG3, etc.
DAVID: Yeah. Yeah. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do. Yeah.
GORDIE: No, what I was saying is I wish that there was a way that your software could insert some of the brand new filename that it’s creating for the whole InDesign file. I don’t know if that’s possible.
GORDIE: Instead of IMG1.tiff or whatever convention it uses to say UPMC’s brochure blah blah blah.
DAVID: Yeah, I got you. Oh, that’s a good suggestion. Maybe, yeah, that could be something for the engineers.
GORDIE: Yeah, wicked long filenames, but it would be easier to find stuff.
DAVID: You’re actually right. That’s a good… Okay, yeah, we’ll take that as a suggestion. Yeah, good one. Okay. Alright. Anything else?
GORDIE: I can’t think of anything else to add. I’m just very happy to have found your product and it makes life a lot easier.
GORDIE: It’s like a secret weapon. And I saw that somewhere in your information, there. And it really is like a secret weapon.
DAVID: Yeah. Yeah, that was another gentleman I interviewed up in Massachusetts, …
DAVID: … when he said, “It’s our secret weapon.” So, yeah. Well, let me, I mean, I asked this. I mean, obviously the answer is quite clear, but would you recommend Markzware‘s PDF2DTP to potential customers?
DAVID: Okay. Well, Gordon, I really appreciate the time, and letting us know how your experience with PDF2DTP has been, and what you do. What I’m going to do now is let the people see here, in my Chrome, that’s the web page from UPMC. And here is Gordon, over on LinkedIn, and I tried to do a connect to Skype. So anything you want to add in closing, Gordon?
GORDIE: No, I just love your product. Thank you for putting it out there.
DAVID: Awesome! And we really appreciate the time. And have a great day!
GORDIE: You, too. Thanks!
DAVID: Alright. Cool!
(End of transcript)
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PDF to InDesign Plugin Review: Design Coord., Gordie Dunlap on PDF2DTP