PDF Converter For InDesign Editing:
Customer Engagement Expert, Ian Sayers,
Provides PDFMarkz Review
Customer Engagement and Training Director provides
feedback on Markzware’s PDF to Adobe InDesign Application
Ian Sayers, Xencelabs.com,
PDF To InDesign, With A Click!
There are several creative resources that generate high-resolution PDFs. Markzware’s stand-alone PDFMarkz application will export PDF files as IDML (Adobe’s InDesign Markup Language), with a click.
The resulting IDML file can be imported into a variety of applications, including QuarkXPress, Affinity Publisher, and other IDML-supporting formats. Users can also configure PDFMarkz to automatically open PDF files within other applications, all without the host application.
What Is PDFMarkz?
PDFMarkz is a PDF to InDesign file conversion tool by Markzware that empowers users to achieve effective conversion from PDF to Adobe InDesign. Professional designers who handle incoming PDF documents can use PDFMarkz and then can change PDF images, fonts, colors, and more, within Adobe InDesign, Affinity Publisher, QuarkXPress, and other applications.
Who Is Ian Sayers?
Ian Sayers is the Adobe-Certified Customer Engagement and Training Director at tablet manufacturing company, Xencelabs. Ian provides training for creative software users of InDesign, Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro.
Ian is a popular creative influencer, as well as a proficient user of PDFMarkz, FlightCheck, and other Markzware offerings for desktop publishing workflows. Learn more about Ian, on his LinkedIn page.
File Conversion & Document Production Tools
Ian praises the seamless operation of applications in the “Markz” line of conversion software, which includes PDFMarkz, QXPMarkz, IDMarkz, and OmniMarkz (an application that combines the other three Markz line applications).
Ian freely recommends PDFMarkz, which can particularly benefit professionals around the world who use PDF files and desktop publishing (DTP) software. For more details about Markzware’s versatile PDF converter and a chance to experience its valuable features, visit the PDFMarkz page.
Video: PDF to InDesign user of PDFMarkz, Ian Sayers!
(Click the image above, to watch the video.)
In this video, Ian Sayers, a professional who specializes in tailored graphic design,
web design, video and animation training on Adobe, Extensis, and Apple products,
reviews PDF file converter, PDFMarkz by Markzware.
Other Topics Discussed In This Video
Many subjects were addressed during this video interview, including:
• Generative AI and developments related to creative and graphic design communities
• The stand-alone aspect of file converters developed by Markzware
• QuarkXPress to InDesign converter, QXPMarkz
• The evolving world of desktop publishing and layout design
• The popularity of Canva’s numerous features for graphic design
• Adobe Express as real-time collaboration technology
• Adobe Express, Canva, and other design resources for academic organizations, government entities, and other clients
Experience More About PDF Converter, PDFMarkz
You can purchase PDFMarkz via the PDFMarkz page on the Markzware website. File conversion workflows using such software can also greatly benefit by using the thorough preflighting and reporting capabilities of FlightCheck, Markzware’s prepress document analyzer.
To get the latest Markzware news on industry and product developments, including updates about user-friendly PDF conversion with PDFMarkz, join our Mailing List. To read and share about PDFMarkz on social media, follow Markzware on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites.
David Dilling: Hi, everybody! David Dilling for Markzware. Today, we have a special guest, Ian Sayers. Ian, how are you, today?
Ian Sayers: Hi, David. Good to meet you, again.
David Dilling: Right. Yeah, I’ve known you, for years. It’s great to actually meet you on the zoom, here. So, thanks for the time. Ian is a PDFMarkz user and he’s also in the industry, involved with a lot of cool stuff. So, Ian, why don’t you give us an introduction about who you are and what you do?
Ian Sayers: Thanks, David. So, my name’s Ian Sayers and I have a fancy title, which is called Customer Engagement and Training Director. And I work for a company, which is called Xencelabs. So, it’s spelled with an X, as you can see here on the T-shirt, but it’s like your five senses. So, it’s pronounced, “sense labs.” And, for Xencelabs, as a training director, I get to speak to a lot of end users, who are using our products. And our products are a range of drawing tablets and also drawing displays.
And we also have a super cool gadget, which is called, “Quick Keys,” which is this little key remote, which helps anybody from graphic design, illustration, photography, videography, to being a normal artist. It just improves the workflow and allows them to do things a lot better and a lot easier.
So, I’ve been working for Xencelabs, now, for two years. And, as David says, you and I, David, have known each other, from way back, way back when I had a previous company, which was called, “Giant Training,” back in the day. We’re talking, probably, 14 years.
And I asked, you and I chatted back, by email, by LinkedIn, and things like that. And, back in the day, for Markzware products. I think it was one of the PDF converters, or the InDesign to Quark converters, way back into that. And I got hooked on your products, so easily and so quickly.
So, your products made perfect sense. And, for me, as a trainer that talks to people who are designers, that are using PDFs, that are jumping from InDesign to different versions of InDesign. And your products should be bundled with the software.
Adobe should be doing a deal with you guys. Affinity and Serif should be doing a deal with you guys. And the same as Quark, if it’s still on the marketplace. These companies should be offering your products out to every designer, as an upsell, because for me, when I first got introduced to your products, back when I was running with Giant, I was delivering a lot of InDesign courses, a lot of Illustrator courses, and through our training company.
And, for me, we had some clients asking us about your products. And I went, “I’ll go and ask.” And I fell totally head over into love with what you guys were doing, in the day. And I don’t get paid for telling people how wonderful it is, but it is just superb programs. And applications. Can’t say enough.
David Dilling: Thank you, Ian. We’ve had many different emails and chats, over the years, and you’ve had customers ask things, and it’s been great, but did you first learn about Markzware from the conversion tools?
Ian Sayers: It was, yeah. We actually had a client in the room. They came in to us to do training. They are the ones that actually introduced us to Markzware, for the conversion tools, because what they said to me, way back in the day, was, “I have this. I need to convert it to this, from different programs. I have heard of Markzware programs. Have you heard of them?”
Man, at that stage, I went, “Nope, I haven’t heard of them.” But I’m the type of creative nerd that, if somebody says, “Have you heard of this? This is really good,” or “I’m getting a lot of good recommendations for it,” then I want to learn it.
I want to know what it is, because if it helps somebody in their workflow and it speeds them up, then it fits exactly into my exhaust, which is all about saving people money or helping them to make money. And if a program is there, which will speed up a workflow or do something easy, then I want to help people promote that, and get people, get that into people’s hands, to make their lives easier.
David Dilling: And had you heard of FlightCheck, before?
Ian Sayers: Yep, we used it, back in the day, when I was running with Giant Training. We had a range of different commercial printers that we worked with, where we would train them on some of the pre-press, some of the Illustrator packaging, and some of the InDesign, where they’re converting the PDF and RIPs, and your FlightCheck offer came up, quite a few times, as well. So, it wasn’t just about the conversion software, but it led us into other things.
So, really, I have to say thanks to you guys, because you guys probably got us X number of training courses, on the back of your software programs. And not just from people talking to us about your programs, but it also would have led on to further InDesign courses, or Illustrator courses, based on the back of that.
David Dilling: Right. With other programs, not just one. That’s the beauty of FlightCheck.
Ian Sayers: It’s great for trainers, because FlightCheck, in and of itself, is like a a training program, because it’s helping people learn about what’s inside the file, why it’s a problem, perhaps, what it’s all about. So, they’re learning, like, “Oh, wow, what’s this? What is a spot color, exactly?”
And they can learn, based off of the preflight reports. So, your Preflight Reports in FlightCheck is phenomenal, and that’s not easy for me to say. It really is pretty cool, because it allows an end user, in normal speak, to understand what’s in the document.
It also allows the pre-press team, to know exactly what they’ve got, before they go and RIP it. Before they go and process it, it’s allowing them to break down, see, and understand what is in the file. And that’s what I love about it. It’s just so simple. It’s so straightforward, to use.
David Dilling: Now, you’re using, PDFMarkz, as well. How do you use the program?
Ian Sayers: So, a little bit about me is that I am the Customer Engagement and Training Director for Xencelabs. When we had Giant, we split, and I then moved into Xencelabs. My ex-business partner still does a lot of work within the industry. So, for PDFMarkz, I actually use that on real jobs.
It’s not just for what we do, internally, within Xencelabs, although I do use it quite a lot, for what we do in Xencelabs. People would send PDF files that they’ve created and all sorts of programs. And it enables me, then, to take that apart and reproduce that back into InDesign, which is what my go-to program would be, but I’m also using it on live jobs.
So, my ex-business partner would come to me and say, “Hey, I’ve got this PDF file and I need to basically take it apart.” One of his design clients has sent it to him, and he needs to take it apart.
And your PDFMarkz is superb at rebuilding a file from a PDF and into a native file format. For me, personally, in Xencelabs, our teams would work on multiple different programs, and they would save things to PDF, so that they can actually have one file format that they can ship around.
Obviously, there’s a lot of PowerPoint files and presentation files, but what PDFMarkz does, is it allows me to keep some of those report documents, break them up, bringing them back into a program that I would use on a day-to-day basis, which is Adobe InDesign, and allows me, then, to still be creative and get access to the actual raw files and the raw data that’s in those files. Great! I would say, at least two to three times a week, I will be using your PDFMarkz.
David Dilling: Excellent! It’s a great way to take a PDF, PowerPoint, Word, or even Canva (We’re getting a lot more Canva PDFs in) and converts them into InDesign, which is the designer’s choice, in most cases, for a layout tool.
Ian Sayers: So, one of the things which we recently came up about (and I posted this into one of the forums on LinkedIn) was the Affinity programs. So, Affinity and Serif are doing an awful lot of promotion, because they can work on the iPad and they can work on the Desktops. In education, they’re starting to look at them. My preference will always be going through the Adobe apps, but that’s not everybody’s preference.
So, what I find, over the past few weeks and months, is that I actually have had some customers coming to me and saying, “Hey, I have this PDF file that’s been produced by Affinity, one of their software programs. And I want to convert it over to InDesign,” or “It’s been converted from InDesign and I want to open it up in something else.”
So, that’s why I thank the Markzware plugins or Markzware programs for PDFs. It works so good. It just does exactly what it says on the tin. It converts from one application to another and gives you access to those raw data and raw files.
David Dilling: Right. We’re definitely seeing more and more Affinity PDFs coming in because a lot of people are switching to Affinity and a lot of them might be.
It’s still an InDesign world. So, at a certain point, they might want to get their Affinity work over to someone using InDesign or to a Print On Demand workflow that requires an InDesign file.
Ian Sayers: There are all types of possibilities, absolutely. The workflow and the procedures just go ABC. I have this PDF file. I’m going to use this program, and now I’ve got an InDesign file. And it is just as easy as that. And the interface, when it opens up, it allows you to choose what you want to convert from, and what you want to convert to. And it is so simple and easy to use. And that’s not just from a trainer perspective; it’s just works, and that’s what I like.
David Dilling: It’s a click.
Ian Sayers: Sometimes, you get programs. You open up ZBrush. If you open up some of the Premiere Pro or After Effects, you get a program and you open it up. The interface takes a little bit of time, to get comfortable with.
But, with PDFMarkz, you open it up, you see exactly what it needs to do. You click the buttons, check the checkboxes, and you’ve got a file. It’s as easy as that.PDFMarkz for PDF to InDesign is all standalone. The interfaces with all the versions of InDesign that are out there.
David Dilling: We have IDMarkz for InDesign files and QXPMarkz for QuarkXPress files or for converting to other programs. And we have a bundle of all three called, “OmniMarkz.” So, conversion stuff is quite popular at Markzware.
Ian Sayers: I actually think that the first time we ever spoke was because we needed ID2Q for Quark, way back in the day. And QuarkXPress was one of those kinds that people were using quite a lot. And it was one of those packages that we needed to convert a PDF back into a Quark file from the designer, but, over the years, obviously, Adobe and InDesign have taken over.
I still know some Quark publishers using QuarkXPress. A lot of the time, I think they, on our recommendation, went and purchased your software. It’s an easy sell, the day they needed to convert from documents and PDFs to Quark, and your plug-in was perfect for them.
David Dilling: In that period, a lot of people needed to get ID2Q for InDesign to Quark and Q2ID for Quark to InDesign. So, they were using both. And, now, we’re in another key point, in the timeline, where you have Affinity, Canva and Adobe Express.
Ian Sayers: But isn’t it great to see that you’re moving with the times, that your software developers aren’t just saying, “Well, this is what we do and that’s it.”
They’re looking at the industry and what presenters are trying to use, to see how files are being created. I can see you’re staying on top of the game and are at the forefront of being able to convert documents from one format to the other.
And you’re helping designers, artists, and illustrators to convert files, to make it easier for them. And that, to me, is what it’s all about. It’s about a workflow that helps people make their life easy and cuts down all the confusion, all the problems, and pain points, and takes all that away. And it is click, click, click. There you go. Get it stuck in.
David Dilling: Well said. That’s how we feel and that is great to someone on the AI side. One thing to put designers and creatives at ease, is I read this report that in some industry sectors, including the sector with creatives and graphic designers, AI would actually create more jobs.
It’s not like in the old days, when you had special people do cutouts, to take away the background. And, then, the document would go offshore. And, now, it’s just one click. So, those people just shift to other functions in the graphic arts to do that.
Ian Sayers: I know a lot of people who are fearful for their jobs, from AI, and things like that. AI technology is here. It, literally, has landed and people need to embrace it.
As long as we police it properly and look after the ethics of how AI is being used, so that we’re not dealing artwork, whether it’s creating new files, as long as those areas are all kidded for and looked after, then I see this as a huge potential and opportunity for people.
I know some designers who are great for page makeup and production that aren’t great when it comes to concept and the design. When it comes to the creation of artwork from the illustration side, but they’re more design and production-based, I see them, now, expanding their portfolio and taking on more of the creation, by using some of the AI items.
That doesn’t mean to say that it’s taking away from the guys who did the artwork. It just means the guys creating the artwork can take this new design that the designers come up with, then, work on new visuals, based on that, so it helps to make the whole sort of ecosystem work a little bit better.
David Dilling: I like to use AI, to get some new ideas. When it’s not perfect, it gives me an idea and I can touch it up. When it is perfect, it’s like, “Wow! It just saved me a half hour of time!” It’s really neat.
Ian Sayers: I just recorded a whole training video on Photoshop with Generative AI and how you can use our Quick Keys within Xencelabs. With one or two clicks in the Quick Keys, it will batch process actions with Generative AI in it. So, it changes something that, maybe, I would have done because, back in the day, I worked in an art agency, called GCAS Advertising, here, in Belfast.
And I’ve worked freelance for quite a few agencies. And, to do what I did within this training session, within less than 30 seconds, would have taken us, probably, about a day, way back when we were in the ad agency. And, with the Generative AI, with the actions, I can push one button in Xencelabs Quick Keys, and it processes everything. It’s definitely not something to be frightened of, if you look at it the right way and you embrace it.
David Dilling: Let’s say I need yellow tulips in the background. We’re both amateur photographers. I find some tools to take pictures, but it’s going to take me hours, perhaps. Generative AI doesn’t create some things that well, like swans, but it can create tulips, perfectly. So, I had perfect tulips in the background. Job done.
Ian Sayers: So, it gets better and better. That’s what I like about the program for the PDFMarkz, because I have seen it, developing over the years. And, as I said, you guys are always on the top of the curve. You’re always sitting, thinking, “Well, what’s next? What’s next? How can we make this better, even down to the interface?”
If you open up the PDFMarkz and the file, it works. Drop a PDF file in here. And, then, what do you want to do with it? It’s so simple and it’s so easy. And I’ve seen such a big development over the years with the program, that it just makes sense.
David Dilling: Now, would you recommend PDFMarkz for anyone needing to convert PDF to InDesign?
Ian Sayers: Well, that is 100%, without a shadow of a doubt. Everybody on the planet that works and converts documents from one format to another needs this program.
David Dilling: Excellent! Thank you. We are converting Canva PDFs to InDesign, more and more. Have you tried Canva?
Ian Sayers: So, I’m an Adobe Express Ambassador, and Adobe Express would be one of Canva‘s biggest competitors. To me, everything that’s in Canva is in Adobe Express. And, for designers who have access to Photoshop and Illustrator, they can put in native Photoshop files and Illustrator files, directly into Adobe Express.
I’ve used Canva, way back in the day, and I haven’t used any more recent features of it. So, I couldn’t really comment from that, but from how Adobe Express makes PDF files, I would still generate quite a few PDF files from Adobe Express.
David Dilling: Right. Adobe, the new version, looks very interesting. It’s got AI in there, so, that’s kind of neat.
Ian Sayers: Yeah, it’s got some of the Generative AI features. It’s great for social media, for designers and people that need to make lots of media, but it’s also great for leaflets, for flyers, and for posters. There’s quite a lot that you can actually create in it.
A lot of people thought, when Adobe Express had been made, that it was just going to be for social media. There’s print templates that are in there, you can share templates, you can share for review with your clients, and you can also make those PDF files which are print based, ready. And, if you can do that, then you can convert those PDF files into other applications and other programs, which is where your program comes in.
If you’re a charity, then there’s a whole different kind of setup for Adobe Express, if you can get it, free, based on different charities and your status, and government agencies, and things out there. There’s a pro version and free versions, which you can get. And it just means that everybody can see and be a little bit more creative.
You pick the clothes that you work in, you pick the color schemes. You’re a designer. I’m a designer. Everybody in the world has design built into them. And what Adobe Express and your programs are doing, is allowing people from Adobe Express or Canva to be creative and build, using templates that are there, from designers and from creatives.
PDFMarkz allows people to take designs put together by non-designers and convert to different applications. Traditional designers who have done their time within art college or design school have better understanding of typography and color. They can take those designs that have been generated from Canva and Adobe Express and tweak them, or change them, and make them more professional.
Express and Canva can create some very good professional designs, but giving it into the hands of a designer always just dots the i’s and crosses the t’s and gives a slightly different slant on it, especially when it comes down to typography, as well.
David Dilling: A lot of people are converting these PDFs into InDesign, for this reason. They start in Canva or Express. They get a good idea of what they want. It looks pretty good, but it’s not perfect. Then, the designer takes it further into InDesign.
Ian Sayers: To me, your programs are made for that switch. So, I have a lot of clients that are charities, who are building in Canva or Adobe Express and they’re sending those PDFs over, so that someone else can work on them.
Canva has a free version and it has a paid-for plan. Express has similar. And, then, with your education or your charity licenses, there’s always different ways and means in which to look at the cost. I would say your application is 100% worth it and will pay for itself, within two or three jobs, easily, because they allow people to convert that across.
Before we actually started working with you guys and started embracing your programs, I would have said, “You can open up a PDF in Illustrator and extract everything out.” And I did try that.
I realized very quickly how hard and painful that was, because it doesn’t break down the entire PDF file properly. Then, it’s a lot of saving out individual files, artwork, and images, then, copying and pasting things, or selecting and copying the notepads, and then getting it back in InDesign. Illustrator didn’t actually save me any time. So, to me, the price of your applications pay for themselves, after using the applications on two or three jobs, easily, just under workflow savings.
David Dilling: Well said. Ian, thank you so much for the time. Where can people get more information on you and and your company?
Ian Sayers: Xencelabs.com. You can get all the information from there. You can link to our social media. For me, personally, I’m out there as @iwsayers. I’m on Facebook. I’m on Instagram. I’m on all the social media. I’m happy for people to reach out to me, if there are any queries or questions about how I use your applications, or even if they have any general queries about Adobe software or Xencelabs products.
Xencelabs have a range of drawing tablets and displays that are on the market. And we have this little guy, which is called Quick Keys, which is a workflow in a box. I’m going to be doing a webinar on the 30th and details are here. If anyone’s interested, join in. I’d be more than happy to see what we can do and how we can help speed up people’s workflows.
David Dilling: Excellent! Ian, thank you, so very much, for the time and sharing your feedback and expertise.
Ian Sayers: Thanks, David.
David Dilling: Thanks, folks, for listening. Alright, take care. Get Approved. Get Content. Be Creative! markzware.com
PDF Converter For Adobe InDesign Editing: PDFMarkz Review by Ian Sayers, Xencelabs