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FM and InDesign

I am a relative novice on FM -- haven't gone very deep yet, but manage
reasonably well. I am working on a large project, and the Word/InDesign
combo is not up to the task. I've been on the Adobe FM forum recently, and
note FM's uncertain future, and I hesitate to make the effort to gain
facility with a dying program. I'd prefer to find a program I can work in
now, even if it isn't perfect, but which seems to be evolving in the right
direction for the future.

I am a power-user on Word (like some of it, dislike a lot of it), and have
moderate facility with InDesign (like it a lot). I work on a G4 in
OS-X/Jaguar (and will probably move to Panther). I started out on a PC waaay
back in DOS, know Windows, made "the switch" to Mac and never looked back,
so if FM only continues to evolve in the MS world, I think I'd still be
looking for an alternative.

Caveat: patchy knowledge on display.

My first hope was that Adobe would gradually turn ID into the new FM.
However, I've seen posts that express a lot of pessimism -- FMs old code,
sent off to India to die, ID not up to it, the programs are too different,
program bloat, etc., etc.

Isn't it a reasonable guess that instead of packing more stuff directly into
ID, Adobe is developing it by adding capacity to work with other programs in
their line and by recommending third-party plug-ins? Wouldn't this prevent
code bloat?

Also, some reliance on third-party plug-ins keeps things pretty dynamic.
Wouldn't that be a good way to develop ID faster than Adobe could do on its
own? And don't the majors swallow the minors if they prove successful?
Ruthless, but effective.

Yes, I know a modular approach can be expensive for the consumer, but in a
way it allows flexibility -- it has a certain appeal to buy only those
components you really need. I'd rather add new modules as my needs
change rather than pay big bucks for a huge program packed with stuff I
don't need -- and then watch parts of it I do use fall behind while I wait
for an upgrade. (Actually, I've long thought it would be nifty to rent time
on a Web-site based program when I need a tool I rarely use. I asked an
Adobe-ite about this once and her eyes twinkled. She smiled and said, "Big
topic of conversation for the future.")

Adobe suggests third-party software for InDesign that will do a wide variety
of things, including index, TOC, footnote/endnote, etc., all things I need.
Is anyone here familiar with any of these? Recommendations?

What about InCopy -- has anyone tried it? Without a trial download, I have
no idea if it will do what I need and is worth the $250. Could that become
the text editor that would give Word some real competition?

Am I correct that InDesignCS and InCopy will work on a G5, but don't work on
Panther? Huh?

And further afield -- what is with Nisus? They are working to bring an older
OS-9 program into OS-X. I have never worked in Nisus Writer, but I
downloaded a trial and it looks like it was pretty robust. Are they trying
to make it into a modern version of FM; if so, are they likely to succeed?
It has a certain appeal to buy an inexpensive new product under active
development and then ride with the upgrades.


PS: I may fish two streams at once and pose some of these questions on the
Adobe forum -- for those of you who visit there as well, sorry for the

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