Can you recommend the best software for setting up multiple versions of the same ad?

Answered by Jay Nelson, Editor & Publisher, Design Tools Monthly

What would be your recommendation for the most effective, efficient software to use for setting up multiple versions of the same basic ad - i.e same base ad, alternate sig areas, different finished sizes to accommodate multiple newspapers? Speed and accuracy are paramount. Many use Quark because so many studios are used to it, but I hear very good things about InDesign. Any thoughts or opinions?


While both QuarkXPress and InDesign will do the job, neither provide the tools to easily re-shape an ad for different sizes. You would have to create new documents of the appropriate sizes, then copy and paste all the elements into new positions for those new sizes. And if the new sizes are dramatically different from the original ad size, you'd have to resize the individual elements to visually work in the new sizes.

To automate this process, I would recommend ProScale, from Gluon. It's available as an XTension for QuarkXPress and as a plug-in for InDesign. ProScale can quickly fit an entire ad to a new size or resize an entire multipage *document* with complete control over what gets scaled, and how. For example, you can scale all the pages of a document, including the text, but maintain rule and/or frame sizes. You can scale pages non-proportionally, while maintaining the proportions of page items. A "Fit To" popup menu lets you choose common sizes such as A4, A5, business card, 1/3 page, 1/2 page, letter size, tabloid size, etc. Or, you can just click and drag selected items to a new size. You can save your settings to reuse in the future, and undo a scaling operation with Command-Z. You can also step-and-repeat your scaling -- perfect for logo sheets. And it's amazingly fast. It costs $139 and is available at

I've used it with surprising success in reformatting many layouts, including a tall, multipage document into a wide, smaller shape. With just a little object tweaking, the project was finished.
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