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Ask Max: Using Classic to Run PageMaker

Asked on 05/26/2006:

I've used PageMaker for 15 years or so. Most of my company's files are PageMaker. I've been trying to get accustomed to my eMac running Panther but find my daily routine takes me to my 9.2 machine because I'm constantly needing to work with/from PageMaker files. Can I import (open, read, and manipulate) PageMaker files into 'Pages' (or any other program) in system 10.3? I tried a demo of 'InDesign' which I found a monstrosity and totally baffling. Trying to change to system 10.3 is bad enough, but trying to replace PageMaker at the same time has me totally frustrated.


You are eventually going to want to upgrade your print layout program, but there should be no urgent need to upgrade. What you should do in the immediate future is get "Classic" installed on your eMac. Modern PowerPC Macs can utilize OS 9 programs through a special emulation of OS 9 called Classic. You will need to find your copy of Classic, which in not pre-installed by Apple. The installer is on one of the grey DVDs that came with your computer. Most often, Classic is on the second DVD and the DVD will have "Includes Mac OS 9.2" printed in small text in the upper right hand corner of the disc. On the disc will be an item named "Install Mac OS 9 System Support." Double click on it and select your language. After you have finished installing Classic, you can put in your PageMaker install disc. Then run the installer to install the program on your eMac. After that you will be able to use PageMaker just as you do on your old computer.

Let me know if that works for you… but you will need to look at transitioning to InDesign or Quark for true native OS X speed. But at least this will buy you some time before you switch.

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