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I'm using Linux-Mint-Debian as my primary (only) OS and would like to edit Adobe PageMaker (.pmd) files on it.

I've read that Scribus is the open-source alternative for PageMaker on linux, but I'm not sure if it has a plugin for pmd files.

How can I edit a pmd file in Debian?

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2 Answers

You can not. The .pmd is adobe pagemaker format, scribus can not read it. You may try to export it to PDF a import the PDF.

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Unlikely, since the pmd format is proprietary and undocumented. From the Scribus FAQ:

Why are there no import filters for Quark, InDesign or other commercial DTP applications?

There are several reasons why there are no import filters for commercial DTP applications.

  1. DTP file formats are very complex internally - they are probably the most complex file formats. Creating import/export filters is a task far more difficult than importing a spreadsheet or simpler word processing document. An engineer familiar with the internal file format of PageMaker compared it to a 2m x 3 m flow chart diagram in 6 point type. It was not until the arrival of InDesign 2.0 that reliable PageMaker file import was possible in another DTP application, even though Adobe had the file format specs.
  2. The file formats are not documented publically.

  3. So, is it unethical/illegal to apply hexedit to an InDesign or XPress file to reverse engineer the file format with hexedit or others for the purpose of creating the export/import plugins for Scribus? Probably not, but given their closed nature, we cannot rule out the possibility of legal bullying by a commercial vendor, as we did from Quark when there was a Quark importer in testing. We do not have the legal resources to challenge large proprietary software companies. A German vendor of DTP software successfully reverse-engineered Quark's file format and created an import filter. It took a long legal battle for them to succeed.

  4. Developer constraints. It is the considered judgement of the development team that efforts to improve Scribus is a more valuable use of time.

  5. As an exception to the rule, we are open to implement publically available format specifications. For example, the XML version of InDesign's file format (IDML) is very well documented, and the spec is freely (i.e. without any legal restrictions that prevent the implementation of an import filter) available. Thus, a team member took the time and wrote an import filter, which is currently being tested. The same goes for formatted text snippets from QuarkXPress, called XPress Tags.

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