desktop publishing software

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by Bigdumps, Apr 28, 2008.

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  1. Hi all,

    Does anyone know a good desktop publishing program? I am thinking of Quark xpress but does anyone know anything more windows oriented?

    Thanks :D
  2. Not sure what you mean by 'more Windows oriented'. Quark comes in a Windows native format as does Adobe InDesign.

    Both of these are mainline apps so are a little pricey if all you want to do is produce a village newsletter. What do you want to do with it and how much dosh are you contemplating spending?

  3. I mainly do most things i need to with openoffice.
  4. Yeah ive seen quark in windows but its rather pricey I reckon.

    I am looking to find a program that will put together an academic journal, nothing too fancy but will be in print format. I will research adobe Indesign.

    This is why I love arrse (ahem) 2 helpful posts in minutes :-D

  5. Regarding an office application - office 2007 (or 2008 on a Mac) for windows is pretty good. Plenty of torrents on the net, so you can get it for free. Or if you're still serving, I remember somebody posting a link on here to get a copy for about 20quid using DII or whatever it is (don't think it existed when I left three years ago).

    Talking of office software, has anybody ever used any of the Apple stuff like Onenote etc?
  6. IMHO, Quark has always been pricey for what you get. Even though InDesign weighs in at a similar price these days, it is able to do many things out of the box for which you'd need to buy extensions to do in Quark.

    Here's a suggestion: why not ask the opinions of a few printers. They will be able to tell you which software packages are in general use and which cause headaches at the pre-press stage (when problem = money).

    A good thing to look out for is the ability to produce PDFs; some printers refuse to accept anything else because if anything goes wrong, it is almost 99.9% certain that it is the customers fault. On the other hand, you can be certain that what you send to press is what you'll get back (as long as you follow the rules).

    Hope this helps.
  7. Are you going to be using a lot of illustrations? If so, then a DTP programme is the way to go. But if it's purely text then a good word processor will do the job probably.

    Quark has been the industry standard for years but it is expensive and with a steep learning curve, especially if you want to do anything quickly.

    As stickybomb mentioned, the best way of outputting it will be as a PDF. All printers should be able to work with a PDF, the layout will remain intact with the correct fonts embedded in the file. It makes life much simpler.
  8. A quick Google search leads me to believe that "Onenote" is Microsoft. So I gather you mean Keynote? I bought the Apple iWork package, to enable me to open my old Appleworks letters on my new computer, using "Pages". (Though, when one does this, the letters/documents have to be reformatted.) The package includes "Numbers" (spreadsheets), which I have used only once, and "Keynote", which is described as "cinema-quality presentations", but, being a rustic creature, I have had no reason to use.

    So, basically ......... the answer's "no".
  9. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Over a long period I've stuck with MS Publisher, basically because it works with all the other MS stuff.

    I know, I'm lazy, and Bill Gates' best buddy ... but I have never really been unhappy with it. I have tried a few others, but always came back [like a lost kitten] to MS Pub.

    FWIW :wink:
  10. I have been using PagePlus 11 from Serif for more than a year.
    It comes with plenty of tutorials and it has tremendous flexability.
    Costs around a ton now but worth every penny.
    Quark is a serious bit of kit and may be overkill for what you require.
  11. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    I used to have PagePlus [years ago] ... it may have improved now, of course, but I never found it as intuitive as MS Pub, and thus sadly returned to the arms of "Gatesy-Babe".

    I'm still using MS Pub 2003, painlessly, for simple stuff. I've done large Newsletters [with photos and graphics and effects] running to 12 pages. It converts to .pdf if you have the Adobe capability. Consider a rummage at eBay for an old set of disks ... you'll hardly ever need the manual. :wink:
  12. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Most modern DTP packages fall into two categories. High end like Quark and Adobe that are optimised for groups with comprehensive workflow features.

    The other category is characterised by Pageplus, Publisher and a few others. These arent really useful for heavyweight serious workflow type use but do have some heavyweight features.

    As they say, it depends on what you want to do and crucially, how much dough you have available. Most of the manufacturers have serious discount schemes available if you have kids in school or college or indeed if you work in a big company. With the larger Microsoft customers they employee private use schemes, I have just bought Office 2007 for less than twenty quid because I work for a big company. Ask the neighbours or friends and family.

    Dont discount Word, it has a heavyweight feature set for working with long documents and if it is an educational piece you are creating the Word citation and reference (ffotnotes, endnotes etc) system is excellent. These features alone should point you heavily towards Word because they will save you considerable time. Positioning images in Word is now much better than it used to be and output options also excellent.

    If your journal is heavy on the content and light on overly complex design I would stick with Word and invest time in learning how to use the 95% of features that 95% of users don't use
  13. msr

    msr LE

  14. I've never used MSPub but I have seen several printers refuse to even look at jobs done with it. The problem—so their repro guys said—is that it uses a proprietary graphic format known as windows metafile. The evidence suggests that this was developed to work brilliantly on desktop lasers but it doesn't always survive contact with the high-end imagesetters or computer-to-plate setups found in printing firms. The resulting cock-ups cost them a lot of money in wasted plates or rejected jobs.

    As far as Word as concerned, it's default view (toilet roll mode complete with realistic horizontal dotted lines) is a big combat indicator. If you are interested in things staying where they are put in relation to the page then avoid it like the plague because it doesn't give a tuppenny fuck where the page starts or finishes. This is one of the major differences (apart from image handling as PsyWar mentions) between word processors and page layout apps.

    Having said all of that, a fair few journals are set with long-distance specialist apps like Ventura or Frames (both a bit long in the tooth but rather good at what they were intended for) which are best described as a geeky hybrid of the two kinds of app.

    I'm afraid that twenty-odd years of experience runs counter to Meridian's confidence in Word. Whilst it is true that Office maintains an inexplicably hypnotic influence over millions of users, it simply isn't a serious publishing tool. If it was, it's huge installed base would mean that neither Quark nor InDesign could hope to exist.
  15. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Wouldnt disagree with you there Sticky but I still think you would need to look at the time invested in using a proper DTP application against using the tool most people are familiar with, i.e. word. I suppose it depends on the length of the document, amount of graphics, frequency of publication, distribution medium etc before making a decision.

    If it is a once a month thing running to 30 odd pages with a few tables and graphs then investing the time and cash in a DTP application might simply not be worth it. Word and a decent PDF generator might be the simple answer