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Publications Seminar Question!

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I'm duplicating this post from the General Forum:

We had two interesting questions come up at the Publications Seminar this year. One was from an Editor that still used Word as his major programming for Publishing. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's tough putting graphics within a word file.

The other question was about the Editor's Manual and why the Manual suggested not publicizing your region's bank balances. I had to explain that it was easy for some criminal type person to become Treasurer and run off with your cash, if they realized how wealthy a particular club is. This point is also a good reason to require two signers for every check that your region sends out. wink.gif

Just a couple pointers.


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Wayne, could you explain more by what you mean about graphics being tough to put in a Word document?

I don't actually use Word I use the free OpenOffice program that can read and write Doc files. With OpenOffice you can insert photo and graphics most anywhere and if you use text frames you can get a pretty nice looking layout without buying special software. I don't distribute in Doc format I use PDFs, but if I'm passing an article on to an editor I will send it in Doc format with photos inserted.

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Jim, I've never used Word, but as an example, I just opened it up.

As an example, I did this:

1.I wrote three lines of print.

2.I inserted a picture from a folder on my desktop

3.The picture was too large, so I had to bring up a formatting box to resize the picture. It was not easy to resize, compared to Publisher, where you "grab" the edge of the picture and put(resize) it where ever you like.

4.I had trouble moving the picture where I wanted it to be.

5.Without spending a lot of time, I couldn't find where there was a prompt to help me put a box around the picture, something I always do.

6. As far as sizing pictures, our seminar participant, Judy Edwards, said it was best to resize with a photo program.

7. Not being familiar with word, I didn't find a readily available prompt for making columns of text, since two or more columns are best in a newsletter.

As I said I've never used Word for anything other than formatting text before inserting into the Web Site or into e-mails, so there are certainly features that I didn't have time to find. When it gets right down to it, Jim, Microsoft Publisher was designed for print publishing. I assume Word was more for letters and person PC use.

Technology is forever changing and improving, in most cases, as long as you don't put Vista into that statement! eek.gifsmile.gif

Judy may have something to add. She's been doing it a lot longer than I have.


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Wayne, I use Word all the time EXCEPT when it is some dealing with graphics. I can't get the control over them I want.

Under page layout there is a button for colmuns and you tell it how many. The column thing is easy.

As we talked about more so in the web seminar, there are different types of programs we use.

1. Text editor (Notepad, WordPad, etc) simply edits text Font size and type that's about it.

2. Word Processing (Word, etc) you can edit text, format paragraphs, cloumns, colors, etc. They will alow you to insert graphics.

3. Page Layout program (PageMaker, Publisher, Quark XPress, InDesign, etc) Designed to take your text documnets and graphics and layout your page including layering things so they overlap.

If you're doing a one or two page item you can get away with Word. But the real advantage to a page layout program is text flow over multiple pages. Example if you add a photo to page 1 after everyting is laid out, there is text that needs to be moved. In word you'll manually need to do it. In a page layout, go to the end of the linked text boxes even it is 596 pages later, drag it, making it longer and all the text will now be there.

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Linked Text Boxes!

I knew there was a reason I liked it David. wink.gif

Actually Publisher is all I've ever used and I'm sure there are things that Publisher does that I haven't found out about yet.

The point I'm trying to make is, that regardless of what programs you use, it's the final product that counts. If your publication is put together correctly, your region's members will benefit from it. That's the purpose of the NAAP system. It's a guideline to help all editors help make their newsletter a better product! wink.gif


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As Wayne has said, use the software that you can get to work for you.

With that said - if you use Word for your newsletter design program you are doing it the hard way.

Microsoft Word is a word processor, not a page layout program. And the heart of desktop publishing is page layout. You need a software programs like Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, Serif PagePlus, and Microsoft Publisher. With these programs, emphasis is placed on page layout and design rather than text composition and proofing like with Word.

Word is not a true desktop publishing program. If you send your newsletter to a commercial printer, Microsoft Word is not designed for creating digital files for commercial printing. Some problems are -

1.Word .doc files are not widely accepted by commercial printers.

2. TIFF and EPS are the standard graphics formats for desktop publishing. Word sometimes has problems handling EPS graphics.

3. Word cannot specify standard PMS colors (commonly used for spot colors). It cannot properly interpret the embedded color information in TIFF and EPS images so the colors you see on-screen are likely to not match what prints.

Once again - if you can get Word to work for you GREAT! But if you used software that is designed to handle page layout, you will get the job done a lot faster. The end product may look the same but why not take the easy road to get there.

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So it basically comes down to ease of use. As I said I don't use Word I use OpenOffice so I don't know how much is different and what is the same.

Years ago I had an early page layout program and it was nice, but when it stopped working after an OS update I was to cheap to replace it and dove into the word processor I had at the time and have switched a couple of times since. I find most high end word processors have most of the ability I need including linked text frames. Once you layout using text frames instead of the normal word processing columns, things get easier. I do all my photo sizing and processing in a photo program before inserting, so they go in the right size and are the proper size for printing (specify the resolution correctly). I also tend to do small jobs, only a few pages. Been a few years since I did large newsletter. Back then I was moving up from a typewriter so making word processors jump through hoops was an improvement.

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I have been using Publisher since version #1 came out in 1991. I use it to produce everything for the Region- newsletters, membership application (tri-fold brochure), membership cards, etc.

If you would like to try Publisher, you have several options.

1. Microsoft offers a free 60-day trial. It is probably a large file that you will have to download so I wouldn't try this if you are on dial-up.

2. Microsoft also has it set up so that you try it on-line. No download required. I have not tried this option since I am on dial-up.

3. I checked Ebay and Publisher 2003 (one version back) is available new anywhere from $9.95 to $35.00. This is not the latest version but would have most of the bell and whistles. Publisher 2007 sells for $169.

4. If someone in your Region uses Publisher, you might see if they have a older version (probably older than 2003) that you could try and see if you like it.

I can't address the other software packages available because I am an exclusice Publisher user.

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I'm a Mac guy so I have a rule against using MS software even when it is available for the Mac.

If I ever get talked into doing a full fledged newsletter again I may look into a layout program just because I'm getting lazier.

I did the Crosley Auto Club Quarterly from 1973 till 1984. Started off with a type writer than used some very early experimental word processors then experimental computers and internal written word processing software at Xerox where I worked. My favorite word processor was written by the fellow MicroSoft hired away from Xerox that wrote the original Word. Use to work on the Quarterly during my lunch hours. I have done assorted newsletter since but they were all small 2-6 pagers. Currently I'm just a contributor to the Crosley Quarterly so I let the Editor do the final lay out work, I think he uses Publisher, I furnish him Doc files form OpenOffice with the images inserted.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had to learn how to use Microsoft Publisher today so I could teach someone else to use it. It was an interesting task since I don't like Windows and haven't touched it in years. The fellow that I was teaching is not much of a wiz on the computer but could do the simple stuff that I didn't know on Vista (first time I even saw Vista). With my knowledge of what a publishing program should be capable of and common sense I had the high points figured out and roughed out a 2 page newsletter for the guy to use as a template in about 30 minutes.

I have to admit to all that were pushing a publishing package, it did make things easier than using OpenOffice or Word. Not enough easier that I would spend $169 but for this fellow it will be the difference between doing the job and finding someone else to do it.


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Good for you, Jim. wink.gif

I'm breaking in a new editor too, and the going is pretty good, most of the time. We're still having problems getting regional members to turn in reports and pictures on their own cars. You'd think they'd like to see their name and vehicles on the front page....go figure.

As far as Vista, that's another can of worms. I bought my wife a new PC for Christmas. It has Vista Pro and it worked about a month with the programming she likes. Now, it won't even open up the program. She had 2 or 3 automatic updates occur and she's blaming that on the grimlins. Dell wants money to cure the problem. She was upset to tears speaking to their tech guy. I guess I get to chew on him next week. mad.gif

Like most my age, we all hate change. They consider change better, but I hate it.

Even PeterG smiles when he tells me it's better. confused.gif

Hey Peter, don't car salesmen smile when they're selling you their "best darn product on the lot"? smile.gif


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