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Old 10-25-2006, 11:25 AM   #1
tarheelsballer
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Default I'm a novice - Which program do I use??

I have no DTP experience and am faced with the challenge of having to create a catalog/guide (in perfect binding) that will be 80 pages, 2 columns per page and 2 tables per page (no graphics). Based on my lack of skills, it's been suggested that I either use MS Publisher or Pagemaker. Are either of these programs even capable of giving me the results I need. Is there another recommended program? I appreciate anyone's help. I all else fails I'll have to break down and hire someone to format. Thank you!
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:41 AM   #2
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It's been suggested that I either use MS Publisher or Pagemaker. Are either of these programs even capable of giving me the results I need.
Unfortunately, no software can do the job auto-magically — you will need to learn the program so you can control it. In the end it might be faster, cheaper, and more satisfactory to hire a production DTPer to do the job for you.

But if you like an adventure, go for it. And I suspect either of those programs would do fine. Do you own either of them? PageMaker is all but obsolete, but I designed and produced magazines, books, brochures, and other work with it for a dozen years, and it is fully capable.

Not so sure about MS Publisher — it was once pathetic, but I did hear it had been improved though I have not heard much about it recently.

How will you be reproducing this job? Commercial printer? Your personal laser printer? Something in-between? If you are sending the job anywhere, you should probably go for PageMaker.

Let us know a bit more.

   
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:51 AM   #3
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I only have Publisher on my PC but would highly consider buying Pagemaker or another comparable program if necessary. But even if I buy a program, learning it could be a pain and not worth the trouble. If you were me, would you hire someone instead? My husband has a new business and new things I've never managed before are falling into my lap, like this DTP dillema. (I'm only good at accounting and taxes.....Geesh!) Thanks for responding.
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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> If you were me, would you hire someone instead?

Definitely. Very few people have ever become wealthy by trying to do everything themselves.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:13 PM   #5
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If you were me, would you hire someone instead? My husband has a new business and new things I've never managed before are falling into my lap, like this DTP dillema. (I'm only good at accounting and taxes.....Geesh!) Thanks for responding.
Sounds to me as if you are the business manager, and managers routinely hire experts to help with tricky stuff. (I am a graphic designer and always had a part-time bookkeeper, for example!)

There is more to creating an 80-page book than deciding it will have two columns (how did you decide that, BTW? it may not be the best approach), tables, and so on. An experienced person will not need to puzzle over some details that might keep you awake at night!

Good luck, however you decide to go about it. And do ask lots of questions here.

   
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:28 PM   #6
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I decided on 2 columns after fooling around in Word and seeing how the information best presented. How much cash can I expect to dish out for an expert?
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:34 PM   #7
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where are u based
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:38 PM   #8
tarheelsballer
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Delaware USA
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Old 10-25-2006, 02:01 PM   #9
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Im in the UK so I will let others help - hope it goes well
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Old 10-25-2006, 05:44 PM   #10
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How much cash can I expect to dish out for an expert?
I started to say that this is a tough question, then was trying to work out the variables you might need to consider.

But I have another idea: Are you using a specialist book printer to produce the book? Some of them have very reasonable production services in-house. The choices of font and paper may be somewhat limited, but the book quality is usually excellent, and you will not have to worry over-much about negotiating for a separate production contract.

There is an interesting article on this (from a consortium of printers). It includes a long list of book printers.

I have worked several times with Whitehall Printing; there may be many others worth considering, of course.

Just a slightly different approach you may want to consider.

   
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