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Old 01-19-2006, 08:24 AM   #1
cotu
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Default Tired of Word for publishing newsletter

This question is not about "big time" DTP, and I would sure appreciate some guidance or at least your thoughts. I put out a quarterly newsletter and doing the layout in Word is frustrating and time-consuming. Here's what I want to do--is there something that would meet most of these criteria?
  • Set up a basic layout with static elements
  • Have columns wrap nicely onto a subsequent, specified page
  • Create and resize layout regions
  • Use various column formats
  • Generate a table of contents
  • Throw in a bit of clip art
  • Not a lot of extra stuff to trip over as I do what I want
The newsletter is both printed out and posted on the web as a pdf. Here's the latest one to give you idea of what I'm working with: http://for-wild.org/chapters/twincities/docs/TwinCitiesWOnewsletter2005-11.pdf

TIA
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:33 AM   #2
LoisWakeman
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Hi there, and welcome to the group!

I use CorelDraw for this sort of page makeup task (including company newsletters and flyers etc.), as it is vastly more capable than Word. You can generally pick up older versions pretty cheaply and anything from about v7 onwards should do you fine!
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:40 AM   #3
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You don't say how much you're willing to spend, but I quite like Ragtime which, I think, will do what you want and also happens to be free for non-commercial use. See http://www.ragtime-online.com

Otherwise Serif PagePlus or Microsoft Publisher are the most popular 'mid range' DTP apps. Can't say I particularly like either of them from the little I've seen, though.

   
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:30 AM   #4
Richard Hunt
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Looks like Serif's PagePlus would suit you. Look for more info at www.serif.com.
There is a very active user forum at http://www.serif.com/forum/default.asp

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Old 01-23-2006, 06:34 AM   #5
cotu
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I have CorelDraw 10, but I've never thought of it as a DTP tool. There doesn't seem to be much documentation on using it for this type of application, can you recommend an online tutorials or such?

Ragtime is certainly worth a look and PagePlus has come up several times so I will check them out and see which is easiest for me to use. I'd been using some freeware to convert .doc files into .pdfs so that will be a piece I need to find out about too.

Thanks for the ideas so far, and don't be shy to chip in more!
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Old 01-23-2006, 07:22 AM   #6
Richard Hunt
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I don't know much about Corel Draw beyond its name. You can download a sort-of demo of PagePlus, PagePlus SE, from www.freeserifsoftware.com. It's basically PagePlus 9 without the automatic PDF creation, and based on the last-but-one version, but it will give you a working DTP tool.

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Old 01-23-2006, 01:57 PM   #7
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CorelDraw can be used as a DTP app. Used to work with a guy who used it as such (ver 5) years ago. That said, I'd rather use PageMaker, InDesign or PagePlus for such use as CorelDraw, though a top graphix app, can be somewhat clunky as a DTP app, esp for text entry. Things such as kerning and leading are not as straightforward as in PageMaker for example.

CorelDraw for example treats leading as a % of text size, not point size. Confusing.
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Old 01-23-2006, 02:21 PM   #8
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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It's a decade or so ago but I did a parish newsletter using Lotus WordPro for several years -- the frames feature in WordPro is very good.

But later I went onto Microsoft Publisher (probably about '97 version <g>) and it was easy to use also with a paste board outside the working area. I don't remember TOC since I did not need it.

It was free-standing then but now part of MS OffIce as I'm sure you know.

   
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Old 01-23-2006, 03:24 PM   #9
Steve Rindsberg
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In current and immediately past versions of Corel Draw, the default spacing is indeed in lines, but you've been able to change that to points easily enough. To the best of my recollection, it's been this way for approximately ever.

That said, and despite the fact that I like Draw a lot, have used it since version 1, I'd still avoid doing DTP in it. Single pages ... perhaps. Anything longer ... not as long as I've got PageMaker. Or Ventura.

   
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:29 PM   #10
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I have Office 2000 and Publisher isn't part of it, maybe that started with a version subsequent to the one I have.
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