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Old 08-15-2007, 09:34 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Posts: 55

Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
PageMaker can produce any sort of layout you can think of — I used it for book and magazine production for many years.
I'm sure it can -- I merely meant figuring out how to do a particular layout that I might have in mind the way Pagemaker does it, rather than the way I've done it in other programs.

Until you choose the typeface and the size of the pages, it is pointless to speak of type size. At any given size, some look larger than others, and the length of the line will dictate how large the type should be. However, 14 point in any font I can think of is very large. They use type of that size for large-print books or lectern bibles.
Lulu indicates that the sizes they can do are:

6" x 9" - Novel
8.5" x 11" - U.S. Letter
7.5" x 7.5" - Square
8.5" x 8.5" - Larger Square
6.625" x 10.25" - Comic Book
9" x 7" - Landscape
6.14" x 9.21" - Royal
7.44" x 9.68" - Crown Quarto
8.27" x 11.69" - A4
4.25" x 6.875" - Pocket size

I'm considering either a Novel size or their Landscape -- a book which is too large is a pain in the keister if you don't have much kitchen space. I know 14 point is considered large print -- one reason I'm considering it. I've printed my recipes out on half pages (5.5 x 8.5) and stuck them on the hood of my stove, or back on the wall behind my work area, or any number of places, and the recipe is easily visible without having to grab the book with food-covered hands to see what you have to add next. It does result in more pages, but is easier to use.

The best way to make the book useful that way would be to use a comb or spiral binding. Then the spreads will lie perfectly flat. Barring that, be sure to leave sufficient margins on the pages. You do not want text to fall in the shadow area where the pages meet the binding edge. And that margin should be narrower than the outer one, where hands go. (The text should amount to about 50% of the area of each page.)
Spiral binding already planned. I've worked with comb bindings for years -- I own a comb binder. (I did 100 page quarterly news/lit zines for a number of years) and I think the wire spiral binding would be more durable than a plastic comb. I think Word calls the shadow area "the gutter". <g> I've lost track of how many road atlases we have where the town we're looking for is always in the crack.

It’s not that it is passe, although its very familiarity can make it look unserious. More to the point, though, it is not a good book type (too narrow). If you need to use a font you already have, see if you have Century Schoolbook. That is a good text face, very readable. Also sturdy and sensible, able to withstand any sort of printing process.
Century, and Garamond, another favorite, show up, at least on my screen, as significantly lighter than Times-Roman. I note that Century shows as larger than Garamond, with wider line spacing than Garamond, although they are equally dark.

For people whose eyes may not be as good as they wish, the "greying" effect of the lighter font can make it hard to read. I have two editions of a reference book I use all the time. One was printed in a darker print, the other in an otherwise-readable font which is not as bold as the first book. Although the lighter one is the newer edition of the reference, I keep going to the one which is easier to read. I've done layouts of Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames of the XVII Century, and etc. yearbooks (my mother regularly volunteers me...) and people with visual acuity problems, in my experience, tend to go for the heavier font.

Of course, you've probably worked with a much wider range of people than I have, so your opinion definitely has weight. Looking at the same text, side by side, in the three fonts, I like Garamond very much, but definitely find Century more readable.

I suspect PageMaker will not think the way you do either. It was originally designed for graphic designers and typesetters, and used their terminology and mode of thinking. The hardest part will be overcoming the warped way that Word thinks of things, but we’ll be here to help.
I don't think the way Word does. I've just gotten used to it, since it was what I had. A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away), I did real paste up and lay out where paste up meant exactly that. I still hate the smell of rubber cement! And Word simply cannot do the layout on either the cook book or the How To book. I've been fighting with Word XP since I got the blasted thing. As a word processor, it's adequate, if slow. But I don't like it for anything more complex than a fancified set of pages.

I will look for my most recent PageMaker books, see if any will work with version 7. (Older books might be more confusing.)
Much appreciated! Learning curves can be... an entertainment. (Probably for the gods of perversity....)

-- Marilyn (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)
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