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Old 05-17-2007, 07:21 AM   #1
Bill Murmann
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 139
Default Can Scanning Eliminate Keyboarding?

I've worked for years with a DTP service to produce a monthly 8-page tabloid newspaper for one of my customers.

I'm the researcher, writer, editor and designer. Currently, I e-mail Word files of everything I write to my DTP service. I copyfit all my work so that it fits the page layout precisely.

Some of the articles for the paper, however, are written by people who give me hard copy, which I edit, mark up, estimate for copyfitting, and give to the DTP service for keyboarding. The amount of hardcopy varies, but it probably averages about 30 or so typewritten pages per month.

Delivering the hard copy and page layouts requires driving and physically giving the material to the DTP service. Since we are located about an hour away from each other in different counties, we both drive and meet at a halfway point for the delivery. It requires about an hour round trip for both of us.

Over the years, we shifted to using computers and e-mail as much as possible. I get the page proofs, for example, by e-mail as a PDF file.

Would it be possible to scan typewritten hardcopy that has been edited with red ink into a text file that could be e-mailed to the DTP service for production?

We are thinking this might be a way to eliminate the driving that we do every month for the hardcopy pickup.

We also are wondering if there would be a way to scan and e-mail my layout sheets. I design the paper, create the layout with photos and text, and write the headlines, etc.

I have been using full-size, 5-column tabloid paste-up sheets to do the layouts. Articles and photos are identified by numbers, letters, and file names for positioning. Everything, including advertising, is copyfitted.

The DTP service follows my layout on the paste-up sheets. We have perfected the process to the point that everything falls into place and goes together smoothly like a jigsaw puzzle.

The DTP service uses Quark Express. Once I make corrections on the page proofs and give an OK, they e-mail the paper to a printer in another county for production and mailing.

The whole production process runs like clockwork every month. The printer knows exactly when he will get the paper and has press time scheduled, etc.

We already scan photos, but can we use scanning the hardcopy and layout sheets to improve our process?

One of the things I'm concerned about is that scanning 30 or so pages of hardcopy every month might mean less work for the DTP service, but a lot more work for me.

I've never scanned text into files before, so I'm not familiar with the pros and cons. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

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