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Old 03-18-2021, 09:11 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2021
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Default The Rookie

That would be me. I just discovered this place, and I hope to be able to both learn a bit and, eventually, contribute a bit.

I'm officially an Olde Pharte. I'm an architect, semi-retired, widowed. A long time ago I was Shanghaied into being the editor-in-chief of the quarterly newsletter for a small non-profit organization. That was my introduction to desktop publishing. My predecessor had worked in the public relations department of a large corporation, and he produced the newsletters the old-fashioned way -- printing proof copies and blue penciling the corrections. I didn't have that luxury -- I had a computer, and I had a laser printer, so I had to make it work.

I discovered a wonderful DTP program called Publish-It!, put out by a company called Timeworks. Sadly, the program and the company no longer exist, and I am still searching for an affordable DTP program that's as easy to use and as capable as that old program (which dates back to the days of MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 -- even if I had the original diskettes, the program wouldn't run under Windows 10).

So here I am, trying to become a self-published author and wanting to be able to do a bit better than formatting a book of several hundred pages in Microsoft Word. I've been away from DTP for at least twenty years, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

Last edited by woody649; 03-18-2021 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 03-19-2021, 05:39 AM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,710

Welcome, Woody!

You might want to google SCRIBUS. It seems to get good reviews from folks here.
In any case, you're wise to avoid Word. It's a good product for a lot of things, but laying out pages is NOT one of them.

I have to wonder whether some products die because of what might happen when a simple hyphen in the product name moves a few characters one way or the other. Lookin' at you, Publish-It ;-)

Steve Rindsberg
and stuff
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Old 03-19-2021, 07:37 AM   #3
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I have Scribus. I find it unnavigable. My research informs me that reviews of Scribus are "mixed."

There is a more recent program out that uses the name Publish-iT (or something like that) that's by a different company and is a completely different program than Timeworks Publish-It! The newer program is oriented toward greeting cards and 2-page brochures, as confirmed by the publisher. Definitely not the same as the old Publish-It!

So my search continues. I have Microsoft Publisher, and that's a solid fail IMHO. Like the new Publish-iT, Publisher seems to be oriented toward greeting cards and one- and two-page documents, not toward books. I created a template for a 5.5" x 8.5" book in Publisher, imported a chapter of a manuscript -- and Publisher was no better than Word at aligning the bottom of the text on facing pages when widow and orphan protection was enforced.

I recently (VERY recently -- not even installed yet) purchased the new Affinity Publisher. It seems to get universally good reviews, so I hope it's up to the task without being hopelessly obtuse and counter-intuitive (which is my main gripe about Scribus).
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Old 03-19-2021, 01:43 PM   #4
Bo Aakerstrom
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Scribus is a bit like an older version of Quark XPress, still preferable to InDesign when it comes to user friendliness.

I hope you like Affinity Publisher since you already purchased it. Even if it isn't any easier to get your head around than Scribus.

Perhaps it is a matter of spending enough time with the application so that you can do what you need to do without thinking too much about it!?

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