Milla Miller on thu 25 sep 03
I will need to self publish a clay group newsletter on my pc and am
wondering if there is any software package of modest price to do the job? also any
tips on doing that job.I haven't done a newsletter since we used the ditto
machine or Kinko's so I need to get up to speed.
Would the same software be able to do legal size posters and postcards for
our annual sale as well? Will I need special printer and paper and inks?I
have windows ME and office 2000 on a 500 MHZ that has 20 gig on a HP Pavillion.
Any suggestions will help.Thank you in advance.
Dave Gayman on thu 25 sep 03
Avoid Quark, PageMaker, InDesign or any of the biggies - the learning
curves are something to behold.
Among the low end, I've found Serif's PagePlus to be excellent. As for low
price, Serif gives you previous versions -- the free PagePlus 5 (latest
version is 9) is at http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/serif/pp/pp5/index.asp
PagePlus gives you more than you'll need, but manages to present a good
interface for casual users and beginners. It handles any size, though
there are flip-flops when you're doing a 20 x 24 100-page booklet...
If you're offered a "resource" CD for cheap, I'd say go for it -- it has a
bunch of pre-done templates for newsletters, brochures, etc. The down side
is that most of them are clunky and undistinguished, but they provide a
very easy way to start.
With patience, you'll soon receive offers for current software from Serif,
often at very low prices ($10 + S&H -- the over-the-counter price for
PagePlus 9 is $135).
Microsoft Publisher is pretty much on a par with PagePlus, but you can't
get a free version... unless your computer was supplied with it. For a
short time, Microsoft included Publisher in Office packages, so you might
already have this. PagePlus has the advantage of a very responsive company
and some very knowledgeable users available at Serif's on-line
forums. I've yet to find out how to contact the Publisher developers at
Microsoft -- there just isn't any way.
If push comes to shove, you can use Word 2000, but you'll soon be tearing
your hair over resolution and placement of graphics.
Using DTP programs like PagePlus or Microsoft Publisher are a bit of a jolt
if you're used to word processing.
In WP, you just type away. In DTP, you need to set up text blocks/shapes
and fill them in. In other words, you manually set up a layout and start
electronically "pasting" things onto the layout. The trade-off is that you
have much greater control over the position of text and graphics in
relation to each other.
The computer limitation will be less on speed than on internal memory --
graphics take up a lot of RAM, so you'll need a lot. I have 300+ Mb with
Windows 2000 and feel the pinch occasionally.
You shouldn't need a special printer for legal. Postcards can be fed into
most printers these days, and you can also get (somewhat expensive)
pull-apart 4-to-a-page cards from suppliers like Avery Label. Larger, such
as 11 x 17 (folded in half, this gives you 4 pages at 8 1/2 x 11), will
need a bigger printer, or Kinkos.
At 02:07 AM 9/25/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>I will need to self publish a clay group newsletter on my pc and am
>wondering if there is any software package of modest price to do the job?
>tips on doing that job.I haven't done a newsletter since we used the ditto
>machine or Kinko's so I need to get up to speed.
>Would the same software be able to do legal size posters and postcards for
>our annual sale as well? Will I need special printer and paper and inks?I
>have windows ME and office 2000 on a 500 MHZ that has 20 gig on a HP
>Any suggestions will help.Thank you in advance.
>Send postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
>You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
>settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
Janet Kaiser on thu 25 sep 03
Milla/Margaret, if you look at your Office 2000 disk, it probably
has "MS-Publisher" on it even if you have not installed it on
your PC. Publisher was part of the Office Suite along with Word
and Excel, although later versions apparently do not include it
or Access anymore. I certainly do not recommend using MS-Word
unless you are really up to speed on all its little foibles.
Rather than go out and buy new software try MS-Publisher first.
It is pretty intuitive to use and has some nifty "templates" to
start you off and help you around your first steps. You just use
the set-up wizard. Try a few different ones and you will soon get
the hang of it.
If you don't have Publisher, go to a newsagents and look at some
of the free CDs on magazine covers or ask friends for their
unused disks with DP programmes. Make sure that it is a "full
working version" of any "desk-top publishing" programme on offer.
They are usually the last version before an upgrade. They all
have different strengths and weaknesses, but they are each
perfectly adequate for setting up a newsletter, posters and so
Whatever you chose, set up a template for yourself, so that you
can keep the look and the feel of the Newsletter constant from
edition to edition. And print out some pages to get the hang of
right-left / front-back of pages...That is the hardest thing to
get your head around if you are anything like me!
I produce an eight-page newsletter each quarter. It is four A4
pages (= two sheets of paper printed both sides) folded in half
and stapled together (needed to buy a stapler with extra-long arm
for that). The layout for each page is then:
left half right half
page 8 page 1
page 2 page 7
page 6 page 3
page 4 page 5 (middle page spread)
Anything more than two or three folded pages and it becomes
difficult without trimming the edges. Any more and it starts to
get a "home-made" look.
Page size is only restricted by what your printer can do, not the
software. All programmes have the ability to print just about any
size imaginable. You usually can chose in the "page set-up" (in
your document). This should be done *before* you do any layout.
(Although it is possible to compose in one format and print in
another, using percentages in the printing function, it is much
harder doing it that way).
Alongside the normed sizes like "legal", "A4" and so on, there is
a "user defined" format... Make sure to check whether you are
defining size in either inches or centimetres before doing all
the layout work!
Naturally you will be able to print posters and postcards...
Again if your printer takes those formats and most do these days.
What you do need to watch, is printing off posters for some
situations. I have found that only laser prints are completely
water-proof for outdoors and depending on the ink and paper
combination you use in an ink-jet, they can fade really quickly
in direct sunlight. I was told that if you iron ink-jet prints
that helps, but have not tried it myself.
You may want to look at the cost of printing yourself versus
professional printing or even photo-copying. You do the layout
and the proofs and then submit either in hard copy or digital
form (check compatibility of software). If it is digital
submission, ask for a copy to proof-read. The different systems
can change things. Like bullets or symbols can turn into letters.
I have found that my readers prefer 10pt Times Roman or
Helvetica/Arial typeface for reading editorial columns. It is
quite funny how "Comic Sans" and similar type-sets can infuriate
some audiences! But naturally YMMV especially if you have a
younger audience who do not have to hunt for their spectacles to
read even the larger headlines! Also, keep the layout "airy".
Anything that is too squashed is off-putting. For this reason I
make sure that distance between lines is slightly more than the
"automatic" setting of most fonts.
I have also become an "image magpie"... Anything which can be
used for illustrations is filed away and hoarded for later. Line
drawings are particularly useful as page or article dividers as
well as "fillers" when you don't have much to write! And that is
often the case when contributions dry up, as most news-letter
editors know only too well. The same old people saying the same
old things can become very tedious for even the loyalist
Hope this all helps! If you need any further help, contact me
offlist and I will do what I can. Caveat: I use MS-Publisher 98
and 2000 is a slightly different "improved" beast... Or at least
so the MS-developers must think! I also use Adobe PageMaker daily
(have done since it was known as Aldus PageMaker and was one of
only two DP programmes available at the time) should you be
thinking of serious investment in a desktop publishing package
which does accurate "precision" layout down to a millimeter.
*** IN REPLY TO THE FOLLOWING MAIL:
>I will need to self publish a clay group newsletter on my pc
>wondering if there is any software package of modest price to do
>also any tips on doing that job.
>Would the same software be able to do legal size posters and
>for our annual sale as well? Will I need special printer and
paper and inks? I
>have windows ME and office 2000 on a 500 MHZ that has 20 gig on
*** THE MAIL FROM Milla Miller ENDS HERE ***
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