Publishing Software/Page design

Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 02:32 am
I am creating a little family cookbook and I'm searching for reviews and opinions on some of the design software out there. I'll be publishing hardcopy through lulu or blurb, but I do not like the free software they provide. I have very little control over text placement, backgrounds, etc.. I some experience with graphics programs (cheap ones!) and do all of my site development in notebook, so my software arsenal is lacking.

I know Adobe is popular, but some say it has a steep learning curve and might include more 'stuff' that I actually need. Anyone use a solid page design/publishing software that they are happy with? I don't mind spending a little money (up to $300 if that's sounds like a reasonable ballpark) because if I'm happy with it I might dabble a bit in publishing a little book here and there for my family. And time is money.
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Robert Gentel
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 11:18 am
It's very true that Adobe's software has a steep learning curve and more features than you may need but they really do have the market cornered in the software (especially after the Macromedia merger) and if you are going to spend serious money on it they may be worth getting in the long run if you think you are going to grow into needing some of the extra features. The basic piece it sounds like you'd need from Adobe would be Acrobat Pro but that's over the budget you cite.

So if all you need to do is the cookbook you probably just need to get it into PDF for the printers (I looked up the specs on both Lulu and Blurb and Lulu at least is clear that they want PDFs) you can use other software (such as Word) to create the documents and then convert to PDF.

Here are some options for that that are cheap or free:


Note, using these (and other non-Adobe products) can cause some compatibility issues, and here is a tutorial for alternatives to use with Lulu: http://athleticaid.com/yaquinapress/PDF-FAQ.html
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Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 01:02 pm
Are you working on Mac or PC?

If PC, and you're already familiar with Microsoft Word, you'd have an easy time picking up Microsoft Publisher. And it's well within your price range. In fact, you may already have it. It comes as part of some MS Office packages.

It's a simple page layout program that has all the basics you'll need.
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Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 01:42 am
Thank you both for the replies. I'll look more closely at the Adobe product - maybe it would be worth the money in the long run for future projects as well.

I am using a PC - I don't have Publisher on it, but I'll take a look at that too.

Thanks again!
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 05:39 pm
As an alternative approach, can I suggest that you try one or more of the free website generators.
I have used weeblydotcom to produce my own website and found it easier to use than others.
A wee bit of experimentation allows you to learn how to create and edit as many pages as you want with all the linking done for you; add blogs, comment sections, images, notes, etc.
You can even add your own HTML if you are up to it!
AND there are no adverts! Check my site at wwwrhymerweeblycom
Just put dots between the words!

Sampa is another such website.
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