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mr. jp
02-27-2010, 04:33 AM
I want to make a document that is a mixture of illustrations and words. Microsoft Word is really annoying for this purpose, since it has a lot of rules about where I can place the images, and sometimes it moves them around by itself. I would preferably want to place the text and images whereever I want. Is there a different program I can use?

friedo
02-27-2010, 04:37 AM
Sounds like a page layout program is in order, rather than a word processor. Have you looked into products like PageMaker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_PageMaker) or Quark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuarkXPress)?

friedo
02-27-2010, 04:39 AM
Sounds like a page layout program is in order, rather than a word processor. Have you looked into products like PageMaker (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_PageMaker) or Quark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuarkXPress)?

Wow, looks like I'm way behind the times. Adobe has retired PageMaker in favor of InDesign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_InDesign).

Colophon
02-27-2010, 06:02 AM
Wow, looks like I'm way behind the times. Adobe has retired PageMaker in favor of InDesign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_InDesign).
Yeah I was going to suggest InDesign. I use it all the time for work (newspaper layout). It's not cheap, but it is very good and very easy to use.

psychonaut
02-27-2010, 06:23 AM
Use Scribus, which is is a Free Software desktop publishing program.

ianzin
02-27-2010, 07:34 AM
Can anyone here offer first-hand experience of using 'InDesign' and 'Scribus'?

I need some new page layout software to create 'long-form' documents (e.g. 200 page books), mostly text with some graphic elements, accurate page layout essential.

I know InDesign will do everything I need, but it's horrifically expensive.

Scribus is free, but I don't know if it will suffice for professional work, and whether it can output anything my printer (as in the printing company that prints books for me) is actually able to use.

psychonaut
02-27-2010, 08:37 AM
Both InDesign and Scribus can output to PostScript or PDF, which are industry-standard formats.

Scribus has been used professionally. When last I used it (around 2005) it was just coming of age, and lacked many features of InDesign. However, as it's been under active development, I suspect things have changed a great deal in the last five years.

Another option you may wish to consider is LaTeX, which is also used to typeset books professionally. It is also Free Software. It doesn't generally do absolute positioning of graphics and text, because that's almost never what professional typesetters want. Rather, it positions elements according to standard, well-established typesetting rules. It's an incredibly powerful tool and is used extensively in the technical and academic press. However, except possibly in the hands of an expert, it isn't suited to the artsy and creative layouts such as one finds in magazines and newspapers.

mr. jp
02-27-2010, 01:32 PM
Hey, thanks. This was exactly what I was looking for.