Recommend me a desktop publishing method

I’m creating a small booklet (each page is 1/4 of an 81/2 x 11 sheet) for a gardening group I belong to. I spoke to the person who created the last version and found out she laid it out manually in Word. I’m hoping there’s an easier way.

I have Office 97, Open Office (latest version), an old version of Lotus Office Suite that came with my PC (ca. 1998) and am willing to invest a bit (up to $150) to get additional software, if anyone thinks it’s worth it. I’m an advanced Word user. I’m running everything under Windows ME, by the way.

The booklet is all text, so it should be pretty straightforward.

What’s the quickest way to get this booklet put together? I’ve set up a table that would give me the right amount of text for each page, but I hate the thought of figuring out which page goes where (but maybe this IS the easiest method?).

I don’t have lots of time to dabble; I’d like to have this done for our meeting on the 29th and my spare time between now and then is pretty limited.

I’d GREATLY appreciate any hints, links, software recommendations…

Thanks for any help you can give me!


Upper left quarter panel will be the front cover UPSIDE DOWN. Upper right quarter panel will be the back cover UPSIDE DOWN. Bottom left quarter panel will be page one (right side up). Bottom right quarter panel will be the last page (right side up).

If you’re adding more pages, just number them in that order and orientation in your head before layout, or fold a sample page and then number it then unfold it to see the correct orientations.

As to how you do upside down text blocks in Word, I messed around with it for a couple minutes but couldn’t figure it out…maybe someone else knows.

Thanks for the tip. I just looked into this and when you’re in a table in Word97, you can select Format and then Text Direction from the menu.

It doesn’t let you format upside down, but you can format it so that the text is on its side in either direction. This will change the orientation of the booklet, but have the same effect.


Any other hints are still welcome!


      • The easiest way to “get this booklet laid out” is to type the text up in a regular word-processing program file and then C&P it into a layout program: Quark or InDesign. Word-processing programs formats tend to be constraint-based in many regards, so you are not free to place anything oriented any way you want, anywhere you please.
  • Are you wanting to print the copies out yourself and bind/staple them, or are you going to send this to a print shop?..

I’m planning to bind them myself. Last edition was just folded and bound with a ribbon. Other suggestions…?

Thanks for the advice.


The term for what you’re trying to do is imposition, which is a task word processors aren’t generally able to handle. From reading this article, it appears that something called ClickBook can act as an intermediary between your word processor and printer to accomplish that task, so that presumably you should just be able to type things into Word without any contortions. I haven’t used this product, but you can download it for a free trial ($50 to purchase, if you decide to do so) to see if it’ll work for you.

Thanks Earthling!

That looks exactly like what I was hoping to find! I’ve downloaded the trial version…we’ll see if it lives up to the description.