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Composing program?

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  • brownbarnpress
    While I have made photoplymer plates for intaglio printing I have not made any for letterpress. (just getting started with letterpress). I understand the best
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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      While I have made photoplymer plates for intaglio printing I have not
      made any for letterpress. (just getting started with letterpress).
      I understand the best program for this purpose is QuarkXpress, but
      the $900 price tag is a problem. What other programs are you using
      that might work about about as well? Thanks for the help.
    • caldrich45
      Any professional program is going to be expensive. I would also look at Adobe s InDesign. Its multi-line composing feature sets type much more elegantly than
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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        Any professional program is going to be expensive. I would also look at
        Adobe's InDesign. Its multi-line composing feature sets type much more
        elegantly than Quark with less manual fiddling. It will also hang punctuation
        and optically align type. If you have any background in quality typesetting,
        you will appreciate these features.
      • Roberta Lavadour
        I ve had good luck with Microsoft Publisher - a program that usually comes bundled with the other free software on most PC s. While not Quark, it works on the
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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          I've had good luck with Microsoft Publisher - a program that usually comes
          bundled with the other free software on most PC's. While not Quark, it works
          on the same principle - text boxes and images boxes that can be layered,
          angled, and otherwise tweeked to create your layout and allows for kearning
          of text by hand. It also makes booklet layout and printing easy.

          Roberta

          Pendleton, Oregon
          paper@...
          http://www.missioncreekpress.com
        • Harold Kyle
          ... However Publisher reflows the text depending on the output device. Your service bureau doesn t output film on a laser printer but on an imagesetter, so the
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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            On 10/30/02 4:19 PM, "Roberta Lavadour" <lavadour@...> wrote:
            > I've had good luck with Microsoft Publisher - a program that usually comes
            > bundled with the other free software on most PC's. While not Quark, it works
            > on the same principle - text boxes and images boxes that can be layered,
            > angled, and otherwise tweeked to create your layout and allows for kearning
            > of text by hand. It also makes booklet layout and printing easy.

            However Publisher reflows the text depending on the output device. Your
            service bureau doesn't output film on a laser printer but on an imagesetter,
            so the negatives that result from a Publisher file will not necessarily
            match what you see on the screen or on your hard copy. Publisher should only
            be used for output from your own computer.

            I vote InDesign for ease of use and control over text. Thanks to Quark 5, I
            think InDesign is finally catching on.

            Harold

            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
            Boxcar Press
            Fine Printing and Binding ~ Digital Letterpress Supplies
            640 Fellows Avenue ~ Syracuse, NY 13210
            315-473-0930 ~ phone and fax
            www.boxcarpress.com
            ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
          • Dan Franklin
            I use both Adobe InDesign and Quark XPress. A few points: (1) InDesign is superior to Quark in number and usefulness of typographic features. I think it is not
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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              I use both Adobe InDesign and Quark XPress. A few points:

              (1) InDesign is superior to Quark in number and usefulness of
              typographic features. I think it is not too much to say that Indy is
              for the typographer's typographer. However,

              (2) Indy's multiline composer feature is slightly overrated; with a
              decently kerned OpenType font, I can usually set a better paragraph
              with the composer feature off. Your experience may differ from mine,
              of course, depending on how you like to do H&J (hyphenation and
              justification).

              (3) One Indy feature not supported in Quark is the ability to use all
              the functionality of OpenType fonts, like automatic substitution of
              all ligatures and automatic insertion of old-style figures and true
              small caps. The potential of this feature has been largely
              unrealized, however, since there are relatively few OpenType fonts
              available that support these features (and very few that aren't
              available as Postscript fonts). That having been said,

              (3) Most of my work is in Quark because our two main publishers
              insist on Quark files from us (so they can make last-minute and
              future-edition changes in house on the Quark systems they already
              have installed). Still,

              (4) I haven't upgraded to 5.0 from Quark 4.1, even though I regularly
              get cards from Quark offering to knock $100 off the upgrade fee. (I
              have received cards offering users of 4.0X an upgrade to 4.1 for
              $99--even as they're trying to sell them an upgrade to 5.0 for $199.
              This tells me that 5.0 is not flying off the shelves.) All this
              notwithstanding,

              (5) Most probably either of these programs will let (help?) you
              create whatever you want, as long as you know the rudiments of
              typography (i.e., have set type before on any kind of system,
              including handsetting) and are willing to spend some time with the
              program. On the other hand,

              (6) If you know very little about typography (or if you won't use the
              program very much and don't intend to create "fancy" or complex
              output), use software that is simpler and less expensive. Roberta
              Lavadour's suggestion of Microsoft Publisher is sound (like all of
              her advice); I assume that there is a way for a prepress operation to
              output film from a Publisher file (as a step before making
              photopolymer plates).

              Dan Franklin, who is now working on his fourth font library
              (Mergenthaler V-I-P film fonts, Linotronic digital fonts, Postscript
              fonts, and now OpenType fonts--not including some odd metal fonts and
              a goodly run of Kennerley foundry type (I guess that makes five!))
            • Bryan Hutcheson
              Quark is the ultimate program for layout and imposition. I¹ve been working with it extensively since version 2.12 . Depending on the length of your document
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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                Quark is the ultimate program for layout and imposition. I¹ve been working
                with it extensively since version 2.12 . Depending on the length of your
                document and the style of your design, others include PageMaker (I call it
                RageMaker) Illustrator, Freehand, InDesign etc.

                If you are doing multipage layouts, especially long books, Quark is the
                ultimate. I recommend it to anyone just getting stated. I believe there are
                cheaper versions of Quark available through education. I know schools get it
                for a much cheaper price. If you are affiliated with any type of teaching
                you may be able to get it at a discounted price. Quark is expensive, but I
                assure you, once you¹ve suffered with Ragemaker you¹ll agree it¹s worth
                every penny they charge.


                Are you on a Mac or PC?


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              • Fontdr@aol.com
                I have been working with Quark for over 5 years and have gotten used some of the weakness such as saving to a pdf file. I gotten bitten by the InDesign bug and
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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                  I have been working with Quark for over 5 years and have gotten used some of
                  the weakness such as saving to a pdf file. I gotten bitten by the InDesign
                  bug and bought the 1.0, 1.5 and now 2.0. I still can't send a fax from that
                  program . I have to make a pdf and send it by email.
                  With all the considerations, I have just purchased Quark 5.0.
                  I like the familiar Adobe tools with InDesign and have tried to send file to
                  the service bureau. They do not have InDesign and have asked for Quark files.
                  I think Adobe wanted to get away from Pagemaker 6.5; therefore, InDesign.
                  The experiment wasn't that much of a success--the result was marketing
                  Pagemaker 7.0 in order to appease the Pagemaker users.
                  Bob Trogman
                  Palm Springs, CA
                • Carole Aldrich
                  Hi Bob From the bulletin board sites I have frequented, you can indeed send files to your printer from InDesign, You can either do it the old way, that is get
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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                    Hi Bob

                    From the bulletin board sites I have frequented, you can indeed send
                    files to your printer from InDesign, You can either do it the old
                    way, that is get his printer driver and print to disk (i.e. create a
                    postcript file using his printer driver and the setup that he
                    specifies) or create a pdf file from InDesign. The trick to the pdf
                    file is that you have to create it for output to press and imbed all
                    fonts and images and keep the resolution of your images.

                    From what I have read, if you know what needs to be done, you can
                    easily educate your printer. I have worked in prepress and my printer
                    sometimes prefers a postscript file. The downside is that if they
                    need to modify it they can't. You will need to modify it and resend a
                    new postscript file. The upside is that the printer can't inadvertly
                    alter your file.

                    I hope this helps.

                    Carole A.
                    --
                    Carole M Aldrich
                    Voice 909.625.7722
                    Fax 909.625.9822
                    carolealdrich@...

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                  • Fontdr@aol.com
                    I m operating with postscript printers and I had to find the proper driver for InDesign, but I still can t fax from the program. thanks for the advice, Bob
                    Message 9 of 14 , Oct 30, 2002
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                      I'm operating with postscript printers and I had to find the proper driver
                      for InDesign, but I still can't fax from the program.
                      thanks for the advice,
                      Bob Trogman
                    • Harold Kyle
                      ... Yes, I have the same problem. InDesign hasn t seem to have caught on among service bureaus here in Syracuse because most are running older rips. My
                      Message 10 of 14 , Oct 31, 2002
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                        On 10/30/02 9:58 PM, "Fontdr@..." <Fontdr@...> wrote:
                        > They do not have InDesign and have asked for Quark files.
                        Yes, I have the same problem. InDesign hasn't seem to have caught on among
                        service bureaus here in Syracuse because most are running older rips.

                        My solution which has worked 100% of the time from 2.0 is to export an eps
                        file and include the fonts with the outgoing file. The service bureau then
                        drops the eps in Quark for output. In ID 1.0 (and sometimes in 1.5) expert
                        font sets and/or kerning would not always survive this process (they were
                        both buggy programs IMHO). With this method in 2.0 you don't have to worry
                        about pdf profiles; however, as Carole mentioned, exporting a pdf is a
                        successful workaround as well, and the simpler approach for a document with
                        dozens of pages.

                        Prepress guys should be familiar with these workarounds and I wonder why
                        they don't do this for you. That's part of their job, after all. I assume
                        they're avoiding the liability of any mistakes, but this method has been
                        foolproof for me.

                        Assuming service bureaus can update their rip software, they will be able to
                        handle native InDesign files eventually.

                        On 10/30/02 6:05 PM, "Dan Franklin" <dan@...> wrote:
                        > I assume that there is a way for a prepress operation to
                        > output film from a Publisher file (as a step before making
                        > photopolymer plates)

                        Yes, possibly by exporting a pdf you could accomplish this, in which case
                        you'll need to factor in the cost of Acrobat as well. Perhaps also there is
                        a way to set up the imagesetter's ppd on the designer's computer, so that
                        he/she can see exactly what the service bureau will output? Would this work?

                        I've had some bad experiences with Publisher files that clients have
                        supplied, so I may be biased; however it seems to me that line breaks and
                        page breaks are an important part of a publication's design, and should be
                        integral a file saved in whatever design program you plan to use. Publisher
                        does not allow this to my knowledge.

                        Harold

                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
                        Boxcar Press
                        Fine Printing and Binding ~ Digital Letterpress Supplies
                        640 Fellows Avenue ~ Syracuse, NY 13210
                        315-473-0930 ~ phone and fax
                        www.boxcarpress.com
                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
                      • caldrich45
                        I have also worked prepress, and don t get me on my soapbox, but Microsoft Publisher is not a professional program and most prepress people with groan with
                        Message 11 of 14 , Oct 31, 2002
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                          I have also worked prepress, and don't get me on my soapbox, but Microsoft
                          Publisher is not a professional program and most prepress people with groan
                          with agony at having to deal with those files. Although I sympathize with your
                          predicament regarding cost, you are about to embark on a hobby that has a
                          long history of fine craft associated with it. If you aren't willing to do what it
                          takes to use professional tools, please, just use lead type and the old tools.

                          The one program that you can afford, I believe is Adobe Photoshop Elements.
                          It is primarily a photo editing tool, but has text tools that I believe will keep
                          the type on a vector editable layer as the full version of Photoshop 7 does.
                          You would not want to publish a book with this tool, but it will be adequate
                          for notes, invitations, letterheads etc. and greeting cards. It costs $99 and is
                          available for the Mac and PC platforms. Your service bureau will thank you.
                        • Roberta Lavadour
                          ... groan ... In an off-list message to the original poster, I noted that Publisher is a great tool if you *don t* plan to have service bureau negs made (and
                          Message 12 of 14 , Oct 31, 2002
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                            > I have also worked prepress, and don't get me on my soapbox, but Microsoft
                            > Publisher is not a professional program and most prepress people with
                            groan
                            > with agony at having to deal with those files

                            In an off-list message to the original poster, I noted that Publisher is a
                            great tool if you *don't* plan to have service bureau negs made (and should
                            have mentioned that in my other post).

                            My experience has been with creating negatives on acetate with a high
                            resolution laser printer - something that isn't suitable for most text but
                            sometimes more than adequate for images and/or bolder, rustic text that can
                            absorb the inconsistencies. (used for artist's books which I wouldn't try to
                            pass if off as "fine press" work)

                            with best wishes,
                            Roberta

                            Pendleton, Oregon
                            paper@...
                            http://www.missioncreekpress.com
                          • Katie Harper
                            I am working on a translation of one of my letterpress books into French, and am wondering if there is anyone on this list who can help. Please contact me
                            Message 13 of 14 , Nov 5, 2002
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                              I am working on a translation of one of my letterpress books into French,
                              and am wondering if there is anyone on this list who can help. Please
                              contact me offlist. Thanks.


                              Katie Harper
                              Ars Brevis Press
                              Cincinnati, OH
                              513-233-9588
                              http://www.arsbrevispress.com
                            • ANDREAS PRIVE
                              ... Hi Katie I speak french and live in Geneva Andreas Schweizer 8, rue de la Puiserande 1205 Genève- Switzerland T: + 41 22 320 56 28 F: + 41 22 320 56 28
                              Message 14 of 14 , Nov 11, 2002
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                                Le 5.11.2002 19:44, « Katie Harper » <knharper@...> a écrit :

                                > I am working on a translation of one of my letterpress books into French,
                                > and am wondering if there is anyone on this list who can help. Please
                                > contact me offlist. Thanks.
                                >
                                >
                                > Katie Harper
                                > Ars Brevis Press
                                > Cincinnati, OH
                                > 513-233-9588
                                > http://www.arsbrevispress.com
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
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                                Hi Katie I speak french and live in Geneva
                                Andreas Schweizer
                                8, rue de la Puiserande
                                1205 Genève- Switzerland
                                T: + 41 22 320 56 28
                                F: + 41 22 320 56 28
                                P: + 41 79 304 14 64
                                URL: http://www.letterpress.ch
                                Work mail: andreas.schweizer@...
                                Private mail: andreasschweizer@...




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