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  1. #1
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    lay-out software for zines etc?

    I'm wondering if anyone can suggest good software for laying out both text and image on the computer like a zine/book-- preferrably not too scary to learn to use, and not too expensive. that sounds like a lot to ask, I think! has anyone tried "microsoft publisher"? i think it came free on my computer and I haven't had the patience to play around with it-- any thoughts?

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  3. #2
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    I love this, and it's free! I use it to layout CROQ:

    http://freeserifsoftware.com/ - It's the Page Plus program, and it's awesome.

  4. #3
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    I've been doing newspaper lay-out and design for a few years now, and I think that it's worth it to use professional software - it's really isn't that hard to learn and you'll be a lot happier with the results.

    MS Publisher is the devil, in my opinion. It may be easier to use at first, but you're going to be restricted in what the program can do for you - particularly if you want to lay out a zine, which doesn't alway use standard newspaper formatting. In the time you'll curse Publisher, you can learn how to use better software. Other stuff to consider: Publisher may have problems with files that originated on a Mac.

    Adobe InDesign is the industry standard in North America right now. Once you understand the basics (how to import a graphic, how to add text, etc), the rest is easy. There are lots of tutorials online to guide you through it. You can buy InDesign with Photoshop and a few other programs in the Adobe Creative Suite. Creative Suite is expensive, but you can download a 30-day free trial of InDesign free HERE.

    I recommend InDesign - it's fairly intuitive to use and you can try it out for free!

    QuarkXPress was the industry standard at one time, but it's kinda fallen to InDesign (Quark didn't release a new version for Mac OSX soon enough and most layout is done on Macs, so Quark lost out). Anyway, Quark and InDesign are quite similar - different commands, but all layout is just a matter of drawing and filling text boxs, importing pictures, drawing lines, etc. The only drawback to Quark is that there are more steps involved to create a PDF of a Quark document. You may be able to find a super cheap copy of QuarkXPress because everyone is switching over to InDesign - try looking around online.

  5. #4
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    belle--

    are you thinking of making a zine? i'd love to see a copy. keep us posted, ok?

    kort

  6. #5
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    you guys rock-- thank you so much for the very valuable information, purple glitter and yardenxanthe.

    and kort--I have been thinking about something like a zine or self-publishy thing for awhile but feeling like I wanted to lay it out on a computer and am limited by lack of knowledge/skills. so this helps a lot!

  7. #6
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    InDesign is awesome, and I am so glad it has finally driven QuarkXPress out of the "industry standard" position. Man, I hated Quark (loved PageMaker back in the day - and InDesign is the new improved turbo-charged version of that).

    And if one hypothetically knows where to look, or has a tech-savvy spouse who does, one could, y'know, in theory mind you, find a full copy of InDesign somewhere online to download for free. Not that I or anyone here would ever actually do such a thing, of course.

  8. #7
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    I third InDesign. I'm no expert on it, but I've used it a couple of time and found it intuitive to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by purple_glitter
    MS Publisher is the devil, in my opinion.
    Must be the layout equivalent of Word, which I hate with a passion.

  9. #8
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    Must be the layout equivalent of Word, which I hate with a passion.
    Yeah, pretty much. Think Word with horrible templates.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by purple_glitter
    Think Word with horrible templates.
    *shudders*

  11. #10
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    Wow, purple glitter hit the nail on the head. You'll be really pleased with your results with InDesign, once you get over the learning curve. Also, because it bears repeating, Microsoft Publisher=devil.


 
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