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DTP

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Insolent Lad, May 1, 2020.

  1. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    DTP being Desk Top Publishing. Maybe this could go in Writing Resources but it's probably better here. Anyway, I've played about with varied programs for this over the years, some advertised as DTP, others (like Corel Draw) being graphics programs, and some lowly word processors. Of the latter, OpenOffice/LibreOffice Writer is the only one I consider adequate for interior book design/typesetting, having been designed from the ground up (or code up, I guess is more accurate) as much like a DTP app as a word processing one. I've used it a fair amount for the relatively simple design of most of my books.

    So, along comes Affinity Publisher for Serif. Supposedly it has most of the functionality of InDesign at a way lower cost—and right now it's at half-price, plus there is a 90 day free trial. At that lower price, which comes to $25, it might be smart for me to purchase it, even if I don't strictly need it ! I'm fooling around with the trial right now. There is a learning curve and I may not be willing to stick with it, but we'll see. Incidentally, Serif used to have a publishing program called PagePlus that wasn't bad, but not really ideal for longer books. This is a completely new and different program.

    This is just intended as a heads-up for anyone interested in DIY book design—and doesn't want to pay Adobe twenty bucks a month. :)
     
    Slartibartfast and Steerpike like this.
  2. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Scribe

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    Bargain compared to getting Creative Cloud for the long term (current pricing £6,000 per decade). Good find.

    I'd just like to chuck a few more options into the mix. My recommended Holy Trinity of open-source design is Scribus (DTP), Inkscape,(vector editor), and GIMP (raster editor). They're all free, open-source and available on Mac, Win, and Linux. I haven't used Adobe since CS3 (back when you could actually buy it, not just rent it) but can vouch for these being comparably capable. Scribus is a little less friendly than InDesign and relies on you being familiar with a menu labyrinth. All (including Adobe) come with a learning curve if you're not used to this type of software - well worth it though.
     
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    On and off, I've used Serif products for the last 20 years. I've always liked them, especially the price!
     
  4. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    I've played with Scribus. Like InDesign or even this Affinity program, it feels like overkill for setting up a typical novel. Were I putting out a graphics-heavy magazine, a text book, etc. a full-blown DTP is great but I'm finding it quicker and simpler to continue using OpenOffice (incidentally, the Draw app in OO can work nicely enough for layout work).

    Gimp is definitely a useful program but Inkscape frustrates me. I do the bulk of my graphics work in an older version of Corel Draw.
     

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