[FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

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Tvm
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[FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by Tvm » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:50 pm

Hi guys! I am trying to help a friend out by getting her book formatted for Createspace. I have Word..OpenOffice..and Adobe. I have used open office and although I can get it set up correctly it is very slow and lags. One little scroll click and I have to wait forever for it to catch up.

I have read that some do not recommend word.
So Im wondering if there are other programs out there that you would prefer or recommend for formatting your createspace book?

Oh i also have Adobe Reader.

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Seisa
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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by Seisa » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:00 pm

Most of us who design books professionally use Adobe InDesign, a desktop publishing application created specifically for designing books, magazines, and other publications. But this is an expensive piece of software, and can be difficult to learn.

Many self-publishers do well enough with either MS Word or OpenOffice (LibreOffice).
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Tvm
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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by Tvm » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:32 pm

Hmmmm...... I currently subscribe to Adobe for a monthly plan that has most of their products. I probably have that and haven't used it and just need to download it but when I get home I will look and see

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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by David Wake » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:03 am

I find Word perfectly acceptable. I do use 'CutePDF Writer' to print to PDF, because one of the versions of Word I use has been improved to the point of unusability.

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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by danwiz » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:52 am

I also use Word, but I use Word 2003, before Microsoft added so many bells and whistles to it that they made it worthless.
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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by Tvm » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:59 am

Okay I did look and I do have InDesign. I'm downloading it now. And will look into how to format a book using that.

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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by walton » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:24 am

I use InDesign whenever possible, but half of the books I do for clients, I use Word.

It is possible to design good looking books in Word. A downside to Word is that it handles hyphenation globally, and it takes more time to adjust text to look good. Also, Word files tend to corrupt more easily than with other programs. I have never had one of my Word files corrupt; but I get many Word files from clients that are terribly corrupted. Fixing corrupt Word files is easier to fix than those that I've experienced in InDesign.

OpenOffice does give more control over formatting, and it tends to corrupt less frequently than Word.

Desktop publishing programs are the best in terms of stability and control. However, I have had several InDesign files corrupt in ways that make Word look like sheer genius:

1) Dragging a word, frame, object took 30 seconds to 30 minutes, by which time who knows where it landed. This rendered InDesign useless. I spent one month, 30 days, on the phone with Acrobat. Their forum was not only useless but insulting to me. The final answer: There is a bug in all versions of InDesign, that causes this. It can be set off by nesting or linking master pages (despite the fact that their instruction suggest nesting/linking); for example, Master A > Master B > Master C, etc. Instead, Master A > Master B, Master A > Master C, etc.
2) I used InDesign's Move feature to move one chapter. Later, when I type in a correction on one page it appeared a hundred or so pages away! Looking back on this, most of these were in the moved chapter, but that included the chapters that were displaced.
3) I was working on 450 page book. One day when I started work, clumps of pages (from 2-15 pages) were gone, there were around 10 t0 fifteen of these missing clumps. When I turned on show text threads, instead of zigging and zagging from frame to frame, they simply ran straight down to the next pages, with a gap.

Not a debilitating problem: I have had changes in text appear and disappear . . . generally the previous/deleted text showed up momentarily when the file was opened or saved.

I save my work frequently on an hourly basis. And I make new copies to work on at least several times a day. So, for example #3 above, I was able to go the previous state . . . I lost about 4 hours of editing, but all the pages were there. There was no InDesign fix for #2. I had to break the book up into sections, make corrections, make multiple PDFs and merge them.

I mention these issues because I think that most people think that if you InDesign, two things happen. First, you can push a couple of buttons and you get a finished book. Second, you'll never have a corrupted file again.

Two other desktop publishing programs: Scribus (free) and Serif's PagePlus. PagePlus is no longer supported, but it costs around $30. Both programs work well. The time I checkec, Scribus does not have spell check and it has no automatic footnote feature.

All desktop publishing programs have a fairly steep learning curve . . . steeper the more complicated your design.
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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by Tvm » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:34 pm

walton wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:24 am
I use InDesign whenever possible, but half of the books I do for clients, I use Word.

It is possible to design good looking books in Word. A downside to Word is that it handles hyphenation globally, and it takes more time to adjust text to look good. Also, Word files tend to corrupt more easily than with other programs. I have never had one of my Word files corrupt; but I get many Word files from clients that are terribly corrupted. Fixing corrupt Word files is easier to fix than those that I've experienced in InDesign.

OpenOffice does give more control over formatting, and it tends to corrupt less frequently than Word.

Desktop publishing programs are the best in terms of stability and control. However, I have had several InDesign files corrupt in ways that make Word look like sheer genius:

1) Dragging a word, frame, object took 30 seconds to 30 minutes, by which time who knows where it landed. This rendered InDesign useless. I spent one month, 30 days, on the phone with Acrobat. Their forum was not only useless but insulting to me. The final answer: There is a bug in all versions of InDesign, that causes this. It can be set off by nesting or linking master pages (despite the fact that their instruction suggest nesting/linking); for example, Master A > Master B > Master C, etc. Instead, Master A > Master B, Master A > Master C, etc.
2) I used InDesign's Move feature to move one chapter. Later, when I type in a correction on one page it appeared a hundred or so pages away! Looking back on this, most of these were in the moved chapter, but that included the chapters that were displaced.
3) I was working on 450 page book. One day when I started work, clumps of pages (from 2-15 pages) were gone, there were around 10 t0 fifteen of these missing clumps. When I turned on show text threads, instead of zigging and zagging from frame to frame, they simply ran straight down to the next pages, with a gap.

Not a debilitating problem: I have had changes in text appear and disappear . . . generally the previous/deleted text showed up momentarily when the file was opened or saved.

I save my work frequently on an hourly basis. And I make new copies to work on at least several times a day. So, for example #3 above, I was able to go the previous state . . . I lost about 4 hours of editing, but all the pages were there. There was no InDesign fix for #2. I had to break the book up into sections, make corrections, make multiple PDFs and merge them.

I mention these issues because I think that most people think that if you InDesign, two things happen. First, you can push a couple of buttons and you get a finished book. Second, you'll never have a corrupted file again.

Two other desktop publishing programs: Scribus (free) and Serif's PagePlus. PagePlus is no longer supported, but it costs around $30. Both programs work well. The time I checkec, Scribus does not have spell check and it has no automatic footnote feature.

All desktop publishing programs have a fairly steep learning curve . . . steeper the more complicated your design.

A very detailed reply! Thank you so much for this! It gives me alot to think about. I had used OO before but found it lagged terribly! Especially when I had images in it..I haven't used word yet and will see how that works, as well as InDesign.

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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by Michelle » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:33 am

Plus one vote for InDesign!
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Re: [FORMATTING] What's your go to program?

Post by Hartworks » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:14 pm

I'm loving Vellum, only available on Mac. I write in Scrivener and then put files into Vellum.

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