Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Easy as PIE (Publish IT! Easy)

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Easy as PIE (Publish IT! Easy)

Article excerpt

An earlier article in this series featured some novel capabilities of relatively low-priced page layout software called Publish It! [1] The program could wrap text around an irregularly shaped objct (text runaround) and flow text inside an object conforming to its borders.

Publish It! seemed reasonably simple to operate, but the software firm, Timeworks, Inc., also produced a variation of the program. Publish It! Easy was to be more comfortable for a wider audience. This new program, now in version 2.12, appears to have essentially replaced the original program, which no longer is actively marketed.

Examination of both programs shows that Publish It! Easy delivers the same overall effects of its big brother. A few add-ons, like the library of palettes described below, make the program a real pleasure to use.

What is New in Publish It! Easy

The Swiss army knife is a real joy to contemplate -- so many features in such a small implement! Great in a situation when the real scissors or screwdriver is not at hand.

Thus it is with computer programs. We expect programs to be versatile and answer a wide range of needs. And when we require no more, an integrated program, like Microsoft Works, is a real boon for doing a little of many things. However, in getting a variety of jobs done with one program, no one job is done with all the fine detail and depth of a dedicated program.

The specialized computer page layout programs bring together on one sheet the results of several other kinds of programs -- word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and graphics. The programs themselves have word processing and graphics capabilities, but generally for serious work you turn to a dedicated word processor such as Microsoft Word, and a dedicated graphics program such as SuperPaint or Adobe Illustrator. You use these specialized programs to prepare the elements that a page layout program will later manipulate.

The first Macintosh page layout program that incorporated a third capability (beyond word processing and graphics) was RagTime. RagTime is a page-layout program that includes word processing and graphics, plus a spreadsheet. [2] It is an ideal tool for preparing complicated forms involving a variety of mathematical calculations.

Now Publish It! Easy introduces another feature to page layout, the incorporation of a database program.

File It!

Timeworks names its database program, "File It!". As described in the manual, it is "an easy-to-use database and mail merge program rolled into one." You can create a database with up to 255 different fields in each record. You can sort and select the records in many ways and then insert this information into a Publish It! Easy document, without leaving the program.

The manual describes ways in which you can use Publish It! Easy and File It! to prepare letters that use information from the database to customize and personalize each document.

Publish It! Easy at Jeffrey Star

Bruce Campbell, a Jeffrey Star librarian, has earlier used Publish It! and so is familiar with its basic modes of operation. He doesn't feel it necessary to acquaint himself with Publish It! Easy -- that is, until he reads about File It!

This new version seems to be just the thing to help out and publicize a new and growing collection in the Jeffrey Star Library. It is collection of compact disc (CD) recordings that are now replacing the aging 33 1/3 RPM long play records. The Jeffrey Star collection is still small but growing rapidly.

Because of the size of the discs, they are kept behind a service desk in the second floor Self Instructional Center. Although the discs are fully cataloged and represented with other library holdings, the staff want students and faculty to get a better awareness of the new format.

Bruce Campbell proposes to use Publish It! …

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