Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Program for Publishing Is a Good Buy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Program for Publishing Is a Good Buy

Article excerpt

The best way to review a program is to put it to work on a real-world project. But this isn't always possible, because the project and product rarely show up at the same time.

As luck would have it, I agreed to help create a 25th reunion yearbook for my college class about the same time that a copy of Microsoft Publisher arrived.

Microsoft's desktop publishing program is aimed at the home and small-business market. I don't know if its authors had a 250-page book in mind when they designed it; but to my great delight, Publisher handled the project with aplomb.

If you're doing something more modest, such as creating a flier for your yard sale, business forms or a newsletter for your clients, you'll have an even easier time.

For those new to the game, desktop publishing programs differ from word processors because they're designed from the ground up to combine text and images.

The best word processors have many desktop publishing features, including drawing and charting tools.

But they lack one important feature common to desktop publishing programs - the ability to flow text from one part of a document to another in linked frames.

This allows you to start an article on Page 1 of a newsletter and continue it on Page 3. If you change the size of the text frame on Page 1 or add text to it, a desktop publishing program automatically adjusts everything on Page 3.

At $150 list price (less on the street), Microsoft Publisher lacks many of the sophisticated text controls and high-resolution color image handling features found in expensive desktop publishers such as PageMaker and Quark Express.

But it's surprisingly powerful and, more importantly for average users, easy to put to work. Publisher has all of the basic desktop publishing tools.

You can create master pages with "background" objects, such as "headers," "footers" and graphics that repeat on every page, as well as mirrored backgrounds for right- and left-hand pages. You can set up text and graphics frames on every page and wrap text around other objects (even irregularly shaped drawings).

The program comes with a set of elementary drawing tools to create lines, circles, boxes and polygons, and you can use graphics from Publisher's clip art collection or import images in a wide variety of formats. …

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