Chapter 8: Desktop Publishing Basics, Part 1
Gutenberg put the printed page in the hands of everyone. Now, desktop publishing
software and hardware enables everyone to print a page.
With the advent of desktop publishing, your organization can give a typeset appearance
to all your handouts and training materials, including throwaways such as your
All that is needed is:
1. A microcomputer.
2. A high-end word processor
[such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, [or page formatting software [such as
PageMaker] for the Macintosh or Windows.
3. An ink-jet printer (starts at
under $100), or a laser printer.
4. The knowledge to use them.
5. A print
shop which is willing to print multiple copies from your camera-ready originals,
for a fee, or course.
My Personal Background and Experience in the Areas of Keyboarding
and Desktop Publishing "
1944: Banged on my Dad's old Royal portable
typewriter as a kid "
1951: Took typing in high school [The principal was
opposed but Dad convinced him a college student needed typing. Thanks, Dad! "
1956 Bought my first typewriter: a Smith-Corona portable. "
my typewriter to type the first 3 chapters of a thesis for an instructor in grad
school statistics who was a stickler for proper format according to Campbell's
Form and Style in Thesis Writing. This guy could spot any spacing or formatting
error that was not according to Campbell. My three fifths thesis got an A! "
Bought my first electric typewriter, an IBM Selectric II; it could type at 10
or 12 characters per inch; used interchangeable type balls that could change the
look of the characters but always typed non-proportionally. "
1981: Sent my
first e-mail message. "
1983: Started to use Apple IIe computers in my work.
1984: Bought my first computer, an Apple IIe computer with dot matrix printer.
" 1984 Started to use the Apple Macintosh computer with the Apple LaserWriter
printer. This combination permitted the office worker to create "camera-ready
originals" that were ready for high-speed duplication such as offset printing.
Naturally, the spacing was proportional or non-proportional according the font
used. Proportional spacing gave everything a typeset, printed-page look. "
Using the Macintosh and LaserWriter, created the camera-ready originals for my
first novel; sent these originals to a printer in Michigan; he returned printed
and bound books, ready for distribution. "
1987-1990. Wrote and formatted
numerous products which were duplicated and distributed for education use in Pennsylvania.
The following products received national distribution: PennStar IEP System User
Manual; PennStar Planned Course System User Manual. "
1990-1993 Became computer
coordinator for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education; was responsible
for selecting and ordering 40 Macintosh computers and four LaserWriters. Designed
and maintained a network of these Macs. Selected, installed, and trained workers
in using desktop publishing software, including MS Word word processing and Aldus
PageMaker [desktop publishing]. "
1995: Bought my first Macintosh computer
and Apple LaserWriter printer. " 1995 Created DiskBooks Electronic Publishing.
1995-2011 Published numerous items on the World Wide Web via DiskBooks Electronic
Publishing. " 2008 Published Night Watchman blog with emphasis on anti-Obama material
2011 Published Drawbridge blog, continuing with anti-Obama material " 2011
Learned how to convert my PDF products to the Kindle format at no cost to the
the advent of desktop publishing, your church can give a typeset appearance to
all your handouts and training materials, including throwaways such as your weekly
The process is very simple:
A. Create your document with your computer and print the camera-ready originals(s)
with your printer.
B. Take your originals to the print shop. My print shop will let me send PageMaker
files over the phone line; maybe yours will, too.
A Flier or a Full-length Book
You can use desktop publishing techniques for a one-page Sunday school picnic
flier, or a full-length book. My first novel, Gone, was written on a Macintosh
computer with a Microsoft Word word processor. Camera-ready originals were printed
or an Apple LaserWriter laser printer. These originals were mailed to BookCrafters
(140 Buchanan Street, Chelsea, MI 48118); [they could have been sent by modem.]
The completed printed and bound books were shipped back to me by truck.
publishing is the use of a microcomputer and a laser/ink jet printer to produce
camera-ready originals which have a typeset appearance. Desktop publishing includes,
but is not limited to, the use of page formatting software such as PageMaker.
In fact, high-end word processors (such as Microsoft Word or WorkPerfect include
features which may be used in many desktop publishing routines.
Gutenberg put the printed page in the hands of the people. Now, the desktop publishing
revolution, with products like WYSIWYG "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" (pronounced
"WHIZZY-wig") word processors and the laser/ink jet printer, has put the typesetting
of the page in the hands of the people. The technology of Gutenberg's day required
that a printer "mind his Ps and Qs" because those letters were so easy to confuse
in a type case.
That's what these guidelines are about: helping you to mind your desktop publishing
Ps and Qs. The modern microcomputer and laser/ink jet printer can make your successes
look glorious. However, they can also make your failures look dismal.
A Printer's Short Lexicon
and publishers tend to feel that we desktop upstarts may misuse time-honored printing
terms. We probably do, and I will follow suit in these guidelines. To set the
record straight, however, here are the proper definitions for the following terms:
or just face: The physical appearance of a set of characters, such as Times or
Arial or Helvetica. Desktop publishers in general tend to use "font" instead of
Typestyle: A general enhancement for a typeface, such as: BOLD, ITALIC, or OUTLINE.
A typeface in a particular point size is a font. Times 12 and Times 18 are fonts.
(ledding): Controlling the amount of vertical space between lines of type.
Kerning: Controlling the amount of horizontal space between letters of a word.
following documents were used as resources in compiling these guidelines
LaserWriter Manual(s), Apple Computer, Inc., 1988, et al.
The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, Times Books, 1976
The Gregg Reference Manual, McGraw Hill, 1977
The Ten Cardinal Rules
1. Save every 15 minutes Your computer remembers nothing which is not saved to
disk. Saving at least every 15 minutes will keep you from losing more than you
would want to replace if someone kicks the plug out of the wall or maintenance
turns off the power to work on the outlet in the next room. Make sure you know
the folder or disk you are saving to when you make your first save. Afterwards,
your computer will remember that location and always save to it.
2. Create and save on the hard drive; back up on an external hard drive daily
As a general rule, you should create and save all files on your hard drive, not
on a zip disk or a 3.5-inch floppy disk. The failure rate for floppy disks is
much higher than for a hard drive. Your backup drive may be a zip drive with a
capacity of at least 750 megs, a flash drive [thumb drive] with a capacity of
at least 2 gigs, or an external hard drive with a capacity of at least 20 gigs.
At the end of each work day, you should back up all important data files on your
designated drive for backup purposes. If a file is lost or damaged, or if your
computer dies overnight, these disks will enable you to continue working without
a major loss of data.
Off-site automatic backup: My wife, Nancy, and I both use Carbonite automatic
3. Start with a dummy (nothing personal) Make a pencil-and-paper mockup of the
general layout of your project. This is especially important for folded brochures.
For example, be very sure you know the position of the first and last page of
a 4-page brochure.
4. Write With The Carriage Returns Visible Get into the habit of writing with
your carriage returns visible. If you're using a Macintosh or Windows word processor,
you'll probably have a paragraph symbol button on your tool bar for clicking carriage
returns on and off. If you don't have a carriage return symbol on your tool bar,
check your menus for all characters or invisible. Having all characters visible
may be annoying at first. However, you'll soon learn that you will like to be
able to see such characters as tabs carriage returns, spaces, etc.
5. Never Use The SPACE BAR, Return, or Tab Key To Format a Paragraph Never use
the space bar, tab, or Return to indent, center, or otherwise format a paragraph.
Use standard formatting commands, only. If you don't know how to format a paragraph,
just type straight text for now. Then, get help from someone who does know. Tab
stops, extra spaces and carriage returns which are used to force-format a paragraph
cause permanent damage, which may need to be corrected with individual clicks
of the mouse. This is a time-consuming, irritating, and potentially expensive
6. Print In Laser/Ink Jet Fonts Only These fonts are designed to give the best
appearance to your text. Dot matrix fonts look relatively crude and amateurish
when printed to a laser/ink jet printer. Use them for special effects, only. Before
printing your document, replace any dot matrix fonts with laser/ink jet printer
fonts, even though you composed in a dot matrix font like Geneva. As a general
rule, dot matrix fonts (the ones to avoid when printing to the laser/ink jet printer)
have geographic names, such as Geneva, New York, Monaco, and Chicago. laser/ink
jet printer fonts have non-geographic names such as Times, Arial or Helvetica,
Palatino, and Courier.
7. Use Times For Body Text (Serif) Use a serif font for the body of your text.
Times is the common serif font for the laser/ink jet printer. A serif font has
little "handles" on the characters which tend to make them flow together and are
easier to read.
8. Use Arial or Helvetica for Headings (Sans Serif) Use a sans serif font (without
handles) for headings and numerals. Arial or Helvetica (not Narrow Arial or Helvetica)
is the best sans serif font for the laser/ink jet printer. See a printer manual
for more information on serif and sans serif fonts.
9. Watch Odds And Evens When a document's pages are printed back to back, the
odd pages are on the right and the even pages are on the left. A chapter or major
division usually begins on an odd page, on the right. If your pages are numbered
in the corners, the even page numbers are in the left corner and the odd page
numbers are in the right. A document which is to be printed back to back and bound
should have a gutter down the center. This means the right edge of the even pages
and the left edge of the odd pages will have wider margins. This extra space may
be specified in the document layout screen of your word processor.
10. Use White Space To Separate A Paragraph From Its Head Use the before/after
command in the paragraph format dialog box to separate a heading from its paragraph.
This standoff may be measured in points or fractions of an inch. Twelve points
of space equals a line of 12 point text. Remember that you can control the size
of carriage returns in the same way you control the size of characters. (This
rule is not being observed here in the interest of showing more text on a single
11. Compose In an Easy-to-Proof Font Compose your document in a font which is
comfortable to read on the screen, such as Times New Roman or Arial. Avoid ornate
script or Old English fonts for early compositions as they will make proofing
a major head ache. After you are sure you are saying it right, you can quickly
and easily switch to the ornate font.
12. Get The Format Right For The First Paragraph When you press Return at the
end of a formatted paragraph to begin a new paragraph, the formatting will be
carried over. A paragraph's formatting and tab stops may be stored in its carriage
return symbol. To apply a paragraph's formatting to a new paragraph, copy the
carriage return of a formatted paragraph to the clipboard and then paste it onto
a new paragraph's selected carriage return. Your word processor may give you even
more power in formatting paragraphs by using the Style feature.
13. White Space Insert white space before and after a series of paragraphs with
the before/after commands in the paragraph dialog box. Use the first line indent
command instead of Tab. If you use this as a general rule, you can adjust space
in a whole block of text with a single command in the format paragraph dialog
14. Limit Number Of Fonts Per Page Although the computer is able to print multiple
fonts on a page, too many fonts quickly reach the point of diminishing return.
As a general rule, use Times for body and Arial or Helvetica bold for headings.
Forget Courier Don't use Courier (or any other non-proportional font) unless you
want to create an old-fashioned (pre-IBM Selectric) typewritten effect for some
special reason. The whole idea of desktop publishing is to avoid the typewritten
look and give your work a typeset look. In typewriter (non-proportional) spacing,
the letter "i" gets the same amount of horizontal space as the letter "m". In
proportional spacing, however, the amount of horizontal space is proportionate
to the width of the letter. Ms and Ws get much more space than Is. [wwwwwiiiii]
Teachers: If you are typing material to be read by your readers, you may want
to use Courier because it looks more like manuscript writing than proportional
16. Forget Underlining Never use underlining to provide emphasis for a heading.
Underlining has the opposite effect. It weakens text and makes it cluttered and
harder to read. On the old-fashioned typewriter, you had three ways to emphasize
a heading: capitalization, underlining, and letter-spacing (or some combination
of the three). However, now that you have joined the computer-driven desktop publishing
revolution, leave underlining behind! Did I hear someone ask why underlining is
in a word processor's character dialog box if it isn't being used? If you are
printing to a daisy wheel printer, italic may not be available. Therefore, underlining
is needed to properly type footnote and bibliographic entries. However, it has
little place in the laser/ink jet printer world.
Special Note: When you are typing text that is to be part of a web page on the
Internet, there is another reason to avoid underlining entirely. On a web page,
underlining gives the expectation that this will be a hypertext link that may
be clicked upon.
17. Type Body Text In Upper/Lower Case Type your body text in normal upper/lower
case, not in solid caps. Limit solid caps to headings and brief sections where
you want to provide emphasis. When you type in solid caps, the copy is harder
to read than when you use normal upper/lower case. The human eye and brain use
graphic cues to help decode printed characters into words and ideas. Look at the
word girl, for example. The G goes below the line, and the L goes above it. On
the other hand, GIRL is a solid block with fewer visual cues than girl. Anyone
who can read, can read solid caps. Solid caps just cause subliminal irritation,
something you want to avoid.
18. Emphasize And Break Up Your Work With Headings Desktop publishing lets you
vary your heading emphasis with such enhancements as italics, bold, outline, shadow,
small caps, or all five. (But NOT underlining.) You must type in upper/lower case
in order to use the small caps enhancement. Some word processors allow you to
use very large headings with font scaling. The limit is usually 127 points. If
your font dialog box allows you to enter your own size, try a numeral above 72
and see what you get.
19. Use A Variety Of Heading Layouts Here are some examples but you can use your
own sense of style and proportion: THIS IS A CENTERED HEAD THIS IS A FREE-STANDING
SIDEHEAD The freestanding sidehead is generally considered to be the second level
in a heading breakdown. The point size should be somewhere between the centered
head and the paragraph sidehead. This Is a Paragraph Sidehead. If you need a third
level of breakdown, the paragraph side-head is useful. As a general rule, the
point size is the same as the paragraph text but in bold; use Arial or Helvetica
(instead of Times) to provide emphasis.
20. Beware Of "Smart Quotes" This is an option with some word processors which
makes quotation marks look more professional. If you are preparing text for E-Mail
or publishing on the Web, it will be necessary to turn off smart quotes before
typing the E-Mail message or other document. Quotation marks and apostrophes may
be transmitted as strange characters, if you do not turn off smart quotes. "
21. You Can Say A Lot With Bullets You can say a lot with short statements set
off in separate paragraphs. These are known as bullets. A bullet is often led
with a symbol of some kind which draws your attention. This is an example of a
paragraph hung under a bullet.
Special characters may be available through the use of the various keys. To see
what's available, you may need to refer to the word processor's manual. Some computers
have special fonts (such as Dingbats or Whingdings) which may be used for bullets.
Each character of the keyboard will produce a special symbol when that font is
used. You'll need a guide to show you what produces what.
Bullets usually look best when they are part of a hung paragraph. A hung paragraph
is where the second and all subsequent lines wrap under the indent of the first
line. Some word processors have a button on the tool bar which creates bullets
automatically. You may not be able to change an automatic default bullet leader,
22. Charts And Cover Spines As a general rule, charts and other graphics which
are printed horizontally on the page should be bound to be read from the right.
In other words, odd pages are bound along the top edge and even pages are bound
along the bottom edge.
When you use ring binders with transparent vinyl pockets for inserting cover designs,
inserting can be a problem. If text flows along the length of the spine, the insert
must read right side up when the book is lying face up. If both vertical and horizontal
text are used on the same spine insert, the text must be read in both the bookshelf
and the face-up positions.
23. Reinforce Your Handouts With Visuals The computer/laser/ink jet printer combination
makes great overhead transparencies. WARNING: Make sure your transparency film
is suitable for use with a laser printer. Never use regular copier transparency
film in a laser printer. The higher heat may cause the film to melt against moving
parts of your printer and cause serious damage.
When creating transparencies, observe these simple rules:
Use a sans serif font only, such as arial or helvetica.
Keep your point size at 18 or above. Limit the content of a single transparency
to three main points and a couple of subpoints, under each main point.
Never place a large block of small text on a screen and expect people to read
it. Observe the 18 point rule at all times, including the text of memos and letters.
Hello, My Name Is ... Guidelines For Name Badges 1.
Set all text in Arial or Helvetica bold for maximum legibility at a distance.
the name at the top, in 18 point, if possible. This is the most important item
on a name tag so it should get top billing.
Allow up to two lines so longer names (especially hyphenated names) may wrap.
the company or agency name next, in 12 or 14 point, if possible. 4.
The company or workshop logo is always at the bottom. This is the least important
item on a name tag since it is the same for every person. 25.
Know Your Printer's Limitations
A. Beware of solid fills. A laser/ink jet printer prints at a resolution of 300
to 600 dots per square inch (dpi). Therefore, it may not be able to do a good
job on solids, especially if they require more than one revolution of the roller
when printing. By comparison, a professional laser printer may print at 2400 dpi
or more. Instead of solids, use a grayscale of 80% or less, or use a shade pattern.
a minimum margin of .25 to .5 inches. The laser/ink jet printer cannot print to
the edge of the paper. A job with a graphic which is bled to the edge should be
printed by a professional print shop and then trimmed to specs.
26. Know The Primary Graphic Types Listed in order of quality and ease of use
in desktop publishing application; however, the better-quality images take up
more space in a document.
A. Bit Map (as done in a paint program such as MacPaint). Significant resizing
may cause an unpleasant moire pattern to develop.
B. PICT (picture, such as drawn in MacDraw).
C. TIFF (Tag Image File Format, such as created by scanning a photograph). TIFF
graphics are memory hogs and may quickly grow to a meg or more.
D. EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) as done in Adobe Illustrator. This graphic is
stored as a series of numeric specifications and then translated when printed.
The quality is excellent but it is also a memory hog. [A simple 4.5x6 inch graphic
I did for a wedding program quickly grew to 24 megs.
E. JPEG [.jpg] This is the format for photographs. Click art collections are available
in a variety of formats.
27. Follow These Major Steps To Prepare A Document For Publication
In A Page Formatting Program Such As PageMaker.
A. Make a dummy which shows how the pages flow and the rough location of graphics
B. Set page features. Page orientation and other features may be changed after
the publication is started. However, it is best to make as many decisions as possible
at the beginning.
C. Set up master pages. A master page contains the elements which will appear
on all pages of the finished product. Headers, footers, columns, and page numbers
are examples of items normally placed on master pages.
D. Place the graphics or placeholders in their approximate locations. It is important
to do this step before flowing text, so it will wrap around graphics.
E. Type text in a word processor or the PageMaker Story Editor. Spell check.
F. Place text. Use Autoflow. If you want to control and thread text page by page,
hold down the shift key. If you don't hold down shift, Autoflow will add pages
as needed to accommodate incoming text.
G. Screen-proof your work. Then, spell check the document again. As an added precaution,
have a co-worker proof the work.. You are your own worst proof reader and many
spell checkers can't detect errors in grammar and syntax. If you read this piece
carefully, I'm sure you'll see ample proof of what I've just said.
H. If this document will be printed in a word processor only:
1. Insert the header/footer and imbed the page numbering command. If you are not
using a header/footer, turn on the auto-numbering. If you are printing on both
sides, specify separate header/footer layouts for odd and even pages.
2. Use the ruler to enter paragraph formatting commands. The ruler controls the
layout of the line in which the cursor is flashing. If you select a section of
text, the ruler controls the selected area. Remember that the ruler is available
in both the header/footer window and the footnote window. If you set up a paragraph
format and/or a series of tab stops, that format will be carried over into successive
paragraphs when you press RETURN.
3. Paginate. Check each page break for appropriateness. Force page breaks as needed.
For example, if a heading is separated from the paragraph it heads, force a break
right above the heading with the paragraph format dialog box. Remember you can
force a page break to come sooner but you can't delay one. Try to avoid using
hard page breaks because they may ruin your pagination if you make additional
edits. However, if you always want a page break to come at a certain spot regardless
of future editing, use a hard break.
4. To prevent a page break in the middle of a paragraph: (a) select the paragraph(s)
involved, (b) enter the Paragraph dialog box and click on Keep Lines Together,
(c) press RETURN to close the dialog box, repaginate the document, (d) confirm
from the screen or PREVIEW that the page will break as you want it to do. Certain
combinations of the following factors will give you too much white space at the
bottom of the pages:
Large font size
If this happens, reverse the process described above and take off the Keep Lines
28. Text Formatting Tips In PageMaker
A. Type text in feature boxes and headings without the justify command, even though
the majority of the page is justified.
B. Keep a heading together with at least two lines of the following paragraph.
Use the paragraph format dialog box to control this. If necessary, invoke a premature
C. Use the general rule of no more than two fonts per page. Macintosh and Windows
computers make it very easy to apply various fonts, but use discretion. This may
be a case when less is more.
29. Use Keyboard Shortcuts If you are a touch typer who learned on a regular typewriter,
you'll love the keyboard shortcuts you can use with most computer applications.
If you learned to type on a Macintosh or Windows computer, you'll probably feel
more comfortable with the mouse. However, you'll never be a power user until you
can break the mouse habit and use the keyboard when a keyboard command is available.
For a touch typer, the hand is still faster than the mouse.
With many applications, you can pull down the menus to see which keyboard commands
are available for the various functions. To use a keyboard command: (a) hold down
the special key, such as the CONTROL key, and (b) while holding down the CONTROL
key, tap the action key. Since all keys on the computer are repeat keys, it is
critical to tap the action key, not press it.
be continued next Sunday.