Saturday, March 15, 2008

Software Puzzles

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This past week, I celebrated having survived our first Open House and spent some time exploring the possibilities of laying out the photo book in my creaky old Pagemaker. I have an early version of InDesign, but just never could get anywhere with it—not that I had ever become a power user of Pagemaker. To complicate matters, I have seldom opened that program during the last three or four years. Furthermore, I decided that I had better learn to compress a PDF for posting on the web—another new skill. Not surprisingly, I stumbled about quite a bit.

For some reason, I couldn’t remember how to number the blasted pages in Pagemaker and floundered around in Help before finally solving the mystery. I had only ever used Adobe Acrobat for the purpose of creating simple PDF's limited to two or three pages. Up until now, compression hadn’t been an issue. I still don’t know exactly what date I will begin my SoFoBoMo project, but these are the sort of things that I wanted to work out before April 1. I certainly won’t want to devote two out of my thirty allotted days to stumbling about in the Pagemaker and Acrobat Help sections. So far, so good. Pagemaker will never be my favorite program, but horses for courses, as the saying goes.


  1. I know what you mean. I've been experimenting with Scribus, an open-source desktop publishing tool. It is very different and I have a feeling that I'm going to be doing quite a bit of fumbling before (if) I ever get it right.

    My primary plan of attack will be to get the pictures early, do the layout, then continue with more pictures. After solving the layout mystery, I'm hoping that I'll have proper energy remaining to edit my pictures!

  2. That sounds like an excellent approach and I think I will adopt it. Once I start processing images, I may get lost.

    Learning these new skills is a terrific bonus attached to this project. Since I don't pick up software easily, I usually put off those questions and find something easier to do. I am grateful for the motivation to dig into these two challenges.


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