Sunday, August 2, 2009

Testing Publisher

I'm way behind the times here. I don't normally experiment with fancy software, and I'm not always willing to listen when people make suggestions (in case you couldn't tell). But a recent newsletter from fellow missionaries inspired me to be more ambitious.

As I now own a computer with Publisher, I decided to finally give it a try. I had avoided it for awhile because it seemed incompatible with other software and redundant as far as the design capabilities.

But after trying to format a few things in Word lately, I finally went into the Start menu and loaded up Publisher for the first time. I like that you can download templates from Microsoft into Word, but I often find the search engine inefficient, so I can't really find what I'm looking for.

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With some tips from Microsoft Office Online, I was able to download an add-in for Publisher that allows you to "publish" things directly into a PDF file. That's one that you can send to other people. I am not sure about other publication possibilities. Other than e-mail, I haven't experimented too much with converting the files.

I think the templates are going to be really useful. There are layouts for newsletters, calendars, business cards, invitations, etc. It does take a while to decide what goes where, but I think there are more simplified templates for those who are not good at being decisive. I like that you can choose color and font schemes that automatically are applied to your document.

This could have come in handy when I was trying to make a last-minute wedding program. But then again, there wasn't much time for experimenting at that point.

Anyway, I'm just getting started, but I have good feelings about this software.

3 comments:

  1. Liz,
    As a Xian Geek I must start this general rant against M$ (especially Publisher)
    rant
    Publisher has been the bane of the graphic design and printing industry for ages. Most print shops that I have worked with don't support it, because of its non standard print colors and proprietary formats
    As a missionary I personally felt it my duty to mind where my money was going, more so then before. If there is a free option that is better it was worth a little more time to learn how to use it or at least read on the pros and cons of it.

    What are you alternatives to Publisher?
    I can think of 3 programs that I would prefer over Publisher any day.
    The first is the most popular for advanced word processing formatting. Open Office Suite programs writer and draw. Has all the functionality of M$ Word and Publisher.
    Also there are plenty of community contributed templates for the the program.
    (look at all these program addons http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/)
    If you want a more powerful tool that does even more beautiful type setting.
    Inkscape Or Scribus might be your answers.
    All programs have pros and cons.
    http://www.inkscape.org/
    http://www.scribus.net/
    /rant

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  2. The only problem is, I already bought it...so I fed the monster. It seems like if I already paid for it, the damage is done and I might as well go ahead and use it. But I guess I should be more careful about purchasing -and promoting- software!

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  3. Scribus - лучше, чем Publisher, но эта программа рассчитана на профессионалов. Для рядового пользователя Publisher просто понятнее. :)

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