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Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: john-o
Date: August 26, 2008 06:12PM
Questions like this are less and less "OT", now that Parallels/Fusion are so ubiquitous, right?

Anyway, any suggestions for something better than Publisher? I just have heard nothing but horror stories about that program...
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Seacrest
Date: August 26, 2008 06:22PM
Adobe Creative Suite 3





I am not Ryan Seacrest, and I do not approve this message.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Undrpsi
Date: August 26, 2008 06:41PM
Publisher as in Microsoft Publisher?

We just put MS Office 2007 on our network (had 2003) and I have been using it for about 2 weeks doing normal stuff. It's not bad, in a dumbed down MS works kinda way.

Depends on what you are using it for. I find it easily fills my needs for basic design. It has loads of templates (both built in and downloadable). I put out a small monthly tabloid newsletter for my salesmen. I do small run brochures, actually I usually make one version for a specific customer in a specific market. There's also some nice email templates for group messaging. Since it was free with office....it's worth the price.

Jay
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: MacArtist
Date: August 26, 2008 06:43PM
Please do yourself a favor and forget Publisher ever existed.

I'd rather poke my eyes out with a rusty butter knife than use Publisher.

Like Seacrest posted; how about InDesign or Quark?



I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making
him carry me, and yet assure myself and others
that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his
lot by all possible means — except by getting off
his back. - Leo Tolstoy, novelist and Philosopher
(1828-1910)

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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: August 26, 2008 07:06PM
It is a great program for what it is. The learning curve is virutally zero...and definitely zero when compared to an actual publishing program such as Quark or and Creative Suite product.

You can create some nice stuff very fast...especially if you are going to be doing the printing and everything local.



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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: August 26, 2008 07:54PM
Publisher is to print design as Front Page is to web design.



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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: sunfalcon
Date: August 26, 2008 07:59PM
I used publisher a long time ago and loved it. Very easy and fun to use.

I don't have a need to use it anymore, but when I did, it was a great program. Just stunk that you couldn't open up the file in anything but publisher.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: August 26, 2008 08:06PM
It's anything BUT a great program when you're on the receiving end of a publisher file that needs to be PRINTED...you know...like, on a press.

The persons responsible for Publisher do NOT want to cross paths with me.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: August 26, 2008 08:45PM
Publisher is fine if:

- Your expectations are low
- Your projects are simple
- Your project will never go anywhere near a printing press
- You submit your job as a PDF to the copy shop and they output it on some kind of copier

It's a little old lady in tennis shoes program. For the right level of user with unambitious projects, it won't kill you.

I haven't tried it, but I read an article not too long ago with good things to say about Scribus, an open source desktop publishing program.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: August 26, 2008 10:30PM
If you have not yet used it, do yourself a favor and use anything else if you can ever imagine sharing files with a Mac user. As noted before, it is a program for people with low expectations and is compatible with almost nothing else on the planet.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: August 26, 2008 11:05PM
Quote
Blankity Blank
Publisher is fine if:

- You submit your job as a PDF to the copy shop and they output it on some kind of copier

Publisher is not fine for the purpose above. I speak from experience. PDFs made from Publisher files were just as bad.

Ok, now I'm having flashbacks to my time spent working at a print shop. I'd rather not relive the horror. Good night!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2008 11:25PM by Stephanie.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: john-o
Date: August 26, 2008 11:21PM
No, you would rather relieve the horror than relive it!!

;-}

G'night!
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: john-o
Date: August 26, 2008 11:22PM
Wow, funny thread! ;-}

it validates all of what I've heard. Might be fine for a "little old lady in tennis shoes", but stay away if you need to either work with a print shop or share your files.

Which is exactly why I need to find an alternative for my client! They need to be able to send jobs to printers, and most likely share with others as well.

I'll take a look at Scribus, it looks promising. CS3, unfortunately, is probably just a bit too much, both in terms of learning curve and price!

Thanks all!
John
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: August 26, 2008 11:25PM
Quote
john-o
No, you would rather relieve the horror than relive it!!

;-}

G'night!

good catch on the typo - I swear my fingers have minds of their own sometimes.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: August 27, 2008 12:03AM
Quote
Stephanie
Quote
Blankity Blank
Publisher is fine if:

- You submit your job as a PDF to the copy shop and they output it on some kind of copier

Publisher is not fine for the purpose above. I speak from experience. PDFs made from Publisher files were just as bad.

Ok, now I'm having flashbacks to my time spent working at a print shop. I'd rather not relive the horror. Good night!
Back in the day, I had to deal with that situation all the time. Never had a problem. What did you run into?
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: August 27, 2008 12:31AM
Quote
Blankity Blank
Back in the day, I had to deal with that situation all the time. Never had a problem. What did you run into?

We did a lot of Publisher pdfs - never any bleeds & never had fonts embedded

In order for your Publisher pdf to copier scenario to be true, you're assuming some competence from the Publisher user.

Forgot to mention - also a lot of problems with low res graphics



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2008 12:32AM by Stephanie.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: August 27, 2008 08:56AM
When did Publisher gain the ability to create PDFs?

The last I heard, it cannot do so. Nor can any other part of Microsoft Office.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2008 08:58AM by TheTominator.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: john-o
Date: August 27, 2008 09:39AM
They were probably talking about generating a PDF with one of those add-on printer utilities... Doesn't the latest version of Adobe Reader install something like that?
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: August 27, 2008 10:47AM
Quote
TheTominator
When did Publisher gain the ability to create PDFs?

The last I heard, it cannot do so. Nor can any other part of Microsoft Office.

Ah but Windoze has gained the ability. At work, I've seen plenty of programs that produce pdfs from any program, including Publisher. For the life of me, I can't remember any names....but they're out there.

[edit]Also, if you have the full version of Acrobat (standard or professional), you can "print to pdf" from any program.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2008 10:47AM by Stephanie.
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: August 27, 2008 12:57PM
Quote
Stephanie
Quote
Blankity Blank
Back in the day, I had to deal with that situation all the time. Never had a problem. What did you run into?

We did a lot of Publisher pdfs - never any bleeds & never had fonts embedded

In order for your Publisher pdf to copier scenario to be true, you're assuming some competence from the Publisher user.

Forgot to mention - also a lot of problems with low res graphics
Good lord, if we had relied on competence to walk in the door we would have never got *anything* done. ;)

We basically trained our clients. Or rather let them train themselves. No bleeds? Your piece was either going just not bleed or be trimmed in to bleed. Hell, even these days I get people calling themselves designers with years of schooling who give me a blank look when I start talking about bleeds. Fonts not embedded got bounced back; though most of our clients were remarkably good about embedding their fonts after getting the first job bounced back. Sadly, low res graphics were all too often deemed to be "good enough" (That low expectations thing).
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Stephanie
Date: August 27, 2008 02:15PM
Sadly, I was in no position to "bounce back" any of the bad files. Why? Bad boss. He treated us like we were Rumpelstiltskins. His attitude was "just find a way to make it work."
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Undrpsi
Date: August 27, 2008 05:30PM
Quote
Stephanie
Quote
TheTominator
When did Publisher gain the ability to create PDFs?

The last I heard, it cannot do so. Nor can any other part of Microsoft Office.

Ah but Windoze has gained the ability. At work, I've seen plenty of programs that produce pdfs from any program, including Publisher. For the life of me, I can't remember any names....but they're out there.

[edit]Also, if you have the full version of Acrobat (standard or professional), you can "print to pdf" from any program.

You beat me to it....PDF's have become seamless in windoze a while back. You can 'print to pdf' in almost all programs now. Heck, even Quickbook Pro can output reports, graphs, orders..etc in .pdf format.

Jay
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Undrpsi
Date: August 27, 2008 05:35PM
Quote
Blankity Blank
Quote
Stephanie
Quote
Blankity Blank
Back in the day, I had to deal with that situation all the time. Never had a problem. What did you run into?

We did a lot of Publisher pdfs - never any bleeds & never had fonts embedded

In order for your Publisher pdf to copier scenario to be true, you're assuming some competence from the Publisher user.

Forgot to mention - also a lot of problems with low res graphics
Good lord, if we had relied on competence to walk in the door we would have never got *anything* done. ;)

We basically trained our clients. Or rather let them train themselves. No bleeds? Your piece was either going just not bleed or be trimmed in to bleed. Hell, even these days I get people calling themselves designers with years of schooling who give me a blank look when I start talking about bleeds. Fonts not embedded got bounced back; though most of our clients were remarkably good about embedding their fonts after getting the first job bounced back. Sadly, low res graphics were all too often deemed to be "good enough" (That low expectations thing).

Ok...I don't understand your reasoning on this. I run a machine shop. Customer wants a part. Brings in a drawing on cocktail napkin (happens). We go over the design, show him the bugs and production changes...then make the part. Charge him accordingly. If I sent them back for bad design or kicked back their prints..well...my life style would not be as rewarding as it is now.

So..your customers would get their stuff sent back? And they came back to you for more work?

I am not getting this thingy you call "customer service"....

Jay
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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: August 27, 2008 08:35PM
Office 2007 has had the ability to save documents as PDFs since it came out nearly 2 years ago (November 2006...retail customers in January 2007) - not to mention the abundance of free 'PDF printers' available on the Windows side that would do similar tasks, but it is nice to have an 'official' instance from Microsoft within Office.



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Re: Alternatives to Publisher on a PC??
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: August 28, 2008 12:02AM
Quote
Undrpsi
[Ok...I don't understand your reasoning on this. I run a machine shop. Customer wants a part. Brings in a drawing on cocktail napkin (happens). We go over the design, show him the bugs and production changes...then make the part. Charge him accordingly. If I sent them back for bad design or kicked back their prints..well...my life style would not be as rewarding as it is now.

So..your customers would get their stuff sent back? And they came back to you for more work?

I am not getting this thingy you call "customer service"....

Jay
It's not a case of creating something from scratch for the customer; they are not bringing in the proverbial cocktail napkin. By presenting a PDF they are, in theory, providing a ready to print document that they created. No customer service, and this happens, is printing it out warts and all without letting the customer know there's a problem. Customer service is preflighting the document, not printing it if there's a problem, and letting the customer correct the problem (or pay us $90 an hour to fix it for them).

And they not only came back to us for more work, they sent us plenty of referrals. You'd be surprised at the number of places that will just hit "print", deliver a pile of crap and just shrug their shoulders when the customer asks what the hell happened.
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