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Tell me it's ok to use Publisher

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  • Tell me it's ok to use Publisher

    I work for a small education company. We produce a number of documents that are then made available for teachers to download via PDF. These are things like worksheets, readings, and instruction guides/user manuals, all of which go along with other products we sell. They range in size up to 30 pages. Up until now, all of this material has been produced in Word. Most of the documents have pretty basic layouts, but we do have graphics in our headers, diagrams, occasional pictures and a lot of varied formatting in the text. As you can imagine editing this stuff in Word is very frustrating and time consuming and ends up with a sometimes less than ideal product. I'm advocating that we move to a page layout program to get a more professional look. The issue is that we do not have an in house designer, and while I think I could manage learning and using something like InDesign, that would mean that I would really be the only person that can edit any of our documents. Publisher seems like it would be a decent compromise program - improve the quality of our documents while keeping them in a program that most folks will be able to edit easily. As I've researched what to use, however, I only see dire warnings to never design anything in Publisher.

    None of these documents are ever printed on anything other than a regular printer and 8.5X11 paper. And keep in mind that I now make diagrams and figures in PowerPoint and save as graphic files because that's the best software I have (such an admission should probably have me banished from this forum, but I'm pretty good at it).

    I'd love to hear some pro advice on what a novice should use.

  • #2
    For layout purposes, Publisher is certainly a step up from MS Word.

    Professional designers generally stay away from Publisher because it's largely consumer and office software that doesn't meet the requirements of professional designers. It also isn't available for Macintosh users, which is something of a deal killer for most graphic designers.

    For what you described, however, it might work just fine. It can't possibly be worse than laying out something out in a word processor.
    Last edited by B; 12-14-2017, 12:59 PM. Reason: Typo fix

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    • #3
      Of course there is nothing wrong with using the tools you have available to their best effect. I happen to agree that in your position, Publisher is a good choice. Most pro designers wouldn't know this, but Microsoft has made significant improvements to Publisher over the years since I splashed around in it; also the first page-layout app that was available to me. Seeing as commercial printing isn't a need, and MS-Office integration is, there might not be a better choice.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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      • #4
        You should be OK. Publisher is frowned upon by printers because it is not a Postscript program which causes all kinds of problems. If you are printing this stuff yourself on a desktop printer there should be few issues.
        Just remember;
        - you won't be able to print up to the edge
        - you should use text and graphics effects (like drop shadow) with caution
        - you may have issues with RGB colours depending on the printer
        - if you ever need to send anything out to print shop you should export the document as a PDF and check it carefully for anything that has changed
        Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana

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        • #5
          Hi Fuzzy and welcome to GDF.

          We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
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