RE: Using Word for book publishing

Subject: RE: Using Word for book publishing
From: "Rick_Bishop" <rickbishop -at- austin -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 03:02:30 -0500

Erika: Word can produce 'real' books. I've produced several commercially
printed soft cover books with it (hundreds of pages and numerous
illustrations). Word can produce a textbook layout and format as well as
InDesign, Frame, or TeX in every respect but one. That is that Word does not
do proportional spacing very well. This means that when you full justify
text on the printed page, you may occasionally see a "river of white"
running down the page. You can get Word to layout text "Like WordPerfect 6"
in the options, which will give slightly better results on this issue, but
still not quite as good as a true layout program. Word is a lot faster
however.

If you demand perfection, go with one of these and import the Word documents
as source materials. The styles can be mapped on import, shortening the
production time considerably - especially if there are multiple authors. I
will say that no one noticed this spacing issue on my books produced in Word
except me (finals to the authors and the printer were in pdf), and the
printed copy was quite good.

Rick

> > On 09/06/2011 3:03 PM, Erika Yanovich wrote:
> >
Hi all,
> >>
Our chief scientist (the author of several textbooks) is writing a new
series (something between an idiot's guide and a scientific textbook) that
we should edit and format. The neighboring marcom dept will design the cover
and take care of production. Our tool is MS Word and that's what we intended
to use for this purpose, but the author claims that Word can't produce
'real' books (by this he means the look and feel of modern textbooks).
> >>
Is this true? Are there any [hidden] advanced features of Word for this
purpose, not used by tech writers? What tools would you use?
The author prefers TeX for which he has (and can develop) styles guides.
Needless to say, he is a power user of TeX and he is used to produce
camera-ready copies in postscript.
> >>
I have mixed feelings about him doing the formatting (apparently he doesn't
mind, but isn't his time too expensive for this?), based on our definitions
(which is what he apparently expects). Also, how would we get it for review?
What formats are available to export from TeX?
> >>
Any thoughts appreciated.
> >>
Erika


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