RE: Using Word for book publishing

Subject: RE: Using Word for book publishing
From: "Margaret Cekis" <Margaret -dot- Cekis -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "'Donna McManus'" <donna -dot- mcmanus -at- gmail -dot- com>, "'Rick_Bishop'" <rickbishop -at- austin -dot- rr -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 21:17:32 -0400

Donna McManus asked, "Do any of you control leading in your text with Word?
Meaning, do you mess with or change default settings for line spacing
(Paragraph, Format, Line Space specified at X pt or X lines)? I typically
use defaults. But I've come across the desire of someone who wants to use
Word as a desktop publishing system. Is Word REALLY capable of typesetting?
I use styles, templates, etc. to control my layout, but never thought about
this until reading this discussion. Also, what about kerning? Does anyone
attempt to kern in Word?
Why would you?
______________________________________________
Donna:
I think someone who has had experience prepping and proofing book
manuscripts or galleys for actual printing (meaning many of us old-timers
who did it on paper and a light table before we did it on a computer) could
probably, with a reasonable sense of type design and page layout create an
acceptable book layout and manuscript in Word. You'd still use styles and
chapter templates to control the layout, but you'd probably try the layout
with a dozen different font sizes and combinations to get a pleasing result
before you finalized the layout. I think if someone is determined to create
a book, only has Word available, and is willing to learn what they need to
know about fonts and layout, they could do it.

I generally prefer controlling white space with the space after setting for
paragraphs (because Word generally ignores the space before setting, but I
also sometimes add space before to figures, tables, and captions to make
them look balanced between the text paragraphs. I refuse to use a body text
font that doesn't look good in its default spacing, but I have kerned
headings in some of the heavier bold fonts when a company specified a
specific heading font that I thought was too hard to read without a little
extra space between letters. I've also used kerning to fudge a header in a
table where space was tight to get in one more letter to avoid a 2-line
header. (95% of normal spacing will usually do it.) Even if the manuals or
whatever I'm working on will be published as PDF, I do my best to make them
look good on screen, or printed in hardcopy, whatever word processor or DTP
system I have to work with, and I've used a lot of them.

Margaret Cekis, Johns Creek GA


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References:
RE: Using Word for book publishing: From: Rick_Bishop
Re: Using Word for book publishing: From: Donna McManus

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