Re: Using Word for book publishing

Subject: Re: Using Word for book publishing
From: Scott Turner <quills -at- airmail -dot- net>
To: Donna McManus <donna -dot- mcmanus -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 20:31:35 -0500

Yes, you can indeed use Word to produce final layout for a document. You can also use Word for large, complex formatted documents.

In that vein you can also dig the panama canal with 10,000 men using shovels and no medical support. The end result may be more costly and difficult than is cost effective.

Word is not stable with large document files. Word also is challenged if you need to use multiple level numbering sequences. Word may also exhibit instability with paragraph and character tag formatting.

In short, Word was designed to do short uncomplicated documents. Documents like letters, and other business documents.

It don't even do XML in an adequate manner should that be a requirement, because it is inordinately difficult to reference a schema or DTD other than the one Microsoft embeds in it.

It is ubiquitous in the business world and in computers which makes it convenient, but not necessarily well or even adequately suited for this type of use.

Scott

On Sep 10, 2011, at 13:37, Donna McManus <donna -dot- mcmanus -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> All, I find this topic interesting and relative to me. I have NO experience
> with TEX or LaTEX.
>
> That said, I've used Word or FrameMaker plenty (well FrameMaker is well in
> the past, and I probably forgot everything about it).
>
> Again, too, I'm just fishing for insight. So opine away again. This time I
> don't have any preferences because of my experiences.
>
> 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?
>
> Also because I've only had ONE desktop publishing class in my life 20 years
> ago (Aldus PageMaker...remember THAT?), I'm not sure I would know how to
> determine how to figure out what that white space should be with leading or
> how to determine how to kern, let alone with Word.
>
> Word has just been a word processor for me. Why or why not use Word as a
> desktop publisher? My world does create long documents with TOCs, indexes,
> etc. but it's never been an issue before. So I'm sort of interested here...
> never had to do a real book format. When is a real book format applicable
> today? (User manuals I've done or do only require a PDF or online help.)
>
>
>
> On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 4:02 AM, Rick_Bishop <rickbishop -at- austin -dot- rr -dot- com>wrote:
>
>> 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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> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
> Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
> Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
> http://www.doctohelp.com
>
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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Follow-Ups:

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

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