Word Breaks

Grant Barrett gbarrett at AMERICANDIALECT.ORG
Tue May 11 15:49:49 UTC 1999

Joseph McCollum wrote:

} The difference between a "Word Processor" and a "Desktop Publisher"
} doesn't exist any more.   I just wrote a paper that has maybe 75
} equations -- the layout artists cut each equation out of MS Word and
} paste it into PageMaker -- it seems unnecessarily
} labor-intensive to me.

Well, have you ever tried to do page impositioning for a 148-page book in
a word processing program? Derned difficult, and although the word
processing programs can do it, I've seen chickens fly, and they shouldn't try
it, either, what with the feathers and squawking everywhere. Last time I did
page layout in a word processor, I nearly gave up the whole thing and
bought a cabin in Montana.

One of the strongest points in favor of page layout programs is the micro
control over things that the eye can perceive but not measure: leading to
1/100th of an inch, kerning between individual characters, column spaces
to 1/1000th of an inch, etc. Then there's color control (which I guess you
don't need for your average manuscript), page-piece libraries,
side-by-side spread views, multiple master pages, and I don't know what all.

Another thing: you can do some of the projects in a word processing
program, but all of the projects in a page layout program. So if you have a
standard template (margins, fonts, blah blah blah), most folks will do all
the work in the layout program for consistency and reinforcement of habit.

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