The first popular desktop-publishing program was Pagemaker.
How Pagemaker arose
Pagemaker was invented in 1985 by Paul Brainerd, who’d been a newspaper executive. Pagemaker ran on the Mac and used Apple’s laser printer (the Laserwriter).
Pagemaker lets you combine words and graphics to form a newspaper page, including headlines, columns of articles, photographs, diagrams, captions, and ads, all on the same page. Pagemaker let you see the page on your computer’s screen, while you moved the words and graphics by using your mouse.
According to traditional nerd jargon, such a program should have been called a “page-layout”, “page-composition”, or “computer-aided publishing” program. But to sell the program he coined a new term: he decided to call it a desktop-publishing program, because it used the Mac’s “desktop” screen to help publishing, and because it let you run your own publishing company from a desktop in your home without having to hire typesetters, graphic artists, and other outside help.
The Pagemaker program and the term “desktop publishing” both became instant hits. Many would-be authors, publishers, and designers bought Apple computers just for the purpose of running Pagemaker. They used Pagemaker to create newspapers, newsletters, reports, books, flyers, posters, and ads.
Most ad agencies standardized on using Apple computers and Pagemaker to create ads. That’s why Apple computers became popular in the graphics-arts community. Even today, nearly every ad agency uses Apple computers, not IBM-compatibles.
At first, the IBM PC couldn’t handle desktop publishing at all. Eventually, Windows (and a competitor called Gem) improved enough so that the IBM PC’s screen could look Mac-like. Finally, a Windows version of Pagemaker became available.
Competitors to Pagemaker arose. Now your main choices are Pagemaker, Quark Xpress, Frame Maker, and Ventura Publisher.
Here’s how they compare:
Pagemaker was published by Paul Brainerd’s company, Aldus. In 1994, Aldus merged into a company called Adobe, which had invented many other desktop-publishing tools, such as Postcript (the font system used in Apple’s Laserwriter), Illustrator (a draw program), and Photoshop (a photo-manipulation program). Then Adobe bought the company that made Frame Maker. So now Pagemaker and Frame Maker are both published by Adobe.
Ventura Publisher was published by Ventura, then by Xerox, then by Ventura again, and now by Corel (which also publishes Corel Draw and Word Perfect).
Quark Xpress is published by Quark, which is still independent.
Using desktop-publishing software can be difficult. That’s why Pagemaker is often called “Pagewrecker”, Frame Maker is called “Frame Wrecker”, Quark Xpress is called “Quark Distress”, and Ventura is called “Vultura”: they can eat your offspring.
Like a word-processing program, a desktop-publishing program lets you type words onto the screen. But when you start using a desktop-publishing program, the first thing to do is divide your screen (and page) into boxes. Each box is called a frame.
In one frame, type a headline. In another frame, put a picture. (You can create the picture by using the draw tools that are included as part of the desktop-publishing program, or else import a drawing or painting or photo that you created by using some other graphics program.) In another frame, put a table of contents or an index. In another frame, put an ad. In another frame, put column 1 of an article. In another frame, put column 2.
You can link one frame to another. For example, you can link column 1 to column 2, so if you type an article that’s too long to fit in column 1, the excess will spill into column 2.
You can link a frame on page 1 to a frame on page 7, so if an article’s too long to fit on your newspaper’s front page, it will continue on page 7. (Continuing on a far-away page is called a jump. Newspapers do it frequently. I wish they didn’t!)
If most of the pages in your newspaper resemble each other, create a master page that shows how the typical page should look. On that master page, put frames for each column, and at the top of the page put a header that includes the page number and your newspaper’s name & date (so when a reader rips out an article, the reader knows where it came from).
Special pages can diverge from the master.
The typical beginner makes the mistake of trying to be too fancy. Use just a few typestyles and frames per page, to avoid making your publication look like a disorganized cluttered mess.
Put enough frames on your page to add spice; but if you add too many frames, your publication will look chopped-up, dicey, as amateurish as an oil painting by a 2-year-old kid given his first paint box.
Mozart’s music was masterfully charming because its overall structure was simple, though it had a few subtle surprises. Imitate him.
Unfortunately, professional desktop-publishing programs are expensive: about $500 each!
Cheaper, easier desktop-publishing programs have been invented, for kids and novices. The most famous is Print Shop, published by Broderbund.
Print Shop’s price has been reduced to about $20 because nobody wants it anymore. Instead, folks want Microsoft Publisher.
Recently, word-processing programs have grown to include lots of desktop-publishing features.
The first word-processing program that let you create frames was Ami Pro. Other word-processing programs have copied Ami Pro’s idea of permitting frames, so now you can create frames in Word Pro (which is Ami Pro’s successor), Microsoft Word, and Word Perfect. (But creating frames is still easier in Word Pro than in other word processors.)
If what you’re writing has a simple layout, with very few frames or graphics per page, you can use a word-processing program instead of a desktop-publishing program.
How I published this book
I wrote this edition of The Secret Guide to Computers by using just Microsoft Word. I got by with Microsoft Word instead of a desktop-publishing program because I kept my layout simple, with very few frames and graphics per page.
Graphics I clipped most of the graphics from the wonderful clip-art books published by Dover. Dover’s clip-art books are available in most art-supply stores, and their illustrations are far superior to “clip-art CD-ROM disks”, which contain just crude cartoons. To get a catalog of Dover’s clip-art books, send a postcard to Pictorial Archive Dept., Dover Publications, 31 E. 2nd St., Mineola NY 11501.
Being a low-tech guy, I had my staff paste the graphics into my book by hand, by using rubber cement.
Fonts For most of this book, I used just 4 fonts:
Typical text is Times New Roman 10-point (with 11-point line spacing, so there’s a 1-point gap between lines).
For gigantic headlines at the beginning of each chapter, I typically used gigantic fonts (usually 48-point) supplied by a company called Formatt.
At the beginning of the strangest chapter (on page 365), I used a strange font that came on a CD-ROM disk called Kid Fonts & Icons, published by Softkey (now part of Brøderbund). That disk is cheap and widely distributed. I got it at my local supermarket for $12.99 while buying groceries!
Dimensions To squeeze as much info as possible onto each page without clutter, I set my left and right margins at .5", top margin at .3", bottom margin at .6" (to leave space for the footer), and distance between columns at .3".
The newest version of Microsoft Publisher is Microsoft Publisher XP, which is part of Microsoft Office XP. This chapter explains how to use it.
(For info about using Microsoft Publisher’s previous version, Microsoft Publisher 2000, get the 27th edition of The Secret Guide to Computers by phoning 603-666-6644.)
Before using Microsoft Publisher XP, practice using Microsoft Word XP, which I explained on pages 191-213. (To do that, you should be using modern Windows.) Make sure Microsoft Word XP works fine before you try using Microsoft Publisher XP.
To use Microsoft Publisher XP easily, your monitor should be 17-inch (or bigger). Otherwise, the monitor is too small to show your publication well. Set the monitor’s resolution at 1024-by-768 (or bigger), as follows:
Launch Microsoft Publisher
Click “Start” then “Programs” then “Microsoft Publisher”.
The left window shows this list of 27 publication types:
The most powerful publication type is “quick publications”. Try clicking it now! Here’s what happens.…
Design The right-hand window shows these 66 designs:
(You see just the first few; to see the rest, use that window’s scroll arrows.)
You can click whichever design you want; but for your first experience, choose “accent box”.
(If the computer says “The wizard will fill in your name…”, press ENTER twice.)
Layout The computer assumes you want your publication to contain three objects:
The computer assumes you want to display the picture on top, then the heading, then the message (since the viewer’s eye will naturally be attracted to the picture first, then the heading, then the message); but you can change that layout. For example, you can omit the picture, omit the heading, omit the message, make the picture smaller, move the picture to below the heading, twist the heading 90° (so it becomes a sidebar heading), or insert a fourth object: personal info about yourself!
At the screen’s left edge, you see the word “Layout”. Below that word you see these 15 layouts to choose from:
The computer assumes you want the second layout, “Large picture at the top”. To try a different layout instead, click one that interests you and look at its effect.
After you’ve experimented by clicking several layouts, make up your mind which one to use. For your first publication, I recommend you stay with “Large picture at the top”.
Click the layout you choose, so it’s highlighted.
Color scheme Click “Color Schemes” (which is near the screen’s left edge). You see this list of 66 color schemes:
The computer assumes you want “waterfall”. The list is too long to fit on the screen; to try a different color scheme instead, use the list’s scroll arrows to see the rest of the list, then click whichever color scheme interests you. Look at its effect. If you don’t like that effect, try clicking a different color scheme instead. Keep clicking until you find a color scheme whose effect makes you happy.
Font scheme Click “Font Schemes” (which is near the screen’s left edge). You see this list of 26 font schemes:
The computer assumes you want “wizard”. The list is too long to fit on the screen; to try a different font scheme instead, use the list’s scroll arrows to see the rest of the list, then click whichever font scheme interests you. Look at its effect. If you don’t like that effect, try clicking a different font scheme instead. Keep clicking until you find a font scheme whose effect makes you happy.
Heading You see your publication. In it, click the word “Heading”, then type whatever words you want the heading to be.
If you type many words, the computer will automatically switch them all to a smaller font, so the words will still fit in the space allotted. If you type a word that’s not in the computer’s dictionary (because the word is weird or you misspelled it), the computer will put a red squiggle under it.
Message Under the heading, you see a sentence saying “Place your message here”. Click in that sentence, then type the message you want to be under the heading. (If your message contains many words, the computer will automatically switch them all to a smaller font, so the words will still fit in the space allotted.)
Picture Above the heading, you see a picture. Temporarily, that picture is a photo of a sunset, but you can change that picture. Here’s how.…
Double-click the picture you want to change. (If the computer says “Welcome to Microsoft Clip Organizer”, press ENTER.)
What topic do you want a picture of? Pick a topic (such as “girl” or “egg” or “France”). Double-click in the “Search text” box (which is near the screen’s left edge), then type your topic (and press ENTER).
You’ll see several pictures about your topic. To see more, use the scroll arrow. (If you don’t see many, it’s probably because you forgot to install Microsoft Publisher’s Media Content CD-ROM disk, which contains lots of pictures. I explained how to install it, as part of Microsoft Office XP, in the Microsoft Word chapter.)
Click the picture you want. (If the computer says to insert the CD-ROM disk, do so then press ENTER.)
Undo If you make a mistake, click the Undo button (which is near the screen’s top and shows an arrow curving toward the left). If that doesn’t completely undo your mistake, try clicking that button several more times.
Save To copy your publication to your hard disk, click the Save button (which is near the screen’s top left corner and looks like a 3½-inch floppy disk).
If you haven’t saved your publication before, the computer will say “File name”. Invent a name for your publication. Type the name and press ENTER.
That makes the computer copy your publication onto the hard disk. The computer puts your publication into the My Documents folder.
Your publication’s filename ends in “.pub”. For example, if you named your publication “mary”, the computer puts a file called “mary.pub” into the My Documents folder. The file’s icon has P on it, to remind you it was created by Publisher.
While you’re editing and improving your publication, you should click the Save button frequently.
Print To print your publication onto paper, make sure your printer is turned on and contains paper. Then do this:
Close When you finish working on your publication, click “File” then “Close”.
You see the list of 27 publication types again. You have three choices about what to do next:
Congratulations! You’ve learned all the important techniques of Microsoft Publisher! You can create your own publications!
Now let’s dig deeper.…
Alignment The heading and message both contain words. The computer assumes you want each line of words to be centered. Centering is fine if your heading and message are both short. But if your message contains many lines of words, centering makes your message hard to read.
To change whether a paragraph is centered, click in the paragraph and then click whichever alignment button you prefer:
Those buttons work the same way as in Microsoft Word.
Frames Your publication contains three main objects: the picture, the heading, and the message. It also contains several other objects (border decorations near the paper’s edge).
You can change each object’s size and position. Here’s how.…
Click in the object’s middle. Then the entire object will be surrounded by a pack of white dogs! Each dog is a white circle, called a handle.
The dogs (circles) are arranged to form a box surrounding the object, so the object is boxed in. The box surrounding the object is called the object’s frame. Yeh, Louie, we’ve been framed!
Then you can manipulate the object in three ways:
Instead of clicking “quick publications”, try clicking “signs”. That lets you create signs. Here’s how.…
Design The right-hand window shows these 28 designs for signs:
(You see just the first few; to see the rest, use that window’s scroll arrows.)
You can click whichever design you want; but for your first experience, try clicking “kid’s room”.
Color scheme Click “Color Schemes” (which is near the screen’s left edge). You see the full list of 66 color schemes, but just 5 schemes work well for signs: click either “black & gray”, “brown”, “dark blue”, “green”, or “red”. If your printer can’t print colors, choose “black & gray”.
Font scheme Click “Font Schemes” (which is near the screen’s left edge). You see a list of 26 font schemes. It’s the same list as for “Quick publications”, except that the Wizard choice is different (it uses Curlz for the headline font) and the computer typically uses just headline fonts (and ignores message fonts).
Edit the words You see your publication. It’s a sign that says “Kid’s Room” and includes a drawing of a moon with stars. The sign is in the color you chose.
Change the word “Kid’s” to your own name. For example, if your name is “Joan”, change “Kid’s Room” to “Joan’s Room”. Here’s how: click “Kid’s”, then type your name, then type ’s.
Change “Room” to a word that’s more descriptive, such as one of these:
To do that, click “Room” then type whatever replacement you want.
Change the picture Change the moon to a different kind of moon picture — or whatever other picture you prefer. To do that, double-click the moon, then double-click in the “Search text” box, then type “moon” (or whatever other kind of picture you wish) and press ENTER. Scroll down to the pictures, then click whichever picture you want.
Finish You can undo, save, print, and exit, using the same techniques as for “Quick publications”.
A banner is a big sign that nearly a foot tall and several feet wide. You can create a banner by taping several sheets of paper together, side-by-side.
To create a banner, click “banner” instead of “quick publications”.
Design The computer can create 40 kinds of banners. Each kind is called a design. Those 40 designs are organized into 9 categories:
In the screen’s left window, under the word “banner”, you see those 9 categories. Click the category that interests you. Then click the right-hand window’s scroll-down arrow if necessary, until you see the specific design that interests you. Click that design. Then you’ll see it enlarged.
Width How wide do you want the banner to be? Click “5 feet”, “6 feet”, “8 feet”, or “10 feet”. (For your first experiment, try “5 feet” to avoid wasting paper. Hey kids, if you want to choose more than 5 feet, get your parents’ permission first!)
Height How tall do you want the banner to be? Click “11 inches” or “8.5 inches”. (For your first experiment, try “8.5 inches” to avoid wasting paper.)
Graphic Next to the message, the computer normally puts a little graphic (a picture). Do you want the graphic to be left of the message, right of the message, on both sides of the message, or omitted so you have none? Click your choice.
Border The computer normally puts a border around the message. (The border is a fancy box.) If you want a border, click “Border”; otherwise, click “No border”.
Edit To change the message’s words, click the message then type what you want instead.
To change the message’s color, click “Color Schemes” then click one of these color schemes: “black & gray”, “brown”, “dark blue”, “green”, or “red”. The color scheme will affect the message’s color, but the border will stay black and the graphic’s color will stay unchanged.
To change the font, click “Font Schemes” then click whichever scheme you want. The computer will tend to use the scheme’s message font and ignore the scheme’s headline font, but the computer will occasionally change its mood and use the scheme’s headline font instead. The Wizard font is Times New Roman.
Finish You can undo, save, print, and exit: just use the same techniques as for “Quick publications”.
If the computer says “A Publisher object is too large to print”, do this:
Warning: when you’ve printed the banner onto paper, examine the banner carefully before you hang it on your wall: a few letters or graphics might be missing, because your printer doesn’t contain enough RAM memory chips or your printer can’t print close enough to the paper’s edge.
To create a greeting card, click “greeting cards” instead of “quick publications”.
Design The computer can create 109 kinds of greeting cards. Each kind is called a design. Those 109 designs are organized into 14 categories:
In the screen’s left window, under the phrase “greeting cards”, you see those 14 categories. Click the category that interests you. Then click the right-hand window’s scroll-down arrow if necessary, until you see the specific design that interests you. Click that design. Then you’ll see it enlarged.
Layout The computer might let you click one of these layouts for the card’s front cover:
Size and fold The computer might let you click one of these ways to fold your greeting card:
Suggested verse Click “Select a suggested Verse” (which is near the screen’s bottom left corner). You’ll see about 20 verses that relate to your topic. Here are examples:
Click the verse you want, then click “OK”.
Color scheme Click “Color Schemes”. You see the list of 66 color schemes. The computer assumes you want “waterfall”. Click whichever color scheme you want.
Font scheme Click “Font Schemes”. You see the list of 26 font schemes. Click whichever font scheme you want.
Edit Your card has 4 pages. You’re seeing the front cover, which is page 1.
At the screen’s bottom, you see the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. To see page 2, click the 2. That makes you see page 2 (and you’ll simultaneously see page 3, next to it). To see page 4 (which is the back cover), click the 4. To see page 1 again, click the 1.
You can edit each object on each page.
Finish You can undo, save, print, and exit: just use the same techniques as for the “quick publications” wizard.
When you print onto paper, all four pages of the greeting card will appear on a single sheet of paper (if you chose a “quarter page” layout). Fold that sheet of paper in half (to divide pages 1&4 from pages 2&3), then fold in half again (to divide page 1 from 4).
Other publication types
You’ve learned how to use 4 publication types: “Quick publications”, “Signs”, “Banners”, and “Greeting cards”. Altogether, there are 27 publication types to play with. Try them! They’re similar to the types you already mastered.
Instead of clicking one of the 27 publications types, try clicking “Blank Publication” (which is below the list of publication types).
You see a picture of a blank, clean sheet of paper, on which you create any publication you wish, without locking yourself into one of the 27 traditional types. Be creative! Here’s how.…
Typing with F9 Start typing on the blank page. Your typing will be too small to read: to see it bigger, press the F9 key.
That makes the type look bigger, but too big to fit the whole page on the screen. If you want to switch back to the “whole page” view, press F9 again. F9 is a toggle that switches back and forth between “easy to read” and “whole page” views.
Similar to word processing While you’re typing, Microsoft Publisher XP resembles Microsoft Word XP (explained on pages 191-213). After you’ve practiced using Microsoft Word XP, Microsoft Publisher XP is easy! Here are the main peculiarities of Microsoft Publisher XP:
Frames The text you’ve been typing is in a box, called a frame. The frame has 8 handles (1 at each order, and 1 at the midpoint of each side). Each handle is a tiny white circle.
Try this experiment: make sure you’re seeing the entire page (by pressing F9 if necessary), then make the frame smaller (by dragging one of the handles toward the frame’s center). Now the frame is small, so it does not consume the whole page, so you can create extra frames elsewhere on the page.
The frame that’s already on the page is called a text box, because it contains text you typed. Here’s how to create an extra text frame:
You can change a frame’s position:
You can create 5 kinds of frames. To create a frame that contains normal text, you’ve learned to do this:
To create a frame that contains a table (of numbers or words), do this:
To create a frame that contains a picture from Publisher’s CD, do this:
To create a frame that contains a picture from a different source (such as a photo, or a painting you created by using Paint), do this:
To create a frame that contains curved text, do this:
To delete a frame, right-click in the frame’s middle, then click “Delete Object”.
If you type text that’s too long to fit in its frame, the computer puts the symbol “A¡¡¡” at the frame’s bottom instead. The few words you typed are temporarily invisible: the computer stores them in an overflow area (which you can’t see) until you make the frame bigger (by dragging its handles) or make the text shorter — or create a 2nd frame, to display the overflow, as follows:
Extra pages So far, your publication contains just one page. To make your publication longer by adding a second page, click “Insert” then “Page” then “OK”.
Now your publication has two pages. You’re seeing page 2. To see page 1, click the “1” at the screen’s bottom. To see page 2 again, click the “2” at the screen’s bottom. Remember to press F9 to toggle between “full page” view and “easy to read” view.