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Old Aug 19, 2004, 9:19 PM   #1
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This slightly sidetracks from a direct photo topic, but it's related.

A customer of mine needs a layout program to do newsletters, fliers, and similar projects. She'll use clipart and photos in them as well. The one requirement she does have to have, is that it can do text in a "path" along a shape, or along parts of a photo that you specify.

Since this is not my thing (publishing), I thought I'd ask for opinions here. I use Microsoft Publisher for basic fliers for where I work, and that works fine, but it does not have a text paths feature. Obviously one of the best is Adobe InDesign I know, but it's hundreds of dollars. She's looking for something far far cheaper than that. Extra bells and whistles are not needed - just a simple to use layout program that does allow the paths feature.

Anyone know of anything?

Thanks.


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Old Aug 20, 2004, 5:32 AM   #2
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Adobe Pagemaker is one ofthe industry standard for publishing.

You might be able to find an older version out there for less money.



Likewise, there are a lot of cheap publishers...but they lack the versatility that you seem to want.

You could look at programs like Print Master...just not sure if it will do what you want.
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 8:47 AM   #3
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Yes, Pagemaker and QuarKare the best but expensive and with a steep learning curve. I turn out newsletters, manuals and brochures for myself and my clients with Microsoft Publisher. Easy to use and learn, it produces excellent results whether self printed here with our Xerox color printer or at a printshop. Costs about $150 or less with upgrades.

Jim
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 9:10 AM   #4
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Well, I use Publisher 2000, and it does not have the "text path" function that I mentioned is needed. To my knowledge, they haven't added this feature to the newer versions.

This is the most important function they need... to be able to draw a line/shape, etc., and have text follow that line (visibile or invisible line) along it. I've always called it "Text Path" but I'm sure there's a better name for that function. Let's say you have a photo on a brochure and want text to appear in a semi-circle or wavy line through the photo... you would draw the shape you want the text to follow, then type your text and it would just line up to the shape - whatever that is formally called - that is the function they need. All other bells and whistles are unimportant. Just the ability to do basic layout of text and photos, with that path function.
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 10:40 AM   #5
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One approach might be to do the "text on path" work in a seperate app, then import the image into the layout program. The "Horses for Courses" plan.

I vaguely recall that Photoshop Elements 2 can do text on path, but I could not confirm this with a quick Google search. I don't have the program, but I saw it at Sam's Club for ~$55, looks like a good value for those without Photoshop or similar, and I *think* that feature was listed on the box. Or not. :-?
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 1:40 PM   #6
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I've used Corel Draw for years starting with version 3, I believe it's now up to ver 12.

It will do all you ask; but don't know the price in the states, as I'm in the UK.

Maybe you could pick up an early version from a software house cheaply.

See attachment for what can be achieved. This is drawn from scratch in Corel Draw 8, and the actual camers is in my possession. Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 5:57 PM   #7
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That picture brings back memories...had a Retina Reflex III! ;-)
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 6:58 PM   #8
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I actually repair a Retina Reflex 3, with a 1.9 lens :crazy:
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Old Aug 21, 2004, 10:22 AM   #9
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The best layout program available is totally unnknown to most users. It's something called Calamus. It can do unbelieable things with text and graphics.

There's a light version, with a 30 day trial period for $95.

The Light version is probably overkill

http://www.calamus.net/us/index.html

Dave
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Old Aug 22, 2004, 4:17 AM   #10
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Calamus may be the best for professional use, but it's a steep learning curve for the average user. I used it in the early 90s when it was originally developed for the Atari; even then it took hours of study to get the best out of it. Corel Draw was much easier and faster (refresh a page in Draw took seconds, Calamus took minutes!)

I see now the manual is 800 pages of A5; so the programme must be more complicated than ever.
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