Contents | < Browse | Browse >

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%% Desktop Publishing--Amiga Style                         By Tom Reamer %%
%%                                                 treamer@osp.chi.il.us %%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Desktop Publishing is one of the most exciting computer aided forms of art
that one can partake in.  You are probably saying to yourself, "WHAT?  
DTP, an art form?".  It sure is, anything that you design is considered an
art and as you go along you will find yourself at the edge of your seat 
either pulling your hair out or begging for more.  DTP can be expensive 
depending on how you use your available tools.  In this first edition of 
Desktop Publishing made easy, I am going to give some hints and tips that 
you will find extremely helpful.  Many people who already use their 
Amiga's for desktop publishing quickly found out that the Amiga is an 
incredibly powerful machine that surpasses the others even in this field.
Our resources are not as large as the IBM and MAC base but we have the 
tools to do the job well.  I am going to focus on the most widely used 
program for layout design; Pagestream 2.2   (PS)

Pagestream has some awesome features that even the faint of heart could
learn.  For those of us who do not wish to read manuals and like to jump 
right in and play,

Pagestream is there for the taking, making it somewhat easy to get what 
you want off the screen and onto the paper.  There are some basic 
guidelines that you must follow in order to make your "document" exciting
enough for the viewer to keep reading. Eye catching enough for the viewer 
to be pulled into the message that you are trying to convey.  This is 
where TYPE comes in.  Many people will concentrate on graphics and 
layout and will overlook the message conveying type.  There are a number 
of different ways to use type to add impact.  You can change the look and
feel of an entire sentence by simply changing the type.  Avoid over used 
typefaces such as Avant Garde, Times, Zapf Chancery, Bookman etc.  They 
look good but they are plainly used by everyone else.  Although your HD 
space is probably limited, get a hold of as many fonts as you can.  You 
will be surprised how many of them you can and will use.  Make that type 
BIG!  Why not?  You have the space and nothing is more eye-catching than a
fantastic looking huge font.  Literally make a point!  50, 60, 70, make 
that point size over 100!  Before I forget to mention..Stay AWAY from 
BITMAP FONTS!  They are the worst and if made any bigger all you will 
see is jaggies.  Stick to scalable fonts for the cleanest reproduction 
of your type onto paper and on the screen.  When type is large,they 
become more of a graphic element than a letter.  You can also do the 
opposite be surrounding small text with a large amount of white space.  
Now back to what we were trying to get to.  The HEADLINE!  Many people 
who glance at your layout will often read one thing.  You guessed it!  
The headline.  They should be at least twice the size of your text but 
can happily be larger than that.

Don't forget to add a subhead.  Subheads help the reader to find what they
are looking for, they also add 'visual' interest to the page.  Don't make
it tiny. Make it stand out but not to the point where it over powers  your
headline.  I like to add subheads to help the readers eyes follow the page
down.  Psychology my friend.  

Why not use a drop cap?  I need not explain how interesting it is to read
a line starting with a wonderful first letter font dropped to perfection.
Drop caps can easily be any size without break ing any rules; even a 100 
point size will show off your type.  The drop cap will look its best when
it fits it's allowed space exactly.  Be sure to align the bottom of the 
drop cap with the line of text it is next to.  Don't over do it. To many 
drop caps will defeat your purpose.  They will attract the readers eye to
them and not your message.  

     I love to use type known as "display typefaces".  These fonts have
beautiful attributes to them.  You know the ones, the type that you just 
have to use.  The Chancery type fonts with leaves, curves, the ornamental
fonts!  Again, do not over do it, if it seems fit use it.

     Now that you know the basics of what to do, how about the basics of 
how to do it? Before I go into that remember one thing, this may not 
always be true with Photography, but I feel it is extremely important in
DTP.  CENTER IT.  If your page is off center it certainly will not help 
you out one bit.  You will soon find yourself centering everything.  Every
page you see done by someone else will stand out on the edges and in 
between.  You will not read the document right away, you will first look 
for the centering!  Trust me, I am obsessed with it.  Specially when the
layout is done on an IBM or MAC.  Glad I put that past us both.  But 
DON'T FORGET IT!  The biggest strength Pagestream has over other design
software is the ability to put anything on the page without having to use
boxes.  With your mouse click on the large A in the tools bar on the 
right.  This is your FONT tool.  Click anywhere you would like to place
text on the page.  Pick a font from your fonts directory up  in the menu
bar--click/click.  Also pick the point size--click/click.  Select OK.  Now
you can freely type away. When you are finished use your mouse to select 
the arrow on the tools bar.  Click on the text; you will notice that there
is now a light box around it.  You can do as you wish with the font now...
Resize it, move it, right Amiga-X it (to cut) all by placing your pointer 
on the edges of the box.  You can also change the color as you see fit.  
This is done by simply selecting Fill Style  in the object menu.

     I would like to go on some more with this, but I have probably went 
to fast as it is.  I am sure you have noticed that I mentioned mostly 
fonts used on Macs and IBM's. I did this on purpose; reason being is that
we are surrounded by these machines and those are the fonts you see the 
most.  With the simple document guidelines above and the quick tutorial, 
this should give you a basic idea on how to make a great looking layout.  
Nothing comes without practice so load up that program and get to work.
The Amiga is a very strong contender in the DTP world.  With people 
unaware of the Amiga's potential as a DTP device, that just leaves less 
great computers to compete with.

Enjoy!