|★ LITTÉRATURE ★ ENGLISH ★ DESKTOP PUBLISHING ON A SHOESTRING|8000 Plus) ★|
|Desktop Publishing on a Shoestring||Littérature English|
The 103rd Sinclair book (yes, one hundred and third) attempts to raise the reputation of low-cost desktop publishing. Many home computer operators use DTP programs to enhance their printed output but don't generally have the kind of funding that a fully-fledged publisher enjoys. This book was written for their benefit.
Sinclair has chosen Mirrorsofts Fleet Street Editor as his example software because it's the only DTP program available (in slightly modified forms) for all the machines to which this book is applicable. It's also, says Sinclair, inexpensive, and a program from which you can obtain relatively ambitious effects without too much difficulty. He neglects to mention any of Fleet Street's notorious bugs, which are not confined to the PCW version.
There's a wealth of genuine, welt-captioned pictures to accompany the text at all times and he also covers some of the most common snags you're likely to encounter: hyphenating long words in narrow columns, for example, to stop them automatically being sent down to the next line and thus creating gaps, and importing word-processed text. Artwork, you are advised, is also only effective when used in a restrained way. He describes the process of superimposing graphics on text as 'delightfully simple' with Fleet Street Editor. He then goes on to show how images can be turned over, merged, and inversed.
In the final chapter, Sinclair points out that the reader should, by now, be equipped to undertake any kind of DTP work using Fleet Street Editor. This is precisely the problem: whilst much of the general advice he gives is sound regardless of software, the majority of the book's content is relevant solely to users of Fleet Street Editor. In an attempt to correct some of the m8st common grammatical cockups to appear in DTP output, the author contemplates, at length, the role of the apostrophe and object pronoun in the English language.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be either the time or the place, and all he does is scratch the surface of the iceberg anyway.
Having said that, the book is an excellent read for devoted Fleet Street users and covers in detail many aspects that are cursorily dismissed in the manual. A good buy for anyone desktop publishing on a shoestring.