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Re: programs



I've tried using a program for the Mac (maybe also available for PC) called
Printchef, which looks very full-featured but which I found somewhat
frustrating to use because of the poorly written documentation. It's pretty
cheap and if you're patient I think it can do many of the things one needs
(various paper sizes, options for how many pages to print on a sheet of
paper, binding options, handling of "creep", etc.).

I've also used a simpler program called Clickbook which makes basic
booklets and is integrated with the printer driver on your computer, so
it's handy to use (though you have to spend a little time configuring it to
work with your particular printer). However, I've had problems using it
with Framemaker--it has trouble printing rotated text, for instance, and it
handled scaling poorly. (Though from problems I've had with Framemaker and
other similar programs I suspect this may be FM's fault and not
Clickbook's.)

I think for both of these you have to conceptualize the signatures
yourself--you can't just tell the program "I've got a 64-page book and I
want to print it in four signatures--do the right thing". You also have to
print page ranges rather than just hitting print once and letting it go.

I'm constantly amazed that the cheap available software is so limited and
subject to bugs and defects--the nature of the activity seems comparatively
straightforward and the known problems appear obvious. Oh well...

I've never posted before so maybe I should introduce myself--I work for an
electronic text project at Brown University and I do amateur bookbinding
and things like that on the side. I've really found this list
extraordinarily helpful. Thanks to all--

Best wishes, Julia

Julia Flanders
Women Writers Project
Brown University
www.wwp.brown.edu


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