6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2013 1:13 PM by peter minneapolis

    Advise to start a new project

    Lorie Zweifel Level 1

      Hello,

       

      I am about to start a new project and was looking for some advise.  I have a huge pile of hand written notes which will be typed, organized and put into Indesign for print.  Is it best to start the project layout within Indesign and start typing, or does it make better sense to type the notes first each in their own seperate document and then place them into Indesign.

       

      Thanks for your help!

        • 1. Re: Advise to start a new project
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The question is: Will the notes be used ONLY in this InDesign file, or will they be used in other projects.

           

          If only in this project, it probably doesn't make a difference. But if you want to use them again, they'd be handier as text or Word files.

          • 2. Re: Advise to start a new project
            Lorie Zweifel Level 1

            Hi Steve, thanks for helping.

             

            Well, it is to be a cookbook, but at present is a HUGE pile of paper which is very disorganized.  I am just pondering over my attack stratagy. 

             

            Type each out as seperate documents, giving each a name and then placing them into indesign is what I was thinking, but what about the type set...  do I create my styles in Word?  Will my headings, fonts, tabs, etc. follow through to Indesign or will I have to set the character preferences in Indesign anyway.

             

            Trying to go at this project the most efficient.

            • 3. Re: Advise to start a new project
              Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Unless you're an veteran Word user, and very detail-oriented for creating and applying styles, I wouldn't worry about styling them there. (It is possible in Word Import Options to translate Word styles to InDesign styles.) Better to create a good set of styles in InDesign. Certainly, it's a good idea to apply emphasis formatting like bold and italic in Word.

              • 4. Re: Advise to start a new project
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                Steve Werner wrote:

                Certainly, it's a good idea to apply emphasis formatting like bold and italic in Word.

                Do this by defining and using a character style in Word. And if you have more than one type of paragraph, define and use paragraph styles for each one. It doesn't matter what the styles actually are, as long as they have different names. This can save you tons of work later.

                • 5. Re: Advise to start a new project
                  Lorie Zweifel Level 1

                  Thank you so much.  I don't like word so this really helps!

                  • 6. Re: Advise to start a new project
                    peter minneapolis Level 4

                    Danger, danger, Lorie! You're asking designers about writing a book, so you're very likely to get answers about design and production issues. Before you decide on your work approach, post your question on forums frequented by writers, especially those who gather information from disparate sources and have to reconcile their masses of notes for the project. Ask about tools they use for the information-taming issues. One site that might be helpful is the where the archives from the technical writers forum are stored: http://www.techwr-l.com/ You can also join and post your own questions.

                     

                    Some writers use commercial book-authoring software (not book-design, not book-design, not book-production, but book-writing.) There's a variety, some free, some expensive, most with free trials, and there should be reviews you find in searches. Some tools are strong on collecting, categorizing, and organizing your scraps - they're really not scraps, they're data. Some are strong on features that filter data scraps into like groups when you search for keywords and tags you've applied to the data you type in. Some tools augment the value of  your typing by making it easy to do tasks like tagging and keywording while you're typing, so fewer interruptions to your thought process.

                     

                    [EDIT] I almost forgot to mention the possibility of software that might be able to convert your scans of handwritten material, into text. That's a stretch, but worth investigating. More practical and realistic is software that you can dictate to, which converts your spoken words to text. Again, ask real authors for their experience and recommendations. [/EDIT]

                     

                    Most tools can put their content out in formats that can be read by MS Word, InDesign, and most other tools that handle text. As your materials begin to take organized form, you can then have a better idea of what styles you'll need, and how you want the text elements to appear, and also how you'd like the visual layout to appear. No doubt you've been looking at existing cookbooks for ideas. If you haven't contacted any authors and asked about their writing, authoring, and design tools they've used, what their experiences they've had, and what tools and methods they recommend, give them a chance to share hard-won knowledge and advice. Not only will you get some good stuff from cooperative authors, but you'll have some names and descriptions of their contributions that you can put in your acknowledgements.

                     

                    If your notes are legible or at least decipherable, and you can afford typing help (AKA apprentices and interns) whatever typing you don't need to do yourself will leave energy for your real work - organizing thoughts. Maybe you can find a forensics program where they teach how to decipher undecipherable written material, and have students use your scraps to learn their skills. Seriously; when I was typing my own material from my brain onto paper for a book project in the last century, my wife found that students in office skills class classes at a vocational school where she taught, were happy to retype my hand-annotated typed pages, instead of the standard sample materials. Now we call that "automatic content reflow."

                     

                    Also, condense your question into searches that you can post to Google, Bing, and other Web search engines.

                     

                    HTH

                     

                    Regards,

                     

                     

                    Peter

                    _______________________

                    Peter Gold

                    KnowHow ProServices

                     

                    Lorie Zweifel wrote:

                     

                    Hi Steve, thanks for helping.

                     

                    Well, it is to be a cookbook, but at present is a HUGE pile of paper which is very disorganized.  I am just pondering over my attack stratagy. 

                     

                    Type each out as seperate documents, giving each a name and then placing them into indesign is what I was thinking, but what about the type set...  do I create my styles in Word?  Will my headings, fonts, tabs, etc. follow through to Indesign or will I have to set the character preferences in Indesign anyway.

                     

                    Trying to go at this project the most efficient.

                     

                    Message was edited by: peter at knowhowpro