6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2012 6:20 AM by OLIVE C. F.

    Need advice on choosing programs for laying out and editing books

    OLIVE C. F. Level 1

      I've been editing books in Microsoft Word but my clients are asking me to help do the layout and prep to take their books to a printer.

      I am looking to find out what the least expensive (for now) but necessary programs I would need to purchase in order to take a book from a Word manuscript to print-ready.

      Please let me know what programs I need (at a minimum) - someone mentioned InDesign and InCopy, would I need anything else?

       

      I will also need to purchase a new laptop and need to know what the minimum requirements would be to run such programs i.e. how much hard drive space, speed and ram.

      I currently have a Gateway, but it is dying.

       

      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Need advice on choosing programs for laying out and editing books
          Daniel Flavin Level 4

          MS Word is a candidate for text content creation. Properly utilized, it is a gateway for placing text into InDesign. MS Word however is typically under-utilized (not at all) for text prep. Word has the ability to use Styles which can be mapped to InDesign Styles, and any properly prepared InDesign document relies hevily on Character and Paragrapg style. (My point being that Word users typically apply charcter formatting overrides as they work, never veering from a single Paragraph Style which provides 95% of formatting, Char Style used only for unique instances of lead run in, strong, emphasis, etc.)

           

          Indesign would be a logical choice for the intent; it's abilities being powerful document wide text layout and formatting and images support.. Automated TOC, Indexes, Cross Refs, Chapters and Sections usage. InCopy allows multiple text writers to comp and edit text used in an InDesign document where the final content is manged by, typically, one user arranging the formatting of space usages, images and layout.

          InCopy would not be used in a single person environment managing original text and final layout, and I'm not certain if it is used where the InCopy user is not in the same envirnment as the InDesign user.

           

          I run the latest release of InDesign on what was a powerful 32 bit laptop three years ago, a Dell Sudio 1735, without issue.

           

          Does this help?

          • 2. Re: Need advice on choosing programs for laying out and editing books
            OLIVE C. F. Level 1

            Thank you, this does help somewhat. What I understand from your answer is that if I get InDesign, I might not need InCopy - is that correct?

             

            What kind of RAM do you have on the laptop you are using?

            • 3. Re: Need advice on choosing programs for laying out and editing books
              Daniel Flavin Level 4

              Correct – InCopy is used frequently by editors who re-write and edit content.

               

              I run InDesign CS5.5 with 4gb RAM, Core Duo CPU

              • 4. Re: Need advice on choosing programs for laying out and editing books
                OLIVE C. F. Level 1

                Thank you for the tips. I will need InCopy then as that is a major part of what I do.

                 

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                • 5. Re: Need advice on choosing programs for laying out and editing books
                  Dave Merchant MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  As Daniel says, if you have InDesign and you're the only one working on the docuument, that's all you need. Think of InCopy as a hugely-stripped-down version with only the text editor in it, but you can do everything you need in InDesign (either writing the text directly into the document, or importing formatted text from Word). InDesign has great typography features and a basic spellchecker, Word has less-advanced typography but can check grammar.

                   

                  The typical workflow in a newsroom will split copywriting from layout, as the journalists aren't allowed to format the page and the graphics dept can't write articles. So, the text is written in InCopy by a bunch of people, who then pass the content to someone with InDesign who imports it and lays out the issue. InCopy basically allows people to write a chunk of text that will fit in a certain space, but it doesn't care what the overall document looks like. It has some very powerful features for collaboration, but to put it bluntly, text is text - provided you get the styles mapping sorted, ID doesn't care where it comes from.

                   

                  Unless you're working with this split-job-role system there's no reason you'd need to use InCopy.

                   

                  OLIVE C. F. wrote:

                   

                  Thank you for the tips. I will need InCopy then as that is a major part of what I do.

                   

                  Sent via DroidX2 on Verizon Wireless™

                  • 6. Re: Need advice on choosing programs for laying out and editing books
                    OLIVE C. F. Level 1

                    Thank you so much. This does clarify things.

                     

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