Saturday, 6 February 2010

Fighting the Layout Wars!

My apologies for not posting yesterday, but I've been engaged in a titanic struggle with Open Office, that managed to nicely eat up my day; however, I'm now about 70% of the way thorugh the layout of OD&DITIES Thirteen. Working out what I wanted to do was easy enough, but the best way of doing was not - it's been a good few years since I last did this, and I'd forgotten a lot of the tricks. One of my biggest concerns was and is fonts; I want a nice, unified structure - one font for headers, one font for content, and something that is nicely legible and looks clean on the page.

After much work, I finally went for Papyrus for headers, and a nice font called Andalus for the interior. At least so far; my printer has decided to die on my, so it's going to be a few days before I get to see what it actually looks like. This is the problem with a PDF publication - it has to look good both on the screen and on the printed page...


  1. Nice choice of fonts.

    If you really have trouble bending OpenOffice to your will, you might want to check out Scribus which is open source desktop publishing software. It should give you more layout options.

    Looking forward to reading Issue 13.

    - Neil.

  2. I just up-graded from OpenOffice to PagePlus4 and it really does the trick and for under $100!

  3. If you are doing layout in OpenOffice you are doing it wrong. Sadly enough you are not alone. Like Neil say you should take a look at Scribus. If you prefer InDesign that might also be a (much more expensive) option.

  4. Two points:

    Despite Davour's strong words above, Open Office is perfectly fine for layout. I find it easier to use and more versitile than Sribus in many ways. If you're comfortable with it, don't feel pressured to change.

    However, If you use "Papyrus" people will laugh at you. That's not snark, I mean that literally, since Papyrus has become so over-used it is the subject of punchlines. For example see and of course the blog dedicated to the subject at

  5. I have to agree with E.T.Smith on Papyrus. It's also the title font for the movie "Avatar".

    Lots of good alternatives here:

  6. Well, maybe I was overstating it, but the fact remains that using a spanner to stir the pot works, but a tool made for the job works better.

    Surprisingly few people outside layout professionals seem to know about DTP software.

  7. can anyone perhaps tell me more about Andalus? Everytime I google it I just get info on an Arabic font?