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What's the best program to use when making a zine?

Hello :) I've just joined today, came about this website while looking for information on how to assemble a zine once all the parts have been drawn.

I wanted to know if there is some kind of computer program where I can create a book, layout and all, then print it. I've searched all the document types, but I couldn't find anything double sided.

It's A5. Thanks so much, really appreciate help on this one.

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I've been using LibreOffice to write up on A5 size sheets. I then convert them to pdfs so that i can open them in GIMP. I open an A4 size on GIMP and then open my pdfs and arrange them the write way I want and add any pictures I want etc.

Ive only made one zine so far and im still looking at the different ways of making them, i dont just do it on the computer, i cut and past too.

There is a free publishing programme called Scribus which im trying out, it is supposed to be similar to in design but i dont know how to use it yet

Would be good to hear from anyone doing it a similar way to me...

There is also Serif Page Plus Starter Edition which is free  http://www.serif.com/desktop-publishing-software/

raequel aka systris said:
In the past i've used Microsoft Word or other word processing programs to print out the text or graphics and cut and paste onto paper. i've also used Microsoft Publisher until i lost the cd somewhere and wanted to use better sorftware. right now i am experimenting with a program that is called Serif PagePlus essentials that has PDF capabilities as you've described that you wanted . i was lucky to catch it on sale at Amazon for $0.00 but i think the regular price is well under $50.00. but there is a open-source program that ive heard good things about called Scribus http://www.scribus.net/canvas/Scribus - i may try that again myself, but i get a case of the stupids when i deal with open source, i  hope this helps you out more.

I used to use InDesign for all of my magazines and zines, but after years of constant expensive upgrades and one sad attempt to use a cracked version, I just gave up and switched to Apple's iWork Pages and even though I lost some interesting professional tricks only available in the expensive packages, I was completely surprised and pleased.  I lost the ability to do spreads, and the packaging tools were gone and I could only really send PDFs. but the tradeoffs were equally good.  With Pages, all the assets and media are stored in one file, I am able to store n the Dropbox account and simply work from whichever office I was at for the day.  Now iCloud makes it even better.

 

Yeah, thats exactly what I do. It works swell.

Emma Jane Falconer said:

I just print out the individual paragraphs and lines on one sheet of paper, cut them out and glue them to a handmade template. It makes it less aggravation for me, and gives me complete layout control.

I just play with Word, do some cutting and pasting with a glue stick and scissors, and then staple it all together.  What's so great about zines, is that you can do it any way you want.

I lay my zines out in PowerPoint.  It's easy and allows me to use all the bell and whistles that Microsoft has to offer.  Inserting pictures is easy and I have loaded additional fonts so I have even more options for text.  I also like that PowerPoint allows me to manipulate the direction and orientation of my text, which I can't seem to figure out using other programs.   

I admit that if I don't purposefully work to create something gritty/personal/handmade, my layouts can look crazy clean...hmmm, maybe sterile is the better word.  The text blocks are ridiculously straight, the photos are cropped too perfectly and the margins are so consistent that you know they are created by a machine -- out of the gate, I don't have the zine feel that some people love. 

To get my "look", I leave plenty of open space to add handwritten text, rubber-on letter titles, and various rubber stamped stuff.  Once I have everything set up (pictures in place, text block order settled, and spacing/margins clarified, and handwritten text and title/image stuff pulled together), I create a final hard copy using the glue stick & scissors method that people have talked about here.  Though, I don't really use a glue stick.  I use zyrons of every size.  It ensures that everything is flat and minimizes the shadow lines -- which is mostly important when I'm doing collage work.

Not that you asked, but...I make most of my covers by hand, they aren't printed, and tend to be collaged.  I haven't done a printed zine cover in a very long time.  I tend to use grocery bags as cover stock because it's heavy enough to handle my artwork, but not so heavy that I can't staple through it.  Plus I love the color and texture of it. 

Have others tried PowerPoint and decided it doesn't work well?  I only ask because I'm surprised someone hasn't mentioned it.

 

 

 

 

I just use microsoft word processor and/or google docs (google drive). print...cut...paste....whirr, DING! IT'S READY! (Microwave humour.) Anyway, some versions have booklet format, and I'm sure everything I've just said has been said forty times before meh, soooo...okay. Hope that helps (not that it will... especially with the microwave humour.)

lottie

I prefer a good record, crappy typewriter, basic photocopier and scissors + glue.
Maybe add an icy beer or bottle of red wine

I use Scribus for layouts. It's free and open-source, though not super user-friendly. I used to use Serif PagePlus, which is not free (at least I remember eventually having to pay to get some feature I wanted -- maybe PDF export) but is somewhat friendlier than Scribus. Both are fine programs. I produce a PDF as my master copy to give to the printer.

Desktop publishing programs in general aren't all that intuitive (at least to me), but I've found them to be worth the initial effort. i think everyone who makes zines should do at least a couple by hand, but doing it on the computer definitely simplifies things.

I used Scribus to create a zine recently. I'm a cut-and-paster, so digital creations were new to me. If you're like me, you will want to do the Scribus tutorial to get the basics down. Like Colin said--it's not intuitive. I did the first few sections of the tutorial, and that worked fine for me to put my zine together. If you want more advanced effects, you'll find those there, too, or you can just explore with the pull-down menus. Watch out for the changed file names in the Scribus tutorial! It will ask you to work with a certain file, but they changed the name to something else and didn't change the accompanying text.

Scribus did the trick for my introductory needs. I think it would also work for people who are more skilled in such programs.

To create my zine, I actually used three programs: Scribus, GIMP (kind of a free, open-source Photoshop), and Acrobat Pro. You'll need Acrobat with the current version of Scribus, because it has a bug that won't let you print. So you have to export your pages to Acrobat and print from there. Just a warning, because it took me forever to figure out that it was just broken. :p

Hello, we have been running zine workshops down here in South Africa for the past year and a half but we not sure if we are doing it all right. Is there a specific formula for running zine workshops? Are there rules on what NOT do when running a zine workshop?  

I use a program Clickbook by Blue Squirrel which costs $US50.

It is a printing program, you print to it instead of your regular printer, and it enables the 8 pages of the Zine to be converted to one sheet, which then prints as a regular item.

It also enables printing to booklets and many other options. 

Simply prepare the information (pictures and/or text) over the 8 pages in your favourite program (Word, Publisher, In-Design Open Office or whatever), print to Clickbook printer, set Zine as the format and print.

Saves all the messing around with cut & paste, having to get items in the correct orientation.

After printing simply fold, cut the appropriate part and make the Zine.  Well worth the cost for its ease of use and other printing options.

Jim Thyer

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