We Make Zines

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I just printed up Zero #6 (a 1/4-size 8-pager, the free version of a strip in Square Dance #5). The first print I did, one of the pages was pixelated, so I replaced it & reprinted. Then I noticed other pages had some digital-looking issues (I do my layout on the computer), realized they were all images I'd rotated so the zine would fold right, and fixed those (by using an actual command that rotates it a specific amount instead of eyeballing it by hand). I printed & assembled the whole batch (just 30), then realized I'd accidentally replaced one of the pages with a copy of another. I'd done a test print but was only checking image quality because I'd "already" checked the layout. ARGH!

Well, at least I noticed it before giving them out.

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Comment by Jethrobot Press on May 8, 2011 at 3:23pm
I'll check out Page Plus, it looks like it might work for me. Tried Scribus, did not like it at all. It is not user friendly for computer dopes like me. I was using Publisher and got used to the ease of use, then when I looked into buying it, realized it isn't cheap.
Comment by Colin Tedford on May 8, 2011 at 3:08pm

I use PagePlus (Windows only, alas), which has a free version, though the free version limits either the number of pages or files you can create (not sure, I have the paid one), and doesn't have PDF export (you can get around this by using something like CutePDF, though you may have to pay attention to settings to get proper print quality & might  get lower quality anyway - maybe not, it's been a while, so I forget). They used to give away fully-functional older versions of the program for free, so I was using that for a while, then upgraded to a newerversion that was on sale because it was about to be updated, then a couple versions later upgraded to the current one during another sale (they do a lot of sales, so you should be able to get the prgram for less than "list price").

On the other hand, you might check out Scribus, which is free, open-source, and cross-platform. I had some trouble understanding how to handle images in it, but I suspect the way they do it is a standard "professional" way and PagePlus has sugarcoated it for laypeople. Anyway, I haven't used it enough to properly recommend it, but I recommend trying it before PagePlus. I've been happy with PagePlus, but it's hard to beat free, and it's nice that Scribus will work on most any operating system.

Comment by Jethrobot Press on May 7, 2011 at 3:53pm
It's the one thing i fear, esp when doing min zines, is the layout process. I bought a new PC last year and do not have any of the same programs I used in the past to edit and layout on my new PC, so for the newest zine/comic i had to lay it all out by hand the old fashioned way. Had one mishap, but luckily it was easily fixable.  I hope to get a good layout program for the new PC. What do you use Colin?


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