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RiscWorld readers treated to DTP beginners guide

By Chris Williams. Published: 15th Aug 2003, 21:05:29 | Permalink | Printable

First RiscWorld, then the world

ProAction, the active side of APDL and no stranger to dead tree publishing, earlier today released details of DTP Principles, which is billed as "a platform and software-independent guide to understanding some of the most important fundamentals of word processing and desktop publishing".

The guide was produced using RISC OS, is just 20 pages thick which makes it a non-obtrusive desk companion, and it's written by Foundation editor Richard Hallas. ProAction's latest (miniature) tome promises to teach readers document structure, choice of fonts sizes, presentation of content and other topics like the golden ratio. Handy.

To get a grasp of DTP, I've personally found that it's best to experiment lots in your prefered DTP application and playing with styles and layouts until you find one you like. Fiddling and trying out new techniques is very effective but it's good to have the ideals of DTP in your head first, which is where Richard's handbook flaunts its stuff.

APDL/ProAction logoNow we could be wrong on this, but it appears the guide is only for subscribers of APDL's RiscWorld publication and they'll get the book free of charge in the post. For an extra fiver, a supporting CD-ROM can be sent which features a (presumably) 32bit version of the Ovation DTP app and some fonts'n'clipart.

If DTP Principles is for RiscWorld readers only then emailing us about it this morning was a bit of a tease. However the magazine arena has refreshingly heated up somewhat recently and all news is good news. While RiscWorld fans will no doubt appreciate this free Hallas production, we're hoping it isn't some kind of subscriber commiseration prize.

Update [16/8/2003]
Dave Bradforth of ProAction got back to us today to say the DTP guide will be available to all, although RiscWorld readers get first dabs. New subscribers will also get the guide for free.

"It's initially available free to RISC World readers as I wanted to guage the response to it; the money (where made) from it will be from sales of the CD-ROM", Dave told us. Drop Dave an email or give APDL a call if you're interested.



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I will look forward to that when it arrives.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 18/8/03 3:10PM
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My copy arrived today; it's unfortunate that the illustration showing the correct use of the apostrophe has the text, and apostrophe, missing.

 is a RISC OS Userlibrarian16 on 19/8/03 7:25PM
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Hopefully mine should arrive soon then.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 20/8/03 12:24AM
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Mine arrived today. Scanned through it, and it looks really good. I especially enjoyed the points about careful use of hyphenation, and how to avoid rude words!

Well spotted, librarian16, I wonder if someone could tell us what is supposed to be in the empty boxes?


-- Andrew Harmsworth, Cambridge. www.gcse.com owner and author

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 21/8/03 5:18PM
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Hi - the empty boxes are supposed to illustrate the correct use of the apostrophe; and seemed to drop off unfortunately during the production process. Any other views of this project?

I'm pondering launching a number of these, but obviously they cant all be free. Total costs for this issue, well I'll leave that up to individuals to guess, but it certainly wasnt free.

That said, I think it was worth the money - and hope that the majority of RISC World readers who got a freebie agree too.

We'll be announcing a supporting CD-ROM in a couple of days; if you liked it please order one of the supporting CD-ROMs and help us to fund the next one.

David Bradforth Publisher, DTP Principles

 is a RISC OS Userskeeter on 21/8/03 6:00PM
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It is very well put together and profesional looking mag.

10 out 10 for that :)

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 21/8/03 7:06PM
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Thanks for the good feedback. The empty boxes are most regrettable, and are due to an error at the printing stage.

For the record, the boxes should both contain "Convention '96", but with opening and closing single quotes before the 96 in the left-hand and right-hand boxes, respectively, to illustrate the wrong and right character to use.

The idea was to illustrate a logo for a fictitious 'DTP Convention' show. The year of 1996 was chosen as a subtle pun, in that opening and closing single quotes look like 9s and 6s.

Pity about the error, but these things happen, sadly. I've since found two further mistakes a missing word and - shock, horror - a double-space between two other words! The shame of it. :-o

(Richard Hallas, author of DTP Principles)

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 21/8/03 11:26PM
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