Page Layout Tools for Nonprofits
These packages also provide preformatted templates for everything from business letters and stationery to calendars, reports, invitations, newsletters and more. Templates make the design easier by giving you the basic formatting, which you can customize to fit your needs. However, despite their relative ease of use, predesigned templates can lack creativity or professionalism, and the final products can tend to look “canned.”
Word-processing software can do a lot, but it’s not really designed for complex, highly designed documents. If you find yourself working on layouts that require complex multicolumn layouts or text routing, or a high degree of control over how text and images interact, word processing applications likely won’t suffice — it becomes difficult or impossible to manage layouts to that level of control. In particular, there are a few things word-processing applications simply won’t do:
* Bleeds. Many professionally designed layouts have color blocks or other visual elements that run to the edge of the page, called bleeds. Most word processing programs don’t allow this. Every layout must have a white margin all the way around each page.
* Font and word spacing control. Professional layout programs offer a high degree of control over text, with the ability to “squish” words or lines slightly to make them fit, have text flow around images that aren’t square and more. Word processors are much more limited in this area.
* Color separations. If you plan on using a professional printer, these applications won’t suffice. To ready files for press, offset printers break images down into four separate colors and print each individually. This process is not supported by word processing software.
Word processing software is available and familiar, but it has some significant drawbacks as you try to design complex layouts. If you just need a simple flyer or report, they might work perfectly well. But if you want to create highly designed and polished layouts, you’ll likely have to look further.