Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 138 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 1992 / PAGE 92

Publishing on a shoestring. (GeoWrite word processing software) (Column)
by Robert Bixby

I lay out books as a hobby. One of the simplest forms of books is the chapbook. Chapbooks are usually printed on bond paper with cardstock covers and saddle-stitched. Because chapbook publishing is so simple and inexpensive, it's open to virtually everyone.

I have laid out a 40-page book in an evening using nothing more than GeoWorks Ensemble's GeoWrite. There are strong advantages to the Ensemble environment--chiefly, the wide variety of fonts that can be printed at laser quality on dot-matrix printers.

Begin by using Page Setup in the File menu to specify landscape orientation, 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet, and two columns. Make the right and left margins 1/2 inch and the top and bottom margins 1 inch. Make the gutter (the space between the two columns) 1 inch.

Use Insert from Text File on the File menu to insert your edited ASCII file (all editing should be finished before the book is laid out). The next step is to allow for alternating pages. At the top of the first column of the first page, insert a page break from the Edit menu. Do the same a line above the bottom line in the second column. Insert a page break a line above the bottom of the first column on the second page and another at the top of the second column of the second page. Continue inserting page breaks in this way until you reach the end of the text. Remember that the left column should be blank on odd-numbered pages and the right column should be blank on even-numbered pages and each page containing text should have a page break at its bottom.

You're dealing with four-page signatures--that is, each unit of your publication is a single sheet of paper which contains four book pages, two pages on each side. Therefore, you're going to want to lay out your book so that the middle two book pages will print on an even-numbered page in GeoWrite. Go to the approximate middle of your GeoWrite document, or perhaps a page or two after the middle. Be sure that it's an even-numbered page in GeoWrite. From here on, you'll be cutting and pasting whole pages.

Go to the next page in GeoWrite. Click the mouse button on the text five times. This selects the entire page, including the page break. The page breaks at the bottoms of the pages are a potential problem. Place the mouse cursor on the left end of the page break (it appears as a solid line), hold down the Shift key, and click to unselect it. Now use Cut from the Edit menu to cut the page. Go back to the blank side of the middle page. Click above the page break on that page and paste the text you just cut.

Continue this procedure, cutting successive pages and pasting them on the blank side of pages from the middle to the front of the book. As you can guess, this is the point where organization is most apt to break down.

You can't rely on GeoWrite's headers, footers, or page numbers. You'll have to create your own and paste them into the columns. Go back to Page Setup and make the top and bottom margins one-half inch. That will give you an additional inch of space on each page. Go to the first page where you want a header and type the information at the top of the column--not in the header area provided by GeoWrite. Use the Copy command in the Edit menu to place the header in the clipboard. Then go through the book, page by page, pasting this header in place at the top of each column. Some people like to use alternating headers, and this is very easily done. Just copy one header (usually the book title) to the top of each right column and the other header (chapter name or author name) to the top of each left column. Number the columns at the bottom of the text area (not the footer area) following the flow of the text, remembering that odd numbers go with right columns and even numbers with left columns.

Print out a complete set of pages, place them back to back, and fold them in half. Read the pages in page-number order to check continuity.

Find a copy shop that can make two-sided photocopies and let the proprietor set the material up (usually every other page has to be upside down). It's worth the extra money to have the books folded in half, stapled, and trimmed.