Re: hwg-basics-digest V1 #855

by "Ted Temer" <temer(at)>

 Date:  Tue, 17 Apr 2001 15:50:11 -0700
 To:  "HWGBASICS" <hwg-basics(at)>
  todo: View Thread, Original
Whoops Freda, I think we may have a little apples and oranges thing going

I said that Word did NOT put many typesetters out of work. Granted, in the
next sentence I really should substitute the word "many" instead of "the" to
denote which typesetters. I certainly did not intend to imply that "every"
form of typesetting is now being handled with Microsoft Word.

But--that having been said--You must remember there is typesetting and then
there is typesetting. And not all forms of the profession are alike.

Every town--small and large--has several shops and/or individuals who "type"
six jillion different types of printed material for local businesses. And
most of them refer to themselves as "typesetters". And "most" of their work
IS done with Word. Or at least, it starts out that way. We, (many local
printers, graphics departments and myself), then import those files into a
page layout program and take it from there. However, the print shop I work
with has "printed" many small "books" completely set up with Word.

But not all of these "typesetters" work on books. Or even newspapers. Most
work is done for some form of advertising. Whether it be a brochure, an
article, booklet, or the Saturday Shopper. And--sad as it may be--darn few
of them use a photo-typesetter or imager setter any more. This of course--is
not to say that such devices are no longer used. Of course they are.

And of course, we must not overlook HTML publishing. After all it is their
list we are cluttering up with this slightly off topic discussion. In HTML
there is NO way to "kern". PERIOD

In many cases--at this period of flux in the printed world--we see dozens of
different methods. Most do not seem to realize that good old Windows has
drivers available to run such things as Compugraphic Photo Image Setters.
And sure--you can use Word as your primary software for keying in the text.
You can even "print out" Word produced "pages" if you have a wide film image

Many do just that. Instead however, many also then import their Word file
into Canvas--or Quark Express, or PageMaker, etc, etc. Then we have
imposition and FlightCheck, (if we are using PostScript).

And to really muddy up the works, there is the new "Direct to Plate" concept
that is rapidly becoming a whole new industry. No image setter there, most
run a polyester plate through a wide base laser printer. 1800+ dots per inch
does a remarkable job--assuming sufficient RAM is available. And don't
forget Xerox type "publishing".

We must also acknowledge--much to the chagrin of us "older" types--that more
people, (including "professional" people), are now "publishing" all sorts of
documents using Microsoft Publisher than every other type of "print"
publishing software in the whole world, put together.

And Microsoft Publisher is DESIGNED to work with Word. For that matter, so
will most of the aforementioned page layout programs.

But--you won't ever hear ME suggest that the results are better--or even
just as good. What I will say--is that in many cases, perhaps even the
majority--the results of "publishing" with MS Publisher on a 1200 dot laser
printer, (144 shades of gray at 100 lines per inch), does do a satisfactory
job both for the businessperson and their clients. Can you do all the neat
kerning and character sizing?? No--not all--of course not. But you can do
quite a lot. And many consider this adequate.

So--Has the quality suffered?? Perhaps it has. But certainly not near as bad
a blight on mankind as playing rock and roll over their loud speakers rather
than music. And, speaking of "rather's", I'm sure most of us would much
rather have a sub standard piece of printed material in our mail boxes than
be bothered with a telephone solicitor right in the middle of "West Wing".

Best wishes
Ted Temer
Temercraft Designs Redding, CA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Freda Lockert" <fredalockert(at)>
To: <hwg-basics(at)>
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 1:12 PM
Subject: Re: hwg-basics-digest V1 #855

> >In a similar vein, Microsoft Word certainly did NOT put many typesetters
> >of work. It is just that now--the typesetters are using Word themselves
> >greatly enhance their productivity.
> >
> I'm surprised that a writer who presumably works with typesetters
> should make such an ignorant comment. If someone thinks a book, or
> anything else, can be professionally set in Word, then they are
> unaware of the skills required, the whole process of typesetting and
> all the other requirements that go into the typographic design,
> pre-press and on-press processes. Or have I misunderstood what you
> said, Ted, in which case I sincerely apologise?
> I'm a trained typographer AND typesetter with 25+ years of experience
> in all processes, plus I've also worked extensively with MS Word
> producing 500+ page documents (engineering specs, tender docs,
> accident reports) in the UK railway industry, for the infrastructure
> owner, Railtrack, so I know (regrettably) what Word does well - very
> little.
> Regards.
> Freda
> --
> Spaceship Earth: The problem for the passengers is that there is no
> manual to identify all the parts, and no instructions on how to
> operate the spaceship. - Richard Buckminster Fuller.

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