Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 03/08/2012

Is It A Plane, Is It Superman… no it’s a Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouth, originally uploaded by

Amazing, I’ve been testing a number of online services as well as desktop software packages to help me produce the type of layout I want when I convert my Kenya travellog-travelblog into a book but none of them have really allowed me the freedom to wrap text around the graphics in the way I want. I have been spoilt from the beginning mind you, I bought a copy of Pagemaker for the PC back in around 1993, and even went to night school in an attempt to learn how to use this complex piece of software (installing it was the first major stumbling blocks in those days – it wasn’t just a case of running setup.exe!). Quark or Pagemaker would be the ideal solution but the cost for either of these software packages for a one-off (well, possibly, I still haven’t converted last years’ blog, or written the book on Cheetahs I wanted to.. then there’s this year’s’ blog as well – I better call Amazon now and warn them of the influx of literature I’ll be churning out so they have enough space in their warehouses <ring ring… ring ring…> … Hello Amazon… oh, you’ve read the blog? What do you mean you’re not too worried about meeting the demand for my work.. as there won’t be any! <click… brrrrrHello.. Amazon… hello, are you still there?).

Right where was I, after such a rejection, oh yes… so after looking into a variety of free or cheap options available, it turns out that a piece of software already installed on my laptop, one I haven’t even used since I received this new machine, that has all the functionality I require to produce the layout I want – one you’ll all be familiar with, one I haven’t used in around 5 years – Microsoft Word! There are very few occasions where I need something more complex than Notepad+++ (not to be confused with Windows Notepad – this one is much more feature rich, allowing users to have more than one file open at any one time) or Google Docs. In fact most people don’t actually need anything more complex than Wordpad for the majority of documentation they produce, a bit of bold here, some italics there, perhaps some justification (for spending so much on Microsoft Office!), and a right alignment over there.

I plan to try and finish my first tome whilst away on our family holiday though it all depends whether we have the time or not; we’re not the type to sit around a pool, having the occasional dip in the pool (though there’s nothing wrong with that), we’re alway out somewhere, doing something whether that’s walking in the countryside or … more realisting photographing the countryside so that leaves only the evenings which tend to fly by once we’ve had our evening meal. Of course the one thing that might stop me is not having the blog entries before I go, and without broadband internet access, this might be the showstopper. Yes, Amazon you can breath easily now!


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