Waar zit de Kneep? Opmaak, Vormgeving & Publicatie met Scribus 1.4.1

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By Chr. Schäfer

Gerrit Bruijnes, Waar zit de Kneep? Opmaak, Vormgeving & Publicatie met Scribus 1.4.3

IPAA Service, Kampen (The Netherlands), 286 pages, four colour print, flex cover, EUR 35,– ISBN 978 90 72445 00 1

Language: Dutch

The author of this book, whose main title can be translated as "Where is the trick?", is a former school teacher who started a successful second career as a book author and IT trainer for professional job-training organisations, as well as companies. Among others, he has written books and articles about PageMaker and InDesign before he discovered Scribus.

Bruijnes' book is not a full-fledged manual. Instead, his main focus is to help users to get good results as quickly as possible, but he also added a few chapters on general issues, like working with text frames etc. A much appreciated addition is the many infoboxes with very valuable backgound information about things like overprinting, bézier curves or even the workings of the book market/the printing business.

The introduction includes a short description of the principles of Free Software. Next follows a quick start guide, along the lines of the one provided by Scribus‘s Online Help, except that he lets the user create a poster and introduces more features. Readers will then be guided through the creation of several types of documents, like books, magazines, PDF forms or fliers.

The book‘s layout is not spectacular (especially the font choices), but nevertheless pleasing to the eye and, more importantly, supports the author‘s didactic concept throughout the book. A small index helps to locate the most important information provided by the book quickly. The paper quality is above average, while binding is standard (perfect binding), although some tentative tests have shown that it‘s stable enough to withstand some rather violent spreading attempts, so buyers can be assured that the book won‘t dissolve once the reader has made his way through all that's being taught.

One of the target groups is self publishers – the book itself is a POD production – hence the final chapter with useful hints on arranging pages, spine calculation, multi-lingual documents etc.

The book is being shipped with a CD-ROM that includes Ghostscript, Scribus 1.4.3 for Mac OS X, Windows, Ubuntu and Haiku the related source code, as well as a list of Scribus shortcuts in PDF and DOC format. More importantly, it also comprises all sample files used in the book, including a very complex real-world document. For almost every lesson at least two SLA files are available, namely one that shows the file at the beginning and another one that shows the expected result.

Summary:

For those who understand Dutch, the book is highly recommended. Readers will be guided by a competent and patient teacher who knows how to explain complex stuff without being boring. Despite some minor errors and omissions (which are of no consequence to its usefulness), the book is worth every cent, especially since the content of the CD-ROM allows buyers to follow each lesson step-by-step. The author also offers updates (as PDFs) for buyers of his work.