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[yak] EZ graphics/web design software help!


#1

Hi all,

Now that I own a better machine I am ready to do a little more
of my own design. I followed the conversation on the Microsoft
Frontpage program and had some of my suspicions confirmed.
Someone like me who is currently using a regular modem, will be
gettinga cable modem soon, and then will probably move in a few
years to a place that may or may not have cable modem access
shouldn’t use a product if they are unsure about how long they
will be with any one provider. I have read a little about the
Adobe Pagemaker? product, it also comes with photoshop (maybe a
scaled down version?). So the question is “does anyone have
experience with this product?”, "could someone with a little
experience and more determination design their own web page
using this?

Next, on my poor old mac I designed very basic business cards,
mailers, etc…any ideas on what of the lesser expensive software
I may want to use. I foolishly didn’t pay much attention when my
husband ordered this set-up since most people I know that got a
new PC got some usable graphics programs bundled with them I
thought we would too. We got virtually nothing of use to me…I
think that’s because my hubby didn’t know what to request so he
didn’t. Any help appreciated!

Thanks, Karen
@Karenworks


#2

Hi Karen, I use Print Artist for my Business cards and stationary
as well as cards, signs, etc. I’ve played with a few others but
can’t find graphics I like. The latest version of Print Artist (I
think it’s 4.0) has thousands of graphics and 300 fonts at around
$60.00. I found version 3.0 for 10.00 and it had everything I
needed (I think it has less graphics than 4.0). I also got
Compuworks Publisher 2, it’s ok but I hate most of the
graphics–too cartoony. Guess it depends on what you want. I wish
there was someway of seeing the graphics before you buy the
programs!!!

Good luck!

Kathie


#3

Frontpage program and had some of my suspicions confirmed.
Someone like me who is currently using a regular modem, will be
gettinga cable modem soon, and then will probably move in a few
years to a place that may or may not have cable modem access
shouldn’t use a product if they are unsure about how long they
will be with any one provider.

I really don’t think it matters. I’m in Washington, DC and my
internet provider is in Virginia, but my Web Site provider (a
totally unrelated company) is in New Jersey. I don’t like my
internet provider much, but my web site provider is really
pretty good: they answer correspondence quickly, their servers
are very fast, and they are really cheap. You can check them
out at http://www.digiweb.com/

Next, on my poor old mac I designed very basic business cards,
mailers, etc…any ideas on what of the lesser expensive software
I may want to use.

If you’re not doing anything really elaborate you can use M’Soft
Word 7.0 for such things. (I assume you’re using WIN95?) It
has a basic graphic/drawing program built right in, and you can
import graphic files right into a Word Document.

Tom


#4

could someone with a little
experience and more determination design their own web page
using this?

Definately! I made my website starting from knowing nothing,
using Internet Assistant for Microsoft Word (one of the programs
that usually comes with Windows), Photoshop, and from
the internet. Internet Assistant is a good, easy to use program
that could be downloaded for free. After I got used to the HTML
I tried other programs and used Home Site (another good program).
And I also use Word for my business cards and mailers. Here
are a few informative sites on learning to do your own web pages:

http://www.thesite.com/tools.html - has step by step lessons on
learning HTML

http://werbach.com/barebones/barebone.html
http://ncdesign.kyushu-id.ac.jp/html/html_design.html - have
extensive lists of tags (commands used in HTML to design the
page)

Just jump right in - it’s easier than it looks. And if you have
any questions, feel free to contact me.

Jill
@jandr
http://members.tripod.com/~jilk


#5

An addenda note…

If you are running microsoft word, it has a download patch that
will converts it to a respectable HTML editor with graphics
import capabilities.

Lester Poole_


#6

Hey Karen;

My name is Ted Nunes, one of the Orchid significant others–my
wife is Carrie Nunes, a member for a while. She showed me your
post and I’ll tell you what I can.

I’m a graphic designer, and have some experience with Pagemaker
and a lot of experience with Photoshop. As a visual artist you
would love Photoshop, it’s pretty much the Graphics industry
standard and a very powerful photo-manipulation and image
creation tool. By that same token, being an industry standard
means that it’s not cheap. As for the PageMaker/Photoshop
bundle; yes, you’d probably end up with an LE version of
Photoshop, which you’d also end up wanting to upgrade (it might
be good for starters, though).

PageMaker is a page-layout program, primarily used by print
design professional, for newsletters, magazines, ads; text design
and such. You could design business cards and other marketing
materials, but you wouldn’t design web pages on it (at least I
don’t think it’s got that function yet).

There are catalogs full of web design tools; one I’m familiar
with is Claris Home Page. It’s a decent, user-friendly,
what-you-see-is-what-you-get application.

Frankly, you don’t really have to have a webpage tool at all, if
you’re inquisitive enough. You can find a simple page on the web
that you like and under your browser’s menu find the command to
"view source". This will bring up a window displaying the actual
html page–which is just a text file with certain commands
(called tags) to tell the computer how to display the text and
graphics. You can sort of decipher what the “tags” do by
comparing the html text to the page as it appears. All any
webpage design tool is doing is creating this text file. It’s a
little like homework, but it could get you started on a web page
cheaply.

Unfortunetly, there’s a pretty confusing variety of products out
there, and the one’s I know about are higher-end and therefore
pricey-er. If you’re okay with being limited to templates and
clipart, then you will be able to find something cheaper. If you
aspire to do more involved designing you’ll want to think about
investing in the professional-grade tools.

Good luck


#7

Hi Karen (and friends),

To be honest, the minimum you need to create Web pages is a text
editor and a shareware graphics manipulation package, like
LViewPro. Now this means you will have to understand something
about HTML (HyperText Markup Language), which is really simple.
On the other hand, your time is probably better spent in the
studio than learning HTML.

All any other tool for Web authoring does is make it easier for
you by generating the HTML code based on what you’ve done on the
screen. Beyond that, there are just varying degrees of
functionality built in. BTW, my dad, who is a technical writer,
says “functionality” isn’t a real word…

If you are concerned about finding a Web hosting service that
supports FrontPage Extensions, don’t be. They are all over the
place, and geographic proximity to where you are is not
important. A cable modem is great, but any modem 33.6 or better
is just fine. Changing ISPs or hosting services should not be
an issue.

For cheap and effective FrontPage hosting, I can recommend HiWay
(http://www.hway.com). One of my clients is hosted there, and
it’s very good for the price. I use a higher-end provider
(Mindspring), but may switch to HiWay for the savings.

Okay, now to get to your actual question… :slight_smile:

I have talked to a number of people who are quite happy using
Microsoft Publisher to generate Web pages. It’s a lower-end
desktop publishing package than PageMaker… which is used by
real publishing pros. Evidently it is very effective for Web
pages, and other publishing needs, too. What it does not do
is help you manage your Web.

Let me elaborate: I’m sure you understand what a single Web
page is. A Web itself is made up of a number of pages,
hyperlinked together. Many typical applications (Word, Excel,
Publisher, etc.) have had features added so that they can
generate Web pages, but they don’t know anything about the Web
itself. Only a product built as a Web authoring tool will
really give you the more advanced features and Web management
tools.

For example, spell checking a whole site, verifying hyperlinks,
etc. I can change a link in my Web, and FrontPage will offer to
change all the links to that page within the Web on all pages.
It also gives a graphic representation of your Web… you can
see every page that links into a given page.

A “real” Web authoring tool will also make advanced things like
hit counters, included pages, frames, forms, etc. easily
manageable. These things would probably be difficult/impossible
with conventional tools that just generate pages.

I guess it depends on your needs/what you want. If you just
want a simple Web site of a few pages, I imagine you could get
by with a conventional piece of software that does double duty.
If you’re serious and want a more professional Web site, I’d
recommend biting the bullet and getting a packaged designed
specifically for Web authoring.

Then you get into things like scanners, digital cameras, color
printers, etc. Help! Help! I’m being sucked in! :slight_smile:

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com


#8

Hi Karen, There are one or two things that should be taken into
consideration. I have changed my service provider recently and it
just as easy to download your web page to one as any oither. It
dosn’t matter where you live, because your service provider could
be the other side of the world (like CompuServe for me), the
phone calls are all usually local anyway, so I don’t think that
distance is a problem if you move at some point in the future.
As to your concerns about using Microsoft Front Page, this is a
web page design program and uses HTML (Hypertext markup
language). The program makes the creation of web pages very
simple because there is no need to learn the language, as this is
all hidden. All you see is the end result. I have been a long
term user of Pagemaker, this is a desk top publishing program for
producing artwork for printing. It is an excellent program, but
does not produce web pages. Any pages you design with Pagemaker
would have to be changed into HTML to create web pages. As to
Photshop, this is regarded as the industry standard by many
graphic designers and is a superb program for graphic design and
photo editing. A good, and not too expensive desk top publishing
program is Microsoft Publisher, it has a lot of wizards to help
you get through the design process. If you are keen to make your
own web pages, Microsoft Front Page is an excellent product.
Richard W UK


#9

An addendum note to the item about the Word for Windows patch,
the version of Word must be 6.01 or higher.


#10

William, Just an adittional point about getting material over the
web to help design web pages. There are sites dedicated to
providing page templates and graphics.There is even a site where
you can design a web page. Corel do a CD with a huge ammount of
page templates and graphics for web page design. Richard W UK