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  1. #1

    Default Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Hello to all,

    I have to learn make monthly downloadable PDF magazines for my blog that must be high quality. I wonder are there any tutorials focusing on PDF magazine editing? The right fonts, how to create a lay-out, image formats, output settings etc.? All tips will be much appreciated, thanks.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, IL USA
    Posts
    974

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    While many may say that Xara is not the best tool for page layout, and I'd agree, I use Xara exclusively for all my page layout needs. I find doing page layout is pretty straight forward as a design process. Find a magazine design you like (as in the example you included) and emulate its style. I most often use 2 column layout (as in your example), though I'd use full justification, instead of right justified. You will have needs for a properly spaced gutter (the space between the columns) and margins. As far as fonts go, I find serif fonts more easily readable than san-serif fonts, though serif fonts tend to look archaic for some modern designs. Font choice is an individual thing and varies for its purpose. A font that works for one project may be incompatible with another - I cannot state which font is "best", aside from you'll know it when you see it (at least that's how it works for me.)

    Here is an example of 2 column page layout I am doing for a project as an intended for print PDF adventure module for roleplaying games - in this example I am trying to emulate an American Old West style to fit the theme of the adventure:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Interesting, thanks. For a new document do you use 'blank photo' and for a PDF page does it need a white background or transparent?

    Regards,
    Alwin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, IL USA
    Posts
    974

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Not a "blank photo" rather Edit/New/US Letter or A4, whichever format best suits your audience. The page background is automatically white, you don't want to create a rectangle for the background, just leave as is. Then determine your margins, 2 column placement and gutter, space for headlines. Leave spaces for ads and illustrations as you need them. My example above shows a parchment background only to better serve the graphics needs to invoke "old west" in theme. Normally, I never use color backgrounds.

    Here's a free product of mine you could download (a one-shot adventure module) from DrivethruRPG.com, I did the cover design, most of the illustrations, and the page layout all using XDP 9.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sunshine Coast BC, Canada. In a beautiful part of BC's temperate rainforest
    Posts
    9,864

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Hi I make a weekly newsletter document as a PDF. first off what is going to to be the use for your Pdf? is it just for your readers to download for offline use and possibly print at home? or is it going to be used for professional printing?

    If it's just for offline use and home printing then you won't want to use a double page spread as most home printers will only be capable of printing an 8.5 X11 page. If it's only going to be viewed on screen there may be other ways to go, but for now we'll stick with the pdf.

    For something that you are going to produce on a monthly basis you will want to set up a template. You don't need to worry about using a photo document just a blank document is fine. Don't worry about the background unless you want a coloured page. Decide on your column layout (I use a 3 column layout ) and set up guidelines so you can use the snap to guidelines feature to save production time. You can also set some horizontal guidelines to create a kind of rudimentary table grid. I've attached a template below that i use for Good Morning Sunshine but note it's set up for professional printing and is done as a double page spread it should give you an idea how to set up a grid though. (once I have my pdf sent off for printing I break down the issue into separate pages for viewing online)

    Your template can also contain type styles for headings and body text. To save styles in your template first go into options and on the view tab make sure that the checkbox beside Delete unused colours and styles when saving is cleared you don't want this set. Now choose your fonts and type a word or two and set point size bold Italic etc. As Gamerprinter said the choice is indvidual and will depend on your own preferences and the style of layout you want to achieve. I prefer clean san serif fonts and I like to use one font that comes in a variety of styles like light, black condensed etc. to create visual interest yet keeping a nice harmony. Once you have a word or two typed and set the way you like then just select create new style from the dropdown list. your style can also contain colour information.

    Justification is another setting that will be based on preference and document style. Pdf settings: This will depend on how you intend the pdf to be used I find for online viewing and home printing high quality (300dpi) seems to be good, and my readers seem to get a good quality print out (depending on their printers of course)
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by angelize; 09 September 2015 at 08:52 PM.

    My current Xara software: Designer Pro 365 12.6

    Good Morning Sunshine.ca | Good Morning Sunshine Online(a weekly humorous publication created with XDP and exported as a web document) | Angelize Online resource shop | My Video Tutorials | My DropBox |
    Autocorrect: It can be your worst enema.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Thanks, I will check it out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dunoon, Scotland
    Posts
    4,778

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Sounds if it's not going to be printed at a print works as you want people to download from your blog. So yea use Xara to make your PDF's so long that it's not more than 30 pages and you wouldn't want that anyway as your readers are going to download it. Gary B's tutorial for August 2015 would be a help as it gives info on font useage and there is an earlier one from October 2014. Here is the link and it should stimulate and get your ideas for your layout and much, much more also look in the archives at Gary P's tuts as well : http://www.xaraxone.com/
    Design is thinking made visual.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Thanks, good information.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Good advice Angelize, especially the grid and styles. I have found that setting guides for columns and gutters and using the single column tool is quicker approach than using the multi-column tool but one can use the multi-column tool to help set out the grid in the first place.
    Tony

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dunoon, Scotland
    Posts
    4,778

    Default Re: Tips and tutorials for PDF editing in Xara?

    Yes Tony that's how I use mine. I whack in my guides for the text area using a cm grid but with a larger number of sub-divisions than default. With Snap to Grid tuned on ----> stretch the text box of the the area ---> the use "the arrange the text area into columns" tool to the number I want, ---> I dont like the default gap width so I change that thinking in mm this time. Have already worked out how many pages I want and if I want to change the column lengths for content pages after front page so I duplicate after sorting out new text are lengths to the number of pages I require. Hope you can make sense of the last bit!
    Design is thinking made visual.

 

 

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