Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Microsoft Office Suite

I just got the Microsoft Office Suite!

I needed Microsoft Office Publisher to create my two newsletters and for other work-related tasks and decided I may as well get the whole thing, the small business package that includes Publisher.

I went online to download the free trial version at and I now have the whole thing for free until the end of March. I will be purchasing the program then.

Something unexpected happened when I downloaded the program -- all my Wordpad documents were automatically converted to Word documents. While that was a tad disconcerting at first, it turns out that Word is way better since it counts your words for you. I very rarely have to count my words but that feature came in handy tonight since I was writing a story that was supposed to be 300 words. (I held it to 400.) It does lots of other neat things that I haven't explored.

The Publisher program works great as well, and I'll be using that instead of Adobe Pagemaker to create the newsletters for two nonprofit organizations.

It feels good to be caught up with the rest of the world!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The printing saga continues

An update to Friday's drama with getting a couple of newsletters printed is ... BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

The printing place called me this morning and said one of the documents I tried to send in on Friday afternoon was password coded.

"Never mind on that," I said, "I messed that up. Did you get TWO print jobs in?" No, they didn't. The larger job didn't go through over the email. It was too large.

I was asked to go through the website to place my order. I tried that but it said the file was too large. The site told me to try a custom order, which requires you to plug in the store location, but when I did that the site said that location wasn't found. (It's there, I've been there AND I was looking at the address on the directions I printed from that very website.)

Okay, so I call the store back and am asked to BRING THE DISK IN TO THE STORE, which of course is what I originally tried to do a few days ago!

The man was very nice and apologetic about all the trouble. They were also nice and apologetic when I did indeed bring my disk back to the store.

Of course I had the number of pages figured up wrong. I submitted 10 pages which won't work with a two-page spread, since one sheet of 11x17 paper folded in half makes four 8½x11 pages. In all my years of working with two-page spread publications, I should know that your pages must be in multiples of four. So I either need to send in two more pages or figure out where the blank pages are going to be. I opt for sending in two more pages and hurry home to come up with something and send it in.

The incorrect number of pages was also a problem with the other newsletter, but it was printed without me being notified of the problem or approving a sample. I sent in six pages (it should have been either four or 10, if I had looked at a sample before it went to press I would have pulled two pages and saved them for the next newsletter) so they put blank pages for the last two pages. That's going to present a problem because some of the newsletters will be folded in half for mailing with the back cover being the part that shows.

Now I have to make yet ANOTHER trip to the printing place tomorrow to approve the sample on the second, larger newsletter.

I'm getting really tired of the printing office, and so are my kids!