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Anyone using writer to typeset novels?

asked 2020-08-04 02:33:19 +0200

Egan Solo gravatar image

I have been using FrameMaker to write a series of novels. The recent pricing policy Adobe introduced had me rethink my loyalty to FrameMaker. This editor does a superb job at typesetting novels. Two reasons:

  1. FrameMaker uses the same PDF engine that powers Adobe Reader. Therefore the typesetting in FrameMaker is faithfully rendered in PDF. Microsoft Word's rounding algorithm to determine if the last line of a page should be moved to the next is different from Adobe and that created havoc when trying to save a word doc as a pdf.
  2. FrameMaker provides an elastic word spacing function which results in nicely typeset paragraphs. As you ccan see from the image below, you can specify the elastic range you want. image description.

I have read the lastest Writer manual and I am truly impressed by the breadth and depth of its features which easily rival what FrameMaker offers. I am holding my breath because I did not see the same ability for word spacing. I may have missed it since I was reading quite quickly. So my questions to this community are:

  1. Is a file exported to PDF faithful to the original? If a line in the original appears last on page 100, then it appears last on page 100 in the PDF as well, regardless of the complexity of the typesetting?
  2. Is there a word spacing function in Writer and is the output from Writer pleasing to the eye (that last bit is subjective, I know).

Would love to hear your feedback.

Thank you.

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Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2020-08-04 13:25:58 +0200 )edit

Thanks Mike for that reference: it summarizes the issue perfectly and answers my question: even though LiberOffice has features rivaling what FrameMaker has, the fact that it is unable to properly justify text is a deal-breaker for me. I will continue to monitor its progress in the hopes that this feature is eventually implemented but until it does, I won't be able to use it. It's a pity, really.

Egan Solo gravatar imageEgan Solo ( 2020-08-04 23:35:47 +0200 )edit

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answered 2020-08-04 07:23:06 +0200

keme gravatar image

updated 2020-08-04 07:24:33 +0200

Is a file exported to PDF faithful to the original? If a line in the original appears last on page 100, then it appears last on page 100 in the PDF as well, regardless of the complexity of the typesetting?

Yes, as far as my experience goes. There has been some reported issues with page reflowing, but as far as I can recall they have all been connected to two content conditions:

  • footnote and the footnote's reference competing over page "real estate".
  • All paragraphs set to "keep with next".

Is there a word spacing function in Writer and is the output from Writer pleasing to the eye (that last bit is subjective, I know).

No, there is no equivalent to that "graded edge smoothing" in Writer. You can have left/right alignment, where the spaces are all equal, or fully justified alignment, where the spaces are adjusted to make both left and right edge straight up to the margin.

Yes, I find no discomfort in the output. The "working canvas" (editing pane) can sometimes make a rough rendering of layout, but final output (page preview, pdf export, print) is fine. I may not be the most critical eye towards (typo)graphical design flaws.

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Asked: 2020-08-04 02:33:19 +0200

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Last updated: Aug 04