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Author Topic: Digital Magazine Software?  (Read 379 times)

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Offline FaustusTopic starter

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Digital Magazine Software?
« on: April 05, 2015, 09:01:42 PM »
For one of my online classes at University, we have an assignment to create an online digital magazine that covers film reviews for those we observed (German Film Studies, for those potentially curious). He has given us no requirements beyond making it pretty and making it "magazine format." His lack of direction is. . .frustrating, but I shall move on!

Anyway, what programs would you potentially recommend using when creating something like this? My preference is on free, as I do not see myself using the software format outside of this class (I'm a history major, they want dissertations not pretty magazines, haha), but I am willing to pay a lower-end fee for the project.

I've never been asked to create something like this, so I'm not sure where to begin. Google has given me some results, but I'd like to see if anyone on Elliquiy has ever done a task like this before, or has otherwise used software that could produce these results. Nothing quite like user feedback, yeah?

Much thanks!

Offline The Dark Raven

Re: Digital Magazine Software?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2015, 09:53:20 PM »
If your text boxes are set up properly, one can make a magazine layout in Word or Excel.

Offline GypsyRose

Re: Digital Magazine Software?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2015, 06:15:48 AM »
I like Microsoft Publisher for things like this - Word is a little less forgiving on matters of formatting.  Some people also use Powerpoint.  Neither are free, but a lot of people have the program and they're fairly easy to use with any MS Office experience. 

There's a trial version of LucidPress' alternative to MS Publisher that might be worth a look, but I have only seen mention of it and don't know how easy it would be to use.

Offline Nicholas

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Re: Digital Magazine Software?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2015, 07:35:10 AM »
Yep, MS Publisher is good for that kind of stuff. Powerpoint isn't bad, either, but I'd favour Publisher. It's in my opinion, easier to use.

Offline consortium11

Re: Digital Magazine Software?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2015, 09:47:11 AM »
Personally I like Adobe InDesign but it's fairly high-end software and many of the features are ones you're unlikely to need or use. In addition, while Adobe's move to the pay by month model reduces the price for anyone looking to use it short term, it still costs money.

If you have Microsoft Publisher that's probably the best bet; it's a solid entry level program that does all the basics and comes with many computers. If you don't have Publisher then Serif PagePlus may be a good shout. Like Publisher it's considered a good entry level program which is fairly user friendly and contains the key functions you need. The Starter Edition is completely free but has a five page limit which may or may not be too restrictive.

A completely free option is Scribus. It's Open Source and lacks some of polish, user friendliness and support that the major paid programs have but it's basically just as powerful and absolutely free.

Offline Iuris

Re: Digital Magazine Software?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 04:07:32 PM »
Personally I like Adobe InDesign but it's fairly high-end software and many of the features are ones you're unlikely to need or use. In addition, while Adobe's move to the pay by month model reduces the price for anyone looking to use it short term, it still costs money.

^ This.  In general I prefer InDesign for anything that involves layouting, even for things like flyers and pamphlets.  I used InDesign when I was on the staff for a school publication (magazine) and it worked beautifully, and I also used it very regularly when I worked on a variety of print media for another leadership organization on campus.

You might want to check your university's media center / computer center / IT to see if they have open-use computers, computer centers, or "public" (i.e. available for registered students) computers with the software already downloaded on it that you can use for your project.

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Re: Digital Magazine Software?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2015, 07:24:24 AM »
When I was in college, I took a software course that did a unit on desktop publishing.  We used a program called 'Publish It!', which I remember as being relatively easy to use, and a quick Google search showed me that it's got a free 21-day trial available.  One review said that the price for purchase was higher than listed on C|Net, but it is a potential option if you only need it for a short-term project.