Software recomendation required.

I am looking for a piece of software I can use to publish/authour a book from. The book will have a lot of graphics and the software must be able to support complex page layouts. Also I want to import most of the words from MS Word97.

The platform is PC and although price is important it only has to offer good value for money.

Any suggestions/comments are welcome.



ps Please also see my comments below.
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You can use  Adobe Photoshop for retouching photos and illustrations, use Adobe Pagemaker for the publishing part.

But remember that these packeges aren't cheap, it's for the professional.
Look out for the Adobe's promotions. If you are serious in doing graphical work etc.,  you can buy such promotional pack with 5 adobe products because this is cheaper than buying it seperatly.

BTW, Adobe is multi platform. You can exchange pagemeker files between MAc and PC versions of adobe pagemaker.

stevespencerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments p05010 (strange name?)

I allready use Photoshop and I am not woried about the edditing/formating of pictures. What I want is a package that can cope with the 3-500 page publication I am putting together.

The standard packages, such as Word and Publisher have trouble dealing with large jobs or are not optimesed to allow the use of backgrounds etc. I want some software I can port all my words to and pics to and produce a book. (I am new to this so you may argue that I am doing it all wrong) I am coming to this from a www publishers point of view, so I am very used to using markup and page layout, but none of the software I have will deal with the LARGE document I want to produce now.

Also I may end up publishing this my self so some industry standard output format will be required.

stevespencerAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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p05010's recommendation was not for Adobe Publisher, but for Adobe PageMaker, which definitely CAN handle a document of the size and complexity you require. However, I would suggest you compare and contrast the features of both Adobe PageMaker and Quark XPress. Both are expensive, but both are very, very good at what they do. They each have their specialties. For intensive graphics work, you may want to use Quark XPress, because it has more powerful tools for placing and manipulating graphics, as well as for wrapping text around them. On the other hand, PageMaker is better at handling very large documents with multiple master pages. So it's going to be a trade-off, most likely.

I would strongly suggest that you go to a computer store and ask for demos of each program so that you can discover for yourself which one would work better for you.

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stevespencerAuthor Commented:

Thanks for your comment, there will be a lot of graphics, mainly photographs, so it sounds from your answer that the Quark product is the one to go for. Do you have experence of this product, particulaly when handling large documents? What level of hardware do you think I will need?

As far as hardware is concerned, the more RAM the better. You'll want a decent, but not a screaming, Pentium processor. And the larger a monitor you can get the better, with appropriate video card to save your eyes.

Thanks for your help, I will investigate the afordability of Quark.

stevespencerAuthor Commented:
Hi all...

1 year on I am using Quark and I am quite happy but does anybody have any thoughts on the new Adobe InDesign?

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