For small businesses the costs (both in buying and training) and the difficulty in learning a professional desktop publishing package can discourage companies from making the decision to buy. As a consequence many companies (say it very quietly) actually use Microsoft Word to do the job – primarily because they already have it.
I can see sniggers from all those using InDesign and QuarkXPress, but at a basic level Word allows you to combine words and pictures into newsletters, fliers, brochures, etc. especially if you use many of the free templates available from office.microsoft.com.
The main drawback is when it comes to full colour, high volume commercial printing – Word really does not cut the mustard. You will have problems with scaling, the correct use of TIFF and EPS graphics amongst other things.
Printers don’t like to print from Word documents because they’re not stable. Images and text boxes can move from where you saved them and don’t always retain the formatting you originally applied.
This isn’t a criticism of Word – it’s a powerful and very flexible tool – but there is a better way when you want to create professional marketing materials, reports and documents containing information for customers and potential clients. .
Today this is likely to be Adobe’s InDesign. This allows text and images to be placed on any size of page exactly where you want them and stay there.
- Pictures can be resized
- Images can be cropped on the page so only a part is used, without having to resort to a image management system
- Both pictures and text can be rotated to any angle.
- Text can be condensed or expanded to fit into the available space.
- Colours can be matched to your branding using the Pantone colour system as well as CMYK references.
- The document is usable right to the edge with no forced margins.
There’s much more – and it needn’t cost a fortune (the basic InDesign software is less than £400). Buying the application and getting your staff trained to use it will save you thousands in agency and graphic design fees.