April 25th, 2007



I'm working from home today, partially because we have a contractor in today to replace the toilet in one of the bathrooms and partially so I can watch the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup. (Cheryl having corrupted me by teaching me about those funny foreign sports like cricket and rugby.) Hooray for high-speed internet with enough bandwidth that I can access my modeling computer in San Mateo and we can also watch the live-streaming World Cup coverage.

Sorry, thirdworld, about South Africa's performance, but the Australian juggernaut looks unstoppable.
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    Cricket World Cup: South Africa v. Australia
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Gnomeward Bound

Learning MS Publisher the Hard Way

As we seem to actually be inching toward finalizing Westercon PR 2, I went back to work on it this afternoon. As things have slipped so badly, I need to also fit the Westercon Bylaws into it. This is a challenge, and turned into even more of a challenge when I discovered that Microsoft Publisher 2003 doesn't understand strikethrough type. That's bad, because we use strikethrough in the Bylaws and Agenda to show when words are being struck and underline to show when they're being added.

After hunting around a bit, I determined that about the only way to preserve the formatting was to paste in MS Word objects, one per page of bylaws, laid out at the same exact size and margins. At least it worked, but the objects stand on their own and don't "flow" from page to page the way I would prefer they do.

Even printing the bylaws in eye-watering 7-point type, it still takes five digest-sized pages to print them. I'd much prefer larger type, but it means more expensive PR pages. I do include a note on the first page referring people to the Westercon Bylaws Web Page for a more readable copy.

Mind you, if it turns out that we're a page short somewhere (the PR has to be assembled in four-page signatures), I can always increase the point size. Unfortunately, since it's really five separate documents, that would mean having to paste the pieces in separately all over again.

And before anyone asks: I'm using Publisher because it's the only tool I have that will produce a digest-format publication without having to do it manually, which is what I'd end up doing in Word if I had to do so. And it's not worth my while to buy a "real" page layout program like InDesign, since I don't have to do this very often, and my employer has no need for it either.