Thursday, February 11, 2010

Word Should Come with a Warning

Yesterday I spent hours to layout and print four pages in Microsoft word. Two sheets, both sides on business card stock. Word supposedly has a template for this under envelopes and labels. Trouble is, it doesn't work very well. After screaming, yelling, coughing and using quite a bit of creative but very loud swearing I was ready to abandon not only the project but all hope and any attempt to do anything. I wanted comfort food, a hot bath and a novel. I settled for the novel--after finally getting my pages done and broken up into tags. Tomorrow, if all goes well, I will have some pictures of the products.

The warning, "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here", ought to flash on the screen whenever one attempts to do any kind of layout in Word. To be absolutely fair, of course, I am using Office 2000 with WindowsXP. Maybe that is the problem.

I do fairly well with most layout in Publisher. Publisher is looked down upon by my acquaintances in the Desktop publishing world, but it serves most of my needs nicely. It massacres business cards. It too has a template that isn't a template.

At one point, when my frustration level had mounted and my sense of anguish over waste time had risen, I opened Adobe's InDesign and found, as I had in the past, that it simply seems so complicated that I can't navigate it. I tried in Photoshop and then gave that up and went back and finally conquered Word.

I think my next product is going to have to be something that doesn't fit with a business card size tag. Sigh.

Life is complicated! It seems that the more that I try to simplify it, the more complicated I make it. (That could be the underlying problem with Word too.)
My products are coming along nicely. I am recreating a line that I made twenty years ago and I am excited. The new line has variations, of course, and even the variations please me. I will write about this in another post, soon, I hope.

The complication is that the design process doesn't stop with the product, but must include the packaging and labeling. Sometimes this design process can be fun, too, but not when the software, which is supposed to make our lives easier, makes the completion so difficult that much of the creativity is subsumed in exhaustion.

At one moment yesterday, I was just grateful to get the thing done. Grateful to put the new little products in their neat little bags with their pretty tags on business cards. They look nice and professional, the way I want them to.

I am grateful too, for electricity that makes it possible to sit here at my computer with a light on and my space heater running. So many folks have been without power in the blizzards, that I am simply glad to live here and think of them and send up a prayer that they too will be restored to comfort and heat and light--and even to struggling with their computers.

No comments: