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arkantos
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Joined: 02/11/2009

RESOURCES AVAILABLE:
Internet Access
Windows XP Home
Irfanview
Autorealm
OpenOffice
MS Paint
MS Word 2000
Zero dollars
Close to zero experience and skill with software

THREE GOALS:

1.
I have a PDF document of a game booklet in Portrait orientation. I'd like to print it out in booklet format, on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, landscape orientation, two pages per side, four pages per sheet. Once printed, I want to fold and staple, and have all pages in proper sequence. I do not want the images to be tiny text crammed onto the page....if the text can't be legibly-sized, I want it to overflow onto the next page. OpenOffice won't even open the file.

2.
I have an MS Word document, images and text. Rules booklet, very similar needs as above, trying to print in booklet format as above, from portrait-oriented 8 1/2 x 11 original pages.

3.
I have some scans of cardstock game counters. Some of them are colored line images and text. I need a program that will leave the background alone, but change the color of the line images and text.

4.
I have some scand of game counters with colored backgrounds, and black text/images. I want to leave the text and images alone, and change the colors and shades of the backgrounds.

I'm aware of GIMP. I consider it an evil device sent by the Devil
to put anger, misery, frustration, confusion and rage into my life.

tdishman
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Joined: 08/05/2008
Honestly, your best bet is to

Honestly, your best bet is to just practice with what you've got.

There are no "wizards" to do any of the things you desire. Each of them requires some skill with the appropriate application(s), and then some time to actually make them happen:

1) First task is to get something that can read a PDF format for editing. That's what Adobe Acrobat does (not Acrobat Reader, but the full-blown Acrobat). I'm sure there are other (free) apps that can do a decent job of turning a PDF into something that you can import into MS Word. Once you get it out of the PDF, then you need to format it in Word to print the way you want. Again, no wizard, just some patience and elbow grease.

2) Same as step 1 (skipping the PDF part). You just need to figure out how to create a 2-column landscape document for printing. You might seek out an open-source Desktop Publisher (Scribus comes to mind).

3) Only way to do it is to subtract the background with Photoshop or something similar (GIMP, Fireworks, etc). I don't think MS Paint will cut it here. I believe there are many free online image editors (Aviary, for example), but I'm not sure how robust they are. You'll either need to use a selection tool to select just the background color(s), or you'll need to zoom and erase the parts you don't want.

4) Same as #3. You need some skills to make those sorts of edits, and MS Paint just won't cut it.

You're wanting to do the types of things that 2 or 3 specialists would normally do, but it doesn't sound like you know where to start on any of them. You won't be able to get it all done on your own overnight, so just hunker down and start practicing. If you plan on continuing to make any games, these are some skills that would serve you well.

brisingre
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Joined: 01/21/2009
GIMP as the devil

It's an interesting image. GIMP was like that for me for a while, but I figured it out eventually. If you need to learn it, it is possible.

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Confront what you fear, and conquer it!

arkantos wrote:
I'm aware of GIMP. I consider it an evil device sent by the Devil
to put anger, misery, frustration, confusion and rage into my life.
I found GIMP very counterintuitive when I first started using it, but I really, really needed it. Y'know what helps? Tutorials:

http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/

Why do I mention this? Because several things you want to do (without spending $$$) would be best done with GIMP. Yes, you could use Paint, but it'll take a lot longer and be much more difficult in the long run.

If you choose not to confront GIMP, I can understand that.

ilta
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Joined: 12/05/2008
getpaint

If you don't like Gimp for whatever reason, try www.getpaint.net . It's like photoshop lite, and the UI is pretty straightforward. There's also a plug-in that will allow you to select a range of colors and replace them with another range of colors. But like all robust and semi-robust photo editors, there is a slight learning curve to it. I will say that it's totally worth it, though. I used it for a long time before I finally got Photoshop proper, but then again I do a lot of photo editing.

As for PDF, everyone should use the free and excellent Foxit to read them (Adobe Reader is hopelessly bloated and annoying). http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader_2/down_reader.htm

Absent a decent PDF editor (which usually cost money), you can take screenshots of individual pages and arrange them in Word 2000 as you see fit.

Finally, as for laying out booklets, there's a technical publishing term for arranging pages like this which eldues me at the moment. Word can't do it without some significant messing around, although it's very easy to use columns and there might be a macro available that will do it for you, if you know the term to search for. In any case, Microsoft Publisher (which you may already have if you have Office 2000) and Adobe Pagemaker are the kings of this ability, but there may be a free solution for you to be had at this thread: http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-2144959.php or by using the previously-mentioned Scribus. Again, learning curve; again, worth it.

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Pagination?

ilta wrote:
Finally, as for laying out booklets, there's a technical publishing term for arranging pages like this which eludes me at the moment.
Pagination?

beaglebot
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Joined: 12/27/2008
Are you thinking of

Are you thinking of "imposing"

Brykovian
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Joined: 07/21/2008
ilta wrote:If you don't like

ilta wrote:
If you don't like Gimp for whatever reason, try www.getpaint.net .

I'll second the suggestion for Paint.Net.

-Bryk

ilta
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Joined: 12/05/2008
Imposition, that's it!

Imposition, that's it! Pagination is the general term for numbering pages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imposition

And the way to do it in Word is with "linked text boxes," set up manually beforehand to zip your text around the document according to the proper imposition, so that it prints out properly. Google them and you'll get a sense of how to set them up and use them.

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Maybe I need to get a life...

ilta wrote:
Imposition, that's it! ... the way to do it in Word is with "linked text boxes,"
Linked text boxes are big fun. If you're a little computer-shy, it may take a little learning. Once you've learned it, though... Wow, you can do nifty-nifty stuff.

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