Can I use Apple’s Pages app? Or will I have to use something like InDesign?
October 19, 2010 2:27 AM   Subscribe

I want to put together a reasonably simple book of text, interspersed with drawings and a few "full bleed" photos. Is Apple’s Pages app robust enough, or will I have to wade into learning InDesign?

I would like to put together a simple book of a friend's travel postcards, interspersing pages of text with her drawings, as well as a few "full bleed" photos.

I stumbled across a book who's basic layout I love and would like to do something similar. You can see the basic layout here.
[link to a photo on Flickr showing the layout of a few pages with the non-text areas highlighted in red]

The basic layout (on the book measuring 8 7/16" h x 5 7/8" w) seems to be 4.5" text margins on the verso, 3.25" margins on the recto, with any text-adjacent images just skootching the text over as needed. And then a few full bleed (whole page) photos. But, never having done this before, I'm not sure how difficult creating a "simple layout" might turn out to be.

I have access to both Pages and InDesign, but would prefer to use Pages if possible (just 'cause I feel it would be more intuitive and user-friendly). Can Pages do layout like this? Can Pages do full bleeds? Would I be able to set up a handful of page templates and then just drop in the images and text? (The book would be printed via a POD service (blurb/lulu) so I'm thinking I could upload the book as a PDF)

If Pages won't handle a layout like this, does this sound like something that would this be easily do-able for someone who's never used InDesign before? Lastly, if I do need to go the InDesign route, do you have a suggestion for a good How To... guide that you've used or heard about?

Thanks for reading, and for any suggestions.
posted by blueberry to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think Pages would be perfect for this. You could try playing around with one of the Brochure templates to make it do just that.
posted by spaghettification at 2:36 AM on October 19, 2010

I can't help you with the Pages vs InDesign issue, but from experience I can recommend blurb. You design your book using their software, which is pretty easy to use, and then they print it for you.
posted by sleepy boy at 2:51 AM on October 19, 2010

Second for blurb, although any online photo printing service offers book-building options these days.
posted by londonmark at 3:04 AM on October 19, 2010

Pages would absolutely be able to create the effects you discribe. You may wish to visit an Apple Store for a free Pages workshop if you're just getting started; they'll have someone there who can show you how to do full bleeds and the like.
posted by raygan at 5:11 AM on October 19, 2010

If you're planning to have this professionally printed, please use InDesign.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:52 AM on October 19, 2010

If you're planning to have this professionally printed, please use InDesign.

posted by not that girl at 8:27 AM on October 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just went through this for an offset print job for a booklet, same Pages vs. InDesign dilemma, and in the end I still really prefer Pages for balancing ridiculously easy layout control with ease of use (and it just feels faster).

While I still love a lot of the advanced InDesign features, especially when doing the print production myself, however, hands-down prefer Pages for its flexibility and speed balance.

I'd recommend contacting the printer or print on demand service ahead of time, inquire as to preferred page setup, and then Pages -> Export to pdf should be all there is to it.
posted by oldefortran at 8:53 AM on October 19, 2010

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