Adobe InDesign/500 page book with scanned photos
My photos keep bouncing around in the Microsoft Word doc I am currently using to document our family history (500 pg text doc with 100 photos). What is the best and EASIEST program I can use to simply stabilize the photos in the text and get the book published? At this point I no longer have the time to learn complicated new software and don't have the money to hire a professional. Grateful for any advice.
Thank you for your question.
Yes Microsoft Word can sometimes lose the layout, especially when you type or edit the document and it pushes the photos out of alignment and can be fiddly to get it to do what you want. Have you checked the photos text runaround settings - is it set so that the text will go around the photos or is it still bouncing them around? What other software do you have on your computer? Do you have a layout program or desktop publishing program as part of an office suite or anything like that?
If not I would say that the best program would be one that is made for layout work, like Indesign, which is often used by the professionals to produce newspapers, magazines, books, posters and leaflets etc. After using Indesign I don't often use Microsoft Word now, prefering the tools and the extra control over the overall look of my document that I can get in Indesign. You can place photos and graphics anywhere in the document and either tell the text to runaround them or create multiple text boxes to achieve the look and flow of text that you want. There are lots of free tutorials etc on indesign and different ways to achieve the effect you might want and can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be.
You can also create ebooks in Indesign as well. http://indesignsecrets.com/creating-ebooks-in-indesign.php
If you are looking to create books or to expand on your current one, in the long term investing in a program like Indesign would be useful. If its a one-off book that you are doing then getting a free layout program like http://www.scribus.net/canvas/Scribus
maybe more cost effective, I can't give it a recommendation though as I have not used it.
Another possibility would be to hire someone freelance. You can do this through various sites such as Peopleperhour and you set the budget and deadline etc - hopefully getting professional results at a budget that suits you. Again its not something I have had to use so can't give any recommendations but the reviews in this area seem to be positive on the whole. The downside is that if they create something, give you the book in a format that you then send to the printers or wherever but then find that you want to add or edit the document - it could be that its not editable or in a file type that is compatible with your programs, if that makes sense?
What is the layout like for your book? Have you got an example of a page or anything like that?
Your book sounds like its a personal piece of work and being interested in family history and my own family tree research I know that it can be important and your masterpiece, so the suggestions above have their pros and cons.
Hope that helps, don't hesitate to ask if you have any further questions and please let me know how you get on.