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Production Process

All 52 pages of the magazine are created on our computer, and we find it helpful to separate the pages into three groups (files):

31 pages of pictures and text, including the front cover, which form the main part of the magazine and are new each month

4 yellow pages of information, listings and index to advertisers.

17 pages of permanent advertisements which hardly change from February to January (yes, Focus has a strange year!).

For each monthly edition, the editors give us individual articles already prepared as Microsoft Word documents and the pictures usually as digital files direct from a camera. The editors have already decided which articles are to go on which page. Our task on the computer is to lay out the articles on each page in as pleasing a way as possible.

We always try to make photographs as large as we can. The computer programme we use allows us to re-size pictures and we can move them easily around a page into suitable positions relative to the text. We know that interesting and good quality photographs really improve the magazine, so we try to bring out the best in each of the photos before including them on the page.

We print all the main pages for the editors to have a general look through before the final proof reading session.  The proofreaders are past masters at spotting errors which we then correct. It is then a challenge to make these alterations without accidentally introducing others.

Finally, the computer automatically converts everything into a 'Portable Document Format' (PDF) file and we put them onto a DVD. The DVD is sent to the printers who read the file into their printing machines.

For the record, we use a large screen Mac computer loaded with the professional publishing software Adobe Creative Suite 5 which includes InDesign for page layout and also Photoshop.

Editor's Pasteboard

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