While most word processors provide the tools necessary to write, edit, and format text, they are not designed to produce text that is set to printing standards. Even when the text produced looks ‘good enough,’ there are issues with its readability. This is particularly true of dense book-length texts. Producing even, balanced text is beyond the scope of word processors—this is why why typesetting programs were created—to give typesetters control over the most minute details of layout, text, tables, illustrations, and more. Today, the most powerful typesetting programs are Adobe’s InDesign, QuarkXPress, and LaTeX.
It is extremely important to choose the right typeface for your text. The numerous fonts now available in word processing programs are a mixed blessing. A font that looks interesting or appealing on a page or two may become tiring to the eye in a larger volume, and thus may not be appropriate for a 300-page book. A professional typesetter has knowledge of what typefaces are readable, which are suitable for different kinds of text, and which go well with other typefaces.
- Producing well-typeset and balanced text
- Producing multilingual texts with English transliteration and/or the original language
- Producing the final camera ready copy (CRC) to the specifications of the publisher
- Choosing the right book size (6 x 9, 7 x 10, etc.)
- Selecting a cover design (front, spine, and back) in full color, hard cover dust jacket, or paperback
- Choosing a typeface (font) for the main text—one that will be easily readable even for long, dense texts.
- Choosing an appropriate font size: balancing readability and page count
- Designing chapter headings & subtitles
- Designing and typesetting tables & illustrations
- Laying out the front & back matter
- Typesetting appendices, bibliography, and index