Sandalwood's Introduction Post
Got me thinking, thats a good question.
What I had in mind when I mentioned using Microsoft Excel,
part of the Office Suite software,
were the facts that it is designed to:
- be able to divide a sheet of paper precisely.
- horizontally by means of increments called COLUMNS.
- vertically by means of increments called ROWS.
a piece of paper of any particular size being a grid.
The grid can be divided into CELLS of any dimension.
The CELLS can FORMATTED in a number of ways,
meaning each can be individually made to display the
contents within them in several ways that you choose.
A cell, or groups of cells, may display several combinations
of these categories of qualities pertaining to content.
- Numbers choose how they are dealt with.
- Font choose from many typestyles, and bold, italic, size, etc
- Font Effects colors, underlines, strikethrough, etc.
- Alignment center, flush left, flush right.
- Borders thicknes, position, colors.
- Background colors & tint intensity.
One CELL can be 5 inches wide by click/dragging the column A to that
ROW 1 could be made to have a row height of 5 inches, also.
One hundred CELLS can be 5 inches wide, by choosing that many
columns, each having .01" column width.
One hundred ROWS can be 5 inches deep, also. YOU CHOOSE.
With a short list of techniques, you can build & save pages that
combine type, graphical elements & photographs the size you want.
You mentioned that wanted to know how to make wine labels.
I immediately thought of the similarities between them and something
I wanted, and made. CD labels.
Admittedly, I enjoy wine, women & song.
Software is available that will make CD labels.
Nero comes to mind, and several other CD burning & editing programs.
The difference between those programs and using a "business"
application" (also called a program) is VERSATILITY available in the
Limitations of several kinds exist in the ready-made applications, usually
contained within the larger program, when dealing with labels for CDs.
Not very many typestyles, basic size is preset, colors limited.
So consequently, I'd rather understand how to use a program that
I can, in one or two clicks, PRINT onto paper (of all kinds) limited only
to the capabilities of my PRINTER or MULTI-PERIPHERAL UNIT.
The time it takes to learn an office program's functionality and the
cost of paper & ink in trial & error basically would be a deciding factor
when many people face the desire to produce labels.
I bought a LEXMARK X-5150 Multi Peripheral for $150.00 retail price.
It scans, prints, copies and faxes. It does OK at all of those jobs.
I can get 500 sheets of paper free by trading in my used ink cartridges.
I'd rather waste cheap white paper experimenting, then use more
expensive paper suitable for final product when I'm ready for it.
I buy a can of 3M SprayMount spray adhesive if I want a label to stick.
You might not want to spend the money for Microsoft Office Suite.
I sure don't want to pay for it again, so considering I also will be using
Linux OS I installed the free Open Office Suite to experiment with,
knowing I'd need to use it if I didn't run Windows OS
Spreadsheet is but one of the applications within Open Office.
The remainder of the Suite rivels that of Microsoft's and in fact is better
in many ways, so save the 250.00-500.00 and install OOo.
Very few differences exist between Excel & Spreadsheet.
Open either and you face a screen divided by a grid, and the CELL
at column A, row 1 will have a bold outline.
Place you cursor in that cell, right click and all of the formating menu
choices are available. If you have anything to paste from a previous
mouse click copy, such as an image or type, doing that will fill the
cell with it. The cell dimension will change to accomodate a large
photograph for instance.
Place your cursor at the right side of the heading for all the columns.
It'll change to a fourpoint and click/hold/drag you change the width.
Row height is rightclick & choose a value to apply to all or one at a
time. Click the heading area in a column (or a highlighted group)
and anything you format will apply to all the cells, such as a background
color or one of ten tint values for each of several dozen colors.
Same holds true for rows.
Using the same simple techniques, you can modify the grid in many ways.
Additional opportunities to customize a page are available with other
commands and you'll need to practice, but the reward will be in
understanding how all similar applications work.
The incremental adjustment of the cells, using COLUMN & ROW is in
inches by default (.01" for example) in Open Office but pixels and
traditional printing measurements of picas & agate are available, also
Like any software program, use of the HELP MENUS ia advised for
I've found using another free program with the photographs is best,
so when you IMPORT an image to the spreadsheet, it is the size
you want, basically (you can resize within the spreadsheet document,
but might distort the image some if you change dimensions to fit).
In Irfanview, simply open the program, choose FILE.
Browse for the photograph or graphical element on your hard drive.
Select it. Choose IMAGE (next to EDIT) and select resize.
(as in most full programs, keyboard shortcuts also are available).
Save your resized photograph/image and retain the original also.
I use standard 8 1/2 X 11 paper for all printed projects.
I also use a steel straight edge and single edge razor blades.
You can outline the exact size of any label by using a very thinline
border at the outside of the columns and rows that represent the
finished size of your label(s). I use a cardboard ontop my workdesk.
It is a start.
Refinements come with practice.
Volume demands might require trimmers or extra equipment.
I guarantee you will enjoy the progress you make and the price is right.
homepage OPEN OFFICE. ORG
Lexmark 5150 (you'll note the price has dropped since I bought mine, lol)
Some links to samples:
The first is just demonstrating making some initial calculations.
The second is a label trimmed and placed into a sleeve.
The third shows two 8 1/2 X 11 untrimmed sheets placed 1 on another.
an early product
one & two of dozens
The basic format allows for playlists, I call audiocomps, of 15-22 songs
recorded in .wav format on CD-RW 700MB for playing on anything.
120 or so have been done this way.
Some to fit sleeves, some to fit shells.
Mp3 format disks involve 160-170 songs.
Similar format, only made as multiple page booklets that slip into shells.
A side benefit of doing it in this manner is the use of spreadheet(s) to
keep track of the project details. The basic techniques mentioned provide
for a wide diversity of applications to tasks one might imagine useful to do.
BTW, I've found it even easier to pre-print photographs in oval shapes,
with effects like blurred edges, monotone or light tint using the same
placement on the sheet as the type. Then printing in a second pass
through the machine the additional words, borders, etc.
IT'S FUN. YOU SHOULD TRY IT.
Edited by phawgg, 20 February 2005 - 04:31 PM.