It appears that the main steps of getting to a PDF are
- Putting the document together in a DTP program.
- Saving it as a postscript file.
- Getting that converted to a PDF using Distiller.
Since I've never done any of this, and I gather that part C can probably be done for me by someone who owns Distiller, my first step is to look at DTP, about which I know very little. People generally seem to recommend Quark, inDesign, etc., all of which look to be rather expensive and run on a Mac. While I own an iBook, I don't own any DTP software for it. What I do have, but have never used, is Microsoft Publisher 2000 for Windows. It came as part of Microsoft Office 2000, and I've simply never got around to installing it, let alone using it.
My question, then, is simple; is Publisher up to the job of putting together a moderately substantial book, say 80-100 pages, and saving it as postscript? I'm probably looking at two column pages with occasional tables, illustrations, some boxed or shaded text, a few footnotes, etc. etc.
I'd really like to be told now if I should be looking elsewhere, rather than getting a third of the way in then finding that it simply isn't up to the job. But if Publisher can do it I'd greatly prefer to use it, since I'm a mean bugger.