I’ve often written about the potential quality of church publications — that churches with the money and wherewithal can and sometimes do produce amazing print pieces, but that the technology is exists to help the rest to improve, even if that doesn’t mean a professional job. I’ve gone back and forth about TeX, LaTeX and related typesetting languages, and the reason I’ve not committed it that it doesn’t pass the ease-of-use test. And word processors are meant for easy of use and not beauty of product.
I’m experimenting with Graphite, a text-rendering technology, for Microsoft Windows and Linux. For Linux (and perhaps Windows, which I don’t use), it’s supported in the free- and open-source office suites OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice. It can substitute gylphs (the particular shape that corresponds to a letter) making use of an advance typeface’s true small capitol letters, text figures and other typographical features. (Most typefaces the average person uses lacks these features, and it’s one of the almost-imperceptibleÂ features that differentiates good printed items.) It’s also free- and open-source software, and there’s support for one of my favorite typefaces, Linux Libertine.
I won’t go any further: this could very well beÂ anotherÂ dead-end, but will report back if something pleasing comes of it.