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Pre-packaged agate

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jr/shotglass, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. SavebyKeans

    SavebyKeans New Member

    We get them as pre-packaged PDFs that are not editable. The main challenge with a bare bones universal desk is having somebody who is already juggling 20 jobs take the time to see which boxes have been pulled off and which have not.
  2. baddecision

    baddecision Active Member

    Sorry to hear that Keans. I don't have an answer for that. There's technically a way to edit text in PDFs but it means deconstructing and reconstructing it, pretty much impossible in the case of an agate page. Maybe you could ask the people at USAT if they also can make the page available as an InDesign file.

    @Mark: Lots of deskers fear the "nightmare" of coming up with a set of actions/style sheets to automate agate processing. Think about it: The time you invest in it -- even if it's 50 hours -- will pay itself back in just a few weeks of time savings. And after you learn the basics by figuring out, say, MLB box processing, it'll be easier to do the NBA, NCAA, NFL, etc., stuff in the fall. That will compound the savings. And the time you save is deadline time, the most precious. What would you do with an extra 45 minutes on deadline each night? How about gussy up your section front to better attract the interest of bigger shops? Or, at least, feel a little like you're rising above the nightly grind. Win-win...
  3. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    We were one of the first newspapers to institute agate "user-definable keys," back on the SII system some 15-18 years ago. And we now have a macro "board" in our Harris system, where we automate the cleanup of any sort of tabbable wire agate.

    It makes for a better agate page -- AP's manual justification on its agate just doesn't get things lined up -- and it saves time. I can't imagine not doing it.
  4. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Ah, SII. That brings back memories.
  5. baddecision

    baddecision Active Member

    The good old days of Harris and XyWrite... I wrote most of the pagination formatting code for two papers' Harris systems, then learned XyWrite DOS word-processor programming language so that we could process all our AP sports and election agate with about 3 keystrokes. The boss estimated the XyWrite time savings at 14-16 hours per week, year-round. Those were the days, when I actually felt like I knew something about how to put the paper out.
  6. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    One of the features of the boxes from CanWest was they'd keep the boxes on fo 24 hours or so. I recall one time when they had the standings wrong and I was hesitant to fix them, for fear of throwing off all the tabs. They found the error, fixed it and reshipped it.
  7. brutab

    brutab New Member

    Have a look at Soho Sports, they are now licencing AP and local content.
  8. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    That's what we're looking at.
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