Typesetting is the process of composing texts in a book by arranging types in digital or mechanical forms. The types which come in both mechanical and digital forms are made up of pieces of letters, or symbols. These types get stored to ease the process involved in the publishing of books, the stored symbols and letters are called sorts in the mechanical publishing process. In digital publishing, the stored letters and symbols are called glyphs. Different letters and symbols (sorts and glyphs) for various languages usually get stored in memories, and when they are to be used to write a particular language, they are arranged according to the rules of how the language should be written. The rules of writing texts in a language include; spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, word break, and emphasis.
The methods used in typesetting before the digital age
There are three different methods that were used in typesetting before the digital ages; these methods include; manual typesetting, hot metal typesetting, and photo typesetting. These methods came to be used as different inventions were being made towards the use of computers in publishing.
Manual typesetting involves making movable types by hand for each page that is to be published, Cast metal sorts get made into words, then lines, then paragraphs, and finally pages of texts; they are then tightly bound together to make up a form of letters with equal heights (this creates an even surface of type). The form is then placed in printing presses and an impression made on paper by inking.
Hot metal typesetting involves using a keyboard or other devices to produce the desired text. It is more efficient compared to manual typesetting since it significantly reduces the time and effort required in manually producing texts.
Phototypesetting fast replaced manual typesetting and hot metal typesetting when it was invented. It involves the use of light sensitive papers. Glass discs spin in front of a light source and selectively expose letters and symbols onto the light sensitive paper.
The methods used in typesetting during the digital age
There are many ways of typesetting in the modern age, examples of these ways include; SCRIPT variants, SGML and XML systems, Troff and successors, and TeX and LaTeX. These are majorly programming languages that are used to typeset letters and symbols in different languages; the modern age methods of typesetting came as a result of more inventions made in the use of computers.
These methods eliminate the much time and efforts required to publish books or documents. Most of them are automated in such a way that documents are automatically typeset and corrected; typesetting has moved from the manual making of types by hands to computer programming languages that code the types and raster images to be printed on pages.
Evolution Of Publishing Using Typesetting:
With the new age digital publishing tools available in the market, Typesetting has become a set of codes which arrange for everything. Of course, it is still as much of an art form as it ever was. Publishing companies always look for Typesetting experts who show their talent in bringing out the best version of the publication. Top ensure that the typing tools have become more of facilitators rather than substitutes. Most book critics would look at this as an ideal situation which will allow for saving the essence of book writing. Therefore, it is safe to say that the fine line between Typesetting and Typography has been blurred. Both of these two procedures have become a united force to bring the best practices to bookmaking.
With new age ushering into the modern times, the automation procedures make the for the typesetting processes. However, the promises of a manual overlooked or a typesetter will always have his prominence in the age. The typesetter will ensure that the Typesetting procedures are duly carried out and made ready for consumption. To get a proper idea as to what a typesetter does with his facilities, let us have a look at what he does in the broad area of Typesetting:
Typesetting In Inclusion Of Fonts And Styles:
Most of the avid users usually do not understand that Typesetting involves a visual communication than anything else. Yes, most would attribute this to the proper arrangement of text materials and layouts which allow you to have the best reading experience. However, Typesetting is as much use in the little and intricate things which involve Fonts and Styling. Any Publishing portal worth its salt will tell you that, most of the books are rejected or accepted by the users by the legibility of the book. How easy or difficult is it to read what’s written in the book? How valid is the content in the book, is instantly looked and assumed by the way it looks.
Typesetting, therefore, involves the service of making your book into the best figure by the simplest tasks. Typesetting is directly involved with the fonts used or the way in which they are used. A typesetter ensures that the difference of fonts if at all are maintained consistently. On the other hand, Styling involves the layout and adjustments of text which you can include in the book. The visual appeal, therefore, is an essential part of the Typesetting works.
Ensuring Reflowable Text And Layout Adjustments:
A typesetter traditionally provides that works you take up are looking as easy to read on each page all through. To do so, he needs to visualise how the book will eventually look at the end. He needs to feel how the final output will be. He needs to be the reader himself. then find a fine balance of both satisfying the reader and the author who implies some adjustment. This becomes an important part of the job. When the scenario is shifted to eBooks, the tasks of a Typesetter becomes a different ball game altogether. More so even, because the eventual output will be read on thousands of different devices and screen sizes. This is where a Typesetter will have to anticipate needs and ensure the text does not get warped or distorted or otherwise unclear.
Layout and orientation are essential when it comes to making eBooks. Prime reason being you have thousands of different devices which have different needs. Smartphones, eBook readers, PC’s, Tablets and much more, have the capability of reading your ebook. However, the real challenge is giving these devices the same arrangement of text and appearance. An average user looking to read a book in different devices has to have a similar experience in reading. This challenge thereby becomes an essential function of a Typesetter. Thus, typesetting extends to the technical aspects of bookmaking, rather than just get around with the visual aspects of it.
Drafting The Designs Of Republications:
Most of the times Publishing companies turn to Typesetters when they are looking to republish old classics. They are famous and legendary, but they still have to appeal to the new generation of readers who may not be accustomed to it. Now, to make the old books as relevant and preferably timeless than ever, a Typesetter will go for the redesign of the whole structure. This involves not only inserting a new cover photo or design but much more. Typesetter picks up the internal design criteria for the publication which involves editing, proofing, alignment, and fonts overlay to bring the essence back.
As we change our times, we change our reading habits. Now with sharp and fast reading being the in the thing, abridged versions are picking up when it comes to old time resources. It is another issue altogether when we consider the aspect of eBooks and eText materials which now include not only text but also graphical content. The typesetter ensures that the free flow of the content is maintained and the book remains as involving and engaging as ever.
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