I just started working at a tabloid newspaper in pagination and "make it pretty". The layout of this paper is NOT pretty, by any standards. I've got the "pretty" thing down, but making text fit is my big bugaboo.
Their system for handling text flow is weird to begin with (every page is its own Quark document!), but the thing that is giving me fits is making text line up vertically so that all the columns have text that lines up on the bottom. The simple solution to this is to vertically justify everything. Unfortunately, that screws with the line spacing on the last column of stories. I can individually lead each column so that the text lines up at the bottom, but sometimes that looks really bad, too. Further, there's only so much kerning and tracking one can do before a story is typographically a mess. Also, the reporters are not big on having text cut and they're REALLY big on adding chunks of text to stories that already flow well vertically.
Their production schedule is so fast that I can't really tweak everything so it looks perfect. Is there a pagination and text specialist who could tell me what to do?