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By Andrew Gould 3 October 2008

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Ever had a friend who is a designer and  while watching them design something fabulous you wished you could do that, well... now you can.

While reviewing PagePlus X3 we at TechSmart found this Desktop Publishing program to be a breath of fresh air as it was easy to install, easy to update and easy to use. But before we get too far ahead, what exactly is desktop publishing?

A desktop publishing program uses a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface to design layout (layout being business cards, ­letterheads, reports, even magazines...), meaning when you send your design to the printer, what is on the screen is generally what is going to print (exceptions ­usually being colour differences).

PagePlus X3 features a suite of tools built into the program to help you design that elusive idea that is crawling around in your head and begging for attention. These tools include:

  • Logo Studio: A logo creator with multiple special effects to create 3D, bevel and  embossed looks or even those beautiful drop effects that make products and text look like they are positioned over glass.
  • Cutout Studio: This is what designers call deep etching. Huh? Deep etching is when you remove the background from a picture, just leaving the subject you wish to use behind on a transparent background. Designers can take years to master this talent but PagePlus X3 has made this procedure as painless as ­possible. A bit of practice is still going to be required to get the desired effect.
  • HD Photo, PDF and EPS Support:?Which simply means that you can edit EPS (encapsulated postscript graphics), HD Photos and PDF files directly in the ­program without having to go to a raster editing program, if you do need this functionality then we recommend PhotoPlus X2.
  • New Special effects:?PagePlus X3 has a few new surprises added (for those who have used previous versions of this software series), such as realistic glass and metal surface textures and reflection Map filter effects, to name but a few.

   
“But I don’t know how to design letteheads, business cards or logos!” No problem! PagePlus X3 comes with a multitude of templates that you can choose from to make any design job simple and “easy”, just import a template and within a few clicks you will have a workable design which just has to be adjusted to suit your needs.

So if you want to release your inner designer but other design programs are a little too daunting (and expensive), then this is the perfect starting place. You may even have your designer friends going “WOW how did you do that”.

Get PagePlus X3 for R1299 (incl VAT) from Holton & Associates on 011-789-6181 or ­purchase online from www.holton.co.za.

PROS
It features a logical and easy to use interface and a wide range of layout tools.
CONS
The help feature can get a little technical- learning curve can get a little steep.
USER COMMENTS

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