The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 2.6, August/September 1997

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing
Issue 2.6, August/September 1997

This issue of KDP is sponsored by:


DTP Reviews

Try PageMaker (MAC/WIN)

Adobe has introduced a program to assist users of QuarkXPress and other desktop publishing programs to switch to Adobe PageMaker, the world's leading professional page layout software. The "It's Time to Try Adobe PageMaker" promotion offers discount pricing for users of competitive products, free technical suppport, a free CD-ROM that includes a large collection of product and technical information as well as a new QuarkXPress document converter and tryout versions of PageMaker 6.5 for Macintosh and Windows.

The CD-ROM is available for free by calling 800 422-3623. Owners of QuarkXPress or Corel Ventura can purchase PageMaker 6.5 at the competitive upgrade price of $199 by calling the same number. The offer is valid only in the U.S. and Canada.

Contact: Adobe Systems Inc., 1585 Charleston Rd., POB 7900, Mountain View, CA 94039-7900, 415 961-4400, 800 888-6293, WWW:, fax: 415 961-3769.

Productivity Reviews

Adobe ActionPack (MAC/WIN)

The Adobe ActionPack is a three-CD set of software plug-ins, professional-quality content, interactive learning materials, and tips and tricks. The pack is included at no charge with full retail copies of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe PageMaker and Adobe Illustrator purchased worldwide between Sept. 1, 1997 and Dec. 31, 1997.

The plug-ins include Extensis PageTools 2.0.1, consisting of 15 tools that make PageMaker more productive and easier to use. Extensis PhotoTools is a collection of eight productivity and effects for Photoshop, including a powerful WYSIWYG text editing tool, and easy creation of drop shadows, glows, bevels, emboss, and more. Vertigo 3D Words is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator which enables users to add 3D text quickly and easily.

The CD also include a collection of fonts and hundreds of royalty-free images from Image Club Graphics. More than 100 animated GIFs from Fortune Hill are provided for adding dynamic elements to Web pages.

Hours of multimedia-based training, from Personal Training Systems and Virtual Training Company are also included, as are excerpts from the Adobe FAW book.

Further information is available at the ActionPack Web site:

Contact: Adobe Systems Inc., 1585 Charleston Rd., POB 7900, Mountain View, CA 94039-7900, 415 961-4400, 800 888-6293, WWW:, fax: 415 961-3769.

AnyTime Deluxe 5.0 (WIN)

AnyTime Deluxe 5.0 is the latest version of this popular PIM. The names of the program's five main modules (Day Planner, Quick Glances, Address Book, To-Do List, and NoteBook) provides quick insight to its functionality. This new version has expanded Internet functionality providing network downloading of celebrity birthdays, New Word of the Day, moon phases, sports schedules, etc. Other new features include extensive e-mail functionality and password protection for any file containing personal information. A free 30-day trail version is available at Individual's Web site. $39.95

Contact: Individual Software Inc., 5870 Stoneridge Drive, #1, Pleasanton, CA 94588, 510 734-6767, 800 822-3522,, fax: 510 734-8337.

EnFocus PitStop (MAC)

Adobe Acrobat files are an improvement over PostScript files since they are smaller, and most importantly, visual. Unfortunately, PDF files are not editable. EnFocus PitStop is a visual PDF editor in the form of an Acrobat Exchange plug-in. It supports the visual editing of Portable Document Format documents, allowing the user to click-and-drag on any object, text or graphic, and modify the attributes or edit the text lines. A modified PDF is saved as a new Acrobat document.

The editing process is assisted by a floating inspector palette that displays the attributes of the selected object. The user can work either in the WYSIWYG or wireframe display mode. Pitstop works so well is that one wonders why these straight-forward editing capabilities are not a part of Acrobat Exchange. It's easy to install and easy to use. $869

Contact: EnFocus Software, Inc., 1550 Larimer St., Suite 286, Denver, CO 80202, 303 297-9096,, Internet:, fax: 303 297-1793.

Extensis Intellihance Version 3.0 (MAC/WIN)

Intellihance 3.0 is an upgrade to the one click image optimization plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. This new version features a faster and more robust artificial intelligence engine which incorporates sophisticated algorithms to intelligently analyze each image and appropriately adjust contrast, brightness, cast removal, descreening, saturation, sharpness and despeckle in a single step.

The software provides the user with preference controls, robust previews, an intelligent light meter, advanced histogram analysis, professional fine-tune controls, and compatibility with the Photoshop 4.0 Actions Palette, for batch processing.

Although the user can accomplish significant image enhancement with a single click, the preferences option allows complete control over most of the variables that determine whether an image is usable or not. $99.95

Contact: Extensis Corp., 55 S. W. Yamhill St., Fourth Floor, Portland, OR 97204, 800 796-9798,, fax: 503 274-0530.

Extensis Mask Pro (MAC)

Mask Pro is the latest of a long line of exceptionally useful utilities from Extensis. It is a digital mask creation utility for Adobe Photoshop that features patent-pending plug-in technology. Users can produce professional quality masks and cutouts, quickly and easily. This time-consuming process, which was usually reserved for experienced professionals, can now be accomplished by simply adding or subtracting colors from Mask Pro's palette, and quickly brushing along the edge of an image to produce a mask (eliminating an unwanted area, such as a background). The Magic Paint Brush, which is the key tool, is augmented by a Magic Wand, a brush tool, an airbrush, a bucket fill, a magic fill (for filling-in small holes in the mask), unlimited levels of undo/paint-back, zooming and panning, and an efficient clipping path generator. $299.95

Contact: Extensis Corp., 55 S. W. Yamhill St., Fourth Floor, Portland, OR 97204, 800 796-9798,, fax: 503 274-0530.

Extensis Portfolio 3.0 (MAC/WIN)

Extensis Portfolio 3.0 is the successor to Fetch 1.5, the popular media-management application. Portfolio is both different and better. The program addresses one of the industry's hottest issues: digital media asset management. The large inventories of digital images, clip art, sound, movie and other kinds of electronic assets held by companies, organizations, government agencies, schools, and individuals requires some sort of logical management. This is critical, since the reuse and repurposing of files saves both time and money, and the rapid retrieval of digital assets is essential.

Portfolio 3.0 is now a cross-platform application, with multi-user capabilities and extensive catalog administration enhancements. Both Macintosh and Windows users can work simultaneously with digital media, viewing, organizing, managing, selecting, sharing, accessing, and using digital content. Portfolio can organize volumes of digital media assets from a variety of on- and off-line sources (local hard drives, network resources, removable storage devices) into a single visual catalog. Items can be added to a catalog in a variety of ways, and visual assets enter with detailed reference data and thumbnail images.

Portfolio eliminates much of the keyword administration by providing a Master Keyword List with a drag-and-drop interface. Users can quickly assign keywords from a master list to individual or multiple files. The use of a master list helps to maintain consistency through an organization by restricting the choices available to users.

The Portfolio administrator can also create an unlimited number of user-defined fields, to customize the catalog to reflect the way that the organization works (or thinks). In addition the database administrator can assign various Portfolio features to different levels of security for any given catalog.

The heart of the program is a set of over 30 built-in ImageStream (tm) translators which support the reading and display of an image preview without having to launch the original application. This function is particularly important in an cross-platform environment where each client must have equal access.

As a functional multi-user database, Portfolio incorporates Record-Level Locking, wherein multiple users can add, retrieve or edit records simultaneously. The application also supports the opening of any number of catalogs at the same time so that items can be copied between them. Copied items maintain their keywords and descriptions.

The items located for a particular project can be saved in a "gallery" and maintained for future use. This makes it possible to benefit from a particularly fruitful search again and again.

Portfolio ships with both the Macintosh and Windows software in one box. Catalogs can be created on either platform and used on both without the need to export or convert file formats. $99.95

Contact: Extensis Corp., 55 S. W. Yamhill St., Fourth Floor, Portland, OR 97204, 800 796-9798,, fax: 503 274-0530.

Virtual PC (MAC)

Virtual PC is a shot in the arm for loyal Power Macintosh users who have a need to use PC software, but would prefer not to use a PC. Not only is there more software available for the PC, but certain titles are available only for the PC.

The software, which requires only 850K of disk space, solves the problem of having to use a PC at the office, and needing to bring work home to finish on the Mac. Despite the fact that the Mac can translate most PC file formats into their Mac equivalents, and that several popular programs are cross-platform, and their files can be read directly, there are still instances where there is no substitute for running the software in a PC environment, even if it is a virtual one.

Virtual PC gives Mac users a virtual PC board on which they can run their choice of PC flavors: Windows 95, DOS, IBM OS/2, or NT. Users therefore gain a computer that can run almost any software on the market. In addition, users can easily move data between the two operating systems, since they run simultaneously.

Virtual PC is provided in two versions: Connectix Virtual PC Windows 95 Version and Connectix Virtual PC Windows 3.11/MS-DOS, each of which comes with genuine Microsoft Windows operating systems. The software recognizes and uses Macintosh peripherals, including Ethernet, CD-ROM, printers and modems. The software incorporates Sound Blaster Pro support, S3 video, Intel Pentium MMX compatibility, full screen mode, Internet connectivity, and much more.

For digital publishers and prepress technicians there is the flexibility of being able to handle virtually any file that a customer may present to them.

The software is sufficiently compatible and bulletproof that Motorola is including it as part of its software bundle on the StarMax Pro Mac-OS systems, UMAX is providing it as a standard feature on most of its Macintosh clones, Power Computing is offering it as an option, and Newer Technology is including it with its MAXpowr CPU upgrade cards. This impressive software engineering feat is available for $149.

Contact: Connectix, 2655 Campus Dr., San Mateo, CA 94403, 800 950-5880, 415 571-5100, Internet:,, faxback: 800 571-7558, fax: 415 571-5195.

Addition / Extension Reviews

Animated GIF Plug-in for Adobe Premiere (MAC/WIN)

Adobe has released an Animated GIF plug-in for Adobe Premiere 4.2. This plug-in lets Premiere users export movies as multi-image Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) files for animation on the WWW. The advantage of GIF animation is that most Web browsers can view GIF animations without plug-ins or helper applications on the client side. The plug-in can be downloaded free of charge for new owners and current registered owners of Adobe Premiere 4.3 for Macintosh and Windows at

Contact: Adobe Systems Inc., 1585 Charleston Rd., POB 7900, Mountain View, CA 94039-7900, 415 961-4400, 800 888-6293, WWW:, fax: 415 961-3769.

Printing Reviews

PSExpress (MAC)

PSExpress is a utility designed specifically for PostScript service providers which can significantly reduce the amount of time required to create large PostScript files. Professional PostScript users are aware of the large file sizes produced in PostScript (up to three or more times the size of the native application file), and the extensive time required to output them. With PSExpress, performance can be increased as much as 2000% in programs such as QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator, and Macromedia Freehand.

The use of on-demand printing, and imposition and trapping programs has created an increased need for the generation of files in PostScript format. In addition, PostScript is efficient in that it contains all of the elements (fonts, photos, artwork, etc.) that comprise a given job, making the file both portable and universal.

Another PSExpress feature is the generation of Easily Movable EPS files. These files are small FPOs that can be replaced easily during OPI with their high-resolution originals.

PSExpress supports the flexible generation of PostScript, meaning that it can also create a PostScript file in two steps. This is useful when doing electronic imposition. In the first step the high-resolution images are not written, providing a significantly smaller file, which can, obviously, be produced much faster. After imposition the second step is executed, adding in the high-resolution continuous tone images.

Another use of PSExpress is to generate PostScript simply for the purpose of releasing the source application. The PostScript file can then be printed in the background without disrupting continued production. $495

Contact: Transoft Corporation, 425 East Cota St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, 805 897-3350.

Image Reviews

Image Club Releases (MAC/WIN)

Image Club, the digital asset publishing arm of Adobe Systems, has several new releases:

Gentleman's Study CD-ROM includes 56 images (48 object photos and 8 corresponding background images). The images are saves as RGB TIFF files with embedded PostScript clipping paths, eliminating the need for cropping. Images include a banker's lamp, suitcase, dial phone, floor radio, pocket watch, and leather chair. The files are provided in high-resolution (approx. 4 x 5" at 300 dpi) RGB TIFF, low resolution (approx. 4 x 5" at 72 dpi) RGB TIFF, and with accompanying drop shadow and cast shadow files in LZW compressed grayscale TIFF at 300 ppi. $129.99

ObjectGear Volume 4: Antiquities CD-ROM, contains 85 images likely to be found in a museum, including gold picture frames, a globe, boots, a brooch, a toy airplane, baby shoes, books, and much more. This CD contains the same selection of file formats as the one above. $99.99

ObjectGear Volume 2: Business Elements CD-ROM features a selection of 95 images that are likely to found in an office or business environment. Images include computer media, furniture, computers, stationary goods, desk accessories, and more. This CD contains the same selection of file formats as the one above. $99.99

Circa: Art/Science & Medicine CD-ROM is a collection of 80 images covering antique scenes from science and medicine. Images include doctor and patient, medicine bottle labels, nurses, laboratory scenes, an operating room, and more. Images are provided in high, medium and low resolutions and are saved as either LZW compressed GGB TIFF files, or RGB JPEG files. High resolution files are 3000 x 2500 pixels at 300 dpi, medium resolution are 1400 x 1100 pixels at 266 dpi, and low resolution are 500 x 400 pixels at 72 dpi. $149.99

DigitArt Library: Usefuls. A collection of over 300 EPS black-and-white images covering everyday objects categorized into bathroom (bath towel, pill bottle, etc.), desk tools (lamp, rubber stamp, etc.), garden shed (hose, pruner, etc.), hall closet (hanger, dust pan, etc.), home cooking (blender, frying pan, etc.), and kitchen drawer (egg beater, spatula, etc.). $99.99

DigitArt Library: Objects & Icons. A large collection of over 550 EPS black-and-white images covering the following areas of industrial design: automotive, computers, controls, directionals, disabled access, gizmos, household, recycling, safety, and schematic. $99.99

DigitArt Library: Universal Symbols. Over 630 EPS black-and-white images classified as animals, arrows, astronomy, astrology, geology, handforms, international, mechanical, meteorology, photography, shapes, sports, recreation, and traffic control. $99.99

Contact: Image Club Graphics, Suite 800 - 833 Fourth Avenue Southwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 3T5, 800 661-9410, Internet:,, fax: 403 261-7013.

Studies in Design (MAC/WIN)

The Studies in Design CD-ROM contains the complete text and graphics of one of Christopher Dresser's (1834-1904) most important compiled works. Dresser, considered the father of modern industrial design, produced an impressive body of work during his lifetime, and this digital reprint is a faithful and valuable contribution to the study of art and design. The work is actually a collection of essays written between 1874 and 1876.

The CD-ROM recreates the book in Acrobat format, providing the reader with a rich set of navigation tools. 60 color plates are available as high-resolution, royalty-free bitmaps, which can be displayed and manipulated in Photoshop, or another image manipulation program. 80 vector patterns (in color, grayscale, black-and-white, and line art formats) have been precision drawn in Adobe Illustrator, and are available for self-expression by using a compatible drawing application.

The CD is a work of art in itself, and provides the reader with a readily usable collection of Dresser's art, essentially making every reader not only a beneficiary of a great artistic legacy, but a working apprentice as well. $79 alone, or $99 when purchased as a set with The Art of Decorative Design.

Contact: Direct Imagination, POB 93018, Pasadena, CA 91101-3018, 818 793-8387, WWW:, fax: 818 449-6083.

The Art of Decorative Design (MAC/WIN)

The Art of Decorative Design CD-ROM is the complete digital reprint of the monumental work produced by Christopher Dresser in 1862. It was the first book to provide clear and accurate descriptions of the process of producing ornamental designs by using scientific principles.

Dresser, recognized as the "Father of Modern Design," was the first modern designer to produce original designs for commercial use. This CD, provided in Acrobat format, provides the complete text along with the royalty-free use of 28 high resolution color plates, 162 figures, and 80 vector patterns (in color and black-and-white), which can be modified in any program that accepts EPSF or XPR formats.

The book is one of the best adaptations of a print-based volume to its digital analog. The user is not just buying a book, but an annotated collection of designs that can be adapted for use in graphic design, Web and desktop publishing, and decorative arts and crafts. $79 alone, or $99 when purchased as a set with Studies in Design.

Contact: Direct Imagination, POB 93018, Pasadena, CA 91101-3018, 818 793-8387, WWW:, fax: 818 449-6083.

CD-ROM Reviews

Blue Moves: The Tips & Tricks CD-ROM (MAC/WIN)

Blue Moves: The Tips & Tricks CD-ROM is another in the Image Club series of interactive training programs. The CD consists of 35 design tips and tricks for use with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, PageMaker, Streamline and Dimensions, as well as five design theory tips. The package includes a 48 page step-by-step companion handbook. The self-pace, interactive nature of the CD ensures that the user is shown how to perform many useful techniques that can be applied immediately. The techniques are shown within the context of producing several realworld projects, including a poster, a Website, a magazine, an annual report, and a newsletter. $89.99

Contact: Image Club Graphics, Suite 800 - 833 Fourth Avenue Southwest, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 3T5, 800 661-9410, Internet:,, fax: 403 261-7013.

Cartopedia: A World Reference Atlas (MAC/WIN)

Cartopedia: A World Reference Atlas is a handsomely designed interactive world atlas on CD-ROM. It contains over 400,000 words, over 9000 screens and pop-up windows, more than 600 zoomable maps, and over 500 color photos and videos. The gazetteer contains over 25,000 different place names with links to their map locations. Over 7000 different pop-up windows provide statistical information on every country in the world, including population, natural resources, and climate. $49.95

Contact: DK Multimedia, 95 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212 213-4800,, fax: 212 213-5240.

Chronicle of the 20th Century (MAC/WIN)

Chronicle of the 20th Century is the interactive CD-ROM version of the popular book, which sold over 5 million copies. The CD provides the news, people, and historic events for all 34,700 days of the 20th century up to 1996. The powerful search engine is invaluable for locating information from more than 8000 articles, 100 video clips, 400 sound bytes, 2000 color and black-and-white stills, 1000 news screens, and two million words. The package includes access to a Web site which features additional resources.

There are a variety of ways to access the information: by A-Z subject search, video and sound search, word search, date search, timeline menu, focus menu, biographies menu, or random access. $39.95

Contact: DK Multimedia, 95 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212 213-4800, 800 DKMM-575,, fax: 212 213-5240.

Eyewitness History of the World (MAC/WIN)

Eyewitness History of the World is a comprehensive historical work on CD-ROM, encompassing more than 700 photos and illustrations, three hours of audio, numerous animated sequences and narration, and 100 videos. It covers 10 time periods, providing a rare up-close view of significant historical events, objects, and artifacts. The engaging interface is quite enticing, and the Quiz Master is challenging for users of all ages. $39.95

Contact: DK Multimedia, 95 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212 213-4800,, fax: 212 213-5240.

Multicom Multimedia CD-ROMs (MAC/WIN)

Multicom has published a library of genuinely useful multimedia titles, most very reasonably priced, and many derived from print editions. Here is a small sample:

The American Sign Language Dictionary is a collection of over 2600 signs with explanations of the gestural movements and video examples. The attractive interface provides easy access to each sign, by category, letter, browsing, or searching. An online connection is available for downloading new signs each month. A fingerspelling module is provided for learning and practicing. Considerable background and history is also provided. Quizzes are provided for self-testing and progress-charting. A book/CD bundle is available at extra cost ($59.95). $49.95

Who Do You Think You Are? is the multimedia implementation of the Berkeley Personality Profile. The user responds to quick, thought-provoking questions which reveal insight into your their personality. Sections are provided on the first impressions that people get when meeting new people, and on famous people who share similar personal characteristics to their own. $19.95

Canon Photography Workshop is a complete course that includes background information, the elements of good photography, and a Virtual Viewfinder for practicing taking pictures. The Virtual Viewfinder provides user-settable controls similar to a real camera. $19.95

Magic: An Insider's View is hosted by entertainer Harry Anderson. The interactive controls make it easy to follow the detailed training for executing 14 classic magic tricks. Numerous tips and pointers are provided, including associated Internet sites. $9.95

Emily Post's Complete Guide to Weddings provides authoritative advice on every aspect of a wedding and the events preceding. Worksheets are provided for handling several details. $19.95

Home Depot's Home Improvement 1-2-3 uses video, animation, illustrations, photos and narration to cover over 150 household projects. $19.95

Contact: Multicom Publishing, 188 Embarcader, Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415 777-5300,, fax: 415 777-4729.

The AMA Family Medical Guide (MAC/WIN)

The AMA Family Medical Guide CD-ROM is the interactive version of the best-selling book (over 5 million copies sold). The CD is considered the most extensive and useful family medical reference available in its format. The CD covers more than 650 diseases, disorders, and other health concerns. The interactive nature of the media makes it possible for users to respond to a series of yes-or-no questions concerning symptoms in order to determine the nature of the problem at hand. $39.95

Contact: DK Multimedia, 95 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212 213-4800,, fax: 212 213-5240.

The International Pictograms Standard (MAC/WIN)

The International Pictograms Standard CD-ROM is the companion piece to The International Pictograms Standard book. The CD contains EPS versions of the 160 pictograms which represent the international signage appropriate for communicating with publics in any setting. It is a monumental work which is likely to be utilized worldwide. The CD also includes a TrueType font called PictoFont, which represents each pictogram. $179

Contact: The International Pictograms Standard, 725 NW Flanders, Portland, Oregon 97209, (503) 222-9494,, e-mail:

The Ultimate Human Body 2.0 (MAC/WIN)

The Ultimate Human Body 2.0 CD-ROM is a fascinating interactive journey through the human body. It contains over 1000 images, more than 100 animations, and 25 video sequences. The 3-D Body Scanner provides selective magnification of organs, the circulatory system, and the skeleton. Users can examine 3-D organs by rotating them, with annotations provided for different views. A 3-D journey through the body is powered by a multiple choice quiz composed from a database of hundreds of questions. The Body Systems Interaction section lets the user select two body systems to learn how they function, both independently and together. $39.95

Contact: DK Multimedia, 95 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212 213-4800,, fax: 212 213-5240.

Internet Reviews

DeltaPoint QuickSite (MAC/WIN)

DeltaPoint QuickSite incorporates several features that make it the appropriate choice for the nontechnical Web designer. It uses a WYSIWYG interface, reusable site templates, and the New Project Wizard. Yet it maintains the Advanced HTML Editor, which supports JavaScript and custom HTML codes, for those users who feel comfortable with coding.

The Macintosh version (1.01) and the Windows version (2.5.1) differ primarily in their support for electronic commerce. The Windows version supports Web-based catalog creation, a feature which is unusual for such a reasonably priced program. The Catalog Builder makes it possible to import data from a database to make that information accessible on the Web. After the site has been completed, the Site Promotion Wizard can be used to register the site automatically with the major search engines. A selection of QuickSite-produced customer sites are listed at

Complete sites or individual pages can be imported into QuickSite, taking advantage of the work that may have been previously executed. The Macintosh version is $79.95, the Windows version is $149.95.

Contact: Deltapoint, Inc., 22 Lower Ragsdale Dr., Monterey, CA 93940, 408 648-4000,, fax: 408 648-4020.

WebCollage (MAC)

WebCollage is a unique Web utility that automatically builds dynamic Web graphics, so that site visitors always see something different when they visit. The data which supports the graphic is refreshed at an interval set by the designer so that a particular Web page can be updated without human intervention. Examples of dynamically driven elements are weather, traffic reports, stock prices, and news reports.

The application is made up of two parts, an Editor and an Assembler, neither of which requires deep technical knowledge, heavy scripting or programming. The Editor is a draw-based program which is used to create graphical templates which the Assembler uses to generate GIF files. A template may consist of graphical shapes, text, pictures, and proprietary URL and script shapes which are populated by content directly from the Web, a local database, or from a simple script.

Although WebCollage runs on a Macintosh, the files it creates can be mounted a Web server of any platform. The CD-ROM includes several templates and sample files. $249

Contact: StarNine, a division of Quarterdeck, 2550 Ninth St., Suite 112, Berkeley, CA 94710, 510 649-4949,, fax: 510 548-0393.

ActionLine 1.5 (MAC)

Web sites with dynamic elements are most likely to entice visitors to stay longer, however they also require considerably more planning and effort on the part of the Web designer. ActionLine 1.5 for Macintosh produces Web-ready Java applets, viewable with Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer. Because they are Java applets, Web surfers are not aggravated by the need for specialized plug-ins or helper applications to view and use them.

ActionLine is based on IMC's Special Delivery authoring program, which provides a slide show metaphor. IMC has a patent on multimedia technology (number 5,363,482) which it has incorporated into its Special Delivery product. As in Special Delivery, ActionLine presentations, which are composed of text, graphics, sound, and animation, are put together through an easy drag-and-drop process. Each element, which is contained in a "portal," is wired from its object of action, to its source of action. In other words, to make a button (one portal) activate an animation (in another portal), the user simply draws an ActionLink between the two. There are several options available to control how the portals interact with one another, and how they appear on screen.

ActionLine is composed of an Editor, where the presentation elements (graphics, sounds, etc.) are assembled; and a Viewer, where the presentation is proofed. The Viewer can display only one slide at a time, and, therefore, any interaction between slides can not be seen. A finished presentation can be proofed in a Web browser after it has been built into a Java applet. $299

Interactive Media Corporation, POB 0089, Los Altos, CA 94023-0089, 415 948-0745,, E-mail:

Utility Reviews

CanOpener 3.5 (MAC)

CanOpener 3.5 is the latest version of this highly useful utility. CanOpener, which has been available on the Macintosh for over 8 years, can read any file, and copy anything (text or images). Not only can it open files whose applications are not on your computer, but it can open foreign files, and even damaged files.

Version 3.5 adds JPEG and PhotoCD support, bringing the total number of image translators to over 30, including several PC formats. In addition, it can now convert pictures between formats.

Web power users will appreciate the new e-mail and Web URL extraction feature. $65

Contact: Abbott Systems Inc., 62 Mountain Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570, 914-747-3116, 800 552-9157,,, fax: 914 747-9115.

GrabNet (MAC/WIN)

GrabNet is a simple yet handy utility used to catalog, manage, and maintain Web addresses. Users can grab either the URL or an image area on the Web page, and have them appear in a listing, or as a button. In either case the URL is date- and time-stamped. The user can arrange the listings in folders to organize them according to any system deemed logical by the user. Clicking on a button or listing takes the user to that Web address. $19.95

Contact: The ForeFront Group, Inc., 1330 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 1300, Houston, TX 77056, 713 961-1101,, fax: 713 961-1149.

MultiMedia Reviews

Slides & Sound Plus 1.2 (MAC/WIN)

Slides & Sound Plus 1.2 is a multimedia production program that uses a slide show metaphor. Users can create presentations from any digital source (digital camera, scanner, Photo CD, Web graphics, etc.), arranging the slides; adding music or narration; setting transitions; incorporating special effects; and composing titles, captions and credits. The finished slide show can be saved on an appropriately-sized media with a royalty-free run-time player. In addition the user can display the production on TV or the Web, or record it to videotape. $69.95

Contact: InMedia Presentations, Inc., 800-900 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C 1E5, 604 893-8955, 888 575-4337,, fax: 604 893-8966.

Entertainment Reviews

Gridz (MAC)

Green Dragon software, creators of Spectre Supreme and several Mac ports, have released a new 3D-ish puzzle game. Gridz starts you off on (you guessed it) a grid. Situated on the other side of the grid are your opponents. The object is to send robots out on the grid to build up your base. You can also send strikers to kill enemies and hackers to break down opponents' bases. The game is very easy to learn and a free multiplayer update will be available soon.

The very well-done gameplay and graphics are reminiscent of console titles. Not surprisingly, Green Dragon also writes game console games. It's great to see a game like this on the Mac. If you need an occasional break, I highly recommend downloading the demo from

Contact: Green Dragon Creations, Inc. PO Box 70. Water Valley, MS 38965. 601-473-4225.,

Book Reviews

Adobe FAQ

Adobe Systems

A complete technical support volume covering all Adobe applications and technologies. It represents more than 5000 articles written by Adobe Systems' staff in support of users' questions and problems, as well as the Q&A sections from Adobe Magazine. The accompanying CD-ROM includes an additional 1300 pages of technical issues and answers.

1997 774 1-56830-372-6 $50 Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Adobe PageMaker 6.5 Classroom in a Book

Adobe Systems

Another in the lauded series of hands-on application training workbooks from Adobe. This volume, covering Adobe PageMaker 6.5, covers the complete range of tools, features, and techniques. Lessons include the assembly of several projects, including a flyer, a letterhead, a four-color CD-ROM jewelcase booklet, a multimedia PDF document, the repurposing of a print newsletter for the Web, and more. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes all project files and fonts.

1997 318 1-56830-380-X $45 Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Adobe Photoshop 4 Interactive Course

London, Sherry

A collection of 68 lessons covering the operation of Photoshop 4. Topics include: selections, layers and channels, filters, paint and text tools, color and file formats, color correction, scanning and PhotoCD, retouching, spot color, and more. A significant feature of the book is its affiliations with the Moore College of Art and Design (Advanced Placement Units), and Marquette University (Continuing Education units) through which the reader can earn college credit. The course is supported by a Web-based learning center (, on-line mentoring, a complete online copy of the text, a course newsletter, an online resource center (with hyperlinks), an updated database of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), online testing, and a Certificate of Achievement. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes demo software and examples from the book.

1997 884 1-57169-036-0 $49.99 Contact: Waite Group Press 200 Tamal Plaza Corte Madera, CA 94925

Building VRML Worlds

Tittel, Ed; Charlie Scott, Paul Wolfe, Claire Sanders

VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) was developed in 1994, providing a Web technology wherein a designer can build a three-dimensional environment for users to explore. Users access the virtual world through a Web browser, using appropriate plug-in technology. The areas of application include urban planning and architecture, virtual shopping, art, entertainment, virtual communities, geographical navigation, education, online conferencing, and instruction manuals.

This book provides in-depth background about the technology, as well as coverage of the authoring tools available for the creative process. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes a variety of tools for building 3-D virtual worlds and an extensive list of VRML Web resources.

1997 381 pp. 0-07-882233-5 $39.95 Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill 2600 Tenth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Classroom in a Book: Adobe After Effects

Adobe Systems

A self-paced, self-instructional course in the essential operation of Adobe After Effects. The sequence of lessons is equivalent to a 40-hour training course, and the user has the option of completing the lessons in the order they choose. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains folders for the lessons and a tour of Adobe After Effects.

1997 334 1-56830-369-6 $45 Contact: Adobe Systems Inc., 1585 Charleston Rd., POB 7900, Mountain View, CA 94039-7900, 415 961-4400, 800 888-6293, WWW:, fax: 415 961-3769.

Classroom in a Book: Adobe Illustrator 7.0

Adobe Systems

A self-paced training guide for learning the features of Adobe Illustrator 7.0. It covers a broad range of skills, including: the application work area; making selections; painting, gradient fills, transparent paint effects, and basic color principles; drawing lines and curves; creating and manipulating shapes; creating symmetrical and distributed objects; drawing in perspective; using layers; tracing images; using type and type masks; printing; producing color separations; and preparing art for the Web. All of the lesson files are provided on the accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM. The book also includes an on-line course called "Adobe Illustrator Fundamentals," which is available on the Web.

1997 327 1-56830-371-8 $45 Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Classroom in a Book: Adobe PageMill 2.0

Adobe Systems

A self-paced, step-by-step training course which covers the features, tools and techniques necessary to be considered adept at using PageMill 2.0. Topics are supported with hands-on lessons. All necessary files are provided on the accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM. Major areas covered include: creating tables, forms, and image maps; creating a home page; adding links to and from the home page; using anchors and frames; and linking to external sources.

1997 195 1-56830-319-X $40 Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Cybrarian's Manual, The

Ensor, Pat

This book is the professional librarian's guide to the vast resources of cyberspace. It covers all aspects of the Internet, with emphasis on efficient and effective search methods and procedures, and useful net resources. Other topics include: the basics of the Internet, Internet access and the public, mailing lists, net rights and responsibilities, intelligent agents, power tools, multimedia, evaluating the quality of online references, Internet standards, and occupational issues for librarians.

1997 446 0-8389-0693-1 $42 Contact: American Library Association, 155 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606, 800 545-2433.

Database Backed Web Sites: The Thinking Person's Guide to Web Publishing

Greenspun, Philip

A fascinating book that deals with several aspects of Web site design, both supporting and complementing relational database technology. The author is an MIT computer science professor whose credentials are impeccable, and whose talents, fortunately, extend to writing and storytelling. He doesn't take himself too seriously, as is evident in his chapter entitled, "Learn to Program HTML in 21 Minutes."

1997 362 1-56276-530-2 $29.99 Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Designing Interactive Web Sites

Szeto, Gong; et al

A guide to current interactive Web technologies with several case studies demonstrating their applications and uses. This book addresses strategies for applying Java, JavaScript, Shockwave and other Web elements, and provides a cross-platform CD-ROM which shows them in use. In addition, the CD contains useful utilities as well as demonstration versions of Macromedia Director and mTropolis. 1997 457 1-56830-311-4 $45 Contact: Hayden Books 4300 West 62nd St. Indianapolis, IN 46268

Digital Prepress Complete

O'Quinn, Donnie; Matt LeClair

Among the first books to provide detailed, up-to-date information on the entire process of using contemporary methods for preparing files for printing production. It offers the reader a comprehensive strategy for selecting, implementing, and using digital prepress equipment. The authors, who are practicing professionals, take the reader through each production step, giving realworld advice along the way. Major topics include: the work environment, font and file management, media storage and transport, digital imaging, scanning, color and printing, color management, trapping, preflight, and proofing.

1996 766 1-56830-328-9 $55 Contact: Hayden Books 4300 West 62nd St. Indianapolis, IN 46268

Director Demystified

Roberts, Jason

A guided step-by-step tour of the capabilities of Macromedia Director 5, including the Lingo scripting language. All aspects of the Director realm (graphics, text, sound, animation, digital video, etc.) are covered in detail, along with their effective application and use for interactive CD-ROM, Web presentations, kiosk interfaces, and other multimedia applications. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains royalty-free clip media (sound effects, music, textures, patterns, buttons, sliders, etc.), Director movies, Macintosh and Window demos of multimedia applications, shareware, and reference resources.

1996 823 0-201-88423-2 $39.95 Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Discover Intranets

Van Cleve, Suzanne; Mike Britton

A guide for readers who are charged with implementing, modifying, and managing a companywide intranet. The authors provide numerous real-world examples, with references to several topic-related Web sites.

1997 326 0-7645-4020-3 $19.99 Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610 San Mateo, CA 94402

GIF Animation Studio: Animating Your Web Site

Koman, Richard

This book covers the use of the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), a low bandwidth animation standard that was originated by CompuServe, Inc. The GIF file format is popular for creating animations on the Web since it is well-established, well-documented, and accepted as a standard. In addition, with GIF animation, no plug-ins, special authoring software, or programming skills are required. According to the author, "What is required (with GIF) is something more-the ability to make quality images, to design a Web page where animated and static images work together. GIF animation can make your Web site move, but only you can decide whether or not is should move; and if so, how it should move."

Major topics include: animating in Windows, managing palettes with GIFmation, combining animations and static images, rolling textures, creating an animation wall, and Photoshop filters.

The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes versions of GIF building software, demo versions of popular imaging applications, and copies of the animations which are covered in the book. In addition, there are several examples of successful GIFanimation Web sites.

1996 159 1-56592-230-1 $39.95 Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

HTML In Action

Morris, Bruce

This book is dedicated to the application of cutting-edge Web technologies for the purpose of constructing enticing and attractive sites. Chapters include cool basic HTML techniques, forms, tables, graphics, backgrounds, multimedia, animations, Acrobat, Java and HotJava, CGI programs, frames, HTML utilities, and ActiveX. The accompanying PC CD-ROM includes Microsoft Internet Explorer and examples from the book.

1996 265 pp. 1-55615-948-X $29.95 Contact: Microsoft Press POB 3019 Bothell, WA 98041-9910

Illustrator Type Magic

Simsic, Greg

A detailed cookbook approach to producing special typographic effects using Adobe Illustrator. The author provides over 40 professional effects, many with variations. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains the files that are illustrated in the book as well as a collection of shareware, freeware, and licensed fonts; digital stock images; and demo versions of Illustrator and other Adobe products.

1997 256 1-56830-3 $39.99 Contact: Hayden Books 4300 West 62nd St. Indianapolis, IN 46268

Inside Macromedia Director 5 with Lingo for Macintosh

Allis, Lee; et al

A comprehensive handbook to using Director 5 with the Lingo language. The book features several hands-on tutorials and examples compiled by a team of Director professionals who have specialties in a broad range of multimedia production development. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains project files, a demonstration version of Director, tools, and utilities.

1996 908 1-56205-567-4 $49.99 Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Inside Macromedia Director 6 with Lingo

Allis, Lee; et al.

The bible for professional Director 6 users. This multi-pound volume covers all aspects of Director application, including an entire section on Shockwave, Macromedia's process for delivering Director presentations on the Web. The chapters are written with an emphasis on Lingo, Director's scripting language. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains The Lingo Library, Director Xtras, sample movies, image filters, sounds, software demos, and more.

1997 976 1-56205-728-6 $55 Contact: New Riders Publishing P.O. Box 4846-V Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Interface Design with Photoshop

Hamlin, J. Scott

A comprehensive book covering the use of Adobe Photoshop to produce attractive and useful interfaces for Web pages and multimedia. Step-by-step tutorials and expert information provide an in-depth guide to a wide range of topics including: optimizing graphic file size for faster downloading; selecting colors for optimal display; using clip and stock art, objects, and photos; creating interface elements such as sliders, dials, switches, and widgets; and using Photoshop to produce special graphic effects such as beveled or embossed objects, textures, chrome or metal, liquid or water, or plastic or gel.

1996 239 1-56205-668-9 $39.99 Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

International Pictograms Standard, The

Pierce, Todd

A monumental work in the area of pictogram standardization. The content of the book is based on a standard set of over 150 pictograms that were developed for the Portland Oregon Visitors Association International Subcommittee. The pictograms cover transportation, services, direction, lodging, activities, regulatory, and ADA...all areas that need to be addressed, and effectively communicated, in a large urban environment. Each pictogram has been rated according to its semantic dimension (how well the image relates to a meaning), its syntactic dimension (how well the one image relates to other images in the collection), and its pragmatic dimension (how well the image maintains its effectiveness with the viewer in terms of viewing conditions). Each of the pictograms is reproduced on high quality paper, in scannable form, and is copyright free. A companion, cross-platform, separately purchasable CD-ROM ($179) contains the EPS artwork for each pictogram and a PictoFont (TrueType) containing each of the pictograms.

1996 218 0-944094-22-8 $50 Contact: The International Pictograms Standard, 725 NW Flanders, Portland, Oregon 97209, (503) 222-9494,, e-mail:

Internet 1997 Unleashed

Ellsworth, Jill; Billy Barron, et al

A massive work covering all aspects of the Internet. Major topics include an overview of the Internet, how to connect, the use of electronic mail, accessing Usenet Newsgroups, interactive and real-time communication, information access, the World Wide Web, delivering pages on the Web, common uses of the Internet for given professions, and new technologies. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains Web browsers, Internet client software, HTML editors, helper applications, utilities and resources, and two complete books in linked HTML format: Netscape 3 Unleased, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 Unleashed.

1997 1269 1-57521-185-8 $49.99 Contact: Sams 201 West 103rd St. Indianapolis, IN 46290

Java: The Complete Reference

\Naughton, Patrick; Herbert Schildt

One of the most comprehensive Java programming reference books on the market. It is full of practical programming techniques with a complete coverage of the Java language, including its class libraries and development environment. It includes dozens of sample applets and applications, discussions of both the client and server side of Java programming, and expert coverage of networking and imaging.

1997 912 pp. 0-07-882231-9 $39.95 Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill 2600 Tenth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Javascript Interactive Course

Danesh, Arman

A milestone in publishing, this book provides the reader with enrollment in the eZone (, a Web-based learning center which provides on-line test-taking, an updated database of Frequently Asked Questions, access to live experts, hyperlinks to related information, a course newsletter, a student mailing list, and finally, a certificate of achievement. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains Microsoft Internet Explorer and all of the code from the book. Readers who successfully complete the course can earn Continuing Education Units from Marquette University. While on-line the user can audit other Waite Group courses.

1997 616 1-57169-084-0 $39.99 Contact: Waite Group Press 200 Tamal Plaza Corte Madera, CA 94925

Microsoft Publisher 97 by Design

Simone, Luisa

A methodic and well-organized step-by-step guide to using Microsoft Publisher 97. It addresses each procedure with numbered steps and clear illustrations. There are numerous references to Power Tips, providing practical advice about program features and design; Troubleshooting Tips, offering information about common questions and areas of concern; and Cross-references, indicating additional information available in the book. The book is essentially divided into two sections; one covering the use of the program, and the other covering design projects (including logos, newsletters, letterheads, posters, etc.). The book also addresses the repurposing of publication pages for the Web.

1997 525 157231355-2 $27.95 Contact: Microsoft Press POB 3019 Bothell, WA 98041-9910

Net Research: Finding Information Online

Barrett, Daniel J.

This book details the skills needed to search the Internet in an effective and efficient manner. The author presents a wide variety of procedures for maximizing the potential success of each search operation. The research methods and procedures learned from the text can be applied no matter how the Internet changes.

1997 186 1-56592-245-X $24.95 Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

Networking Essentials Exam Guide

York, Dan

A complete guide to preparing for the Microsoft Networking Essentials Examination. This exam is part of a multi-exam series which lead to becoming a Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). Each of these exams costs approx. $100, contains from 50 to 100 questions, and takes from between 75 minutes to 2 hours to complete. This guide provides preparation in the form of background information, lab exercises, review questions, and sample tests (provided on the accompanying CD-ROM). The reader is also presented with an initial skills assessment exam to determine his or her present level of knowledge.

1997 827 0-7897-1193-1 $99.99 Contact: Que Corporation 11711 North College Ave. Carmel, IN 46032

Official AT&T WorldNet Web Discovery Guide

Engst, Adam

A guide to installing and using the AT&T WorldNet Service to access the Internet. The service is not only an ISP (Internet Service Provider), but an online resource that serves to guide the new and experienced user to the information and services that they need. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes the software necessary for subscribing to the service and browsing the Web. One month of free connect time is included with the book purchase. The author, an expert in the use of the Web, provides a friendly and informative tour of online resources.

1997 491 0-07-882336-6 $24.99 Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill 2600 Tenth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Strategic Internet Marketing

Vassos, Tom

A book chock full of proven strategies for using the Internet for successful product and service marketing. The author references several good examples of creative sites that have proven to increase sales, reduce costs, improve communication, and expand business. The author maintains hotlinks for all Web sites covered in the book.

1996 326 0-7897-0827-2 $24.99 Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Web Programming Desktop Reference

Afergan, Michael; et al

An essential reference guide for the experienced Web programmer. The book covers HTML, Perl, Java, JavaScript, VBScript, and ActiveX in-depth. The layout and arrangement aid the reader in finding information quickly (there are over 100 pages of navigation tables and indices).

1996 1084 0-7897-1028-5 $49.99 Contact: Que Corporation 11711 North College Ave. Carmel, IN 46032

Web Site Stats

Stout, Rick

A comprehensive volume focused on all aspects of tracking and analyzing Web traffic for the purposes of knowing who is visiting, what paths they follow, and how they might be enticed to visit more often. The book provides methods for understanding and measuring Web visitor's habits; information that is important for selling advertising and for marketing products. Methods are presented for capturing the maximumamount of data about each site visit, translating Web statistics into useful marketing information, tailoring a site to attract and hold its target audience, and proving the value of a site to potential advertisers and sponsors. The accompanying PC CD-ROM contains evaluation copies of several commercially available analysis programs.

1997 298 pp. 0-07-882236-X $29.95 Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill 2600 Tenth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Are you a Macintosh fanatic? Want to put that claim to the test? Try MacFolklore II, the original Mac trivia game. MacFolklore has a bank of almost 200 questions about the Macintosh and Apple. There are questions about famous Apple ads, product codenames, company politics, and more. MacFolklore II is a $5 shareware program from KlepHacks Shareware and is available immediately from:

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