The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 12.3 May / June 2007

Issue 12.3 May / June 2007


Multimedia/Graphics Reviews

Street Atlas USA 2007 Plus DVD (WIN )
Street Atlas USA 2007 Plus DVD contains more than 3.5 million new or revised roads as well as street-level detail and places of interest for Canada. This version provides exceptional support for handheld devices that run the Palm OS or Windows Mobile OS, such as the PDAs, mobile phones, and portable media players as well as continuing to support laptop and desktop computers, in other words, just about device with a screen.

Users can execute precise routing, using the program's drawing tools to mark places of interest, such as landmarks. Maps can now contain links to photos, documents, and Web sites. Users can also import, edit, and geo-locate an unlimited number of entries from their database. The DVD also contains more than 120 million residential and business telephone numbers and more than four million places of interest in both the U.S. and Canada.

When used with a GPS receiver, the disc provides voice-driven navigation on compatible laptops, PDAs, and mobile phones. The GPS Radar feature continuously scouts ahead for upcoming places of interest from the present GPS position. If the user strays from the route the automatic back-on-track feature brings him or her back to the preset course.

Registered users can access and use approximately 100 square miles of aerial photos and satellite images, representing a $40 value. iPod users can carry static maps for walking reference or other purposes. $59.95

Contact: DeLorme, Two DeLorme Drive, POB 298, Yarmouth, ME 04096, 800 452-5931, 207 846-7000,, e-mail:, fax back: 207 865-7083, fax: 800 575-2244.

CD/DVD Reviews

NTI Ripper (WIN )
NTI Ripper is a software suite that fulfills most of the burning and playback needs of Windows' users. The application includes NTI Digital Jack playback software and NTI Burner. The software supports on-the-fly batch conversions of a wide range of popular audio file formats, automatically ripping an entire audio CD to almost any attached storage device, including a connected MP3 player. In order to conserve space the user can adjust the audio quality from 64 kb to 320 kb per second easily.

Playback features include shuffle, crossfade, normalization and preset equalization options for jazz, classical, hip-hop, and others. $29.99

Contact: NewTech Infosystems, Inc., 5 Mason, Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92618, 949 421-0720,, fax: 949 421-0750.

In Search of the Valley (ALL)
In Search of the Valley is a documentary made by three friends who transplanted themselves from London to California for the month of September, 2004, to interview a group of people who were most influential in affecting the technological advances that sprang from the Silicon Valley.

Their interviews reveal fascinating insights into how the development of the personal computer and the Internet transformed culture and changed lives. Interviews include Apple's Steve Wozniak, Adobe's John Warnock, and Craig Newmark of The film also features Apple alumni Guy Kawasaki, Sandy Miranda, Andy Hertzfeld, Dan Kottke, and the late Jef Raskin, as well as the computer pioneer Lee Felsenstein. $19.99

Contact: In Search of the Valley, +44 7976 407 031,, e-mail:steve@ohear.

Internet Reviews

CSSEdit 2.5.2 (MAC)
CSSEdit 2.5.2 is a very handy productivity tool for defining, applying, and modifying cascading style sheets (CSS). The user can not only control every aspect of the style sheet content, but by using the Preview mode, can see its effects immediately. In addition, the user can open any Web page, see the cascading style sheet definitions and edit them.

As the user works he or she can set Milestones, which are markers that indicate various progress points to which the user can return. The Validate tool ensures that the pages comply with Web coding standards.

The program does a terrific job of presenting the CSS code in a clear and easy-to-read color-coded format and is bound to increase page-building productivity. $29.95

Contact: Space Carrot BVBA, Rodestraat 10, B-2000 Antwerpen, Belgium,, e-mail:

Entertainment Reviews

MoviePod (MAC/WIN)
MoviePod is an easy to use utility for converting movies for play on the Apple iPod Video. Users simply drag and drop movies onto the MoviePod interface, with support for .MOV, .AVI, .ASF, .WMV, .VOB, .DV, .FLC, and QuickTime. $10

Contact: Nullriver, Inc., P.O. Box 75051, Burlington, ON L7L 6Y2, Canada, 647 477-2804,, fax: 647 477-2842.

VisualHub 1.23 (MAC)
VisualHub 1.23 is a utility for converting a wide variety of video formats into alternate formats. The most common use is to convert DVD movies into the H.264 format for use in the Apple iPod Video. The program provides an easy-to-use interface along with advanced options for selecting encoding settings. TiVo users can process videos that can be viewed on a TiVo-connected TV. The program works flawlessly and is a natural partner for the iPod. $23.32

Contact: Techspansion,, e-mail:

Fonts/Font Management

Suitcase for Windows (WIN )
Suitcase for Windows is a professional font management application from the world's leading publisher of font organization utilities. The program incorporates Font Sense, which auto-activates fonts that appear in opened documents and are embedded in EPS and PDF files. This proprietary technology works in programs such as Adobe InDesign CS, Adobe Illustrator CS, and QuarkXPress 7, which are used extensively by digital publishing professionals.

Digital publishers have come to realize that a professional font management solution is essential for system stability and reliability. Fonts are a vital part of every publishing project, and publishers must be able to access them without problems nor restrictions.

The Suitcase interface is very easy to maneuver, showing all available fonts on the left, whether they are activated or not, and an on-screen single line specimen on the right (Preview pane). Users can see the total number of fonts in their system, and see them categorized as they wish: by project, by client, by font design, or by any other user-defined criteria. Activating and deactivating single or multiple fonts is simple: highlight them and click on the green lightbulb to activate, or the yellow lightbulb to deactivate.

Fonts in the user's font database are maintained in the Font Vault, a safe repository that gathers the fonts in a single, secure location. The database maintains information about each font, including its kind, foundry, version, etc. The Vault ensures that font duplicates are not activated, and that all parts of a font are imported. A Suitcase Vault can be compressed and duplicated for easy font library backups.

Suitcase ships with FontDoctor, a program that inspects, organizes, diagnoses, and repairs fonts. The program is used to scan folders of fonts and identify and resolve problems such as missing bitmaps, missing PostScript fonts, damaged or corrupt fonts, and more. $99.95

Contact: Extensis Inc., 1800 S.W. First Ave., Suite 500, Portland, OR 97201, 800 796-9798, 503 274-2020,,, fax: 503 274-0530.

Wood Type Impressions Volume 1 (MAC/WIN)

Wood Type Impressions Volume 1 is a collection that includes eight complete wood type fonts each provided in a series of light-to-dark inked surfaces, as well as various ornaments, shapes, partial fonts, and misc. characters. The type images are provided as high-resolution scans in the form of 300 dpi grayscale bitmap tiff images. The individual character shapes in each image can be individually selected, manipulated, and composed using any bitmap editor, such as Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro.

The publisher produced the images by printing from the original wood type using an etching press. Varying layers of ink were applied and proofs were pulled on textured fine art printmaking paper. The resulting prints were scanned to convert the images into digital masters. Each file is provided with two layers: the top containing the grayscale characters or shapes in 8-bit transparency; and the bottom containing the solid white background. The entire collection consists of over three gigabytes of image data provided on a single DVD-ROM.

It is important to recognize that these are not fonts, but large images that contain multiple charactersÉan entire font in some cases. The user must carefully select each character and move it to an open file to compose their output. A tutorial demonstrating how the characters can be composed is available at $299 (or $199 just for the fonts, and $129 just for the shapes).

Contact: Without Walls, 281 West Cedar Street, Norwalk, CT 06854, 614 352-0745,, e-mail:

DTP Reviews

The Print Shop for Mac version 2 (MAC)
The Print Shop for Mac version 2 is the easiest and most asset-packed desktop publishing application available. It is elegantly simple yet capable of amazingly sophisticated results.

Users begin by selecting a project from the New Project Setup Assistant which has projects categorized in four theme areas: Celebrations, Stationery, News, and Special Projects. Each project page can be customized with control over position, size, alignment, layer position, image orientation, rotation, opacity, tint, and more. Precise page positioning is controlled through the use of rulers (in inches or centimeters), snap-to guidelines, and background and overlay grids.

A second CD-ROM is provided with thousands of digital photos and images (more than 19,500) that are accessible through the built-in search engine. Personal images can be dragged directly from iPhoto. A library of more than 240 fonts is included. Professional-looking output can be achieved by virtually anyone. $59.95

Contact: Software MacKiev, 30-31 Union Warf, Boston, MA 02109, 617 227-6681,, e-mail:

Business Applications

Billable (MAC)
Billable is an inexpensive, easy-to-use invoicing system that integrates with the Apple Address Book. The program supports the input of services defined either as flat rate or time-based, with the program calculating either an entered time period, or running time (computed in real-time). When the user selects the running time option, the elapsed time appears on top of the program icon in the Apple Dock.

The user can keep track easily of clients and services, and generate an invoice in seconds. Partial and "paid in full" accounts can be handled, and all data can be exported as XML. A demo movie at full explains the program's features, and clearly shows its attractive appearance. $24.95

Contact: Clickable Bliss, 610 804-4423,, e-mail:

Additions/Extensions Reviews

AKVIS Sketch v2 (MAC/WIN)
AKVIS Sketch v2 is a Photoshop compatible plug-in that is capable of converting a photographic image into one having the appearance of a pencil sketch or watercolor drawing. Although Photoshop provides a sketch filter, AKVIS Sketch provides a more realistic outcome closely resembling the work of a human artist.

The plug-in interface is streamline and consists of few easily manipulated sliders that provide very fine control. The user can see, in real-time, the effect of the settings. A ten-day trial version is available at $72

Contact: AKVIS, Pacific Business Centre, P.O. Box 34069 #381, Seattle, WA 98124-1069, 206 309-0821,, e-mail:; fax: 206 984-3919.

DataLinker (MAC/WIN)
DataLinker is an Adobe InDesign plug-in that enables the user to link data from a variety of sources to defined fields placed anywhere on an InDesign document page. Once data is linked it can be updated easily with a single mouse click.

DataLinker takes comma separated value (CSV) files as input, and with the optional ODBC add-on, can link directly to ODBC databases. Somewhat unique to the program is the fact that an unlimited number of data sources can be included in a single InDesign document.

Not only does DataLinker bring in data from a variety of sources, it formats the placed text automatically, so that it is consistent, design-wise, with the other elements on the page. Users can take advantage of defined paragraph and object styles, which is an important time-saver.

The process of adding variable data to an InDesign document consists of four steps. First the user identifies a data source using the DataLinker palette. She then composes the placement of the field that will hold the incoming data. Next she places or merges the data from the defined data source to the InDesign document. Prior to output the user synchronizes the data if it has changed in the data source.

When a data source is selected, the user identifies where the data file is located, and selects, from dropdowns, the file encoding, the record delimiter, the field delimiter, the text qualifier, and the key field. After the selections are made a sample listing of the first eight records appears as a means of verifying that the settings are correct. If multiple data sources are used, the procedure is repeated until all data sources have been added.

Data is placed in the InDesign document by selecting a field in the DataLinker palette. Each field from the added data sources will be listed. If the field is a text field the user must have a text selection active in the InDesign document. If the field is an image field, the user can use a text selection (when inserting inline images), or a graphic frame selected, to place an image inside that frame. The link between the database field and the page location is accomplished by clicking on the "Insert Field" button in the lower left side of the DataLinker palette. The data will appear in the InDesign document with non-printing brackets at the beginning and end of the data.

The program also supports the linking of data from multiple records into a text frame or a table. This process, called merging, is accomplished easily, using a similar procedure.

Prior to output the user can synchronize data in one or more fields, or in the entire document. Synchronization is based on the key field in the data source. $299

Contact: Teacup Software, 350 Fifth Ave., Suite 4404, New York, NY 10118, 212 563-9288,, e-mail:, fax: 646 219-2326.

DreamText (MAC)

DreamText is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop 6.0 or newer that enables the user to compose extraordinary characters and words with a variety of three-dimensional, beveled, shadow, metallic, wood-grain, chrome, incised, stacked, glass, brick, log, and other special effect surfaces and backgrounds. The variety of character shapes is unique and worth investigating at

The DreamText plug-in is accessible by selecting the Automate option from the Photoshop File menu. A text dialog box appears in which the user types the words (up to 20 characters) that are to be created. Next the user chooses the DreamText character set that is to be applied. Finally the user verifies that the text and the character set are correct and clicks "OK". In seconds the composed text appears in a new Photoshop window.

Each character in the composed text is placed, automatically, on its own layer. This simplifies the process of adjusting the letterspacing or kerning.

The character sets are large, ranging from about 20MB to over 60MB. They are large because they are bitmap...they have to be in order to retain their photorealistic quality. The composed characters in a ten character Photoshop file would produce a file size of about 35MB. In most instances the characters would have to be reduced in order to use them in finished artwork.

The sets are sold individually for $9.95, with substantial discounts for quantities. The entire collection of 49 sets sells for $99.95...a little more than $2 per set.

Contact: DreamText,, 819 779-1370, e-mail:

File Compression

StuffIt Deluxe 11 (MAC)
StuffIt Deluxe 11 (see our last review at, and search our site for many other reviews of previous versions) is an invaluable collection of tools that enable the user to compress files for easier management, transmission, back-up, and protection. Certain file types, such as documents can be compressed by up to 98% of their original size thus saving considerable storage space.

The program can compress and expand StuffIt, Zip, TAR and RAR files thus supporting the processing of the most popular file compression formats.

New in this version is the Archive Manager which allows the user to see all of the StuffIt, Zip, TAR and RAR files that reside on their system in a Finder-like window. From this window the user can view each file type separately and filter the listings through a search, reveal the location of selected files, and even preview contents. StuffIt also works with Spotlight to find files that are in a compressed state. The ArchiveSearch feature also lets the user search for a file that is stored in an archive when the user is unsure which archive it resides in.

Useful for digital publishers is the StuffIt SEA Maker to generate self-extracting archives. The recipient of such a file can open it automatically, without the need for decompression software. In addition the digital publisher can specify the directory in which the files will be expanded, and create a splash screen and text that will display as the archive is opened.

Automated file back-ups are supported with the StuffIt Archive Assistant which facilitates scheduled file backups to CD, DVD, external drives, FTP servers, and .Mac iDisk. This is one of those "must have" programs. $79.99

Contact: Allume Systems Inc., 185 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 888, 245-1723, 831 761-6200, ,, e-mail:, fax: 831 761-6206.

Productivity Reviews

PTHPasteboard Pro 4.1 (MAC)
PTHPasteboard Pro 4.1 is a souped up replacement for the Clipboard. It enables users not only to store multiple copied items to the Clipboard and paste them at will, but to perform useful filtering actions on the contents as well. A simple example of a filter is the Uppercase filter that, when applied, converts what text is active into all upper case. The program ships with more than 30 filters, and the user can define multiple filters and apply them manually or with the use of a user-defined hotkey. These filters are a tremendous productivity booster.

Through the use of a Preferences pane the user can customize the program in many useful ways, such as selecting where its pop-out window will be placed, choosing colors for alternating item lines, and setting the number of items to be remembered. Users of multiple Macintoshes can sync their pasteboard contents using OS X Bonjour technology.

Digital publishers, who are constantly using copy/paste, will find this program a great time saver and convenience. $19.95

Contact: PTH Consulting,, e-mail:

Font Editing

TypeTool 3 (MAC/WIN)
TypeTool 3, which is based on the FontLab Studios professional font editing engine, represents a significant advancement in the features and usefulness of this entry-level font editor. The user can create their own fonts as well as make unlimited modifications to existing PostScript Type 1, TrueType, and, now, OpenType fonts, with as many as 65,000 glyphs.

The program is used to solve many font-related problems that often confront a digital publisher, such as changing the keyboard arrangement of a font; adding special characters, logos, or dingbats; and extending the complement of characters to include fractions, old-style figures, currency symbols, ligatures, punctuation, or international characters. In addition, the user can combine glyphs from different fonts through drag-and-drop, and modify them or leave them as they are. EPS files can be imported and used as dingbat or clipart glyphs.

Users now benefit from the capability to import bitmap images or BDP bitmap fonts into the bitmap background layer, and to place reference outlines in the Mask layer.

The VectorPaint tools extend what can be accomplished using the Bezier drawing tools, providing the font designer with greater flexibility in expressing character design details. The tools can paint in black or white, either adding strokes or removing them. The user is provided with an extensive set of tools that can be used to form almost any character shape.

After the user has created glyphs they can be slanted, rotated, or scaled, either individually or in groups, using the Transformation tools. Precision intercharacter spacing can be controlled either manually or automatically using the Metrics window, in which metrics and kerning are specified.

A demo version of the software, which is disabled by adding the FontLab logo to some characters during export, is available at (Macintosh), and (Windows). $99

Contact: Fontlab Ltd., 136 East 8th St, PMB 230, Port Angeles, WA 98362, 509 272-3260,, e-mail:

Storage Device & Media Reviews

Ninja (WIN )
NTI Ninja is a flexible tool that can produce user-defined public and private partitions on USB storage devices. Private partitions are encrypted and password-protected. The user is prompted for the password when the USB device is plugged in. The software enables the user to freely provide access to certain data yet maintain strict control over private, sensitive, or confidential information.

The software works with any USB device, including hard drives, flash drives, micro drives, and more. The user can provide a hint for password protection as well as specify the size of each partition, and the partition format (FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and Quick Format). $24.99

Contact: NewTech Infosystems, Inc., 5 Mason, Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92618, 949 421-0720,, fax: 949 421-0750.

Communication Reviews

FAXstf PRO provides faxing capability for any Macintosh application. The main window provides an easy-to-use interface that simplifies the process of sending, receiving, and managing all fax communications. The user can apply their existing Apple Address Book contact list, or Entourage and Palm Desktop vCards to address their outgoing faxes. The software supports faxing to multiple recipients using multiple modems.

New to this version is the QuickFax Widget which supports the faxing of one-page documents from the Apple Dashboard. The multiple-page faxes supported by the main application can contain attached files, in formats such as JPEG, DOC, and PDF. The program sends those files as additional pages in the fax transmission.

Cover pages can be designed to express a professional appearance, designed from scratch or composed from one provided with the software.

Received faxes can be printed or forwarded via e-mail for reading on-line. Through the use of AppleScript the user can automate routine tasks.

For those digital publishers who travel with a laptop, this software provides independence from a phone-linked fax machine. $49.99

Contact: Allume Systems Inc., 185 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 888, 245-1723, 831 761-6200, ,, e-mail:, fax: 831 761-6206.

Utility Reviews

MacScan (MAC)
MacScan is a unique application that provides a significant degree of system protection for Macintosh computers by detecting, isolating, and removing spyware and remote administration utilities. The program uses a series of three scans to survey the user's home folder, system files, or user-defined folders, drives or devices. Any spyware files that are located can be quarantined in a specific folder or removed entirely from the system.

The program is also able to remove Internet-related files that are generated by Web browsers. Such files may contain sensitive information such as passwords, browsing history, and other personal information.

MacScan remains vigilant in tracking currently active spyware threats and updates the program appropriately. A free limited-time trial version is available at $24.95

Contact:, Inc., 6170 W. Lake Mead Blvd. #310, Las Vegas, NV 89108, 702 924-0881,, e-mail:

CopyCatX (MAC)
CopyCatX, now available as a Universal version, is an essential utility program that enables the user to create an exact copy of a Macintosh OS X volume or entire disc (see our previous review at This is useful not only for back-up, but for transferring a hard drive's contents to a larger or newer drive.

The program uses a unique method of copying a disc surface sector-by-sector rather than file-by-file, thus ensuring that the copy contains every necessary detail and results in a bootable clone. In addition, sector-by-sector copying is considerably faster. Users can produce clones for PC, Linux, or even TiVo.

The program is able to capture disk images even from failing or damaged media, including scratched data CDs. It can work with multiple sessions to complete a full recovery of data.

For those who need to clone multiple drives the program offers multiple target copying capability to simultaneously duplicate more than one drive. $59.95

Contact: SubRosaSoft Ltd.,, e-mail:

FileSalvage Universal (MAC)
FileSalvage Universal (see our previous review at provides the means to recover deleted files in more than 70 file formats from a Macintosh volume or drive. Files can be recovered that have been deleted, or that reside on faulty media or a hard drive that has been re-initialized or reformatted.

The program is system and device independent meaning that it can not only recover files from a Macintosh hard drive, but from a USB thumb drive, PC disk, Linux disk, memory card, scratched CD, or other device that can be connected to a host Macintosh. $90

Contact: SubRosaSoft Ltd.,, e-mail:

Documents to Go Premium 9 (MAC/WIN)
Documents to Go Premium 9 (see our previous reviews at,, is an essential suite of utilities that enables a Palm OS user to create, view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on their PDA. In addition, the software supports the viewing of Adobe PDF files, a very helpful capability for all digital publishers. The Documents to Go files benefit from file formatting that is compatible with InTact Technology, permitting them to be emailed as attachments yet to retain their complex formatting.

This latest version of the software includes a File Explorer to simplify the browsing of files stored either on internal memory or expansion cards. The Word to Go, Sheet to Go, and Slideshow to Go applications have all been upgraded with additional features. $49.99

Contact: Dataviz, Merritt Corporate Woods, 612 Wheelers Farms Rd., Milford, CT 06460, 203 874-0085, 800 733-0030,, e-mail:, fax: 203 874-4345.


Ultimate Ornaments Mega Pack version 1.0 (MAC/WIN)

Ultimate Ornaments Mega Pack version 1.0 is an impressive collection of 12,800 professional vector images sorted into 58 categories in the general topics of design elements, ornamental designs, frames and panels, and extra designs. The complete list includes: Design Elements: Classic Color, Classic Black & White, Modern Design Elements, Wrought Iron, Tiny Design Elements, Urban Design Elements; Ornamental Designs: Modern Scroll Designs, Advanced Scroll Designs, Advanced Scroll Designs 2, 2 Color Scroll Designs, Chinese Floral Designs, Japanese Floral Designs, Mexican Designs, Celtic Designs, Indian Designs, Floral Frieze Designs, Corner Designs, Floral Designs 1, Floral Designs 2, Floral Designs 3, Floral Designs 4, Rectangle Floral Designs, Rule Line Designs, Enhanced Scroll Designs, Classic Scroll Designs, Classic Frieze Designs, Wrought Iron Designs, Renaissance Scroll Designs; Frames & Panels: Ornamental Panels 1, Ornamental Panels 2, Ornamental Panels 3, Ornamental Panels 4, Ornamental Panels Color, Advanced Panels, Advanced Panels Color, Floral Panels, Hanging Signs, Circle Floral Frames, Hand Drawn Ribbons, Floral Ribbons, Simple Ribbons, Torn Parchments, Torn Parchments Floral, Sign Panels; Extra Designs: Exquisite Birds, Exquisite Ladies, Exquisite Animals, Snowflakes, Medallions, Shields, Sign Shapes, Flower Baskets, Bullets, Art Deco Girls, Ornamental Dingbats, Borders, Color Dingbats, Floral Dingbats. Each of these topic areas is supported with a bookmarked PDF catalog.

This comprehensive library is an extraordinary resource for creative professionals who deal with any aspect of the design any media. Here are a small sample of the contents. $229

Contact: Clipart-deSIGN,, e-mail:

Digital Imaging Reviews

Color It! 4.5 (MAC)
Color It! 4.5 is a venerable image editor that is well known to experienced Macintosh users. It provides a subset of Photoshop's editing capabilities at a small fraction of Photoshop's cost, thus providing a very low-cost alternative for those digital publishers whose image editing needs are not demanding.

The program is very nimble and responsive, occupying only six megabytes of RAM. It is compatible with Photoshop plug-ins which although useful, is ironic since most plug-ins sell for more than Color It! itself.

The program is endowed with a rich set of features selecting image areas (shape selection, lasso, magic wand, scissors, crop, Bezier, etc.), creating and modifying them (brush, eraser, pencil, air brush, blur, sharpen, lighten, darken, stamp, etc.), adding image elements (shapes, lines, text, etc.), and more. Of particular interest to digital publishers are the program's filter capabilities, levels and curves commands, color channel editing, and CMYK separations.

The program also includes the capability to create, view, edit and save animated GIFs, catalog image files for rapid browsing, apply clipping paths, remove the "red eye" effect, eliminate dust and scratches, and much more. Through the use of the TWAIN interface, scanned images can be imported directly.

The program is well-documented with its PDF-based 123-page user manual which includes tutorials. The program is quite a bargain at $59.95

Contact: Digimage Arts, P.O. Box 269, Winterset, IA 50273, 800 388-8109, 515 462-5930,


Internet Cleanup 4 (MAC)
Internet Cleanup 4 is an integrated solution for protecting an individual from the dangers surrounding the use of the Internet. It works both during active Internet sessions and after they have occurred. It works with most popular browsers.

While the user is connected the software can selectively block Flash ads, remove history files, control Web file searches, safely fill in forms, block pop-ups and banner ads, and erase browser caches. The program can prevent forms from auto-filling and keep personal information secure. Cookies can be managed automatically, and IM chat logs can be erased.

The program can locate and remove spyware, search and filter e-mail attachments, and automate scheduled cleaning operations. In short, the program provides a shield against the dangers inherent in connecting to the Internet. $29.99

Contact: Allume Systems Inc., 185 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 888, 245-1723, 831 761-6200, ,, e-mail:, fax: 831 761-6206.

Instruction/Learning Reviews

Windows Vista Made Easy (MAC/WIN)
Windows Vista Made Easy is a four-part training program on DVD that is conducted by computer expert Dan Gookin. The 28 lessons, running almost four hours, cover an orientation and review of the Vista OS, a session on working in Windows, a session focused on disks, folders, and files, and finally lessons about customization and security. The disc is the perfect way to get up to speed quickly on this new operating system. $99.95

Contact: Class On Demand, a Christie Entertainment, Inc. Company, 2200 N. Stonington Ave., Suite 100, Hoffman Estates, IL 60195, 847 843-9939,, fax: 847 843-9929.

Specialized Output Reviews

RefViz v2 (MAC/WIN)
RefViz v2 is a text analysis and data visualization tool that is useful to researchers. It simplifies and streamlines the process of retrieving data from multiple online reference sources. The results of a search are displayed in a summary that provides a level of analysis highly useful to scientists, students, researchers and others. Literature searches can be displayed in a number of ways, providing insights into the retrieved data. The references can be moved easily to Endnote, ProCite and Reference Manager. A trial version is available at $299.95

Contact: Thomson ResearchSoft, 2141 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 350, Carlsbad, CA 92009, 800 722-1227, 760 438-5526,, fax: 760 438-5573.

HyperNext Studio (MAC/WIN)
HyperNext Studio is a software development environment that empowers the user to produce software that can run independent of its source (run-time). The software is cross-platform and each version is capable of producing software that runs on the other platform.

The studio consists of three components: The HyperNext Creator, where the software development takes place and results in either playable "stacks" or standalone applications; the HyperNext Developer, the environment used to create plug-ins for Creator; and the freeware Player, which is used to play the programs, or stacks.

The Studio uses the HyperNext language which was developed for nonprogrammers, although has found usefulness with professionals due to its inherently powerful capabilities. The language uses English-like commands and is relatively easy to learn. Variables, which are often a difficult programming concept to convey to someone new to programming, do not require their type nor their structure to be declared, thus simplifying the process considerably.

The Creator environment is the heart of the program. It consists of a single design window and a simple tool bar. Within this environment the user can switch between three modes: Design, Preview, and Run, selectable from the Mode Switcher floating window. The Creator is used to compose sets of linked cards that take the form of a stack. Each card can contain fields, buttons, canvases and multimedia.

It is in the Creator environment where Card Layout occurs. The user places controls on cards and edits those controls to endow them with the properties that form the features and characteristics of the program. These operations occur in the Design Mode. The user can see how the current card will appear at runtime by switching to the Preview Mode. At any point in the program development the user can enter the Run Mode to test its performance.

The program provides digital publishers with a rapid development environment to create programs that solve specific needs not met commercially. $20

Contact: TigaByte Software, 32a Albert Street, Seaham, SR7 7LJ, County Durham, United Kingdom,, e-mail:

Digital Video Reviews

Microcosm Codec 1.2 (MAC)
Microcosm Codec 1.2 is a 16-bit lossless codec that is capable of producing impressive compression rates averaging 6:1 while producing incredible image fidelity. The codec with a number of popular QuickTime-based applications such as After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, and Avid. The use of the codec facilitates the transfer of digital media from one application to another, or one machine to another, and is particularly useful with remote transfers. $99

Contact: Digital Anarchy, 218 Cordova Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112, 415 586-8434,, e-mail:, fax: 415 358-4874.

YakaMoov 1.2.1 (MAC)
YakaMoov 1.2.1 is an easy-to-use application for converting movies, in batch mode, to a file format that is compatible with the Apple iPod Video. The user has three output options: Standard for iPod + iTunes (640x480, H.264 @ 1500 kbps; Optimized for iPod (320x240+, H.264 @ 768 kbps; and Optimized for TV Out (480x480+, MPEG-4 @ 2500 kbps). $9.90

Contact: YakaSoft,, e-mail:

TubeSock (MAC/WIN)
TubeSock is an incredibly easy-to-use application that enables the user to download videos from YouTube or DailyMotion and save them for playback on their computer, iPod video, or PlayStation portable. The program can be set to automatically save the converted video in iTunes so that it will added to the iPod when it is connected.

To use the program the user simply selects the target video and pastes its URL into TubeSock. The user selects the target format and where it is to be saved. That's all. $15

Contact: Stinkbot LLC,, e-mail:

Toon Boom Storyboard (MAC/WIN)
Toon Boom Storyboard is a visual tool for generating storyboards that show the details of an animated or live-action video production (see our review of Toon Boom Studio at Storyboarding is a critical component of the video production workflow, and is essential in bringing a producer's concepts into a tangible form.

The Storyboard Window consists mainly of a large panel in which the user can draw, using familiar drawing tools (brushes, shapes, colors, pen styles, etc.) controlled by either the mouse, or a pen and graphic tablet. The user has a full range of image manipulation capabilities, such as selecting, moving, resizing, rotating, duplicating, erasing, and working with layers.

A panel in Storyboard is 5 seconds or 120 frames which equates to 24 frames per second. The powerful Transform tool can act on the position, rotation and scaling all in one tool. The user simply sets the position, rotation and scaling in the first and last frames, and the program calculates the objects in between.

The Light Table feature enables the user to display a tinted, lighter version of layers in a previous panel so that the user can accurately judge the positioning of elements that will be added or changed. The optional grid provides a precise way of positioning objects from frame to frame. Objects, sounds, and other digital assets that are to be reused are saved as templates that can be accessed by any member of the production team.

Camera movement can be shown for each shot initiated by using the Camera Transform button. The tool creates a box that presents camera positioning. The box can be modified to show how the camera is moved, tightened, widened, or rotated.

Each Storyboard panel can be supported by text, which can serve as captions, stage direction, or instructions. Users can also include a sound track from an imported audio file. The sound track can be synchronized to the storyboard's timeline, which is a visual representation of the entire production.

Storyboards can be previewed on-screen within the program, or printed, output as PDFs, or as QuickTime or Flash movies. $249.99

Contact: Toon Boom Animation Inc., 7 Laurier Street East, Montreal, Quebec H2T 1E4, Canada, 514 278-TOON,, fax: 514 278-BOOM.

VideoStudio 11 Plus (WIN )
Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus packs an amazing number of digital video features into one box. We've never seen such a powerful, yet easy-to-use, package of digital video capabilities. It provides three ways for the user to edit their video projects. First is the DV-DVD Wizard that takes a feed from a connected camcorder and lets the user select the clips that they want to include. From there the video will be written directly to DVD in a finished form. Second is the Movie Wizard which automatically generates a professional movie or slide show complete with titles, opening sequence, and music. Finally, there is the VideoStudio Editor providing the greatest degree of control. Movies that have been created in the Movie Wizard can be saved and edited in the Editor. All three options work with HD video.

Other features that set this package apart are: Smart Pan and Zoom, which automatically finds faces to zero in on; Auto Correction which corrects common video problems like color casts and overexposure; Ad Zapper, which automatically removes commercials from recorded television; image import from practically any source (almost all camcorders, VHS tape, unprotected DVDs, digital TV tuners, personal video recorders, digital cameras, photo CDs, and more); and the list goes on and on.

Users can output their finished productions to DVD, tape, e-mail, the Web, and mobile digital devices such as the iPod and PSP. Included at no additional cost is WinDVD 8 Silver, a DVD and video playback program. $129.99

Contact: Ulead Systems, 20000 Mariner Ave., Ste 200, Torrance, CA 90503, 310 896-6388,, e-mail:, fax: 310 896-6389 and Corel Corporation, 1600 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Z 8R7, 800 772-6735,

Graffiti 5.1 (MAC/WIN)
Graffiti 5 is a plug-in that works with popular nonlinear digital editing applications, such as Final Cut Pro.

Graffiti 5 provides the greatest number of options and controls for the application of titles that we have seen. Title movement, font attributes, animation effects, and more, are totally within the control of the user, and viewable immediately. Special effects, such as zooms, crawls, fades, automated rolls, text on a path, and more, are readily available and unendingly editable.

The package opens a new world of professional options that are unsurpassed. The map generator, for example, enables the user to map text onto 3D objects, such as cubes, spheres, and cylinders. The objects can be manipulated in 3D space, with powerful controls affecting their lighting, camera view, and motion blur. Animation options allow for the object to disassemble over time, or unwrap.

Two dimensional text can be converted into 3D format and incorporated into the frame background. The text can be manipulated freely in 3D space and positioned to reflect a photorealistic depth of field.

In addition to working with text, the program supports the importation of vector art, which can be scaled, extruded, and animated in 3D space. What is more, the user has access to the original spline points, which can be modified, deleted, or added to. A number of user-modifiable spline primitive shapes are provided.

Most logos are processed as vectors since they retain their quality at any level of magnification. The type that Graffiti processes can also be in vector format by selecting the Vector Text option, which avoids the jaggedness of bitmap text that is enlarged. Users can also create their own vector shapes using the Vector Paint System. Beveled edges and other effects can be added and manipulated.

The package includes 35 filter effects, including glows, distortions, particles, radial blurs, and procedural generators for snow, rain, and clouds.

The 2D and 3D Chart Generator can be used to create pie, bar, line and filled formats generated from data input in the program's spreadsheet, or imported in MS Excel format. The graphs may be flat or extruded, and can be animated in 3D space.

The included Gradient Generator provides options for creating bevel, contour, edge, linear, and revolve styles. Each of the gradient parameters can be animated.

Since many title effects are accompanied by an audio clip, Graffiti provides control over the audio track to ensure that it is properly synchronized.

While the user has an extreme number of choices and unlimited control in devising the appearance of their titles, the program provides hundreds of preset animations (all of which are user modifiable), that have been categorized for easy retrieval. The settings can be reviewed and selected using the Library Browser, which shows on-screen previews. $299

Contact: Artel Software, Inc., 381 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210-1853, 617 451-9900, 888 77BORIS,, fax: 617 451-9916.

Book Reviews

Guide to Graphic Print Production, A
Johansson, Kaj; Peter Lundberg, Robert Ryberg

One of the most complete and in-depth treatments of the modern graphic arts production workflow (exclusive of digital printing). The full-color text is replete with clear, easy-to-follow illustrations, and interesting and insightful sidebars. The authors demonstrate a deep understanding of how concepts and ideas materialize into finished printed products, and provide considerable, valuable information about every phase of the printing production cycle. There are, unfortunately, many typos, which prove to be a distraction.

Available for on-line ordering at

0471761389 455 pp. $65

Contact: John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012

Handbook for Digital Printing and Variable-Data Printing, The
Bennett, Penny K; Harvey Robert Levenson, Frank J. Romano

Within its approximately 200 pages the authors provide a vivid illustration of the complete variable data printing workflow, detailing the software, the printing devices, and the business opportunities. The book provides the reader with a complete picture of the process of short-run personalized printing from the perspective of a commercial printer who is considering entering the market. The authors address many business considerations, including the economies inherent in the process of digital printing, and specific concerns faced by commercial printers. An extensive glossary is also included.

Available for on-line ordering at

0883625644 206 pp. $40

Contact: PIA/GATF, 200 Deer Run Road, Sewickley, PA 15143, 800 910-4283, 412 741-6860,, e-mail:, fax: 412 741-2311.

How to Wow with PowerPoint
Harrington, Richard; Scott Rekdal

A wonderful follow-along guide to creating PowerPoint presentations that will impress audiences with an outstanding mix of professional typography, concise tables, charts, and graphs, and stunning layout and design. The authors provide an accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM containing all of the digital assets presented in the step-by-step projects, including fonts. Readers are shown how to include sound and motion to captivate any audience. The full-color text is attractively designed and easy to follow.

Available for on-line ordering at

032149573X 191 pp. $39.99

Contact: Peachpit Press, 1249 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 800 283-9444,, fax: 510 524-2221.

Indie Fonts 3

Indie Fonts 3 is a collection of digital type specimens from some of today's best independent foundries. The compendium provides an overview of 1,600 new fonts that are truly unique, and certain to attract the attention of the reader. Thumbing through the pages of this book is certain to stimulate the creative juices of any serious designer and spark an endless stream of ideas for typographic expression.

The accompanying CD-ROM contains 53 fonts provided by contributing independent foundries.

Available for on-line ordering at

1592533138 416 pp. $35

Contact: Rockport Publishers, Inc., 100 Cummings Center, Suite 406-L, Beverly, MA 01915 978 282-9590,, e-mail:, fax: 978 283-2742.

Microsoft Windows Vista Visual QuickStart Guide
Fehily, Chris

A comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide to using virtually all of the main features of the Windows Vista operating system. Instructions for accomplishing a wide variety of tasks are shown in a clear and concise step-by-step manner. Major emphasis is placed on the installing the operating system, the user interface, customization, file and folder organization, installing and running applications, scanning and printing, hardware set-up, working with digital images, Windows Media Player, connecting to the Internet, e-mail, network configuration, maintenance, and much more.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321434528 604 pp. $21.99

Contact: Peachpit Press, 1249 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 800 283-9444,, fax: 510 524-2221.

On-Demand Digital Printing Primer, Second Edition
Fenton, Howard M.

Here is an excellent introduction to the process of on-demand printing and the digital presses that enable it. The author, a respected expert, has organized the subject logically, providing a good degree of historical perspective, as well as introducing current market trends, including the important influence of database publishing. The reader learns about the various imaging technologies used to place an image on paper, and the front-end devices that are used to compose pages and prepare them for output. The book serves to provide the reader with a good understanding of this critically important sector of the graphic arts industry.

Available for on-line ordering at

0883624966 161 pp. $30

Contact: PIA/GATF, 200 Deer Run Road, Sewickley, PA 15143, 800 910-4283, 412 741-6860,, e-mail:, fax: 412 741-2311.

Title Design Essentials for Film and Video
Plummer, Mary

The author provides professional insight into an often overlooked, though important, part of the digital presentation workflow. More than 100 titling techniques are shown along with numerous tips and tricks for enhancing the clarity and effectiveness of titles for every purpose from the iPod video screen to the big screen.

The accompanying cross-platform DVD contains full-resolution still images and movies created using applications such as After Effects, Motion, LiveType, and Photoshop, that have been featured in the book.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321445767 186 pp. $39.99

Contact: Peachpit Press, 1249 8th St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 800 283-9444,, fax: 510 524-2221.

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