The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 10.3 May / June 2005

Issue 10.3 May / June 2005


Digital Audio

iWire! Broadcast 1.2 (MAC)
iWire! Broadcast 1.2 is an Internet audio browser that enables the user to browse tens of thousands of live radio stations worldwide. The simple interface includes a wide variety of categories, including Alternative, Comedy, Jazz, News, Talk, and World. The user can save their preferred stations in the Favorites category.

The program streams the broadcasts so that no disk space is taken by the audio, which tends to require substantial storage space. The user is not subject to subscription fees, and the interface supports interactive searching for particular subject matter. The application supports multiple player file formats, and the audio quality is often indistinguishable from broadcast radio...sometimes better. $24

Contact: East Bay Technologies Inc., POB 12623, Pleasanton, CA 94588, 925 251-9612,, e-mail:

WireTap Pro (MAC)
WireTap Pro is a utility that enables the recording of audio from any Macintosh audio source, including running applications, line-in, microphone, or headset. The program makes it easy to capture captive audio from cassette tapes, records, DVD movie sound tracks, streaming audio, and more. Users can save their recordings in .mp3, AAC, QuickTime, or AIFF formats, writing the files to hard disc or onto an iPod or iTunes-compatible .mp3 player.

The program can be used with Apple iCal to record of scheduled streaming audio shows. A very handy program to have. $19

Contact: Ambrosia Software, Inc., P.O. Box 23140, Rochester, NY 14692, 800 231-1816, 716 325-1910,, fax: 716 325-3665.

File Management Reviews

PdfCompress 4.4.3 (MAC)
PdfCompress 4.4.3 is a utility that can significantly reduce the size of PDF files produced by the Macintosh operating system or other sources. The size reduction does not materially affect the quality of the rendering. The program compresses photographic images using JPEG compression, and bi-level images using CCITT Group 4 (fax) compression. Files are also reduced in size through the elimination of unneeded fonts and superfluous meta- or edit-data. Images can also be reduced to lower resolution for display on the Web or screen based on compression options.

The program works by dropping PDF files on the application icon. The result is a compressed version of the original. The program appends either "web" or "compressed" to the file name. $27

Contact: London: Metaobject UK, 20a Chesterton Road, London W10 5LX, United Kingdom, +44 7787 155 945, Berlin: Metaobject Germany, Software Research and Development, Dipl. Inf. Marcel Weiher, Flatowallee 16, App. 115, 14055 Berlin, Germany, +49 171 958 6433,, e-mail:

BookLightning 1.5 (MAC)
BookLightning 1.5 is an application that supports the imposition of pages contained in a PDF file. The program produces a file with half the number of pages, but twice the page size. It imposes the pages in printing order to produce booklets that can be folded and stitched. Files are processed by dropping them on the program icon. The result is a new file with "¯book" appended to the file name. The newly composed files can be printed on both duplex, and non-duplex printers. Single-sided printers can be used by first printing the odd pages, turning the pages, and printing the even pages. This option can be selected in the Preferences dialog. $49

Contact: London: Metaobject UK, 20a Chesterton Road, London W10 5LX, United Kingdom, +44 7787 155 945, Berlin: Metaobject Germany, Software Research and Development, Dipl. Inf. Marcel Weiher, Flatowallee 16, App. 115, 14055 Berlin, Germany, +49 171 958 6433,, e-mail:

TextLightning 3.1 (MAC)
TextLightning 3.1 is an application that enables the user to convert PDF files into RTF format. The conversion opens the contents of a PDF file, including paragraphs, fonts, justification, margins, ligatures, etc. in a form that can be edited in text editing applications. The program can be used as a stand-alone application or as a filter service in the Finder's Service Menu. Digital publishers will find this conversion of value when working with PDF files that need extensive editing. $27

Contact: London: Metaobject UK, 20a Chesterton Road, London W10 5LX, United Kingdom, +44 7787 155 945, Berlin: Metaobject Germany, Software Research and Development, Dipl. Inf. Marcel Weiher, Flatowallee 16, App. 115, 14055 Berlin, Germany, +49 171 958 6433,, e-mail:

PostView 1.5 (MAC)
PostView 1.5 is a viewer for displaying PDF, PostScript, and image files (EPS, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, and others). The program enables users to flexibly view pages, and to search for and copy rich text from PDF and PostScript files. Users can navigate through PDF files using the page outline, and view facing pages. Owners of non-PostScript Mac OS X printers can print EPS and PostScript files. $22

Contact: London: Metaobject UK, 20a Chesterton Road, London W10 5LX, United Kingdom, +44 7787 155 945, Berlin: Metaobject Germany, Software Research and Development, Dipl. Inf. Marcel Weiher, Flatowallee 16, App. 115, 14055 Berlin, Germany, +49 171 958 6433,, e-mail:

Discalog (MAC/WIN)
Discalog is a disk cataloging utility that can maintain information about any volume that the user's computer can mount, including removable media. Once data has been gathered, the user can quickly determine the location of specific files, the name of the disk or media on which it is stored, and the location of the media (on- or off-line).

The user can create categories and assign file types to them; catalog all files on a specific media or only those in specific categories; assign keywords that can be specified for all files, or generated automatically from file and folder names; remove duplicate files; create a master database of Macintosh and Windows content; save thumbnails of cataloged images; and more.

The program is of value to digital publishers who generally have large amounts of data to store and access.

A fully working demo of the software can be downloaded from $30.60

Contact: CatBase Software, Ltd., P.O. Box 126, Royston, Herts, SG8 7ZX, U.K., +44 1763 248404,, e-mail:, fax: + 44 (0) 1763 226069.

Hardware Reviews

Boostaroo Revolution (MAC/WIN)
Boostaroo Revolution is a miniature, high-definition audio amplifier and splitter that can boost the output from an audio device and drive two separate headsets or mini-speakers. The device allows two users to share a single audio source, quadrupling the volume that is normally output, providing 3-D surround-sound imaging. This capability is particularly useful when traveling by air, when the background noise is so intense that it can drown out the sound output from a laptop, DVD player, or other device. $79.95

Contact: UpBeat Audio, Inc., 101 Washington, #223, Grand Haven, MI 49417, 616 837-9500,, fax: 616 837-0897.

Boostaroo (MAC/WIN)
Boostaroo is a small pocket-size amplifier driven by two AA batteries, that can double the output volume of any device that uses a standard mini-headphone jack, such as a laptop computer, iPod, or DVD player. It overcomes the background drone produced by most modes of transportation, such as airplanes, trains, buses, and motorcycles. The signal splitter provides three jacks, so that three people can simultaneously listen. $29.95

Contact: UpBeat Audio, Inc., 101 Washington, #223, Grand Haven, MI 49417, 616 837-9500,, fax: 616 837-0897.

Additions/Extensions Reviews

Mystical Lighting (MAC/WIN)
Mystical Lighting is a comprehensive set of 16 Photoshop-compatible plug-ins that provide a virtually infinite variety of lighting effects. This collection is all that a creative digital artist needs to apply the appropriate lighting tone and shading. Among the effects are FairyDust, Flare, Mist, Rainbow, Spotlight, and Shader. $179

Contact: Auto F/X Corp., 31 Inverness Center Parkway, Suite 270, Birmingham, AL 35242, 800 839-2008, 205 980-0056,, fax: 205 980-1121.

AutoEye 2.0 (MAC/WIN)
AutoEye 2.0 is a utility program for easily correcting and enhancing digital images. It is provided both as a Photoshop plug-in and stand-alone application. The program can "actually rebuild the color and detail in images automatically." The software sports a sophisticated user interface yet is not intimidating to those who lack knowledge of image processing. Through the use of patented I.V.I.T.® technology (Intelligent Imaging Technologies) the software is capable of providing full spectrum color corrections, increased color vibrancy, contrast and sharpness, and rebuilding detail. $129

Contact: Auto F/X Corp., 31 Inverness Center Parkway, Suite 270, Birmingham, AL 35242, 800 839-2008, 205 980-0056,, fax: 205 980-1121.

Xtream Path (MAC/WIN)
Xtream Path is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator (8 through CS2) that contains 33 tools which are categorized into four sections of the Illustrator Toolbox. Among the tools are the Smart Rounding filter which adds a curve to any corner anchor point, and is very useful for creating rounded fonts; the Segment Direct Edit/Segment Edit Tools, which are helpful in tracing logos and underlying objects; the Symmetric Edit Tools which enables precise symmetric edits which are impossible to accomplish by hand; and many more. Some of the tools can be seen in action in short movies at A free demo version is available at $139

Contact: CValley, Inc., 212 Technology Drive Suite N, Irvine, CA 92618, 949 727-9161,, e-mail:, fax: 949 727-9188.

HVC Color Composer Professional (MAC)
HVC Color Composer Professional is an application that is available either as an Adobe Photoshop plug-in or standalone, that provides the user with an incredible selection of compatible color palettes based on hue, value, and chroma. Users select a color in any of a variety of color spaces and quickly generate dozens of color palettes which address color relationships defined by the user. The palettes can be saved and exported for use in other creative applications, or opened as swatches in Photoshop. Users are provided with unprecedented access to a broad range of colors that are useful for their particular project.

The program is an incredibly advanced color picker that offers the user a rich environment in which to create custom palettes that can be applied to virtually any use. The HVC Color Composer can be selected from the Photoshop preferences in place of the Photoshop color picker. This new option provides a perceptionally-oriented color space that is particularly useful for creative expression. Users create palettes based on the relationships of two chosen colors, with settings that they choose to apply to the HVC values. Among its features are: split sliders; quick swatches; "auto-range"; view HVC color space by Hue, Value, or Chroma axis; contrast measuring utility; color sorting in a variety of ways; and more. According to Master Colors, "The palettes that are generated are very unique, vibrant, interesting arrays of color that you would not be able to find using any other methods." This is certainly a product that serious digital publishers will want to have. $129.95

Contact: Master Colors LLC, 3905 State Street, Suite 7-144, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, 303 641-1532,, e-mail:

Magic Bullet Editors (MAC/WIN)
Magic Bullet Editors are a plug-in suite supporting Final Cut Pro, Vegas, Premiere Pro, and Avid, that provide the capability to alter the appearance of digital video to more closely match the look of film and television. They have been used successfully by professionals such as Disney, Time Warner, and many others. The user is provided with 50 presets that resemble recognizable film looks, such as those of The Matrix and Traffic. Filters are also provided to approximate the look of damaged old film, adding grain, scratches, and projection artifacts. The user can create and save their own "looks." $299

Contact: Red Giant Software, 13619 Pendleton Mills Court Fort Wayne IN 46814, 260 625-5343,, e-mail:, fax: 260-625-6848.

Image Collection Reviews

Entourage Arts' Non Photo Realistic (NPR) renderings (MAC/WIN)
Entourage Arts' Non Photo Realistic (NPR) renderings are collections of hand drawn or painted works that enable users to produce the look and feel of traditional watercolor paintings while using computer software packages. The sets of NPR renderings are used to blend easily into building and land space watercolor backgrounds used by architects and others, simplifying the process of setting up perspectives, removing hidden lines, and implementing professionally prepared components.

Entourage Arts is one of the few companies that publishes professionally drawn NPR models. The models, people, trees, plants, landscaping, etc. are masked, so that their backgrounds are removed, and each component can be easily placed into a scene. In addition, many of the models are precut, so that a single image can be used in part, rather than as a whole. For example, an image of a woman walking her dog is provided in the following components: woman with the leash, woman without the leash, dog, long leash, and short leash.

The collection consists primarily of NPR People Volume 1, comprised of 112 hand rendered people within 104 expertly alpha masked PNG files (some files contain more than one person). Also included are Piranesi Style files for Mac and Windows ($139). NPR Trees & Plants Volume 1 is a collection of 121 hand drawn trees and plants, with variations of each species in a masked PNG file. Piranesi files are also included ($139). NPR Bundle Volume 1 consists of both of the aforementioned titles in a single package ($259). Wang Wang Collection Trees & Plants Volume 1 consists of 112 hand rendered shrubs and plants along with the Piranesi Style files ($139). Wang Wang is a Shanghai illustrator of note.

These collections greatly simplify the task of producing complex and sophisticated drawings, and allow the artist to concentrate on producing the background image which is the showcase for the NPR elements. Sample models are available at

Contact: Entourage Arts, 73 Janesville Road, Thornhill, Ontario, L4J 7A1, Canada, 888 228-4441,, fax: 905 709-3472.

Instruction/Learning Reviews

Total Training for Adobe Creative Suite 2 (MAC/WIN)
Total Training for Adobe Creative Suite 2 is the most effective means to get up to speed on the new features of CS2. The Standard Edition consists of three comprehensive training packages, Total Training for Photoshop CS2 ($299.99), Total Training for InDesign CS2 ($249.99), and Total Training for Illustrator CS2 ($199.99). The quality of the training videos is such that Adobe has chosen to ship sample video tutorials in their CS2 product boxes.

The DVD-based collection is taught by industry notables, Steve Holmes and Deke McClelland. The tutorials are designed as work-along exercises, in which the user can, optionally, execute the same actions as the instructors, using their own software and the practice files provided on disc.

The Total Training series offers several significant advantages over other modes of learning, such as books and classroom instruction. The content is highly honed, and presented by first-class instructors, using entertaining as well as instructive techniques. The exercises are fully narrated and explained in detail. The user can revisit any part at any time for review. Finally, the tutorials are based on real-world examples, which can be located easily using a logical index.

This set of instructional videos is by far, the most in-depth and enjoyable way to learn the all of the major capabilities, and minor subtleties, of Adobe's new Creative Suite.

Contact: Total Training Inc., 1819 Aston Ave., Suite 101, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 800 546-9620, 760 517-9001,, e-mail:, fax: 760 517-9060.

File Transfer/Processing Reviews

PDF2Office Professional (MAC)
PDF2Office Professional performs the highly useful task of converting PDF documents into Microsoft Word, RTF, AppleWorks, text, HTML and other file formats in a completely editable form, while retaining the layout of the original. Users of Microsoft Word X and 2004 can open PDF documents from within the application with seamless conversion, and absolute respect of paragraphs, styles, graphic grouping, images, tables, headers and footers, endnotes and footnotes, columns, sections and other elements, all without user intervention.

In addition to converting PDFs into editable documents, the program can generate image files in JPEG, Photoshop, PNG, and TIFF formats. It can do so for an entire PDF document or a specified range of pages. In addition, it can extract images from a PDF document or from selected pages.

Multiple PDF files can be converted using the batch conversion facility, and users can control the extraction of text and images from specific pages.

Digital publishers will benefit greatly from the program in that it allows for total editing of any PDF file, and using editing and page layout tools, for the recomposition and assembly of derivative PDFs. This software is one of the essentials. $129

Contact: RecoSoft Corp., Utsubo-Hommachi 2-9-11, Nish-Ku, Osaka, Japan 550, 81 6 644-0015,, e-mail:, fax: 81 6 6443-1458.

Utility Reviews

Dragon Burn 4.1 (MAC)
Dragon Burn 4.1 extends its lead as one of the best in class CD/DVD burning products available for Macintosh OS X. The interface retains its classic ease of use, while the feature set has been enhanced significantly to include such useful capabilities as Disc Spanning, which can organize and burn large file sets onto multiple discs automatically, and support for DVD+R double-layer media.

The software supports virtually all internal and external CD and DVD recorders, and for those it has not certified, it incorporates Dynamic Drive Support, enabling it to write to unrecognized drives successfully. The program is sufficiently versatile to provide multi-burning capability, meaning that it can access multiple connected drives simultaneously.

New video mastering features include the capability to create VCD/SVCD from standard-compliant MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 files; add automatically generated menus to VCD or SVCD; and create DVD movies from VIDEO_TS files.

The list of formats and capabilities is long and exhaustive. It can be viewed at $49.99

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

Optimize! (WIN )
Optimize! is a highly useful utility program that performs a system-wide performance check-up on a PC for the purpose of making it run faster, with greater stability, and the maximum amount of disc space. It removes files that are unnecessary, adjusts Internet settings to improve connection speed, deletes erroneous and leftover registry entries, and resets Windows settings for optimum performance. $29.99

Contact: PC Pitstop,

Macaroni 2.0.6 (MAC)
Macaroni 2.0.6 is a utility that performs system maintenance tasks that are peculiar to the Unix OS, and specific to Macintosh OS X. Under normal circumstances some of these tasks would be performed if the computer were always left on, however, some would not be performed unless the user executed them. The user interface, which is accessed from within System Preferences, allows the user to schedule the program for automated maintenance ensuring that vital operating system settings are maintained for optimum system performance.

Among the capabilities of the application are: removal of language-specific localized files for languages that are not needed by the user; automatic repair of Mac OS X permissions; removal of old temporary Unix files; rebuilding of the "locate" and "whatis" databases; and more. $8.99

Contact: Atomic Bird, LLC,

Mouseposé (MAC)
Mouseposé is a free tool that provides a halo around the mouse point while dimming the background of the screen. The spotlight that appears makes it easier for the viewer to follow the location of the mouse pointer during a presentation or software demo. The effect is activated/deactivated using a user definable hot key. The program is free but requires a free license key to operate. The software can be obtained from

Contact: Boinx Software, GeBE Computer & Peripherie GmbH, Mozartstrasse 14a, 82110 Germering, Germany, 49 89 84 005 333,, fax: +49 89 89 43 99 11 fax US: 1-866-GOBOINX, (toll free).

NTI Backup NOW! 4 Deluxe Suite (WIN )
NTI Backup NOW! 4 Deluxe Suite is an easy to use backup system that combines NTI Backup NOW! with DriveBackup! into a single suite providing both image-level and file-level backup. The program supports several outstanding features such as: Hard drive spanning, to backup to multiple hard drives; CD/DVD drive spanning, for unattended backup to multiple drives and discs; backup and restore from a remote FTP server; secure data encryption (128- or 256-bit); support for dual-layer DVD writers and media; specification of those file types to include or exclude; and more. $69.99

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

OCR Reviews

Presto! PageManager 7 Deluxe (MAC/WIN)
Presto! PageManager 7 Deluxe simplifies the process of converting analog documents into digital forms that can be organized, shared, edited, and archived. In workgroups where each individual has a copy of the software, co-workers can easily share documents using the Network Group feature. In addition to scanning documents into the PageManager environment, using the TWAIN-Express interface, users can scan directly to their printer, fax, e-mail, or receiving application.

With its capability to produce PDF format documents, as well as other document formats; and image, video, and audio formats; and its capability to access directly an FTP server, the software provides one of the most cost-efficient methods of handling and managing digital content...both that which is born digital and that which is converted from analog.

As a smart repository of digital content, the program provides a rich preview mode wherein contents can be viewed (documents and images), and played (audio and video) without the source application installed. Users can "stack" files to organize them into related groups while maintaining their original proprietary format. A particular stack opens all of its contents simultaneously with a single click.

The program's built-in OCR engine, captures scanned documents with full-text indexing, while retaining text and column formatting. Documents can be opened in a word or text processor, or saved as HTML and published directly to the Web.

Locating documents is accomplished with "easy search" or "fuzzy search" which can quickly locate documents on the basis of a word, phrase, or annotation. Annotations, in the form of audio, highlights, sticky notes, captions, and arrows, can be added easily.

The integrity and security of digital contents contained in the PageManager environment is maintained through the Files Back-Up feature, which uses the proprietary PageManager Back-Up file format (PMF) to back-up and restore mission critical files.

A free trial version is available at $79.95 for the downloadable version, $89.95 for the physical product.

Contact: NewSoft America Inc., 4030 Clipper Court, Fremont, CA 94538, 510 445-8600,, e-mail:, fax: 510 445.8601.

Digital Video Reviews

DVD Copy 3 Platinum (WIN )
DVD Copy 3 Platinum provides a 25% improvement in duplication time for the replication of unencrypted DVDs, VCDs, and SVCDs, while retaining full integrity of the quality, content and features. The software incorporates both InterVideo's proprietary codec ,and UniPass technology which copies directly from the source without re-rendering nor buffering.

Users can complete a copy with as few as three clicks, or take advantage of the many options to accomplish tasks such as removing unwanted chapters, subtitles, and audio streams. The Auto-Fit capability ensures that bit rates will be properly adjusted so that larger video content can fit on a single CD. An exclusive feature of the software is the means to copy a DVD to any of various output formats, including DivX CD, MPEG-4CD, and WMV.

Among the other significant features are: ripping a DVD soundtrack to an audio CD; merging DVD/VCD.SVCD onto one disc; and importing directly from a camcorder and burning to disc. $79.95

Contact: InterVideo, Inc., 47350 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538, 510 651-0888,, e-mail:, fax: 510 651-8808.

Photo to Movie 3.2 (MAC/WIN)
Photo to Movie 3.2, as the name implies, is an application which enables the user to add sophisticated motion and special effects to static images. This capability is widely known in the industry as the "Ken Burns Effect." The application environment interface is very clean and intuitive. The user can start by dragging and dropping photos (JPEG, TIFF, etc.) into the program and then pan, zoom, and rotate to create a motion track. A variety of preset motions are provided, and the user can add and edit music, audio, and voice-over, as well as insert transitions and titles.

Movies can consist of hundreds of images, and can be exported in high-quality rendering to DV or any QuickTime file format in standard (4:3) or widescreen (16:9). The output can be used in video editing applications, such as iMovie, published on the Web, or e-mailed. A free download is available at $49.95

Contact: LQ Graphics, Inc., 7172 Regional Street #297, Dublin, CA 94568,, e-mail:, fax: 925 225-0276.

iVeZeen 2.0 (MAC)
iVeZeen 2.0 is an application that enables a user to record video from their FireWire (and some USB) webcams, such as the Apple iSight. Movie clips can be recorded in a variety of formats, and then edited in iMovie or another NLE, and posted on the Web, burned to disc, or sent as an e-mail attachment. $14.95

Contact: Boinx Software, GeBE Computer & Peripherie GmbH, Mozartstrasse 14a, 82110 Germering, Germany, 49 89 84 005 333,, fax: +49 89 89 43 99 11 fax US: 1-866-GOBOINX, (toll free).

Cinematize 2 (MAC/WIN)
Cinematize 2 is an application that enables a user to extract a clip or segment from a DVD and convert it to a format that can be used in a NLE or audio editing application. The audio and video can be can be save either separately or together as a QuickTime or MPEG-2 movie file. The program provides drag-and-drop simplicity along with an easy-to-use user interface.

Users can process both PAL and NTSC formats, including multiple angles, soundtracks, and subtitles, and extract a single chapter or the entire movie, and preview the video before extracting. The process is fast, especially if the DVD has been copied onto the users' hard drive. In this case, the extraction process takes about 1/8 of the play time. If the DVD is being read directly from the disc, the speed is limited by the read speed of the DVD drive. $59.95

Contact: Miraizon, 1794 Wayne Circle, San Jose, CA 95131, 408 434-0959,, fax: 408 434-0959.

iTube (MAC)
iTube is an application that provides a slick, yet easy-to-use interface to a large listing of categorized streaming video that is available at no cost, and without subscription, on the Internet. The user can select from dozens of listings that have been classified in such channels as Talk/News, Music/Entertainment, Science/Education, and Live Video/Webcam. Users can also use the search option to locate specific topics, artists, or material.

The listings that appear for each category can be sorted by the name of the video, its bandwidth, and its type (QuickTime Media, Real Media, and Windows Media). Video listings may also contain a comment, and a rating of from one to five stars, applied by the user.

After a video in the listing has been selected by double-clicking, it begins play. The user has the standard VCR control buttons on the bottom of the display window, as well as a Favorite button which can be used to place the video link in the Favorites folder for easy access in the future. A Windows version, cTube, is also available. $24

Contact: East Bay Technologies Inc., POB 12623, Pleasanton, CA 94588, 925 251-9612,, e-mail:

Productivity Reviews

QuicKeys X3 (MAC/WIN)
QuicKeys X3 is a productivity application for Macintosh that enables users to simplify and compress complex, multiple-step operations, into single one-step shortcuts, thereby speeding operations, and reducing the skill and human memory required. The Windows version is QuicKeys 2.5. These automation shortcuts can be applied to many of the common operations performed by digital publishers, such as opening applications and projects, connecting to servers, and accessing an FTP site.

The QuicKeys Editor provides a built-in recording capability that simplifies the process of creating shortcuts. The short-cuts can be defined to work globally, or only from within a specific program. The short-cuts can be configured to be triggered using a wide variety of options including speech, hot keys, timers, date and time, toolbars, application events, and more. Shortcuts can be saved and shared with other users. Demo versions are available at $99.95

PDFpen Pro 2.2 (MAC)
PDFpen Pro 2 .2 is a utility that extends a user's access to PDF files, in particular filling in and creating forms. Pages can be viewed in a variety of ways, including facing, multi-page, multiple facing pages, as well as single page. Pages can be moved, re-ordered, and deleted easily, both within a single PDF, and between two or more PDFs. PDF forms can be created, filled in, saved, and transmitted. Forms can be written on to add signatures or other data, and can accept image files. $94.95

Contact: SmileOnMyMac, LLC, PMB 281, 25 NW 23rd Place, Suite 6, Portland, OR 97210-5599,, e-mail:, fax: 408-884-2320.

Communication Reviews

Sp@mX is an anti-spam application that goes directly to the source to eliminate unwanted e-mail. The program works in concert with a variety of e-mail clients, such as Eudora, Netscape, MS Outlook, Macintosh Mail, and others that can retrieve full SMTP headers. By simply dragging and dropping the messages, or filtering them to a specified folder, the messages are parsed and traced back to the ISP of the spammer. The program generates and sends a complaint to the ISP and contains all of the information that the ISP needs to respond to the abuse. Unlike other solutions that simply divert messages to a spam folder, this program can actually stop the flow of spam. $19.95

Contact: Hendrickson Software Components, 3573 South Stafford St., Arlington, VA 22206-1824, 703 499-6004,

Fonts/Font Management

FontMatch (MAC/WIN)
FontMatch, as the name suggests, is an application that enables users to match a font sample with a font installed on their system. If the exact font is not installed on the system, the program will list the fonts that match most closely. This software can save hours of laborious and frustrating searching.

The program requires only a single character sample of the font in question in any of common file formats (BMP, GIF, JPG, etc.). The program will optimize the scan, and require that the user indicate which character the image represents. Clicking on the Identify button results in a list of possible font matches, with a relevance score listed by each. Clicking a font in the list will produce the character beside the source image for an optical comparison. The up and down arrows can be used to cycle through the found fonts. $49.95

Contact: Stretched Out Software, Inc., P.O. Box 57963, Jacksonville, FL 32241-7963, 866 767-9327,, fax: 904 296-7005.

Font Creator 5.0 (WIN )
Font Creator 5.0 is a font editor for TrueType and OpenType fonts, which also enables users to convert scanned images into outlines, thus supporting the creation of logo, handwriting, signature, and completely new fonts.

The editor contains a complete suite of tools for modifying glyph contours, adding or correcting composite glyphs, adding kerning to glyph pairs, remapping glyphs, changing font names, transforming individual or all font glyphs (to make italic, for example), and more.

The program is available in two versions, the home edition and the professional edition. The professional edition includes additional features such as advanced contour operations (union, intersection, etc.), batch transform glyphs, font validation wizard, and more. The home edition is $65, the pro version is $99.

Contact: High-Logic, Tuinstraat 60, 3732 VM De Bilt, The Netherlands,

Veer Font Releases (MAC/WIN)
Veer has issued a collection of script fonts based on the designs of Charles Bluemlein, whose hand-lettered designs were published in a 1943 booklet produced by Brooklyn-based Higgins Ink Co. Mr. Bluemlein's designed were based on samples of handwriting that he interpreted and extended into complete fonts, and then named after fictitious people. The Dr. Sugiyama and Dr. Carbfred fonts, shown below are two specimens from the collection ($45 each). Alejandro Paul and the Sudtipos digital foundry of Buenos Aires have designed a series of typefaces based on the original Bluemlein drawings.

The Incognito typeface family, also recently published by Veer, is based on a rare book of ancient maps and cartographic signs unearthed by Hungarian designer Gábor Kóthay. He has named the Incognito family members after map titles, captions, and the Latin names for compass points. The package contains: Incognito Regular, Italic, Small Caps, Occidens, Oriens, Meridies, Septentrio, Regular Ligatures, Italic Ligatures; plus the Terra Incognita dingbat font. $179

Romy, also digitized by Alejandro Paul, from a design by Angel Koziupa, is an informal design appropriate for greeting cards and other forms of social expression that are casual and have the look of graffiti. Mr. Koziupa is a noted designer from Argentina who has an illustrious career in logo design. Romy Regular, Caps, $59

Fuel, designed by VersusTwin, a digital foundry composed of Brian Bonislawsky and Brian Jaramillo, who have created more than 600 typefaces, is a contemporary rendition of a techno sans, with a large family of variant characters. The Fuel family consists of 22 fonts including Fuel Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Outline, Extended Regular, Extended Italic, Extended Bold, Extended Bold Italic, Extended Outline, Uni Regular, Uni Italic, Uni Bold, Uni Bold Italic, Uni Outline, Uni Extended Regular, Uni Extended Italic, Uni Extended Bold, Uni Extended Bold Italic, Uni Extended Outline, Script, Script Bold. $479

Contact: Veer, 100, 119 14th St. NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1Z6, 403 234-7901,, fax: 403 264-7901.

Digital Imaging Reviews

VueScan 8.2 (MAC/WIN)
VueScan 8.2 extends its world class performance with the addition of built-in OCR. OCR is a wonderful addition to a stellar scanning product that has invigorated orphaned scanners and provided professional-level options to the casual as well as serious user. See our last review in issue Vol 9. No. 3. $89.95

Contact: Hamrick Software, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 70-F16, Phoenix, AZ 85048,

Corel Painter IX (MAC/WIN)
Corel Painter IX reaches new heights in simulating the creative process of natural painting on a computer screen. Teamed with the Wacom pressure-sensitive pen tablet, the software provides a complete and highly sophisticated environment in which an artist can execute virtually any painterly effect.

The list of tools available is impressive, comprising almost every kind of brush and pen, paper surface, and colorant. The selection is so broad that users can now create custom palettes of their tools and save them for repeated use.

The oil paint features are representative of the realistic experience that is to be found throughout the application. The user can mix oils on a palette, blending them in the same way they would with real materials. The user can control the amount of paint that is loaded with each brush stroke, the viscosity of the paint as it transfers to the canvas, and the degree to which the paint blends with the existing paint beneath it. The artist maintains control of the brush, the paint, and the canvas in ways that were never before possible.

After launching the program, the new Welcome Screen provides a choice of four sections, allowing the user to quickly move to previous files, tutorials, brush and color-management settings, and artwork from accomplished Painter masters.

In addition to still images, Painter users can create animations. A new Frames-per-Second control gives the user the capability to vary the frame rate from 1 to 40 frames per second. A unique feature, of value to still and animation painters is the Iterative Save command which enables the user to save a particular work in sequentially numbered versions. This command would be useful in several other creative software applications, although we have never seen it before Painter IX.

The new Snap-to-Path feature constrains a brush stroke along a path, enabling a user to apply all of the painterly effects along a shape that can be removed after the effects have been applied. The Layers palette allows the user to build up a painting and manipulate the layers as needed. In addition, users can import Adobe Photoshop native files with layer masks, alpha channels and layer sets maintained. This feature makes Painter IX a valuable partner for Photoshop.

Painter IX includes free access to several training videos from In addition, the Corel Website offers many demo movies as well as a trial version of the software at $429

Contact: Corel, 1600 Carling Ave., Ottawa, ON Canada K1Z 8R7, 613 728-8200, 800 722-6735,, e-mail:, fax: 613 761-9176.

FotoMagico ()
FotoMagico is a sophisticated slideshow application that incorporates many features not found elsewhere. Still images take on the appearance of motion through the use of scaling, panning, and rotating, expanding on what is popularly known as the "Ken Burns Effect." The user can add music and annotate slides with a powerful titling capability that supports multiple fonts and colors in a single title.

The program works will with Apple iLife applications. iPhoto can be used to store images; iTunes can be used for storing music; and iDVD can be used for burning DVDs that can be viewed on any DVD player. A demo movie can be viewed at $79

Contact: Boinx Software, GeBE Computer & Peripherie GmbH, Mozartstrasse 14a, 82110 Germering, Germany, 49 89 84 005 333,, fax: +49 89 89 43 99 11 fax US: 1-866-GOBOINX, (toll free).

Book Reviews

Adobe Acrobat 7 QuickSteps
Matthews, Marty; John Cronan

A richly-illustrated, full-color guide to the use of Adobe Acrobat 7. The text is concise and full of easy-to-follow images that clearly show how to create, view, navigate, edit, and publish PDF documents.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072260327 231 pp. $16.99

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2100 Powell St., 10th Floor, Emeryville, CA 94608, 510 549-6600,, fax: 510 549-6603.

Database in Depth
Date, Chris

Database in Depth is written by C. J. Date, a colleague of E. F. Codd, who in 1969 introduced the relational model of database theory. Mr. Date states that "The term 'relational' has nothing to do with relating two tables on a common set of columns." This book will be of interest to any serious database practitioner, and has been written as an advanced text.

Available for on-line ordering at

0596100124 208 pp. $29.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

Digital Video Hacks
Paul, Joshua

A book full of 100 unique and useful tips, techniques, and tools that will enable digital videographer to be more successful in planning, producing, and distributing their videos.

Available for on-line ordering at

0596009461 404 pp. $29.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

How to do Everything with Windows XP, Third Edition
Simmons, Curt

A manageable, concise guide to setting up and using a computer running the Microsoft Windows XP operating system. The contents cover installation of the hardware and software, the use of peripherals, Internet connection, on-line security, home networking, and more.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072259531 407 pp. $24.99

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2100 Powell St., 10th Floor, Emeryville, CA 94608, 510 549-6600,, fax: 510 549-6603.

How to do Everything with Your Palm Handheld, Fifth Edition
Johnson, Dave; Rick Broida

A guide, rich with illustrations, detailing, step-by-step, how to accomplish virtually all of the functions possible on a Palm handheld, from initial set-up and synching, to watching movies and reading e-books.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072258705 426 pp. $24.99

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2100 Powell St., 10th Floor, Emeryville, CA 94608, 510 549-6600,, fax: 510 549-6603.

How to Wow with InDesign
Rankin, Wayne, Mike McHugh

It will come as no surprise that this book is exceptionally well designed, full of colorful illustrations, and beautiful page layout examples. Written and designed by two renown Australian designers, the book contains their guidance through the process of using Adobe InDesign to its fullest.

The accompanying CD contains "before" and "after" working files of the images shown in the book; templates for a variety of printed matter; hi-res textures; a graphics library; document presets and stroke styles; and more.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321316185 175 pp. $39.99

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

Internet Annoyances
Gralla, Preston

The author provides good advice to fix virtually all of the things that interfere with a good Internet experience, such as spam, spyware, pop-up ads, system intrusions and disruptions, frustrating on-line searching, cable modem and DSL failures, on-line purchasing fraud, and more.

Samples from the book are available at

Available for on-line ordering at

0596007353 239 pp. $24.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

Mac OS X Tiger in a Snap
Tiemann, Brian

A highly compartmentalized book that breaks down the actions and activities associated with the Macintosh 10.4 operating system into convenient chunks for easy access and use. Users can readily find information related to their specific area of interest, from running applications to modifying the interface.

Available for on-line ordering at

0672327066 590 pp. $29.99

Contact: Sams, 201 West 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290.

New Media: A Critical Introduction
Lister, Martin; Jon Dovey, Seth Giddings, Iain Grant, Kieran Kelly

This book, published specifically for students, endeavors to define and explain the "new media." The authors provide an extensive examination of what the new media are, how they have been absorbed into our culture, and what significance we can attach to them. Of particular usefulness to students are the 195 images, glossary, case studies, and key term definitions.

Available for on-line ordering at

0415223784 416 pp. $33.95

Contact: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212 216-7800,, fax: 212 643-1430.

PHP in 10 Minutes
Newman, Chris

A series of ten minute lessons covering PHP 5.0 that cover, in a direct fashion, the essentials of this scripting language.

Available for on-line ordering at

0672327627 254 pp. $14.99

Contact: Sams, 201 West 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290.

PowerPoint 2003 Personal Trainer
CustomGuide Inc.

A complete guide to Microsoft PowerPoint 2003, consisting of dozens of easy-to-follow and perform lessons. Sample chapters include: Editing a Presentation, Formatting Your Presentation, Drawing and Working with Graphics, Delivering Your Presentation, and more.

The accompanying CD-ROM contains interactive simulation software that simulates the experience of working with PowerPoint.

Available for on-line ordering at

0596008554 315 pp. $29.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

SML Hacks
Fitzgerald, Michael

A guide to using XML as an interoperatbility solution for heterogeneous computer systems. The book features many real-world projects that validate the use of XML for data interchange and many other applications.

Available for on-line ordering at

0596007116 460 pp. $24.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

Windows XP Personal Trainer
CustomGuide, Inc.

A start-up guide to the use of Microsoft Windows XP, containing dozens of brief lessons that instruct in the operation of the operating system. The accompanying CD-ROM contains interactive simulation software that replicates the experience of using Windows XP.

Available for on-line ordering at

0596008627 452 pp. $29.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

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