The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing

Issue 1.5                                                          12/96

This issue of KDP is sponsored by:



by Professor Michael Kleper <>

The recent introduction of lower-cost and more capable digital camera models from established manufacturers, and the entry of new players into the now crowded field of vendors, has made it obvious that digital photography has established itself in the consumer arena.

At Comdex Fall last month digital cameras were evident in several booths, including those of Agfa, Apple, Canon, Casio, Chinon, Epson, Fuji, Kodak, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Polaroid, Ricoh, Sharp, and Sony. The virtual flood of models may have been a factor in Kodak's decision, during the first week of December, to permanently reduce the cost of their entry-level DC-20 digital camera by $100, to an expected street price of only $199.95.

What's pushing the interest in digital photography? Several factors have converged to make this the opportune time for capturing images on silicon rather than on silver. In no particular order...

o The general availability of inexpensive high-resolution color inkjet printers has made it possible for users to produce acceptable prints of digital photos directly at their desktops. One estimate places the number of color printers in U.S. households at 50+ million by the year 2000.

o New imaging technology, such as the innovative TruPhoto system developed jointly by Fuji and Panasonic, which makes it possible to produce color snapshots from an inexpensive ($479.95) compact printer, with no chemicals or inks. The TruPhoto printer uses UV light to image on specially-treated paper which is available at about 75 cents per print.

o The rush to the World Wide Web has made Web publishers keenly aware of the need to create graphically interesting pages...quickly. Breaking the dependency on a photo lab is a real benefit, in terms of time, money, convenience and control.

o Web and print-based directory publishers, who use considerable quantities of instant print film, can by-pass the scanning process by recording their images directly in a digital format. This is not only quicker, but, in the long run it is both cheaper and more environmentally responsible. Although both Kodak and Polaroid have introduced inexpensive snapshot-sized scanners, the use of a digital original eliminates the scanning step, and the possible waste of a paper print original which might have only served as an intermediary.

o The reduced cost per megabyte of both fixed and removable storage media has made it both reasonable and economical to store photographs digitally. Digital storage has the added benefits of rapid retrieval and easy network transfer.

o Digital images can be modified, edited, and enhanced in an unlimited number of ways. Many digital cameras are bundled with editing programs that provide image enhancement tools for improving the quality of digitally-captured images. Several established programs, such as Photoshop, Painter, Color-It and others, can manipulate digital images in both artistic and professionally satisfying ways.

While the history of digital photography is rather short, the selection of camera models and features belies its brief existence. Competition is pushing camera model generations to between 12 and 18 months, and we can expect that span to shorten. What features and specifications should a potential purchaser be looking for?

o An LCD preview window, located on the camera back, or as an add-on accessory, provides instant feedback on both the quality and composition of the photograph. Since most cameras have a finite storage capacity it is more efficient to be able to delete unacceptable images immediately, and save the valuable storage space. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, being able to view an image in the LCD provides an opportunity to reshoot an unacceptable image on-the-spot. Some camera models can use the LCD as a preview window, others can use the computer screen as a preview window when the camera is connected to a computer port.

o The use of a removable storage system, such as a PC card, for storing additional images. The fixed camera memory supports the storage of a finite number of images. Once it is full, the images must be transferred to either an accessory storage unit, or a base computer. Until that transfer takes place the camera can not be used again unless stored images are erased.

o A display panel that shows the number of images stored or remaining, the image mode (standard or high resolution), the flash mode, battery status, self-timer status, etc.

o A zoom lens camera provides the most flexible system for capturing images from any distance. Some cameras have been designed to accommodate add-on lenses, for close-ups or special effects; and some camera systems support the use of standard interchangeable 35 mm lenses.

o Upgradeable RAM for supporting either more images or larger images. Some camera systems support the use of user-installed chips for extending the fixed storage capacity of the camera. Most cameras let the user select either low- or high-resolution mode on-the-fly.

o A computer interface process that is both easy to set-up and easy to use. The user must be able to attach the camera to the computer easily and quickly, and have software available to shuttle the images rapidly out of the camera and into computer memory.

o The use of image compression algorithms to make the most efficient use of the available camera storage.

o The availability of image formats and image sizes appropriate for the intended use.

o The availability of an upgrade path for extending the storage and/or photographic capabilities of the camera.

o Assessment of the quality of the digital camera in terms of its components (such as a glass or plastic lens?), size, weight, shape, etc.

o Capability of the camera to capture images in all lighting situations. This would include the necessity for a built-in flash.

o The presence of unique features. These include such innovations as a detachable corded lens (which can be positioned independent of the camera body), a microphone, and full-motion video clip capability.

The field of digital photography is likely to undergo many changes in the near future. Some of the things that we think you'll see are:

o Integration of digital image capture with portable computers, pocket computers, and PDAs.

o Full motion video capture.

o Voice annotation.

o An integrated or carry along snapshot printer.

o A digital version of the Kodak APS system providing various image format options.

o An option to use the still frame digital camera as a video camera for computer videoconferencing.

o Innovative camera designs such as a wearable model, with a pin-on lens module, and a viewfinder in the form of a pair of glasses.

o An integrated tv tuner and radio.

o An integrated cellular modem for transmitting images in realtime.

A selection of scenes from Comdex is available courtesy of Olympus <>, which provided one of their new D-200L digital cameras for shooting during the first two days of the show. The camera was a pleasure to use since it had the familiar feel of a traditional 35mm SLR along with the freedom to capture up to 80 low-res shoots without the need to return to base. The images are located at <>


by Scott J. Kleper <>

My Mac is finally running the way that it should. It exhibits workstation-quality performance, it has an almost infinite supply of programs, it has an efficient virtual memory scheme, the latest Internet server and client software, and it's highly compatible with other systems on my network. I'm not running MacOS though. Nor am I running BeOS (sadly, they don't support the 601 chip yet). I'm running the latest DR of MkLinux, Apple's free UNIX-like operating system.

While Linux is not an adequate solution for most users, and Apple's version in still in progress, the capabilities of MkLinux prove what I've suspected all along -- there's plenty of power in that PowerMac and it's not all being exploited by MacOS.

I'm one of those people who doesn't like to complain about the MacOS. I rarely have serious problems and can usually fix them when they do occur. But installing MkLinux on a whim was an excellent decision. It proved to me that not only is the PowerMacintosh capable of running a modern operating system, but Apple is capable of writing it.

I realize that writing an OS is no small task. I've never actually done it, but I will have to write a small OS for a class next quarter and I'm not exactly looking forward to it. The way I see it, what's limiting the MacOS today is layers. Everything is built upon layers of old code. Essential parts of the OS are running on a compatibility layer that emulates a CISC processor. Other operating systems don't go to such lengths to preserve compatibility.

Apple will announce their OS strategy next month at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. I believe that System 7.5.5 is currently the best thing out there. However, to continue to have the best OS in the future, Apple's strategy will need serious changes.

People keep asking me if I know anything about Apple's deals with Be, Inc. since I worked there as an intern. While I don't know anything that's not public knowledge, I've used BeOS enough to know that it's a good thing. In my opinion, BeOS is great because it doesn't contain the layers of old code that MacOS does. The absence of these layers allowed the very talented Be folks to make the OS modern and efficient at its core. Whether or not Apple buys Be, licenses parts of the OS, or ignores it completely, I think Apple can learn a lot from the freedom that a lack of compatability kludges entails.

So what about your existing Mac programs? I like the idea of some compatibility toolbox that does not interfere with the OS itself. It should implement the existing MacOS API's in such a way that they are only used when needed and are not the foundation of the OS. I'll leave the implementation up to Apple, but seeing X-Windows turn my 7200/90 into a workstation proves to me that there are people at Apple who can do this.

MkLinux: <>


by Scott J. Kleper <>

In my opinion, one of the most important advances in video games has not been faster processors or louder audio but the ability of some games to take advantage of a computer's position on a network. Multiplayer networked games offer a significant advantage over traditional video games -- they offer real interaction with real humans, they take a long time to get bored of, and they're usually much more strategy-based. Just barely in time for Christmas, here are some of the best Macintosh multiplayer games.

Probably my all-time favorite is Spaceward Ho! by Delta Tao. Ho! 4.0 is a conquer-the-galaxy game where you can play against several human and/or computer opponents. The game is easy to learn and extremely addictive. The graphics and sounds are well-done and rather humorous. Delta Tao has a habit of making high-quality inexpensive Macintosh software so be sure to check out Spaceward Ho!

Contact: Joe Williams, President. Delta Tao software. <>.

Bungie Software's Marathon is the game that proved that Doom-style games can be done on the Mac. Marathon is a first-person 3D game that is plenty of fun single player but simply astounding over a network. Having played Marathon 2 in a room with 7 other players late at night, believe me when I say these games can get very intense. Bungie now offers Marathon Infinity, a significant update that adds the ability to edit the worlds you play in. A Windows version may be coming soon.

Contact: Doug Zartman Director, Publicity Engineering. Bungie Software. <>

Warcraft II from Blizzard Entertainment is the latest multiplayer game sweeping college campuses and high school computer labs alike. Warcraft puts the user in an medieval battle of humans vs. the evil Orcs. The gameplay is similar to SimCity and other decision-based strategy games. Adding in extra players makes the strategy much more interesting and complex. The Mac version can even run over TCP/IP making world-wide games possible. For a fan of SimCity, Lemmings, Strategic Conquest, or strategy games in general, this is an absolute must-see.

Contact: Susan Wooley, PR Manager. Blizzard Entertainment. <>. <>

One of the newest multiplayer games for the Mac is MacSoft's Terminal Velocity. Terminal Velocity is an entertaining 3D flight simulator as a single player game. But adding a second player adds a whole new dimension. The rendered graphics are astounding and the multiplayer experience is well-done.

Contact: Al Schilling, Assistant Product Manager. MacSoft. 3850 Annapolis Lane, Suite 100. Minneapolis, MN 55447.

Feature Review: WorkingPapers

It has long been an unrealized expectation that a personal computer could provide storage and retrieval of vast numbers of printed documents. The obstacles have related both to inadequate processing power, and insufficient storage capacity. That situation has changed with the availability of large capacity storage devices, both fixed and removable, and high-speed CPUs, thus paving the way for the introduction of WorkingPapers.

WorkingPapers works with most desktop scanners, making it possible to convert paper documents into digitally-stored replicates, at the rate of up to 300 pages per hour. Each scanned page image appears on the computer screen as it does on the paper original, but in full size and thumbnail versions. In order to make the document accessible, WorkingPapers creates a companion file for each page image, which contains an editable, searchable text version. The user can add keywords or search terms to each document to improve the prospects of retrieving it at a later time. In addition, the program incorporates QuickTime JPEG compression, which reduces the size of document images to about 10% of their uncompressed size.

PaperWorks "collections" feature supports the creation of logical catalogs each containing up to 32,000 pieces of information. The user can generate an unlimited number of collections, and store them on their choice of fixed or removable media.

Documents are organized into searchable collections which may be searched on the basis of their content, or their file attributes. Conditional searches may be launched on the basis of content, filename, volume name, document comments or annotations, or pre-assigned categories. Search results may be stored automatically in a new collection, thereby eliminating the need to manually copy documents from one or more collections.

Access on the basis of document content is possible due to the integrated optical character recognition engine which is built into the program. The OCR process is impressively fast, so much so that those familiar with OCR processing may be mistaken to believe that it is not working. The OCR engine, which is licensed from Mimetics Corp. of Chatenay-Malabry, France, supports either batch or single page document processing, and can be trained to recognize new, uncommon, or misinterpreted characters. Users may also use Xerox TextBridge OCR software which is available at extra cost.

No OCR process is 100% accurate 100% of the time, so WorkingPapers supports both full-text and approximate (fuzzy) text search. Text searching can be user-adjusted to a setting anywhere between 50 to 100 percent accuracy, therefore allowing for misspellings due either to input and OCR errors.

Documents in a collection may be voice-annotated, and may be printed, faxed, emailed, or read aloud using Apple PlainTalk Text-to-Speech technology. $199

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Contact: Dominion Software, Inc., 272 Centre St., Newton, MA 02158, 617 332-1144, 800 762-7633, <>, Internet:, fax: 617 332-5145.

Image Collection Reviews

Image Club Volume 35: Sketches on the Town includes over 220 black and white EPS files that reflect the fun and elegance of night time entertainment. The images are drawn in a pen and ink sketch style and are appropriate for menus, programs and invitations. $99

Image Club Volume 36: Businessville contains a variety of color EPS conceptional clip art images that portray an underlying idea, concept, or message. The image file sizes are small so that they can be used for multimedia and Internet applications. $99

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

PixelMonkey is a cross-platform CD-ROM with over 2000 original images designed to enhance Web sites. The disc is the first of three all aimed at innovative Web design. The images are categorized for easy access into groups such as bars and banners, bullets, backgrounds, and arrows.

The image collection is assembled in HTML format, so that it can be viewed in any of a number of Macintosh or PC Web browsers. $19.95

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Contact: Pixel Monkey Productions, a division of Bitwise Internet Technologies, Inc., 22 Drydock Ave., Boston, MA 02210, 617 261-4700, 800 875-1666, <>, fax: 617 261-7788.

CD-ROM Reviews

The Trademark Checker is a cross-platform CD-ROM containing all of the registered U.S. trademarks from 1884 to the present, including any marks that have "died" (expired, been withdrawn or cancelled) since 1984.

The database not only serves as a comprehensive storehouse of trademark information, but also as an idea generator, marketing tool, and a mailing list. Users can draw from the over 1.8 million trademark records to generate new trademarkable terms; search for "Intent to Use" to determine the nature of products not yet on the market; locate products by geographic area; and export mailing lists based on class, location, or both.

Each record is composed of 16 searchable fields and 6 additional display fields, for a total of 22. In addition to being viewed on the screen, all fields can be printed, as well as exported for use in other programs. Although the database is an excellent source of information, users should be aware that there are other means of obtaining trademark protection beyond registration, since U.S. trademark rights are conferred by use.

The CD includes a very capable search engine that uses Boolean operators, proximity searching, and wildcards. Queries can be saved and recalled in order to capture the time necessary to compose a complicated search.

A web version of the program is available at <> and includes more fields, including searchable images. The fee structure is $5 for a day, $100 for a month, or $995 for a year. A free demonstration database is available in order to try the service.

The CD-ROM has the avantages of instant access, unlimited downloading and printing of hit lists, and lower cost (on an annual basis). A single edition is $199 (+$15 shipping) or by monthly subscription for $699 (+ $120 for 12 shipments).

Contact: MicroPatent, 250 Dodge Ave., East Haven, CT 06512, 203 466-5055, 800 648-6787, <>, Internet:, fax: 203 466-5054.

Internet Reviews

WebAnimator is a handy tool for creating impressive multimedia animations on Web pages without the use of HTML coding or Java scripting. The animations are derived from a set of more than 120 templates which are provided in the package, and which can be customized with user information, user-selected colors, and synchronized sounds.

The animations are viewed by using a free Web browser plug-in (for Netscape Navigator or MS Internet Explorer), which is available online at the DeltaPoint Web site, or can be freely distributed by WebAnimator owners.

The program uses vector-based graphics, and an advanced compression algorithm, which together optimize the display of the animations. A ten second animation, for example, which might consist of a home page title, animated text, and animated bullets, would typically be smaller in size than 12K.

Animations can be used for a number of purposes, including interactive product displays and training materials. Dynamic scenes can contain links to other Web sites, branching to pages within the local Web site, puffy buttons, roll-overs, and other animated effects.

The user may import stock or custom graphics, and create animations using either cel-based or keyframe-based methods. $99

Screen Shot: <>

Contact: DeltaPoint Inc., 22 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Monterey, CA 93940-9959, 408 648-4000, <>, fax: 408 648-4020.

System Enhancement / Utility Reviews

A synthetic Macintosh CPU has been released by ARDI. Executor 2 is a Macintosh emulator for the PC available for DOS and Linux. The DOS version runs under DOS 6.x, Windows 3.1.x, Windows 95, Windows 4.x and OS/2 Warp.

Unlike other Mac emulators, which only provide the ability to read and write Macintosh floppy disks, Executor 2 can read Macintosh formatted CD-ROMs, and can read and write to Macintosh formatted disks, for systems with a SCSI card. In addition, and most impressively, Executor 2 can run hundreds of Macintosh applications, and is fast enough to run Macintosh video games at full speed. The emulator is rated at the speed of a Macintosh Quadra.

The program was written from scratch and makes no use of any Apple system software or ROM code. A time-limited version, and a compatibility database, are available on the ARDI Web site.

The program has some limitations. Among them are: no PPC support, no serial port access, no AppleTalk, limited sound support, no low-level hardware access, no support for INITs or CDEVs, no support for the Macintosh Finder (the program uses a substitute). $249

Contact: ARDI, 1650 University Blvd., NE, Suite 4-101, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505 766-9115, <>, fax: 505 766-5153.

DateView is a very useful utility that combines a reminder system with a flexible calendar, to keep track of appointments, projects, and task lists. Items are entered in the calendar view, which can be displayed in a variety of different ways, from a single day to weeks at a time. Repetitive items, such as recurring meetings or other obligations, can be entered easily, and can be assigned alarms. When the alarm goes off the user can cancel it or reset it to signal the event again.

The interface is very cleverly designed to provide virtually instant access to any date. New items are added by double-clicking in an open area of a day field. Items can be clicked and dragged from one day to another, simplifying rescheduling. Items which are not completed at their assigned times can be carried over.

Items within a defined period of time can be exported for archiving, or for use in any program that can process tab-delimited text, such as a database. The program can be seamlessly integrated with Prairie Group's InTouch address book and free-form information manager. $69.95

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Contact: Prairie Group, Inc., POB 65820, West Des Moines, IA 50265, 515 225-3750, 800 346-5392, Internet:, fax: 515 225-2422.

Add-on Reviews

Extensis has found its market niche: producing highly useful add-ons for popular graphics applications. Their line of products provides an extensive array of extensions and plug-ins which increase productivity and ease-of-use. These add-ons represent the missing features that users most want, and need, to make the most effective use of their software arsenal.

PageTools 2.0 for Adobe PageMaker 5.0 and 6.0 is composed of 18 plug-ins for Macintosh, or 15 for Windows, eight more than the original version. Many of the new plug-ins were designed by Olav Martin Kvern, author of Real World PageMaker, and are based on his in-depth knowledge of PageMaker as well as the feature requests of PageMaker users. The central component of PageTools is PageBars, which is a customizable toolbar which contains buttons which access PageTool functions as well as user-selected PageMaker features.

PageBars supports multiple customizable toolbars which can be free-floating or embedded on the side of the screen, popdown buttons which display lists of commands, user definable custom buttons and Hot Help, which quickly displays a button's function.

PageTool functions address the needs of nearly all PageMaker users, providing tools for navigating, applying character styles, scaling multiple objects, inserting glossary entries, counting words and characters, printing non-consecutive page ranges and automatically applying guides to objects.

The tools include PageTips, which provides an on-screen PageMaker Tip of the Day by author Kvern. The user can elect to have a Tip appear after start-up, before closing, both, or not at all. The idea of providing tips is not a gimmick, if anything it is a particularly smart and effective educational delivery system, since the learner is locked in a PageMaker learning mode, and therefore most receptive to absorbing new information about PageMaker operation. $149

QX-Tools 2.0 is the QuarkXPress analog to PageTools, providing 15 very useful XTensions. Among the most helpful and unique are: QX-Effects, which creates shadow, bevel, glow, emboss and other effects; QX-FindChange, which supports search and replace for colors, character styles, rules, borders and other attributes; QX-SmartBar, which builds a toolbar from the most commonly used XPress commands; QX-Layers, which creates and controls the use, display and arrangement of layers; QX-Dingbats, which presents a floating palette for displaying difficult-to-remember character symbols; and QX-Tips & Tricks, which is an on-screen Tip of the Day written by author David Blatner. $99.95

PhotoTools 1.0 is the single-most comprehensive collection of productivity enhancements for Adobe Photoshop users. Users will probably find the PhotoText feature to be the most useful, since it provides the much needed capability of creating and formatting text with WYSIWYG control. The user can work with multiple text blocks, and character level styles, adjusting leading, tracking, kerning, character width and alignment, text color, and anti-aliasing.

Like other Extensis products, PhotoTools provides a custom toolbar, PhotoBars. The SmartBar feature monitors the user's work habits and automatically builds toolbar buttons based on the most commonly accessed commands. PhotoTips, is an educational module presented as a searchable on-screen dialog of helpful tips and techniques written by author Deke McClelland.

Among the other plug-ins are filters for creating shadows, bevels, glows, cutouts, embosses, and relief effects. $99.95

DrawTools is an integrated set of plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator and Xtras for Macromedia FreeHand. The modules include DrawTools Color (5 filters) providing Photoshop style color over color editing, multitone creation, one click color to grayscale conversion, and does not require drawings to be converted into large resolution dependent bitmapped graphics; DrawTools Shape (7 filters) providing sophisticated 3-D effects; DrawTools Move (5 filters for Illustrator only) allowing much greater control over object positioning and resizing in complex drawings. DrawTools Shape for FreeHand provides drag and drop effects, floating palettes and interactive previews. DrawTools provides for FreeHand Xtras and Illustrator plug-ins to allow users to run DrawTools in both applications. $149

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

Very complex and sophisticated plaid and stripe patterns can be constructed simply and easily using Monarch's Plaids & Stripes plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. These intricate patterns can be used for multimedia, Web page development, textile design, specialty papers, backgrounds, wall paper, desktop patterns, room and environmental design,

It is quite remarkable that such detailed patterns can be created within minutes of installing the software. In essence, the vertical and horizontal patterns are constructed from colored samples labeled from a to i. The user inputs a number representing units of width (number of pixels, stripes or threads), along with a letter, representing the color. A series of these number/letter codes results in a pattern.

Clicking on a color block brings up the Apple Color Picker, providing access to up to 16.7 million colors. Colors selected for either axis can be copied to the other by clicking on the Copy button.

Patterns can be transferred directly to Photoshop or can be saved within Plaids & Stripes for later use. In addition, Monarch provides a library of yarn structures, including Plain, Oxford, Basket, and Twill. A Windows version is expected soon. $795

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Contact: Monarch Design Systems, 74-10 88th St., Glendale, NY 11385, 718 894-8520, fax: 718 416-0330.

Multimedia/Graphics Reviews

Users of the innovative Digital Chisel multimedia program can make their projects Web-ready with the release of Digital Chisel://HTML. A single mouse click converts a project into HTML, making it possible to share multimedia projects on the World Wide Web.

The program supports QuickTime movies, sounds, color backgrounds, graphics, font styles, colors and sizes. In addition, objects and text can be used to link to URL addresses.

This innovative program includes full support for painting and drawing, animation (frame-by-frame or path-based), hypertext, hypermedia, pre-built question templates, sound capture and playback, control of LaserDisc and CD-ROM, database recording of user responses, speaking text, and more. $109

Contact: Pierian Spring Software, 5200 S.W. Macadam Ave., Suite 570, Portland, OR 97201, 503 222-2044, fax: 503 222-0771.

Optical Character Recognition

OmniPage Pro 6.0 for Macintosh is the strongest OCR contender in the market. This new version of OmniPage represents significant improvements in accuracy, and users consistently rank "accuracy" as their prime consideration in choosing an optical character recognition product. But more than that, OmniPage 6.0 provides unique and important features that boost productivity and squeeze more information from paper documents.

The core of the program is Caere's improved recognition engine which produces 26% fewer errors, as compared to the last version. Accuracy is improved primarily due to Caere's exclusive Quadratic Neural Network (QNN) technology which can differentiate between similar-looking, ambiguous, or poorly formed characters, which can result from faxing, photocopying, or low-resolution scanning. Accuracy is further improved through the use of a more refined Language Analyst technology which uses a new algorithm which incorporates context-sensitive techniques.

The recognition process is also enhanced by 3D OCR, a process that makes use of grayscale information in interpreting faded, touching, or distorted characters. 3D OCR goes beyond two-dimensional scanning by interpreting shades, shapes, and contours.

Another accuracy feature is the Page Parser which analyzes document images prior to sending them to the OCR engine. This preprocessing step adds intelligent page analysis, identifying areas as either text, graphics, or noise. This results not only in higher accuracy, but in improved reading order of complex documents.

The OCR process has been simplified and streamlined. The user has a new option of performing OCR and spell-checking as a single process as part of the AutoOCR Toolbar. Users not only get more accurate processing of text, but the True Page feature provides page-format retention technology, so that text and graphics maintain their original page layout appearance when they are exported to other applications.

New users will become comfortable and proficient quickly by using the built-in OmniPage Guide, which is an interactive assistance system that is built on Apple Guide. This help system leads the user through the set-up and use of application features.

A very timely and useful new feature is HTML Output. OmniPage Pro 6.0 is the first OCR product to provide the capability to convert paper documents directly into HTML code for creating pages on the World Wide Web. In addition, the user can perform OCR from within any application by using the Direct Input feature which integrates access to OCR into the Apple menu.

Other useful features include The Image Assistant, which is a full 24-bit color image editor that can be used independently of OmniPage Pro to scan and edit black-and-white, grayscale, and color images; character-based OCR training, to train the program to better recognize special characters; deferred processing for high-volume batch scanning; double-sided recognition to utilize a stack feeder for reading all odd-, then all even-numbered pages, and then having the program automatically put them in the correct order; a Zone Window for control over reading order, image rotation, etc.; foreign language support for 13 Western European languages; and more. $499

Contact: Caere Corp., 100 Cooper Court, Los Gatos, CA 05030, 408 395-7000, <>, fax: 408 354-2743.


As the price of CD recorders continues to drop, and the numbers of CD-R discs proliferate, there is an increasing need for a professional, inexpensive labeling method. The Neato CD Labeler Kit fits the need, providing everything necessary in one box.

The kit consists of a set of templates for popular Macintosh and Windows applications that conforms to the die-cut layout of the Neato labels. The user customizes the template with their choice of fonts and graphics, including a small assortment of clipart provided in the kit. The user then prints a label sheet on any color or black-and-white printer.

The labels are applied by using the plastic Neato base and Positioning Cone. An individual label is peeled from its carrier sheet and placed adhesive side up on the base unit. The Positioning Cone is placed through the opening of the CD, with the label side down. The pointed end of the Positioning Cone is then placed through the hole of the base, contacting and transferring the label. The entire process takes just seconds.

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Contact: MicroPatent, 250 Dodge Ave., East Haven, CT 06512, 203 466-5055, 800 648-6787, <>, Internet:, fax: 203 466-5054.

LaserMerge Electronic Paper is a printing utility which provides unprecedented productivity gains. This low-cost program literally transforms a PostScript or QuickDraw printer, or fax modem into a customizable publishing system with capabilities heretofore not available on the personal computer platform.

The program is somewhat difficult to describe since its production applications are so far-reaching. Its publisher describes it best when it states that "LaserMerge is a complete printing system that replaces most printing utilities and enhances your printer driver to let any application produce power prints."

In essence, the program adds a LaserMerge button to all Macintosh print dialogs, providing the user with the option to include a custom or supplied template to any printing job. As a simple example, a user could use the "Draft" template, to add the word "Draft" to the background of one or more pages of a report.

Just as the single word "Draft" can be added, anything can be added, making it possible to produce any printed form as part of a document. Although the printing of documents incorporating letterheads, invoices, newsletter masks and the like, is commonly done now, what LaserMerge provides is control. With LaserMerge, an invoice, for example, is stored only once and employed at print time; with other printing methods the invoice text and graphics must be saved with every page, taking up valuable disk space and increasing printing time.

LaserMerge has a long list of capabilities, some of which are available as standalone products from other companies, but at much higher prices than their component equivalents in LaserMerge. These include watermarking, toner level control, bar coding, modified print areas, controlling page order, multi-up layouts, miniature printing, borders, labels, serial numbers, and more. Among the many printing modifications that LaserMerge can perform are: rotating, scaling, relocating, clipping, colorizing, ganging, and duplicating.

MindGate's proprietary Flash Printing technology can increase printing speed by up to ten times by using PostScript Level 2 Forms Caching reference images, which can be stored on the printer's font disk or in its memory.

Among its layering capabilities are support for text commands within the text layer, which provides for substitution of information at print-time. These commands include page numbers, page count, titles, user name, print job name, printer name, copy count, date (in various formats), time (in various formats), or custom print-time questions and answers.

The forms processing capability is virtually unlimited. Not only can a user replicate a printed form as a template, but they can also link an application file to a template so that a specified template will always be used when the file is printed. This is especially useful in a database application where each report can be output using a different template.

Each printed job can be recorded to a log which is compatible with database applications, so that printer use can be monitored and analyzed.

The program includes a Template Design Editor which is a complete design environment consisting of graphic primatives, typographic controls, line pattern and color controls, layers, and more. $95

Screen Shot: <>

Contact: MindGate Technologies, Inc., 164 Oliver Smith Road, Flintville, TN 37335-5335, 615 937-6800, 800 648-6840, WWW: <>, Internet:, fax: 615 937-6801.

ClickBook helps to complete the desktop publishing cycle by supporting double-sided bound books from any program. The program intercepts pages before they are printed and rotates, reduces and rearranges pages into the proper imposition for output. Twenty standard and custom booklet styles are supported including a wallet-size book, four-up book, address book, and others, as well as formats for DayRunner, Franklin, Filofax and Day-Timer. $49.95

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

Ornamatica is a graphic editor for the production of custom ornamental borders for use in desktop publishing and word processing applications. Unlike clipart, the borders can be composed to whatever size is needed, and the accompanying collection of 5000 design element tiles can be flipped, resized, rotated, and flexibly spaced.

The decorative borders are appropriate for signs, certificates, invitations, awards, menus, brochures, and other display and print pieces that can benefit from such embellishment. $39

Contact: JASC, POB 44997, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-0997, 612 930-9800, 800 622-2793, <>, Internet:, fax: 612 930-9172.


Spreadsheet technology has taken a leap forward with the release of Let's Keep It Simple Spreadsheet (KISS). KISS is considered the first innovation in Macintosh spreadsheet technology in over ten years. It uses a new revolutionary, object-based, drag-and-drop interface and patent-pending technology. Its design helps reduce data entry and formula errors because the relationship between different cells is visible and easy to understand.

The drag and drop interface eliminates the need to type in formulas. Cells and mathematical operators are dragged from several choices of palettes onto blank worksheets and then connected with lines, as they would be in a flowchart.

The program supports basic math, logic, statistics, trigonometry, and scientific functions. $189.95

Contact: Casady & Greene, 22734 Portola Dr., Salinas, CA 93908-1119, 408 484-9228, Internet: c&, fax: 408 484-9218.

Book Reviews

Director 5 for Macintosh Visual QuickStart Guide Persidsky, Andre The most concise and well-organized guide to one of the most sophisticated multimedia applications available. This short and profusely illustrated book provides the reader with the fundamental information necessary to become productive with Macromedia Director 5 in the shortest possible time. It provides an excellent overview of all of Director's major features, and serves as a handy reference book for locating specific information quickly. It provides step-by-step instructions for accomplishing many common procedures and tasks. This updated edition includes information on using Shockwave, the technology which places Director on the Internet. 0-201-88642-1 244 pp $18.95 Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Electronic Highway Robbery: An Artist's Guide to Copyrights in the Digital Era Carter, Mary E. A useful book which presents the relationship between copyright and cyberspace. It is both a general reference and a useful guide, the only complete one available on this topic. The book answers several probing questions related to the proper use of copyrighted materials. 0-201-88393-7 232 pp $18.95 Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710 Home Sweet Home Page Williams, Robin; Dave Mark An unintimidating introduction to the basic aspects of the Internet, and the World Wide Web in particular. It uses a friendly and non-technical approach to designing and creating a personal Home Page. It is supported by its own Web site at <>. 0-201-88667-7 184 $14.95 Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

HTML by Example Stauffer, Todd This book provides clear step-by-step instructions for creating Web pages using virtually all HTML codes. The book calls itself "the easiest way to learn Web publishing," and lives up to its claim by presenting well-written explanations of each HTML code, along with complete example listings, and displays of the code results within a Web browser. The book progresses from simple page layout to advanced programming using JavaScript, showing practical steps in building usable Web pages.

The accompanying CD-ROM contains HTML editors, graphics viewers, Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows and Macintosh, and the electronic version of Special Edition Using HTML. 0-7897-0812-4 548 pp $34.99 Que Corporation 11711 North College Ave. Carmel, IN 46032

HTML Quick Reference Mullen, Robert A very handy pocket guide which lists (alphabetically and by cross-reference), explains (in clear and concise language), illustrates (by example), and shows (with screen captures), HTML codes supported in version 3.2, and executed in Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. The book makes it very easy to find and incorporate HTML codes for Web page construction. The electronic version of the book is maintained in HTML format on Que's Web site <>. 0-7897-0867-1 222 pp $19.99 Que Corporation 11711 North College Ave. Carmel, IN 46032

Macintosh Bible Guide To FileMaker Pro 3, The Rubin, Charles One of the popular books in the Macintosh Bible Guide collection. It covers the latest version of FileMaker Pro, the best-selling Macintosh database application. It covers how to create and define fields, arrange information in layouts, find information, sort records, and design reports. It acknowledges and explains confusing aspects, points out limitations so that users don't try to do things that aren't possible, anticipates common problems, and provides quick solutions. The book identifies all new features with a special icon for those familiar with previous versions. 0201-88356-2 504 pp $24.95 Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Painter 4 Wow! Book, The Threinen-Pendarvis, Cher A highly visual guide to the use of Fractal Design's Painter, with many extraordinary examples by highly skilled professionals. The book covers the step-by-step use of the program as well as its use with complementary programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Streamline and Premiere. The book begins with introductory information on color theory, art history, an overview of the program, and detailed coverage of brushes, working with selections, paths and masks, using floaters and shapes, enhancing photos, exploring special effects, doing multimedia, printing, creating images for the World Wide Web, and more. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains custom brushes and papers, stock photos, video clips, filters, and software demonstrations. 0-201-88644-8 264 pp $44.95 Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Programming Perl Wall, Larry; Tom Christiansen, Randal L. Schwartz This book, co-authored by Larry Wall, the creator of Perl (Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister), is considered the most authoritative guide available for the Perl language, version 5. Perl is used as the programming tool of choice for the World Wide Web, Unix system administration, and a variety of other applications. The language is free, and is used to manipulate text, files, and processes, often taking the place of the more complex C programming.

1-56592-149-6 646 pp $39.95 O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. 103 Morris St., Suite A Sebastopol, CA 95472

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