The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 3.2 March/April 1998

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing
Issue 3.2 March/April 1998


Dragon NaturallySpeaking Voice Recognition Technology

by Professor Michael Kleper <>

Since its inception, the keyboard has served as both a bridge and a barrier between man and machine. The standard QWERTY keyboard layout, which is universally accepted, is known to be inefficient, and was deliberately engineered to be awkward and hard to use. The keywriter keyboard was originally designed to slow down the typist, in order to reduce the possibility of jammed keybars. Although modern keyboards do not have any technical limitations, the activity of keyboarding requires practice, is often plagued by spelling and formatting errors, and may, with prolonged use, cause discomfort or physical injury. Voice input is the most natural way for words and commands to be communicated to other humans, or to machines.

The conversion of a human voice into machine-readable characters, or the control of computer operations by human voice, has been the stuff of science fiction. The complexities involved in the process, and the variables of human voice characteristics, has made it a very difficult and elusive goal.

Voice input has been a part of the publishing process since the introduction of wire recorders. The prevalence of dictation devices today is attributable to their ease-of-use, and the accepted practice of transcribing the content creator's voice on the tape, into characters on a computer screen.

Why Is the Use of Voice Helpful?

The publishing environment is especially well-suited to voice input since a high proportion of published content consists of words, and since those words generally require a significant number of commands, formats, and menu selections for composition and layout. Some of the reasons why voice input is advantageous for digital publishing production are that the use of voice...

Reliable, affordable, continuous speech voice recognition has been an unattainable goal for many years. The variability of the human voice, and the intensive computing power required to process it, along with the technical complexity of the English language, have combined to challenge the best minds in the field of computer engineering. Having said that, you may be impressed to learn that the words that you are reading were not input with a keyboard. This text (actually just this paragraph) was input by voice recognition using Dragon NaturallySpeaking Deluxe software. The amazing thing about the software is that it required relatively little training to produce virtually flawless text. Compared to other voice input and voice control systems, NaturallySpeaking is the best solution yet. Not only does it work as advertised, it is a bargain at under $100, including microphone.

NaturallySpeaking installs quickly, and provides several interesting text passages, which are used to train the system to recognize the user's voice. Training the system is, in fact, easier than learning how to speak in a new way. That new way requires the user to vocalize punctuation, and speak commands, in order to make corrections on the screen. At the end of each sentence, for example, the speaker must say "period," and at the end of a paragraph say "new line." Learning the lexicon of NaturallySpeaking is analogous to learning how to type. It is, in effect, learning how to type with your voice. The program is, perhaps, inappropriately named, since it does not support purely natural speech. No one speaks punctuation, layout, or page navigation; and learning the commands and controls is a time-consuming process that is required in addition to the time needed to train the system to reliably recognize one's voice. Furthermore, some users have noticed that the quality of their voice changes during the day, and the only reliable way to get satisfactory results is to use two personal voice profiles, one for the morning and one for the afternoon.

There are literally hundreds of NaturallySpeaking commands which the speaker uses to control the microphone, access on-line help, navigate around a document, select and delete text, format text and set font attributes, correct or revise text, control menus and dialog boxes, position and click the mouse, create punctuation and special characters, playback recorded speech, and more. All of these actions take place within the NaturallySpeaking application, which is, essentially, a voice-controlled word processor. The text that is composed within the application is copied-and-pasted into other applications, such as desktop publishing, database, word processing, and e-mail programs.

Although there are many commands to learn, they are, after all, spoken commands in plain English. Here is a sampling of representative commands:

Editing Commands

Global Commands Dictation Commands Selecting and Deleting Text Editing and Formatting Text Setting Font Attributes

NaturallySpeaking requires the support of a fast computer processor. Dragon recommends at least a 133 MHz Pentium processor. In the case of this review we used a Gateway 2000 E-5000 Pentium II, running at 300 MHz. The software, along with the speed of the computer, provides virtually instant voice recognition. A responsive computer system is essential, since the user forms an intimate relationship between their speech and the words that appear on the screen. Any delay in that process is a distraction, which breaks the users' train of thought, and destroys their productivity. It is not unlike the distraction caused by a delay between hitting keys on a keyboard and seeing the characters appear on the screen seconds later. The delay is sufficiently confusing so as to interrupt one's concentration and seriously impair their ability to work. The user's voice, and the resulting text on the screen, must be tightly synchronized, and either a delay in seeing the words appear, or seeing the wrong words appear, will have a devastating effect on productivity.

Another key element of the voice recognition system is the computer sound card. The sound card must be of sufficient quality to process the user's voice clearly, without distortion. It must also be a full-duplex card so that it can both process and produce sound simultaneously. Dragon provides a list of digital signal processing and multimedia sound cards which it has tested and certified. A sub-standard sound card will contribute significantly to unacceptable performance.

Even when things appear to go right there is still a potential for trouble. Word accuracy is at the heart of the matter, and, unfortunately, no system is flawless. Voice recognition systems have problems with homonyns, and are unable to differentiate, for example, between "to," "two," and "too." There is also the issue of the compatibility of the user's voice and the voice recognition software. People do not always speak clearly, and an artificial system is no better at understanding an unclear speaker than is a human listener. In addition, a voice recognition system may mistake single words, and substitute the wrong word, such as using "will go" instead of "ago." The system may also substitute several wrong words, such as "a Delta flight deck" instead of "adults liked it." In a recent study conducted by Dr. Ross Stuckless at Rochester Institute of Technology, using 11,782 words of dialogue from five contemporary stage scenes, and using both Dragon NaturallySpeaking and IBM ViaVoice, there were a total of 1,922 errors (944 and 978 respectively). Of that total, 75% were either single word substitutions (38%) or multiple word substitutions (37%). The remaining errors were either punctuation errors, extraneous sounds (from the speaker or background noises), or misunderstood voice commands. Of these categories, no one group of errors accounted for more than 6% of the total errors.

Even a relatively high rate of accuracy may produce unsatisfactory results. It is not only the correct recognition of each word, but the correct recognition of key words within each sentence which impacts on the overall level of understanding. Even if there is only one error in a given sentence, how well that sentence is understood is dependent upon which word is in error. There is no easy way to rate the relative meaning of each word to each other word, so accuracy rates may be misleading.

In another experiment Dr. Stuckless used the same sample sentence, an excerpt from a nomination speech given by Woodrow Wilson in 1910 as a candidate for governor of New Jersey, with seven different speakers, producing accuracy rates from 70% to 100%. These examples show how difficult it is to determine meaning, since all of the sentences contain legitimate words, and even sentences with 90% accuracy or higher, still require the user to guess at the meaning. If the reader is not aware that errors are present, they may be confused at best, and totally misled at worst.

70% (6 errors) And the offers of the see willed no act once that's promises so definitely made are made to be kept.

75% (5 errors) And to voters of to stake will know at once that corrosive so definitely made our made to be kept.

80% (4 errors) An the voters of the at know at once that promises so definitely made are made to me at.

85% (3 errors) And the motorist of the state will know at once that promises so definitely made are main to the kept.

90% (2 errors) And the voters of the will know at once that promises so differently made are made to be kept.

95% (1 error) And the voters of the state will no at once that promises so definitely made are made to be kept.

100% (0 error) And the voters of the state will know at once that promises so definitely made are made to be kept.

The process of identifying errors and correcting them can be very time-consuming, and even negate any benefits that might accrue from a system that was as much as 95% accurate. At 95% accuracy, a voice recognition system is still misidentifying one word out of 20. That means that 5% of the entire document must be changed. Part of the problem of correcting errors is the difficulty of identifying them. Spellcheckers won't work, because although voice recognition systems will make mistakes, they will only produce legitimate words.

NaturallySpeaking actually records the speaker's voice as he or she is inputting text. The user can ask the system to speak any suspect passage, so that there is no mistaking what was actually said. In addition, the program provides a computer voice to read back any or all of the text. Hearing the text read in the mechanical computer voice sometimes makes recognition errors more obvious.

Our conclusion is that NaturallySpeaking is a technical marvel, and a bargain at under $100. However it requires a serious, sustained commitment in order to be useful...and it will present a degree of frustration, either during the training cycle, during use, or both. At the present time we see it useful as a means of getting ideas into the computer quickly, for brainstorming, where capturing the idea is more important than getting it totally right.

Contact: Dragon Systems, Inc., 320 Nevada Street, Newton, MA 02160, 1-800-TALK-TYP, 617-965-5200,, email:, fax: 617-527-0372.

Productivity Reviews

Data Hammer 1.5

Data Hammer 1.5 is a remarkable new application that establishes a completely new category of software. Simply put, it automatically processes documents or Web pages, producing intelligent summaries. It does what we had always hoped that a computer would do, analyze information that we do not have time to read, and just give us the facts. Imagine condensing a 200 page report down to a few pages of highlights, or summarizing lengthy research findings into the essential facts.

Data Hammer uses powerful text summarization algorithms which incorporate artificial intelligence to strip out nonessential information, and retain the essence of the meaning. The user determines how large the summary will be by moving a slider, which controls how much the program will whittle down the file. The program will work with individual files or entire folders, and can grab Web pages on-the-fly.

Expert users can modify the rules that the algorithms follow, providing input as to what special words show be "blessed" or ignored. The algorithms are based on Microword Tree Trimming (MTT) which assigns salience rankings to each sentence in a document. The user can select the degree to which a document is summarized in realtime, and watch the summary grow or shrink in relation to the slider setting. We would urge you to take a look at this hot technological breakthrough. $59.95

Contact: Glucose Development Corp.,, e-mail:


SynXpert is a software tool to help businesses manage processes. It incorporates the capability to flowchart, document, and analyze data. The diagram, process notes, annotation, and statistics all reside within SynXpert so that the process can be updated and managed easily. The user defines the events in the process using a simple, yet descriptive construct called the resource, action and object. The software diagrams the process automatically.

Contact: The Mirus Group, 700 River Ave., Suite 510B, Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5907.

Felix Micropoint

Felix Micropoint is a graphic input device which replaces the computer mouse. Instead of moving the mouse to move the on-screen pointer or cursor, the entire field of movement is restricted to one square inch. The user's arm and wrist don't move, just the fingers. The result is that the cursor is easier to control, requires less effort and energy, and provides a far greater degree of precision (640 dpi compared to 200 dpi for a mouse or trackball). Altra describes Felix as "comfortable like a mouse, stationary like a trackball, accurate like a tablet, intuitive like a touchpad, plus easy programmability and complete customizing options."

We've used Felix devices on several computers for over 10 years and prefer them to the standard mouse without question. It stays in one place, regardless of the size of the screen, and even has dynamic tracking...sensing your finger speed and responding appropriately. If the handle is moved slowly, Felix provides pixel-by-pixel precision, if the handle is moved swiftly, the cursor zips across the screen. This adds to productivity when using a large monitor, or using two monitors side-by-side.

There are three buttons on the Felix handle which can be customized using the AltraPoint software. The user can program one-click shortcuts, perform custom macros, or several other options.

Felix does not require cleaning or maintenance. It requires only about one-third the desk space of a typical mousepad. $69.95 for Windows, $89.95 for Macintosh.

Contact: Altra, 520 West Cedar St., Rawlins, WY 82301-5639, 307 328-1342,

Numbers & Charts

Numbers & Charts incorporates advanced Macintosh system technologies, including QuickTime, QuickDraw 3D, AppleScript, ColorSync, and Drag & Drop. The program can import Excel 5.0 files, including macros, as well as SYLK and tab-delimited text. Spreadsheet data can be exported for posting on the Internet using the HTML export feature.

Digital publishers will appreciate the fact that spreadsheets and charts can be produced to the precision of one point.

Multimedia producers will appreciate the break from static 2D and 3D charts, since the program supports the use of pictures, textures, QuickTime movies, and more. In addition, charts can be animated around the different axes to produce cross-platform QuickTime movies that can be integrated into a multimedia progra, a presentation program, or directly onto the Internet. $149.95

Contact: Adrenaline Software, 1400, boulevard du Parc technologique, Québec, G1P 4R7, 418 658-9909,, fax: 418 658-9919.

Resumes that Work Deluxe

Resumes that Work Deluxe is a CD-ROM tool kit designed to help users create more effective resumes. The program features career consultant Susan Ireland, and presents a complete job-finding system, including interactive resume-writing software; video interview simulation and salary negotiation tips; links and strategies for finding a job online; ACT!, a contact manager to assist in organizing the job search (50 contact version); and a special edition book of annotated sample resumes and cover letters based on Ireland's the Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume and The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Cover Letter.

The resume writer coaches the user for information that is stored as a collection of building blocks. The blocks can be reformatted in various ways to produce a variety of custom resumes. $39.95

Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Any Time Deluxe

Any Time Deluxe is an extensive and capable personal organizer that provides a calendar, to-do list, address book, and notebook. Each of these items is enriched with several enhancements. The calendar and scheduling feature, for example, supports multiple calendar views, recurring events, identification of blocks of unscheduled time, drag and drop rescheduling, and over 100 customizable layouts. Print-outs are compatible with Day-Timer (TM), Day Runner (TM), Filofax (TM), Franklin (TM) and other paper-based systems. $39.99

Contact: Individual Software Inc., 4255 Hopyard Road, Building 2, Pleasanton, CA 94588, 510 734-6767, 800 822-3522,, fax: 510 734-8337.

Addition / Extension Reviews


Genus is a plug-in for Acrobat Exchange that provides conversion of PDF files into HTML. It is activated by selecting "Generate HTML..." from the plug-ins menu. The user has the option of converting a range of pages, a specific page, or all pages. The process is very fast, and the converted document can be opened immediately in Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

Genus can process drop-caps, hyphenation, and maintain original character styles, such as size and weight. Complex documents may require manual editing using a program such as BBEdit or Adobe PageMill. $75

Contact: Iceni Technology Ltd., Norwich, England, 44 1603-474-831,, e-mail:

The Filter Factory CD

The Filter Factory CD is the world's largest collection of plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop 3 and 4, and compatible products (including MetaCreations Painter, CorelPHOTO-PAINT, Deneba Canvas and JASC Paint Shop Pro). There are over 300 plug-ins along with examples of what each can produce, making it easy to select the appropriate filter. The CD also includes 200MB of freeware, shareware, plug-ins and commercial demo programs for imaging and Web design.

Contact: i/us Corporation, 888 487-5510, 613 825-2178,

Printing Reviews


The line of Birmy PowerRIPs provide soft RIPing of PostScript pages for an expanding number of nonPostScript printers. PowerRIP technology makes it possible to print the most complex PostScript pages on low-cost color inkjet printers from Epson (Stylus Color, Stylus Color II, Stylus Color IIs, Pro, 200, 400, 500, 600, 800, 1500, 1520, ProXL, and 3000), Canon (BJC 210, 240, 600, 610, 620, 4200, 4550, 400, 4100, and 4550), Hewlett-Packard, and ALPS.

PowerRIP is the world's most popular Adobe RIP, and in its current version, 4.2, provides Adobe Brilliant Screening for smooth stochastic screening, color calibration controls on the Mac version, new color rendering dictionaries, and printer-specific features, such as 1440 dpi support for certain Epson printers.

On a Macintosh, the user prints their pages to a PostScript file which is then saved in a PowerRIP queue folder. After the file is written, PowerRIP automatically senses its presence and begins processing it. The user has the option of keeping the file for a specific period of time, for possible reuse, or deleting it immediately after it has been used. A log is kept of all of the RIP activities.

Anyone using a competing soft RIP should look seriously at trading up to the PowerRIP. Although the shipping version supports PostScript 2, a new version (Version 5) expected later this year will support PostScript 3. The PostScript 3 upgrade will be free for those who buy now. PowerRIP prices range from $99 to $200.

Contact: Birmy Graphics, 250 East Drive, Suite H, Melbourne, FL 32904, 407 768-6766,, e-mail:, fax: 407 768-9669.

3B2 OnLine Service

The 3B2 OnLine Service from Originalab of Sweden uses a powerful publishing engine developed in association with Advent Publishing Systems in England. The system provides several categories of business stationery, including 22 business card designs. The user inputs their own variable information, selects from a variety of typefaces, colors for both text and background, and optional clipart. Within seconds the design is delivered as a PDF which can be processed by the user, by the 3B2 service, or by a local printer. The service is free until further notice.

Contact: 3B2 The Total Publishing System,, e-mail:


printChef is a unique and powerful printing program that is accessible through every Macintosh print dialog box. The program is a print time utility that provides extensive printing features for controlling how each page prints. The program can either add an overlay to pages that have been composed, or can recompose pages in a wide variety of fixed or user-specified formats. The program incorporates features that have only been available on high-end electronic publishing systems. The feature list is too long, and the user options too many, to list. However, here is a glimpse of the range of printing features: transformations (the user can flip, clip, rotate, move, scale or skew any object that is to be printed); combine pre-designed templates and variable information from a database (this is a high-end feature which more than justifies the cost of the program); accumulate printing (store up several successive print jobs and print them as one, incorporating any printChef effect); maintain a print log of all jobs, and require password access; add an electronic signature, or convert text into a barcode; add serialization; change the printing order (print fronts and backs separately, print a range of pages, reverse or flip printing); add custom printing to each page of a multiple-page document; design a print-time form that prompts the user for information; preview any pages, with or without printChef effects; easily produce multiple-up jobs such as business cards and labels; produce miniature pages in any specified order; create new page sizes; add a watermark to any job; produce any job as a booklet; control the ink or toner application; and much more. The user can design print-time recipes that can be deployed at any time. Mindgate maintains a collection of user-designed recipes on their Web site. $95

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

CD-ROM Reviews


DirectCD is a packet writing application which now supports the drag and drop saving of files directly to CD-R and CD-RW drives just as if they were a massive floppy disk drive. Disks written with DirectCD for Macintosh can be read by Windows 95 or NT systems with DirectCD and compatible drives, and vice-versa. DirectCD, in essence, enables users to initialize, write to, and read from CD-R and CD-RW drives in the same way that they presently use floppies. The program is being bundled with the drives of several manufacturers.

Contact: Adaptec Inc., 691 South Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035, 408 957-6638,, fax: 408 957-6666.

The FontSite 500 CD

The FontSite 500 CD is a professional collection of both PostScript Type 1 and TrueType typefaces for both Macintosh and Windows. The agressively priced CD contains an impression selection of book and display faces, many with complete families, and some with the complete complement of expert characters (fractions, ligatures, superiors, etc.). The collection includes several designs from the ATF and URW libraries. Of particular interest are several fonts of arrows. Quite a value at only $29.95.

Contact: Title Wave Studios, 2185 Faraday Ave., Suite 140, Carlsbad, CA 92008,, e-mail:, fax: 619 692-1779.

Internet Reviews

Surf Express

Surf Express is an Internet utility that can provide acceleration of both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator at speeds of up to 36 times faster. It acts as a proxy server that intercepts all Web traffic and only connects to the network when the requested information is not already in the cache. The program replaces users' browser's default cache, and can store up to seven times more pages in the same space. Not only does it store more, but it is up to three times faster than the browser's default cache. It uses advanced Web caching and proxy technology to quickly load stored Web pages, deliver up-to-date versions of users' most frequently visited pages, and quickly locate recently viewed pages using key words and phrases. A user's most popular pages are automatically updated so that they are instantly available and reflect the most up-to-date information. $34.95

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

Surf Scout

Surf Scout is an amazing tool that makes quick work of gathering, storing, managing, and accessing Web page bookmarks. The most incredible feature is its capability to add an entire page of links with a single command. Bookmarks can be sorted into user-defined categories, and the database can be searched by URL, category, notes, and origin. Another unique feature is Surf Scout's data import capability which supports importing table-based information from Web pages and converting them into databases.

The program is constructed as a stand-alone Panorama database. Panorama is Provue's very flexible, and very fast relational database. Panorama users can open the SurfScout file and export its contents according to any given criteria. The exported file can be used to publish all or part of the database, or can be imported into another database. $30

Contact: Provue Development, 18411 Gothard, Unit A, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714 841-7779, 800 966-7878,, e-mail:, fax: 714 841-1479.


WebExpress is a tightly constructed program for creating Web pages or entire sites. A novice user can get up to speed in a matter of minutes, especially if they have viewed MicroVision's helpful on-line WebExpress tutorial

A user can take advantage of several professionally designed templates using wizards, or open and edit an existing site. The construction environment is wysiwyg, showing how each page will appear in the browser. Pages can incorporate tables, frames and style sheets, and also benefit from the large collection of professsionally designed page backgrounds, buttons and clip art.

An entire site can be managed easily, with visual tracking of all links, images, and bookmarks. Renamed or updated URLs are changed globally with a single mouse click. The program provides quite a lot of features for its modest cost. $69.95

Contact: MicroVision Development, 2185 Faraday Ave., Suite 140, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 438-7781,, fax: 760 438-7406.


SearchPad, from India, is an Internet search tool with the unique capability to learn, based on user preferences. The program supports basic and advanced Boolean searches combined with definable "accept" and "reject" rules for filtering responses. As search results are received, the user rates them, and these ratings are used as the basis for conducting similar searches in the future. Each search is cumulative, with SearchPad becoming smarter and more efficient, and producing more desirable hits, and fewer undesirable ones.

The user can organize related searches into "books" which deal with specific areas of interest. Multiple searches can run simultaneously, each with its own list of multiple search engines. A trial version is available at $149

Contact: Technocratix Inc., 3519 East Shea Blvd., Suite 124, Phoenix, AZ 85028, 602 996-8554,, fax: 602 996-8571.

LighteningDraw/WEB 1.1

LighteningDraw/WEB 1.1 is the first product to support Apple QuickTime 3.0. It provides Web designers with a high degree of control over the creation of low-bandwidth QuickTime 3.0 vector graphics, including the ability to smooth edges, scale to any size without an increase in file size, and output in a choice of quality options.

The files which are created can include transparency and 32-color gradient effects, viewable either on Macintosh or Windows platforms. The program can be used to produce large-scale backgrounds, headers, illustrations, banners, and interactive elements such as buttons, without high file size overhead. In addition to QT 3.0, the program can export images in GIF or JPEG file formats. $99

Contact: Lari Software Inc., 207 South Elliott Road, Suite 203, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, 919 968-0701,, e-mail:, fax: 919 968-0801.


ColorWeb is a systematic approach to ensuring that the colors that a Web author selects will appear uniformly on either a Windows or Macintosh monitor. The program recognizes that although most computer monitors can display 256 colors, there are only 216 colors that the Macintosh and Windows systems share in common. The use of those colors ensures that colors are not dithered or substituted.

ColorWeb consists of two parts: the Pantone Internet Color System (PICS) Guide, and the Pantone Internet Color System Color Picker. The Guide is a printed specimen book with colors arranged chromatically, with six colors per page. Each color is represented as a unique number, and its values are shown in RGB, HTML, CMYK and Hexachrome.

The Color Picker is an Apple extensible Color Picker that can be used with both graphic design and Web authoring software. $29.95

Contact: Pantone, Inc., 590 Commerce Blvd., Carlstadt, NJ 07072-3098, 201 935-5500,, fax: 201 896-0242.


SpeedShare is an Internet utility that allows remote sites to browse, read and write files to or from a server, without the need for traditional remote access solutions. The program works over TCP/IP asynchronously, so that the user can launch a file transfer and then begin another task while the transfer takes place in the background. The program supports automatic compression, and any Macintosh can act as a server, even if it is connected through a dial-up service.

Qdea also offers the Qdea WorldWide Rendezvous, which makes it possible to connect to any Internet-connected SpeedShare server, even if the server is on a dial-up connection. The Rendezvous service provides a directory of TCP/IP addresses for SpeedShare servers and supplies those addresses in response to queries from SpeedShare clients. This service is provided free for three months with all SpeedShare purchases. It is $19.95 per year thereafter. SpeedShare Server and Client are $49.95, additional Clients are $29.95 each.

Contact: Qdea, 6331 Hilton Court, St. Paul, MN 55115, 612 779-0955,, e-mail:

Webmaster CD-ROM Series

Webmaster CD-ROM Series is a set of three discs drawn mainly from shareware and public domain sources. Volume 1 is Creating Web Pages, and includes extensive archives of HTML resources as well as useful tutorials, graphic libraries, and Web links. Volume 2 covers Servers and Administration, and provides all of the tools necessary to set up an Internet server. Volume 3 features Advanced Technology, and includes such areas as VRML, video, audio, Java, QuickTime VR, Vidi VR, and others. $35 each.

Contact: InfoMagic, 11950 N. Highway 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004, 520 526-9565, 800 800-6613,, e-mail:, fax: 520 526-9573.

Web Page Construction Kit 4.0

Web Page Construction Kit 4.0 is an complete package of software, a graphic library, and printed guide. It has been developed for ease-of-use, and is appropriate for the new Web page developer. The program features a series of wizards which lead the user through the process of building a Web site, including provision for graphics, headers, footers, links, frames, tables, buttons, and more. The WYSIWYG interface shows the user how the site will appear, and provides for easy interactive positioning and editing. Over 100 templates are provided for developing a themed site based on professional designs. The library of over 5000 pieces of clip art covers a wide variety of subjects. $29.95.

Contact: Macmillan Digital Publishing, 201 West 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290, 800 571-1097, 317 817-7290,, fax: 317 817-7025.

DragNet 2.0

DragNet 2.0 is a flexible Web bookmark manager that lets the user organize URLs, e-mail addresses, and FTP sites into logical categories. The program works in tandem with a Web browser, quickly taking the user to a selected site with a single click. The user can drag bookmarks and folders between any DragNet window, and a powerful search engine makes it quick and easy to locate any piece of stored information. $19.95

Contact: TikiSoft,

Media Cleaner Pro 2.0

Media Cleaner Pro 2.0 is a highly capable compression engine for reducing the size of video files destined for CD-ROM and the Web. The program optimizes in addition to compressing, which means that the processed videos both look good and load fast. The program supports batch processing, through drag-and-drop, of up to 2000 movies, and allows for saving up to 500 presets. The user benefits from a Dynamic Preview window that shows how the settings will affect the processed video. The user can set gamma, brightness, contrast, black and white restore, hue and saturation, and other quality adjustments. The adjustment settings can also be determined easily by using the Web-Motion wizard, which prompts the user for answers regarding how the video will be used, and then makes the appropriate settings automatically. The program supports all major audio and video architectures and formats. $359

Contact: Terran Interactive, 2 North First St., Suite 215, San Jose, CA 95113, 800 577-3443, 408 278-9026,, e-mail:, fax: 408 278-9063.

Eudora Pro 4.0 for Macintosh

Eudora Pro 4.0 for Macintosh is the latest version of the e-mail client used by over 18 million users. This version has increased performance and functionality, responding to requests made by ardent users. Among the most significant improvements is multi-threading, which provides the capability to send and receive messages in the background, while simultaneously performing other functions within the program.

The filtering capability has been enhanced with a new "make filter" command which can redirect mail according to user-specified criteria, all in a single step.

Messages can be composed with increased content value, including in-line graphics and stylized text. The program now supports the MIME/HTML standard so that users can incorporate and display rich HTML-embedded messages.

The directory services feature supports the search of the Internet white pages to find friends' and colleagues' email addresses. Multiple servers can be queried simultaneously. Several other productivity features are included, such as Stationery, which is a set of templates for outgoing messages and automated responses, and automatic encoding of attachments using industry standard MIME, BinHex, and UUENCODE. $39

Contact: Qualcomm Inc., 6455 Lusk Blvd., San Diego, CA 92121, 619 587-1121,

CorelXARA 2.0

CorelXARA 2.0 is a design tool that provides a multitude of technical functions for optimizing Web graphics. Users can compare their original graphic side-by-side with a modified version which can vary by settings for bit depth, color palette, dithering, transparency, and JPG quality. Other functions include the application of Web-safe colors, access to the 216-color palette shared by Netscape and Internet Explorer, generation of anti-aliased and stepless graduated fills and blends, and creation of image maps and linked graphics. The program is compatible with Adobe Photoshop plug-ins which can be applied to any bitmap graphic. Animated GIFs can be constructed from still frames, edited, and controlled with timing settings. The program is useful for any Web page creator who needs to optimize graphics for faster downloading and more efficient performance. $149.99 as a download, $199.99 in the box.

Contact: Qualcomm Inc., 6455 Lusk Blvd., San Diego, CA 92121, 619 587-1121,

Utility Reviews

CanOpener 4.0

CanOpener 4.0 is an invaluable file utility that provides instant access to virtually any kind of file. It can open a PageMaker file, for example, and show all of the constituent files of which it is made, both text and graphic components. Each of the individual files can be displayed, and their contents extracted for reuse, or saved as a new file. Over 30 different graphic file formats can be read, including DOS, Windows, Silicon Graphics RGB and Sun.

File formats can be converted easily, from both native and foreign file formats. New to this version is a library of text extraction filters which perform specialized tasks such as extracting names, phone numbers, URLs, e-mail addresses and more. In addition, files can be stripped of HTML code, extra carriage returns, and excess blank spaces. These actions can be performed on a batch of files as well as an individual file. $65

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

Adobe PhotoDeluxe 2.0

Adobe PhotoDeluxe 2.0 is among the most popular photo-editing applications ever published, with over five million units shipped worldwide. That number is expected to more than double due to aggressive OEM partnerships with companies that are bundling the software with their digital cameras, printers and scanners.

PhotoDeluxe 2.0 uses the imaging engine in Photoshop, providing many of its capabilities, without any of the prerequisite professional image manipulation skill requirements. Consumers can accomplish such daunting tasks as removing red-eye, replacing unwanted image areas, and adding photos to print projects such as calendars and greeting cards. Users become productive virtually instantly, using an intuitive and attractive user interface. Adobe has done an admirable job of hiding the complexity of Photoshop while providing easy-to-use tools that make users productive, and in the process, creative.

The most notable tool in our opinion is the SmartSelect tool which can be used to automatically follow the outline of an object. With its use, image objects can be selected with precision, and removed quickly and easily. The Clone tool can be used to fill in the removed area so that the missing portion becomes imperceptible. Easy to use tools and procedures assist users in changing backgrounds, restoring old photographs, and touching-up color. Several special effects can be applied easily, including switching body parts, adding objects such as a hat, and using distortion filters such as mosaic, ripple, wind, and pinch.

Each of the projects is goal-oriented, leading the user to the production of an end-product: from an improved image with better color, to the production of sophisticated sports cards. Over fifty Guided Activities are provided, with easy to follow, step-by-step on-screen instructions. The program includes all of the artwork, photos, templates and fonts necessary for producing the projects. $49

Contact: Adobe Systems Inc., 345 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110-2704, 408 536-6000, 800 888-6293, WWW:, fax: 408 537-6000

Myrmidon 2.0

Myrmidon 2.0 is powerful Web publishing tool that allows the user to produce HTML documents from any Macintosh document. It does so by installing a Chooser-level print driver that can intercept any document that can be printed, and converts it instead into properly formed HTML code for posting on the Web.

The program provides easy-to-use settings so that the user can tune the document output to approximate the appearance of the printed page(s). HTML, as most people know, does not support all of the typographic subtleties that can be produced in even the most basic page layout program, but Myrmidon produces a reasonable facsimile, all things considered. In addition, selected typographic sections, such as a logo or mathematical formula, can be converted to a gif image, so that they appear exactly as they were composed. The user can tune the output by passing the same file through different set-ups, or by manually editing the HTML in BBEdit, or a text editor.

Myrmidon does a good job of handling tables, and can automatically recognize URLs, e-mail addresses, FTP sites, and more, and make automatic links. It can also produce automatic links between pages in a multi-page document, and produce a table of contents from headings. The user has the option of converting images to gif or JPEG format. All-in-all, a great way to convert any of the pages currently on your computer into their Web-based equivalents.

A fully functional demo version, which can handle the conversion of 50 documents to HTML, is available at $99

Contact: Terry Morse Software, 4546 B10 El Camino Real, Suite 427, Los Altos, CA 94022, 415 858-1017,, e-mail:, FTP:, fax: 415 494-6272.

PhotoImpact 4

PhotoImpact 4 provides a suite of Web design tools for accomplishing most of the image editing and manipulation tasks associated with Internet publishing. The program packs a powerhouse of capabilities into a single package, supporting GIF animation; a flexible button designer; a seamless, self-tiling background designer; robust image editing tools; a digital asset management album; special effect textures and transformations; and much more. Although the package is tuned for the Web, it is fully compliant with the needs of print-based publishing.

Although the program produces professional results, it is designed for ease of use. The Post-Processing Wizard, for example, works with Microsoft Office to provide the highest possible quality from digital input derived from a scanner, digital camera, or other capture source. The EasyPalette makes quick work of style-oriented image editing. Frame effects, typographic effects, and particle effects are easily applied, and represent a wide variety of options. The package also includes a library of 3000 photos, 250 GIF animations, and 42 Web page templates. $139

Contact: Ulead Systems, 970 West 190th St., Ste. 520, Torrance, CA 90502, 310 523-9393,, e-mail:, fax: 310 523-9399

Norton Uninstall Deluxe

Norton Uninstall Deluxe is a utility program that supports the safe removal of programs and files that are no longer needed. The program has sufficient intelligence to sense the relationship between files, and leaves needed files in place when removing unwanted software. Software removal is safe because the program makes a compressed backup of every deleted file so that the user can reinstall the software if necessary. The program also features a clean-up utility that removes unnecessary, redundant and obsolete files. $35.95

Contact: Symantec Corp., 10201 Torre Ave., Cupertino, CA 95014-2132, 408 253-9600, 800 441-7234,, fax: 503 334-6054.

Myrmidon 2.1

Myrmidon 2.1 is the latest version of this innovative utility program that can convert any printable page into a Web page. The program is now GoLive Systems' CyberStudio-aware, so that all text and graphics in a Myrmidon-created Web page appear on a layout grid in CyberStudio. Changes can be made to the page layout simply by dragging objects across the grid. This would make Myrmidon an essential tool for all CyberStudio users. $99

Contact: Terry Morse Software, 4546 B10 El Camino Real, Suite 427, Los Altos, CA 94022, 415 858-1017,, e-mail:, FTP:, fax: 415 494-6272.

Enhance 4.0

Enhance 4.0 is a sophisticated, professional image editing program now incorporating layers, drag and drop, fully-integrated image catalogs, Web image map creation and GIF color table reduction, PNG and progressive JPEG file formats and new image retouching tools and filters.

Enhance 4.0 supports Photoshop-compatible filters, and includes, as a bonus, a full copy of the Wild River SSK suite of seven plug-in filters that manipulate color, simulate 3-D effects, and alter the overall appearance of an image. New resident filters include those to remove scratches, dust, and red-eye problems; Adjust HSL to modify hue, saturation and lightness; and a one step Auto Contrast to improve image brightness and contrast.

The new Auto Enhance feature adjusts contrast and exposure in a way similar to that of a camera iris. Adjustments can be made up to six f-stops in one-third stop increments.

The program provides 16 levels of undo/redo, and CMYK separations with UCR, GCR transfer curve compensation. Gradient blends can be composed with up to 16 colors, and patterns and textures can be painted as easily as solid colors. $349.95

Contact: MicroFrontier, 3401 101st St., Suite E, Des Moines, IA 50322, 515 270-8109, 800 388-8109,, e-mail:, fax: 515 278-6828.

MacDrive 98

MacDrive98 is an essential utility for production environments that are populated by both Macintoshes and Windows 95/Windows NT 4.0 systems. The program provides the PC with the capability to make all Macintosh-formatted disks (floppies, removable media cartridges, CD-ROMs, and external SCSI hard drives) accessible to a Windows-based system. The Mac disks work transparently, supporting copy, open, save, delete, and rename functions. The program will be compatible with Windows 98, thus the name. $65

Contact: Media4 Productions Inc., 2800 University Ave., Suite H1B-101, West Des Moines, IA 50266-1258, 800 528-7440, 515 225-7409,, fax: 515 225-6370.

DeBabelizer Pro 4.5 for Windows

DeBabelizer Pro 4.5 for Windows is the best-in-class automated graphics processor. It performs three fundamental and important functions which are at the heart of digital publishing: graphics processing, palette optimization, and file translation.

The program can read and write more than 100 file formats, encompassing those used for desktop publishing, the Web, digital video, digital photography, games, and other areas of digital publishing. The file translation process is practically as easy for a large batch of files as it is for a single file. The user selects File:New:BatchList; right clicks on the BatchList window; selects the location, file name and file extension; clicks OK; confirms the save destination, selects the format, and clicks Save.

Many image manipulation procedures can be applied to individual files or groups (batches) of files. To facilitate this, and other program capabilities, the program supports the simultaneous processing of more than one batch. Scripts can be created to control the processing, and the new Execute Script command can be applied to specify running a script within a script.

Image manipulation capabilities include: rotation; flipping; scaling; aspect ratio adjustment; DPI resolution adjustment; intensity, contrast, gamma, hue, saturation and brightness controls; and RGB and Alpha channel control.

The DeBabilizer SuperPalette is a proprietary technology for automatically creating the best palette of colors for a series of images or frames. Using drag and drop, the user creates a SuperPalette that produces quite amazing results.

DeBabilizer is a standard tool for multimedia professionals, providing outstanding versatility and powerful time-saving functions. $595

Contact: Equilibrium, Three Harbor Dr., Suite 111, Sausalito, CA 94965, 415 332-4343,, fax: 415 332-4433.

Disk Drive TuneUp 2.0

Disk Drive TuneUp 2.0 is a versatile utility program that supports drive acceleration, media partitioning and formatting for virtually all Macintosh fixed and removable media. Volumes can be partitioned in HFS, HFS+ and DOS or any combination of the three on the same piece of media. The program CD-ROM is bootable, and can be used to start-up the system if the start-up disk fails. The program supports Mac OS 8, and works with IDE and EIDE drives in addition to over 300 SCSI drives.

The user interface provides powerful, yet easy-to-use features. Partitions can be created by assigning names and setting slider tabs. Partitions can be locked, so that contents can not be changed, and a partition can be designated as bootable. Diagnostic tests are provided to measure media integrity and responsiveness. $79.95

Contact: Software Architects, 19102 North Creek Parkway, Suite 101, Bothell, WA 98011-8005, 206 487-0122,, Internet:, fax: 206 487-0467.

Screen to Screen

Screen to Screen is a screen sharing and remote control utility that lets a single Macintosh view and control up to 35 other Macintoshes. The screens of the remote computers appear as thumbnail images, continuously refreshed in a resizable window on the control screen. Any of the thumbnail images can be double-clicked to display a full-size image of that remote computer. The administrator can watch the remote operation, take control of it, or collaborate with the user of that computer. In addition, the administrator can broadcast the screen from any connected computer, or his own computer, to any or all of the other computers; or connect two or more of the computers in a collaborative state. The program is versatile and provides an unobtrusive view for classroom monitoring, help desk assistance, network administration, distance learning, or team collaboration. A useful feature is the built-in screen recording which creates a movie of all screen activities. The movies can be saved and played back at any future time using the supplied player. In addition, remote users can communicate using a built-in audio communication system. $149.95 for a two machine license.

Contact: Power On Software, 2046 Lakewood Road SW, Sherrodsville, OH 44675, 800 797-7382, 612 317-0344,, e-mail:, fax: 330 735-3136

DragStrip 3.1

DragStrip 3.1 is the ultimate Macintosh desktop organizer providing tabbed windows containing user-defined sets of icons that can launch applications, QuickTime movies, documents, etc. The program is an essential time-saver (we've used it for years), and takes the notion of aliases to the highest degree. The program provides numerous options for displaying strips, with choices of size, color, and other appearance variables. This latest version has been enhanced with scriptability and support for modules, which perform specialized tasks and functions. Shareware, $20.

Contact: Poppybank Software,


The FlashPath adapter is an amazing feat of computer engineering. The adapter, which can hold a SmartMedia memory card containing images from any Olympus digital camera, is approximately the size of a floppy disk The adapter fits in a standard computer 3.5" floppy disk drive and becomes accessible to the Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 operating system as a drive letter. The memory card remains stationary, yet the computer can read the information on it at up to 25 KB/sec, faster than the information could be read serially directly from the camera, and with more convenience. The unit sells for $99, however it is available for free until June 30, 1998 to buyers who purchase the Olympus D-320L after April 1. The D-320-L, with a resolution of 1024 x 768, and optics regarded as among the best on the market, has been reduced to $599. This combination is definitely worth a serious look.

Contact: Olympus America, Digital & Imaging Systems Group, Two Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY 11747-3157, 800 347-4027, 516 844-5000,, fax: 516 844-5262.


PowerDesk98 is a file management utility for Windows 95, 98 and NT that provides the fastest and easiest way to move, copy, zip and view files. The program integrates hundreds of dollars worth of utilities into a single package, including a robust file finder, a hard drive space manager, an email attachment decoder, folder synchronization and comparison, plus the aforementioned basic features. Central to the program is the PowerDesk, which is a supercapable file manger that either replaces or supplements the Windows Explorer. PowerDesk provides multiple views, showing several drive and directory views for simplified drag-and-drop operations. The zip file manager supports every major compression format, and automatic spanning of large compressed files, password protection, and multiple compression ratios. The file viewer supports over 80 file formats, and the user can view and browse files in a separate preview window. Digital publishers will appreciate the comprehensive graphics file conversion feature which supports 24 formats, and supports batch operations. $39.95

Contact: Mijenix Corporation, 6666 Odana Road, Suite 122, Madison, WI 53719, 608 277-1981, 800-MIJENIX,, e-mail:, fax: 608 277-1971.


PC-cillin is the last anti-virus program that you need to buy. It features free lifetime online updates, and provides a 100% virus protection guarantee. The exclusive Smart Monitor includes Active Defense technology which monitors all possible virus sources and adjusts automatically to provide optimum protection. It provides immediate scanning, background scanning, network scanning, Internet scanning, and e-mail scanning for total protection. It was the only product to earn a perfect 100% score in the NCSA Test as reported in PC Magazine, April, 1997. $49.95

Contact: TouchStone Software Corp., 2124 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714 969-7746, 800 531-0450.

ClipMate 4.5

ClipMate 4.5 is a clipboard extender that stores text and graphics items that are copied to the clipboard, and maintains them in an unlimited number of collections, which can be accessed at any time. Tools are provided for retrieving, appending, printing, reformatting and editing data. The PowerPaste feature lets users paste a series of items in rapid succession into a given application. Users can access ClipMate's QuickPaste menu from within any application using a simple keystoke combination. Once activated, QuickPaste displays the most recently cut/copied items, plus any items from the user's favorite ClipMate collection. Users on a LAN can share clips using a workgroup directory. Fully functional evaluation copies are available on-line. $25

Contact: Thornsoft Development, POB 26263, Rochester, NY 14626, 716 352-4223,, e-mail:, fax: 716 352-7847.

Multimedia Reviews

WebVise Totality

WebVise Totality is a set of six Photoshop plug-ins and stand-alone applications that greatly enhance the process of creating compact, colorful and potentially attractive Web graphics.

The WebVice GIF Compression Engine achieves compression rates of up to 175:1 using proprietary patent pending technology, and provides controls to ensure quality color on a 256 or 16.7 million color display. The user can reproduce almost any color, yet remain within the 216 color palette. The user can preview the image and make realtime before-and-after compression comparisons, seeing how the image will appear when downloading as either an interlaced or nomal GIF. Sliders control color (red, green, blue), size, and dither.

The WebVise JPEG Compression Engine offers three separate compression controls, providing compression rates of up to 100:1. Users can protect selected regions of the image area from compression, thus preserving their original image quality level, yet achieving an overall file size reduction. Sliders can be set to adjust the amount of Global compression, Tonal Range averaging, Color Press (the reduction in color fidelity to gain compression), Size, and Shield Range (colors to be shielded from compression). On-screen displays show the compression ratios, download time, and anticipated download speed. As with the GIF module, the user can make image maps using the pen or marque tools.

The WebVise Animator supports the creation of animated GIF files from within Photoshop (version 3.0 or higher). The software works with standard Photoshop features, such as layers, and can provide useful statistics, such as the estimated download times at given connection speeds. Users can easily add new frames by pressing the F4 key, and the animation window shows an instant preview.

The WebVise Digital Watermarking System embeds an invisible digital pattern into an image to protect against unlawful reuse. The program provides for a significant amount of information to be embedded in GIF, JPEG and Animator files. Watermarking can be applied using a batch processor. Among the information that can be included is the copyright owner's name, company information, date, and comments. The watermark can be password-protected. The software includes a freely distributed WebVise Watermarker reader.

The WebVise Hybrid Web Safe Colors program generates thousands of Web safe colors that will display properly, and without dithering or color shifting, on any platform, browser, or 256-color monitor. The user can select any color from the Photoshop color picker, or from any Photoshop color library, such as Trumatch or Pantone. Any selected color is returned to the WebVise window as a safe color.

The WebVise Optimized Dithering Engine provides the capability to produce thousands of Web safe colors from the 216 color safe palette. The user can select a color from within the image and change it using RGB sliders and a brightness control. Current color variations can be saved for use as a Web page background color. $129

Contact: Auto F/X, Black Point, HCR-73, Box 689, Alton Bay, NH 03810, 603 772-4725, 800 839-2008, WWW:, fax: 603 772-4644.

Universal Animator

Universal Animator is a unique application that appears as a floating palette from within almost any application. It effectively turns its host application into an animation studio, providing the capability to create, preview and save animated GIFs. Controls are provided for frame delay looping, transparency, and anit-alias fringe. Statistics are displayed for estimated download times, animation size, frame size, and totla number of frames. Animations are automatically optimized and compressed for Web viewing. $99

Contact: Auto F/X, Black Point, HCR-73, Box 689, Alton Bay, NH 03810, 603 772-4725, 800 839-2008, WWW:, fax: 603 772-4644.

SmartSound for Multimedia

SmartSound for Multimedia is an extremely easy-to-use yet highly useful and versatile utility for creating multimedia soundtracks of any user-specified length, with accuracy to 1/10 of a second. The program uses patented technology to produce professional-quality music for multimedia, video, Internet, presentation, and other digital publishing applications. The software can be used with almost no training since the user is guided through the production process using the Maestro wizard. After a music clip is produced, it can be edited with the SmartSound editor, which incorporates drag and drop technology. The user has the option of importing and editing their own music or sound effects...even recording directly into the program from any sound source, including the desktop microphone. The program imports and exports in all industry-standard file formats. Additional, royalty-free SmartSound music libraries are available at extra cost. $259

Contact: Sonic Desktop Software, POB 3205, Chatsworth, CA 91313-3205, 800 454-1900, 818 718-9999,, fax: 818 718-9990.

Slides & Sound Plus 2.0

Slides & Sound Plus 2.0 is a flexible multimedia tool for creating slide shows composed of digital still images, sound FX, full-motion video, text, music, special effects and professional transitions. Users can broadcast their multimedia slide shows on the InMedia iMtv Web site at no cost for ten days. Users can also choose from Send to Windows, Send to Macintosh or Send to Web, making it possible to distribute their slide shows universally. A free 30 day trial version is available at $69.95

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

The Art of Electronic Lettering

The Art of Electronic Lettering is a collection of elegant script typefaces and a large library of calligraphic scrollwork in EPS file format. The accompanying book presents a short course in the creation of finely crafted lettering and ornamentation. The user creates the lettering work in any program that supports the placement of EPS graphics, such as Adobe Illustrator (a tryout version is provided). The user composes type and assembles script flourishes around it. Each of the EPS ornamental devices can be positioned, reoriented, resized, and otherwise modified to enhance the design. The user can also change the line weight and color. Some extraordinarily beautiful designs can be created in a very short time. It is surprising that no one has developed a library of calligraphic ornaments before. The package includes the Aristocrate, Bickley, Gravura, Rapier, Greyton, Young Baroque, Bamoral and Commercial script typefaces in TrueType format from Agfa. $29.95

Contact: Studio Advertising Art, POB 43912, Las Vegas, NV 89116, 702 641-7041.

Logo Design System

The Logo Design System is a CD-ROM/book combination that provides all of the information, instructions, and design elements necessary for creating original logos. The book explains the various components of a logo, and shows how to design a logo appropriate for a given purpose. The logo design system consists of over 5800 images, shapes and artistic elements that have been saved in EPS format. These elements can be edited and combined to form an unlimited number of innovative logo designs using any program that can manipulate EPS files. The CD includes a trial version of Adobe Illustrator, which is perfect for this purpose.

The book provides instructions for building professsional logo design projects and corporate identification programs and manuals. More than half of the book is devoted to a display of each of the EPS design images. Most images are provided in both positive and negative versions. The cost of the system can easily be recovered with the sale of the first logo design. $49.95

Contact: Studio Advertising Art, POB 43912, Las Vegas, NV 89116, 702 641-7041.

Miscellaneous News and Reviews

Panorama 3

Panorama 3 is a fast and nimble relational database program that performs all data operations in RAM. It incorporates several unique features that ensure both fast and reliable operation, and easy, yet sophisticated, form creation and deployment. Form input is assisted with several features such as Clairvoyance, Smart Dates, AutoCapitalization, duplicate data elimination, and more. Data can be shared using a standard SQL server for flexible client/server database management.

User interface design is an important part of database construction, and Panorama utilizes SuperObject technology for rapid form design. SuperObjects provide pre-built elements, such as 3D buttons, pop-up menus, etc. so that virtually any interface can be created.

After data has been entered, the built-in data analysis tools can be used to summarize large amounts of data, or to identify situations which require some action on the part of the user. The data remains flexible because Panorama has significant data morphing features for sorting, making global substitutions, correcting large amounts of incorrectly entered data, combining multiple fields, splitting fields, combining multiple databases with different field layouts, and restructuring databases.

Any Panorama database form can accept a drop-in word processor which has all of the standard features, as well as mail merge. In addition to full support for text, the program supports pictures, sounds, movies, and exporting in HTML format for Web publishing.

Among its many other features are a fast (1000 to 5000 records per second) import and export capability; a form/report editor with graphic tools; a programming language consisting of over 300 statements and 200 functions; the availability of a run-time version so that any Panorama database can run without the full application; and much more. A MegaDemo is available on-line. $395

Contact: Provue Development, 18411 Gothard, Unit A, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714 841-7779, 800 966-7878,, e-mail:, fax: 714 841-1479.

Canvas 5 Training Videos

Canvas 5 Training Videos are a series of instructional videotapes available in three volumes. The tapes cover Drawing and Vector Effects, Image Editing and Painting, and Document Design and Output. Each tape is $59.95, or all three for $159.95.

Contact: Deneba Software, 7400 SW 87th Ave., Miami, FL 33173, 305 596-5644, 800-6-CANVAS,, e-mail:, fax: 305 273-9069.

Book Reviews

Java Master Reference

Griffith, Arthur

An enormous volume detailing virtually every aspect of the Java language. Topics can be accessed easily by keyword, function, concept, structure, or capability. Over 200 stand-alone programs are provided as examples, with complete annotation. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains Sun's Java Development Kit 1.1, plus the source code and compiled versions of examples in the book.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-3084-4 1615 pp. $69.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610 San Mateo, CA 94402

Macworld Mac OS 8 Bible

Poole, Lon

A complete guide to the function and application of Macintosh Operating System 8. The author provides instructions for installing, upgrading and optimizing the system for maximum performance and efficiency. He describes all of the elements that comprise the OS, with many tips for getting the most out of this powerful operating system.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-4036-X 870 pp. $34.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610 San Mateo, CA 94402

Macworld QuarkXPress 4 Bible

Gruman, Galen; Barbara Assadi, with John Cruise

A guide to the features of QuarkXPress 4.0, with specific in-depth examples of the program's capabilities for producing print and Web publications. The book covers the operation of the program from basic layout through professional, high-end publishing. A 16-page color insert shows how QXP handles color. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes a variety of freeware as well as 49 Quark XTensions.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-4029-7 889 pp. $39.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610 San Mateo, CA 94402

Dynamic HTML

Powers, Shelley

This book addresses the need for producing browser compatible dynamic HTML code to support Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. The author covers both Microsoft and Netscape dyanmic HTML extensions. Other topics include Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, and VBScript. The accompanying CD-ROM contains copies of both browsers as well as files supporting each chapter in the book.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-8053-1 571 pp. $39.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610 San Mateo, CA 94402

MCSE TestPrep Core Exams

Adamson, Jay; et. al.

This book is a study aid for individuals preparing to take the Microsoft Certification exams. This includes the Windows NT Server 4.0 Exam, the Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Exam, the Windows NT Workstation 4.0 exam, and the Networking Essentials Exam. It provides information in support of each exam's objectives as well as over 2000 review questions which are similar to those on the actual tests.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-56205-831-2 1513 pp. $69.99

Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

<creative html design>

Weinman, Lynda; William Weinman

A hands-on, step-by-step guide to building a creative and well-designed Web site. The authors believe that Web publishers should write their own HTML, rather than depend on WYSIWYG editors, so that they can ensure compatibility with changing browser requirements. They provide tips and tricks for building an efficient Web site which is viewer-friendly. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes all of the files in the tutorials as well as JavaScript code.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-56205-704-9 434 pp. $39.99

Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

HTML 4 Interactive Course

Cearley, Kent

A complete course for learning HTML 4 supported by on-line experts who will respond to questions, a course newsletter, an on-line reference center, an updated FAQ, a virtual community composed of other students, and an on-line testing center. The text is also available on-line for those who either prefer to read it that way, or who do not have their book within arm's length. Certification and Continuing Education Units are available from Marquette University and other accredited educational institutions.

The accompanying Windows CD-ROM contains all of the source code from the book as well as several third-party utilities.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-57169-130-8 606 pp. $49.99

Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Dynamic Web Publishing Unleased, Second Edition

Powers, Shelley, et. al.

An in-depth treatment of the technologies which bring dynamic effects to Web sites. Emphasis is placed on the extensible nature of HTML 4, the interactive capabilities of JavaScript, the programming flexibility of Java, the client/server power of CGI, and the layout control inherent in Style Sheets. The text is supported by a companion Web site at The site has links to Web publishing resources, freeware and shareware, and source code and examples from the book.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-57521-363-X 844 pp. $39.99

Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Using the Internet, Fourth Edition

Honeycutt, Jerry

An overview of the Internet covering the use of Macintosh, Windows and Unix computers. The book provides in-depth information about how the Internet works, how to connect to it, and how to mine its valuable resources. The reader is shown how to install and use e-mail, how to install and use a browser, and how to access multimedia elements. The accompanying CD-ROM contains software for connecting to the Internet and performing network functions such as e-mail, newsreaders, ftp, and more. The user is shown how to create Web pages, and the CD contains over 500 commercial quality graphics for that purpose.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7897-1403-5 726 pp. $39.99

Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Novell's Dictionary of Networking

Shafer, Kevin

A hand-sized dictionary of over 2500 terms related to computer networking, and including entries covering connectivity tools, networking equipment, e-mail, cabling and connectors, operating systems, communications interfaces and protocols, security, and more.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-4528-0 640 pp. $24.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610 San Mateo, CA 94402

Presenting Windows 98 One Step at a Time

Underdahl, Brian

A book and CD-ROM combination that presents a simulated version of Windows 98. The book presents guided procedures for accomplishing major operating system tasks and introduces the Active Desktop, Outlook Express, FrontPage Express, NetMeeting, Tune Up Wizard, Schedule Agent, and more. An electronic version of the book is provided on the CD.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-3191-3 286 pp. $19.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610 San Mateo, CA 94402

Photoshop in a Nutshell

O'Quinn, Donnie; Matt LeClair

A highly useful guide to Adobe Photoshop 4 which is organized for finding specific task-related information quickly. The book is divided into four sections: the toolbox; menu commands; floating palettes; and techniques. Among the most useful parts of the book is the extensive section dealing with step-by-step procedures to accomplish common tasks, such as creating semi-transparent type, or pasting in an Adobe Illustrator file as pixels or paths.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-56592-313-8 616 pp. $19.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

Introducing Microsoft Windows 98

Borland, Russell

The official preview of the successor to Microsoft Windows 95. The book shows how the new operating system will look, work, and act.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-57231-630-6 462 pp. $19.99

Contact: Microsoft Press POB 3019 Bothell, WA 98041-9910

Illustrator 7 Wow! Book, The

Steuer, Sharon

A beautifully-produced step-by-step guide to Adobe Illustrator. The clear and colorful graphics are highly useful, and the text is lucid and concise. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains free clip art and fonts; demo software from leading publishers; book-related outlines, tutorials, charts, and step-by-step guides; and more. The book was the 1997 Benjamin Franklin Award winner as "the outstanding computer-related book."

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-68897-2 240 pp. $39.95

Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Fundamental Illustrator 7

Bain, Steve

This book addresses the needs of a complete range of Adobe Illustrator 7 users on Macintosh, Windows 95, and Windows NT platforms. The author, a technical illustrator, has produced an impressive collection of exercises, interactive tutorials, and real-world case studies to present production concepts and professional techniques.

The lessons are progressive, beginning with basic skills in drawing, editing shapes, and using type, colors, and layers. It continues to include the procedures for outputting to a variety of devices for various purposes, producing art for the Web, filters, interfacing Illustrator with Photoshop, and issues related cross-platform production.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-07-882415-X 800 pp. $34.99

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill 2600 Tenth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

XML: Principles, Tools, and Techniques (World Wide Web Journal: Volume 2, Issue 4)

Connolly, Dan

This book provides a first look at the technical specifications and early applications of XML, a new data format that is a simple, powerful subset of SGML (Standard General Markup Language). XML is expected to radically affect every aspect of the Web: markup, linking, and exchange.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-56592-349-9 266 pp. $29.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

BMUG Newsletter, Fall 1997, The; Volume XIII, No. 2


The semi-annual newsletter, in the form of a book and CD-ROM set, of the largest Macintosh Users Group in the world. This issue covers MacOS 8, AppleScript Wizardry, Photoshop 4, Prevention of Repetitive Stress, Nisus Writer 5, Eye Candy, and much more.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-69653-3 304 pp. $29.95

Contact: BMUG, Inc., 1442A Walnut St., No. 62, Berkeley, CA 94709-1496, 510 549-2684, 800 776-2684,, fax: 510 849-9026.

Real World FreeHand 7

Kvern, Olav Martin

The definitive guide to Macromedia FreeHand 7, including all basic operations and functions; the creation of shapes, both simple and complex; the production of type; how to get files in and out of the environment; transformation techniques; the use of color; the use of PostScript; printing procedures; and the use of FreeHand on the Web.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-68887-5 748 pp. $34.95

Contact: Macmillan Computer Publishing 201 West 103rd Street Indianapolis, IN 46290

Macromedia Director 6 and Lingo Authorized


The complete Director 6 and Lingo curriculum as taught at authorized Macromedia training centers. These two courses represent over 50 hours of valuable hands-on training. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes full-featured, save-disabled versions of Director 6, xRes, SoundEdit 16, and Extreme 3D.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-69629-0 369 pp. $44.95

Contact: Macromedia Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

PageMaker for Macintosh 6.5 Visual Quick Start Guide

Alspach, Ted

A concise, visual, step-by-step guide to using Adobe PageMaker 6.5. It contains only the most important information, arranged in an easy-to-find way, so that the book serves both as a concentrated training course and as a reference work.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-69649-5 288 pp. $18.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Eudora for Windows & Macintosh Visual QuickStart Guide

Engst, Adam

A highly visual guide to learning the features and capabilities of Eudora Light and Eudora Pro, two versions of one of the most popular e-mail clients available. The concise information is arranged for ease of learning and later reference. The author is a recognized expert in the area of Internet communication and Web technology.

0-201-69663-0 195 pp. $16.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide

Gesing, Ted; Jeremy Schneider

A straightforward guide to using JavaScript for enhancing Web pages. Chapters include JavaScript basics, Objects and Events, Functions, Working with Forms, Loops and Conditionals, Strings and Numbers, Within the Window, Images and Image Maps, Dates and Arrays, Frames and Windows, User Information, and Java and JavaScript.

0-201-68814-X 182 $17.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

MacOS 8 Visual QuickStart Guide

Langer, Maria

Perhaps the single-most concentrated, easy-to-follow book available for learning the Macintosh 8 operating system. The book combines concise, simple text with numerous, clear illustrations, to show how to accomplish each system-based task or operation step-by-step.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-69645-2 281 pp. $17.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Real World Illustrator 7

McClelland, Deke

This is the guide that advanced Adobe Illustrator 7 users will want to read. It contains a wealth of professional tips and techniques that help to extend the capabilities of the user, amplify their productivity and raise their level of expertise. Step-by-step directions are provided for accomplishing many complex illustration effects.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-69612-6 788 pp. $29.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Real World Photoshop 4

Blatner, David; Bruce Fraser

Perhaps the only book to recognize that in-depth technical support for using Photoshop will most likely reside with the user rather than with the printer. Despite the fact that other books suggest that technical details be obtained from "your printer," this one offers essential production techniques that deal with the nitty gritty of using Photoshop for real world work.

0-201-68888-3 642 $44.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Real World After Effects

London, Sherry; Eric Reinfeld

A complete guide to Adobe After Effects, the video compositing program that adds movement to still images; provides for adding video over video; supports the creation of special effects, such as rain and snow; and much more. The book provides step-by-step exercises for learning the capabilities of After Effects, applying its features, and extending its productivity through filters and other programs from third parties.

The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM includes clip art, demo programs, and the projects from the book.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-68839-5 458 pp. $44.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Netscape Communicator 4 for Macintosh Visual QuickStart Guide

Castro, Elizabeth

A visual guide for Netscape Communicator, a suite of programs that supports Web browsing, e-mail, on-line collaboration, telephony and Web page creation. The book provides complete, easy-to-follow instructions for using all aspects of the software. After learning the information, the book serves as a handy reference book.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-68886-7 360 pp. $17.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Director 6 Demystified

Roberts, Jason

An in-depth guide to the use of Director 6 along with its scripting language, Lingo. The author, a multimedia professional provides all of the necessary information and hands-on exercises necessary to produce useful media for Web applications, CD-ROM, and other types of applications. The accompanying, cross-platform CD-ROM contains royalty-free clip art, Director movies, Director tools, demo programs, a type collection, and related shareware.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-68884-0 1074 pp. $49.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Non-Designer's Web Book, The

Williams Robin; John Tollett

A basic guide to the World Wide Web and its design requirements. The authors provide information about the fundamentals and technical aspects of Web design, and how to apply them, test them, and deploy them on an actual Web site.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-68859-X 287 pp. $29.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Search Engines for the World Wide Web Visual QuickStart Guide

Grossbrenner, Alfred and Emily

A valuable guide to making the most of Web searches. The book covers all of the general, and some of the specialized search engines, providing an insider's look at how to compose search terms in the most effective manner, for the most productive and useful results. This is a book to keep close to the computer.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-69642-8 228 pp. $16.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Photoshop for Windows 4 Visual QuickStart Guide

Weinmann Elaine; Peter Lourekas

A visual self-guide to learning the essential functions of Photoshop 4 for Windows. The book is chock full of illustrations which clearly depict the instructions which are concise.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-68842-5 318 pp. $19.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

Illustrator 7 for Macintosh & Windows Visual QuickStart Guide

Weinmann, Elaine; Peter Lourekas

A concentrated, visual, step-by-step course contained in a book, for learning the essential elements of Adobe Illustrator 7. The chapters progress, from basic drawing skills to advanced subjects, such as color separation and trapping.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-69624-X 317 pp. $19.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

KPT 3 for Windows

Cohen, Sandee

A tutorial for learning Kai's Power Tools primarily though pictures. The book uses profuse illustrations to show how KPT works, and what it can produce. The text is short and clear.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-201-69668-1 182 pp. $17.95

Contact: Peachpit Press 2414 Sixth St. Berkeley, CA 94710

A Word From Our Sponsors

********** If you use a Mac and you're on the Internet, give NetBots a try: **********

Copyright and Distribution Information

Copyright and Distribution Information

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing is (c)opyright 1998, Graphic Dimensions, Pittsford, NY, all rights reserved. You may distribute the SoftLocked version of this document, unmodified and in its entirety. You may distribute portions of this document, up to 200 words in length, unmodified, provided that you also include this copyright notice and subscription information.

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing is published in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, using SoftLock technology. Each issue costs .95, with a 6 issue subscription costing .95. The free Acrobat reader and the free SoftLock plug-in and registration program are required for viewing.

Past issues (more than 60 days old) of The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing are available on the Web at: Comments and inquiries should be directed to: The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing, 134 Caversham Woods, Pittsford, NY 14534 USA. E-mail: