The Kleper Report on Digital
Issue 4.3 May / June 1999

This issue of KDP is sponsored by:


Feature Review: Adobe Acrobat 4.0 (MAC/WIN)

Adobe Acrobat 4.0 introduces several new, and many enhanced features for producing and using PDF (Portable Document Format) files. It is an essential, core tool for any digital publisher since it serves the publishing needs of producing output for print, screen, on-line and electronic document production.

The Acrobat package consists mainly of the Acrobat application, for editing and annotating PDFs, and the Distiller, for creating them. Although there is an initial disparity in the feature set between the Macintosh and Windows versions, Adobe has committed to rectifying that inequity soon.

Adobe introduced the Portable Document Format version 1.0 in June, 1993. It was released as a public standard, in the form of The Portable Document Format Language Reference Manual (Addison Wesley Publishing Company), and a Web resource:

The format's most compelling feature is its portability. Any PDF file can be viewed, navigated and printed by using a free PDF reader ( Readers are available for Macintosh, Windows and Unix computers. The PDF physical file structure was originally composed primarily of 7-bit ASCII code, comprised of the printable subset of the ASCII character set. It has been extended to include generation in the binary data format as well, which produces a smaller file. Despite the limited range of ASCII characters, a PDF can represent all necessary file content, including images.

Today, PDF files are usually saved in binary format, since it is smaller. PDF files are produced in ASCII if there is a need to open them in a text editor for editing or examination, or if binary files can not be used on given networks or e-mail gateways.

PDF also incorporates compression schemes to produce lean, if not small, file sizes. This is an impressive feat, since PDF files are produced, or distilled, from PostScript files. PostScript files are notoriously large...sometimes two to three times larger than the application file that they represent. All PDF files are derived from PostScript input. The generation of a PDF produces a database of the imaging objects of which it is composed. This object database is analogous to the PostScript display list, and ensures, with high probability, that a successfully generated PDF filewill print, since the most difficult part of the interpretation process is already completed. In addition, since the generation of the PDF file required the specification of all objects and resources, those declarations can be used, through a programming interface, for file-checking, preflighting, or other purposes.

A PDF file has two major advantages over a PostScript file. First, the file is viewable, and has all of the attendant advantages of Acrobat. A PostScript file, on the other hand, is composed of the PostScript language, and is virtually impossible to decipher in its native form. Second, the PDF version of a formatted page is significantly smaller in size than the PostScript version of the same page. This more compact file size makes PDF files more appropriate for electronic transmission. Although PostScript is the standard page description language for output devices, it is reasonable to expect that PDF files will eventually provide the same set of output functions.

The key feature of PDF is its intrinsic capability to represent the appearance of the document from which it is derived, and in particular, to faithfully represent the fonts, both in their design and character widths. It does this by using a font descriptor for each of the fonts that are contained in the document. This data, requiring only 1-2K, includes the font name, character metrics, and style information. When the PDF is opened, the host computer is polled to determine if the actual font is available. If it is, it is used. If it is not, then an Adobe Multiple Master font is generated to simulate the font. If exact font representation is necessary, then the original fonts may be embedded in the PDF, provided that the user has the necessary copyright permissions to do so. This would be the case for special pictographic, symbolic, dingbat, and other non-alphabetic fonts. This is not necessary for the Base 14 fonts which are bundled with Acrobat and the free reader.

The PDF file format was developed to represent the contents of a document as an entity, independent of platform, application software, or fonts. A PDF file contains a PDF document and any additional data which supports it. The PDF document may contain virtually any element that can be composed on a page, as well as interactive and multimedia components that can not be expressed in paper form.

The widespread use of personal computers, and the fast-pace of electronic communication have necessitated a way of sharing electronic documents on a variety of computer platforms, despite the prevalence of incompatible CPUs, software applications, computer displays, and fonts. This seemingly impossible task has been met in a number of creative ways, the most popular of which is Adobe Acrobat.

Acrobat, like its competing products, provides several advantages over traditional electronic document delivery systems, which have been primarily text-based, and also over paper-based information delivery systems. Acrobat preserves the look of any document, regardless of whether it was produced using a word processor, a database, or a desktop publishing application. A document saved as an Acrobat PDF (portable document format) file can not only be viewed and read on any Macintosh, DOS, Windows, or Unix computer using a free Acrobat reader, but can be output on any printer connected to that computer, with the full fidelity of the original. This capability is significant, since it changes the publishing paradigm from print-and-distribute, to distribute-and-print. The Acrobat package provides a PDF Writer that can be used to "print" a non-complex file in electronic form, rather than print it to paper. The PDF writer converts "QuickDraw" graphics and text on a Macintosh, and GDI graphics and text on a Windows computer into PDF format. The resultant file can be shared electronically, through e-mail or Web publishing, or can be distributed on disk or CD-ROM. A PDF file has several important advantages over alternative forms of publishing, particularly paper. Among them are:

o A PDF file can be published or shared immediately after a publication or document is completed.

o Every copy of a given PDF file is identical, and can be replicated as an exact digital duplicate. The image quality of a paper copy not only degrades from one generation to another, but can vary, to some degree, when it is produced during a long press, duplicator, copier, or printer run.

o A PDF file can be split into smaller parts, or a part or the whole of another PDF file can be combined with one or more PDF files.

o A PDF file is more compact than a paper-based version of the same information. The continued reduction in cost of digital media and storage devices, and the continued increase in cost of paper will only serve to make this difference more dramatic.

o A PDF file can be organized by its originator. The publisher can add hypertext links, bookmarks, WWW links, and electronic annotations. The use of these capabilities makes it easier to find information, and is superior to any indexing system in a printed book.

o A PDF file can be displayed as a slide show with page changes occurring at preset intervals, or activated by keyboard control. The user can also set a background color and elect to loop the presentation for continuous display. The slide show function is useful for lecture presentations or kiosk displays.

o A recipient of a PDF file can, given the proper file permission, use the optional Acrobat program to add electronic sticky notes and editorial mark-up. This makes it possible for publishers to get online feedback from readers, or for multiple team members to collaborate on a project. Note files can be exported independent of the PDF file, and they can be imported to combine the input from several reviewers into one file.

o A recipient of a PDF file can copy and paste parts of the text for use in other applications.

o A PDF can be secured using password protection, and access to certain features can be denied at the discretion of the author. In addition, third party technologies, such as SoftLock, can be used to prevent the unauthorized duplication of PDF files. (SoftLock Services, Inc., 399 Alexander St., Rochester, NY 14607, 716 546-1970,, e-mail:, fax: 716 546-2049., Inc., Five Clock Tower Place, Suite #440, Maynard, MA 01754, 978 461-5944, fax: 978 461-5945.)

PDF Generation. The PDFWriter, which is a printer driver, is one of several ways to produce a PDF file. It is used primarily for converting simple, text-based documents into PDF file format. There are several other ways of producing a PDF file, some of which were introduced with the release of Acrobat 4.0. Version 4.0 was released in the spring of 1999, with several functional differences between the Macintosh and Windows versions. At the time of release Adobe promised platform parity so that there would be no significant differences in the feature sets. Among the ways in which a PDF file can be generated are:

o "Printing" to a PDF file from within a software application. The user is presented with the option to save the file as PDF rather than send it to a printer.

o Opening the application file directly from the Acrobat application.

o Dragging-and-dropping the document file directly onto the Acrobat icon (Windows) or the PDFWriter icon (Macintosh).

o Using the "Create Adobe PDF" or "Save As PDF" option from within those applications which incorporate the option.

o Creating a PostScript file from the document and then use the Acrobat Distiller to convert it into PDF file format. The generation of a PDF file, by whatever means, leaves the original file intact, and unchanged.

Acrobat Distiller. Acrobat Distiller is used to convert any PostScript language file into a PDF form, especially those that are used within a graphic arts environment. It is recommended for use with drawing, page layout, or image editing programs or documents that contain high-resolution or EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) language artwork or images. It is also recommended for documents that contain complex blends or gradient fills.

There are several ways in which to use Distiller:

o From within the Acrobat application the user can select File>Open, and access a target document. The Distiller uses the application and the PostScript driver to generate a PostScript file which it then distills into a PDF.

o The Acrobat Distiller can be selected as the print device, and the user can use the application's File>Print command to produce the PostScript file which the Distiller will then process.

o Save the document file in PostScript form and then manually process it with the Distiller. Although this process is more time consuming, it does give the user more control over the Distiller settings.

o Specify a Watched Folder, the contents of which will be processed by the Distiller. PostScript files are dropped or copied into the folder, which Distiller polls on a regular basis. The PostScript files are processed automatically using whatever settings have been applied to the particular watched folder. The processed PDF files are then placed in a designated Out folder. Distiller supports up to 100 watched folders.

One of the criticisms of the Distiller program, prior to version 4.0, was that there were too many options, which would, inevitably lead to errors. Version 4.0 introduced three preconfigured sets of job options, one for PDFs for the screen (WWW, e-mail, etc.), one for print (printers, digital copiers, CD-ROM publishing, digital proofing, etc.), and one for high-quality output on press. Despite the fact that the preconfigured sets are defined by Adobe, individual settings may not be appropriate for particular job requirements.

The Screen Optimized job options assume that the PDF will be viewed on the Web, on an intranet, or exist as a standalone file, perhaps delivered as an e-mail attachment. In all cases the file is generated for on-screen viewing. The settings utilize compression, downsampling, relatively low resolution, compatibility with Acrobat 3.0, color conversion to CalRGB, and embedding of a subset of the Base 14 fonts used in the file. This option produces the smallest file.

The Print Optimized job options also uses compression and downsampling, leaves colors unchanged, prints to medium resolution (images are saved at 150 dpi), and embeds subsets of all fonts used in the file.

The Press Optimized job options produce the highest fidelity PDFs. Images are saved at 300 dpi, all fonts are embedded, all halftone information is preserved, it prints to a higher resolution, all other settings are adjusted to preserve as much information about the original document as possible.

PDF Source Files. A PDF may be derived from virtually any kind of document file, from a spreadsheet to a full-color catalog. The required form and content of the native application file is generally of little concern, except when the PDF will be used in a graphic arts workflow, with its high-quality image demands and peculiar production requirements. In such an instance, the native application file should conform to these parameters:

o There should be no RGB images in the job.

o There should be no RGB colors in a four-color process job.

o The external links to all placed graphics and images must be maintained.

o All document fonts must be included. o Images must be in high-resolution format (other than OPI proxies).

o The paper size must accommodate bleeds and room for all workmarks.

The PostScript file that is derived from the native application file should be produced using the Adobe PostScript printer driver (AdobePS), and the Acrobat Distiller PostScript Printer Description (PPD) file. This will ensure the creation of device-independent PDF files that will print reliably on any device.

Image Files. PDF files may be generated from almost any kind of digital file, including images. Image files as large as 45" x 45" may be created from BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, PICT (Macintosh only), PNG, or TIFF file formats. The maximum page size of a PDF file is 200" x 200". The resultant PDF file, referred to a PDF Image Only format, is a bitmap, with no editable (live) text. Image Only files may be generated as standalone files, or be appended to existing PDFs. Image files may be imported into the Acrobat environment directly from a scanner (File>Import>Scan...), or from an existing image file (File>Import>Image...).

Acrobat has the native capability to optically recognize character shapes have been captured as a bitmap using the Tools>Paper Capture>Capture Pages option. It can either render those characters into editable text, or maintain the bitmap image, if needed, and create a new (hidden) background layer for the OCR'ed text. No OCR process is 100% accurate, since there will be words and characters which are unknown to the recognition engine, and there will be misformed and degraded images which are difficult to interpret, even for a human reader. After the page or pages have been processed, Acrobat provides a mode for the user to review any of the characters which are considered "suspect."

Acrobat 4.0 (PDF version 1.3). As of Acrobat version 4.0, the Acrobat application incorporates functions that were previously part of the Exchange program. It is used to add various levels of security for viewing, editing, and printing the document, as well as perform other functions.

A PDF file may not be the final form required in a graphic arts workflow. This may be true for many reasons, but among the most likely is the fact that there are far more PostScript Level 2 RIPs in use, and those RIPs can not process a native PDF file. For this reason the PDF will need to be converted back into a PostScript file. It may also be necessary to output one or more pages from a PDF for placement in another application. Although some applications support the direct placement of PDF files, most do not. For this reason it may be necessary to output individual pages in EPS (Encapulated PostScript) file format.

Specialized Editorial Tools. A PDF file is a means of intellectual exchange, capturing the full integrity of a document's content and appearance. The receiver of a PDF can edit or make comments in several ways:

o Acrobat's mark-up tools can be used to highlight, underline, circle and strike-through text.

o Clip art stamps can be used to mark documents with "Confidential," "Approved," or other common rubber stamp labels.

o Electronic sticky notes can be attached. The notes, either from an individual or a group, can be summarized and exported to a separate PDF file.

o Two or more versions of a document can be opened side-by-side, and Acrobat can highlight the differences between them.

o An audio annotation (Audio Annotation Tool) can be included, recorded by the author or any reviewer. It appears on the page as a speaker icon.

o Reviewers can digitally sign PDF files using the Acrobat SelfSign, to ensure they have reviewed, and optionally approved, a file.

Navigation. Movement within a PDF document is supported through several built-in features which apply to all documents as a consequence of their conversion into the PDF format. These include:

o The use of the scroll bar to move from page-to-page, or quickly from beginning to end. The scroll indicator can be held and moved to display a target page number.

o The use of the Zoom-in tool to specify, by dragging a rectangle around an area of a page, a portion of the page for enlargement.

o The use of the Thumbnail view to locate specific page content.

o The use of Bookmarks to move to marked sections of the document.

Custom Navigation. Much of the power of Acrobat is in the customization of its navigation aids. Navigation is the critical factor that a publisher adds to a document to enhance its usefulness to the reader. This is accomplished in many powerful, yet easy-to-use ways, the result of which is that Acrobat tools can be considered sufficiently robust for authoring CD-ROMs and other digital publication forms. Among the Acrobat navigational aids are: Links. A link is a cross-reference...a hyperlink which connects an object, such as a word, graphic, or screen location, to another part of the d ocument. Links are the basis of the World Wide Web, wherein linked objects, usually pages, provide a matrix of intelligent associations and relationships. A PDF link can be established between any points in a document, from front-to-back, back-to-front, or in any direction. They are useful for transporting a reader to related information that is not in proximate order.

An established link can be identified by using the Hand tool and moving about the page. When the Hand is placed over a link (which may be visible or invisible), it changes to a Pointing Finger, indicating the presence of a link. Clicking on the link transports the user to the associated link, which may be another page, a movie, a sound, or some other destination. The user can be returned to the initial link location by clicking on the Go to Previous View button.

A link may also be created between any page component and a Web page. This capability is very powerful since it provides the means to issue a publication in PDF, a static format, and keep it up-to-date, on a Web site, a dynamic format. Of special interest to digital publishers is the capability to issue a document in printed format, provide a PDF version for searching and navigation, and an associated Web site for updated information, errata, and collecting feedback.

Bookmarks. A bookmark is a particular type of link that appears in a special listing in the Bookmarks palette, located to the left of the document pane. The palette shows links to those items that were a part of the table of contents of the original document, Web pages, or Microsoft Word document (converted using PDFMaker). In addition, the user can add an unlimited number of bookmarks as personal navigation aids, for the same purposes that physical bookmarks, dog ears, and other page markers fulfill.

Thumbnails. Thumbnails are miniature pictures of each page in the document, with their page numbers indicated directly beneath them. They are maintained in the Thumbnails palette, which is located to the left of the document pane. Initially Thumbnails appear as solid gray, since actual Thumbnails add approximately 3K each to the size of a file. They are created by selecting the Create All Thumbnails option from the Thumbnails palette menu.

Articles. A PDF file may be derived from any number of sources, among them print-bound publications which use multiple column layouts, and break stories into sections. Newspapers, magazines and newsletters use this type of layout routinely. It permits them to start several stories on the front page of a section, and then continue the stories on a space available basis, on one or more pages within the section. Stories that have been broken in this manner that appear within a PDF are often confusing to the reader, since page numbers that are referred to in the story may have changed. The solution is the use of PDF Articles, which link stories across nonconsecutive pages. Articles appear as a list in the Articles palette which floats on the desktop.

Destinations. A Destination is a link to another PDF document. Destinations are listed in the Destinations palette, which is the floating palette container that also contains the Articles palette. Destinations are typically established to other PDF documents, rather than to specific pages.

Buttons. Buttons are familiar to all computer users of graphic user interfaces (GUIs), HyperCard programs, and the Web. Buttons are small clickable graphics or icons that contain links to other pages, or instructions which execute an action, such as making a sound, playing a movie, or opening a file. Acrobat Buttons, unlike links or Bookmarks, can activate a series of actions, rather than a single action; can have alternate appearances based on the state of the mouse; and can be duplicated easily on several pages.

Page Manipulations. The specification of page navigation aids, while of great help to the reader, can be time-consuming. That effort might be lost on those pages that, for whatever reason, needed to be replaced. Fortunately, Acrobat maintains the interactive components, such as Bookmarks and links, on replaced pages.

Pages can be moved easily within a PDF file by using the Thumbnail palette. This task can be simplified by enlarging the palette window by grabbing and pulling the double-headed arrow in the bottom right corner of the navigation pane. Doing so changes the one column view of thumbnails to two or more, making the movement of pages easier. A page is moved by selecting it and dragging it to a new position in the order of Thumbnail images. When it is selected an insertion bar appears which is used to guide the page to its new location. Multiple pages can be moved by shift-clicking on them to select more than one.

The page numbering scheme can become confused in the transition of documents intended for print that are converted into PDF. This is due to the fact that Acrobat automatically assigns the number one to the first page in the PDF file. A print publication, however, is likely to have a cover, title page, and other preface materials which precede its first page, which is the first page of chapter one, or section one.

With the rich set of navigation tools at the disposal of the reader, the publisher of the PDF essentially gives up all hope of presenting information in any sort of controlled sequence. Acrobat does provide the control over the opening display, so that the publisher can be assured that the initial presentation of information is in the format that he or she wishes. This is accomplished by using the File>Document Info>Open option. This dialog box provides for the specification of the initial view, the opening page number, its magnification, the page layout, the display or suppression of the Menubar, Toolbar, and Window controls, and more.

Security. The ease by which PDF files can be distributed can be considered their greatest strength and greatest weakness. While the distribution of a 300 page paper-based report would present cost and logistical challenges, the distribution of a 300 page PDF is trivial. An original document, of any length, can represent the thoughts, ideas, numeric and graphic expressions, financial status, business forecasts, research findings, trend analysis, and other enterprise-critical information. The addition of a single word can totally change the meaning of a document, and the decision-making process that it may influence. For this reason, Acrobat incorporates several security measures that help to restrict access, and ensure that confidential and sensitive information is protected.

Digital Signatures. A digital signature, like its real-world counterpart, the handwritten signature, is applied to a PDF document to authenticate that the digital document has been read, reviewed, and possibly amended or changed, by a particular recipient. This need is obvious in high-security and information-sensitive applications in government, military, legal, financial, accounting, personnel, medicine, e-commerce, and other data-intensive functions; and in less security minded applications, where it is necessary for one or more individuals to give their approval ("sign-off") to a document before it can be acted on. After a digital signature has been applied there can be high degree of confidence that the PDF has not been changed since it was returned to the sender. The identity of the recipient is validated by a third-party, called the Certification Authority.

Password Protection. File security options are set when a PDF file is distilled or it is re-saved in the Acrobat application. In Distiller it is accessed by using the Settings>Security option. In Acrobat the security options are accessed by selecting the Standard choices from the security menu when using the File>Save As option. In either case, up to two case-sensitive passwords may be specified, one for opening the file, and one for changing the security options of the file. At this point the user can also restrict the PDF recipient from any or all of the following:

o Printing

o Changing the Document

o Selecting Text and Graphics

o Adding or Changing Annotations and Form Fields

Any of the items that are checked, will result in grayed out commands in the Edit and Document menus when viewed by the PDF recipient.

Forms. PDF files can be used to create electronic forms for gathering information, surveying opinions, and delivering timely content. The form design can be executed in any program, from MS Word to Adobe InDesign, or a specialized form design program, such as InFormed Designer, and endowed with interactive forms-related components within the Acrobat environment. JavaScript, a part of Acrobat, supports the use of calculated fields, data verification, and other forms-related functions.

PDF forms are normally published in electronic form: delivered via e-mail, the Web, on computer media, or downloaded from a server. Once in the hands of the recipient, the form can be completed on the computer and returned electronically, or printed out, and returned via snail mail. In addition, the blank form can be printed out, filled-in by hand, and returned via snail mail. The obvious benefits of maintaining the process electronically are that it is quicker, and requires no rekeyboarding of submitted data. Furthermore, the submitted information contained in PDF forms can be linked directly to a database, so that the information is captured, ready for processing, analysis, or some other form of action. PDF forms can also be displayed directly on the Web, and have the form input feed directly to an associated database. For this to occur there must be a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) application installed on the Web server, a task usually reserved for a programmer.

PDF forms have several advantages over HTML forms, which are a very common method of data capture. Among them are:

o A PDF form can be designed to resemble virtually any printed form, whereas an HTML form is limited in it typographic expression and layout design.

o A PDF form is not dependent upon the user's choice of browser. Browsers tend to be sensitive to the various versions of JavaScript in use, which can restrict the use of an HTML form to a particular browser technology.

o A PDF form running JavaScript is secure, whereas the JavaScript in an HTML form is dependent upon the JavaScript interpreter in the Web browser, which may not be secure. Security violations may provide access to the user's hard drive or "arbitrary Internet access."

o A PDF form will retain 100% correspondence between its on-screen and printed appearance. This means that a form need only be created once, regardless if it is intended for print or on-line uses. A printed copy of an HTML form is not only likely to vary from its on-screen appearance, but may vary depending upon the browser in use, and the configuration of the user's system.

o A PDF form is a self-contained package, which can be saved for off-line completion, or for personal record keeping. An HTML form must be completed while the user is connected to the Internet.

o A PDF form is easier to create, because the form engine tools are available in a point-and-click interface. An HTML form generally requires some knowledge of coding.

o A PDF form can be opened, filled-in, and printed by anyone with a free Acrobat reader. They need not be connected to the Internet, or to any network for that matter. The use of an HTML form requires that the user is connected to the Internet.

Acrobat Catalog. Acrobat Catalog is a component that builds full-text indexes of PDF files for searching using the Acrobat Search command. The indexes can span any number of PDF files, and the searching can take place locally or over a network. The Catalog function is very useful for CD-ROM publishing which typically includes a large amount of text, the rapid access to which is usually a necessity. The Acrobat Catalog utility has an interface that resembles the Distiller. It is used to process a number of related PDF files.

Adobe Capture. Adobe Capture is a powerful tool for converting existing paper documents into online and workstation-based assets that can be shared with an unlimited number of users. The Acrobat Capture option works with most popular scanners, reproducing the look and feel of the original printed documents, and maintaining the fonts, graphics, formatting, and black-and-white or grayscale images. The resultant PDF file is viewable, searchable, annotatable, cross-document linkable, navigatable, publishable on CD-ROM, postable on a network, and publishable on the World Wide Web. The process consists of two steps: scanning and converting.

Heavy duty scanning and converting is supported with an extra-cost product, an add-on to Acrobat developed and sold by Adobe. Basic capture functions are provided in the Acrobat product itself.

Scanned images, optimally in black-and-white (1-bit), in the range of 200 to 600 dpi can be opened by using the File>Import>Image option. The opened image is a bitmap and contains no editable characters. It is converted into an editable form by using the Tools>Paper Capture>Capture Pages option. This results in the display of the Acrobat Paper Capture Preferences, wherein the user specifies the OCR language (usually English), the type of PDF Output (usually Normal), and the location for temporary files. After the OCR process is complete, what were once images of text characters are now actual, editable text characters.

The success of the OCR process is dependent on several factors, from the quality of the OCR engine to the condition of the original image. As good as OCR has become it is still likely that there will be words that are misread. When Acrobat encounters words that it can not recognize, it makes its best guess, and then hides it behind a bitmap image of the word. These words are called "suspects," and they may be displayed by using the Tools>Paper Capture>Show Capture Suspects option. The correction process is initiated by using the Tools>Paper Capture>Find First Suspect option, which displays an enlarged view of the original bitmap image in the Capture Suspect window. The user can accept Acrobat's guess, if it is correct, or else type in the correct spelling. They can then move to the next suspect word by clicking on the Next button in the Capture Suspect window. When the process is completed, the file is saved.

Web Capture. Acrobat 4.0 introduced a feature that supports the capture of various levels of depth of a Web site, and the conversion of the HTML pages, with live links, into a PDF file. The links remain active within the file, but all or part of the Web site becomes a self-contained, off-line resource that is no longer dependent (necessarily) upon an Internet connection.

The conversion settings options ensure that the HTML pages will appear as reasonable facsimiles in the Acrobat document display pane. The pages will include all HTML content, JPEG and GIF images, text files, image maps, tables, links, most types of frames, background and text colors, and forms. The HTML links are converted into Weblinks, and HTML forms are converted into PDF forms. The process depends upon the presence of Microsoft Internet Explorer on the host system, although Netscape Navigator can be used to capture the Web pages.

The target URL is input in the File>Open Web Page dialog box, wherein the user also specifies the number of levels deep that the program is to dig, if the entire site is to be captured, and if the capture is to be restricted to the initial server. The process is started by clicking on the Download button. The resulting PDF file is a replicate of all or part of the target Web site.

Multimedia Components. Acrobat was originally conceived as a digital replacement for paper. It fulfills that role perfectly, serving either as a replacement, or an intermediary, from which a paper "copy" can be derived. But it has matured far beyond the paper replicate stage, becoming a fully digital media format. As a digital stage, Acrobat can support digital components that have no counterparts in the world of flat, lifeless paper.

Page Actions. A Page Action is an event, such as the playing of a sound or a movie, in response to opening or closing a page, or clicking on a link, button, or bookmark. It can be used for simple purposes, such as providing audio feedback, or for providing critical information, such as in the form of a movie, that the author wants to ensure that the viewer sees, without depending upon any conscious user decision to do so.

Movies. Movies are full-motion videos, with sound, which play in a movie frame at any designated position on a page. They are created in the same way as links, except that, due to their size, they are defined as a link to an external file. The movie file does not become an integrated part of the PDF, and therefore must accompany the PDF when it is published.

Sounds. Sounds are added in a manner similar to movies. Unlike movies, however, which are typically large files, sound files do become an actual part of the PDF file.

Embedded Fonts. It is the objective of an electronic document that it accurately represents the original document from which it was derived. The Acrobat Reader uses a lite version of the Adobe Type Manager (ATM LE), a font metrics library, and a small set of multiple master fonts. This font engine can produce documents with accurate line-endings and an overall visual feel. A key to the accurate depiction of the original is the accurate display of all of the fonts that are used in the document. Acrobat handles the reproduction of each font in one of four ways: 1. It uses the same font which is installed on the computer used to view the PDF. 2. It creates a substitute font using the information that is in the PDF file. 3. It embeds the font in the PDF file. 4. It embeds a subset of a font, including only the characters (glyphs) contained in the file.

While embedded fonts produce the most accurate reproduction, they also add between 25K to 40K per font to the size of the PDF file. For that reason, the Acrobat PDF Writer automatically embeds only nonstandard character sets (non-ISO Type 1 fonts), to ensure that they will display properly even though they may be available on the viewing computer. The user must consider manually embedding Type 1 or TrueType decorative or script fonts, and may elect to embed all fonts or only specific fonts. Distiller 4.0 can embed ITC Zapf Dingbats and the Base 14 PostScript fonts, whereas previous versions of Distiller did not support this option. Any fonts from the Adobe Type Library can be embedded without permission. The user may need permission to distribute PDF files that contain fonts from other font suppliers. Acrobat and the Web. As a digital format, PDF is very much at home on the World Wide Web. Acrobat provides integrated PDF file viewing directly within Web browsers that support the full Netscape Navigator Plug-in API or Microsoft ActiveX controls. Viewing on the Web provides for the page-on-demand serving and rendering of only the page or pages that the user chooses to see. The rendering of pages is done progressively, with text rendered first, using a substitute font if necessary, followed by hypertext links and images. Any embedded fonts are downloaded and drawn on screen last. Acrobat 3.0 introduced interactive forms that users can create and fill-in. Forms support text fields, multi-line text fields, combo boxes, list boxes, radio buttons, and checkboxes, with extensive control over appearance, tab order and behavior. Forms can be posted in HTML to the Internet, and forms data can be received from a host server to update a form and its appearance dynamically. Acrobat files, destined for the Web, or not, also support multimedia features, such as movies, sounds, and navigational controls. Dynamic elements, such as buttons or live areas can be added to a page to perform a variety of actions. Acrobat and E-mail. Both Acrobat and e-mail are the digital manifestations of real-world paper-based products: documents and correspondence. It is only natural that e-mail should be one method by which PDF files are routinely distributed. This is accomplished by sending a PDF as an attachment to an e-mail message. When received, the recipient double-clicks on the attachment, which opens the PDF in either the Acrobat Reader or Acrobat program.

The Acrobat program provides a full set of tools for mark-up, comment, correction, and collaboration. A marked-up PDF can be returned to the sender for revision; and several copies of the PDF, sent to several recipients, and returned to the sender, can be summarized, so that all input is contained in a single PDF file.

PDF e-mail attachments are routinely used for the distribution of all manner of printed materials that were previously sent via overnight courier and conventional postal services. The PDF distribution method is advantageous since it costs considerably less (subject to the cost of the e-mail account and associated expenses), is virtually immediate, eliminates physical media and handling, and can provide immediate delivery confirmation and feedback.

Acrobat and On-line Services. As digital masters, PDF files are power-packed units of information content. Virtually anything that can be printed through conventional means can be contained in a PDF file. This means that a digital repository, rather than a warehouse of printed volumes, is likely to become the model for modern publishing. More and more printed information will be printed on-demand, to meet the immediate needs of an information customer, rather than the predicted needs of an information market.

In addition, PDF files are object-based, so that individual pages can be accessed, moved and combined, to form new, targeted publications composed of reader-selected content. This type of publishing is being done in support of college courses wherein a professor specifies chapters from selected texts that are combined in a single course text. Corporations also maintain servers which will generate and deliver, on-line, new PDFs formed from any number of pages from a library of PDF resources. The new PDFs contain newly numbered pages, a new table of contents, an index, and a customized cover.

There are thousands upon thousands of PDF files that are readily accessible through both the Web and FTP sites, both for public and private use. These sites provide the authorized user with the capability to gain access to a copy of given PDF files, which they may then use as they see fit. The "net" result is that the PDF recipient can then become the publisher (distribute and print, rather than print and distribute).

Acrobat and Graphic Arts Applications. Acrobat has been applied to many purposes in electronic prepress environments. The Committee for Graphic Arts Technologies Standards (CGATS) Subcommittee 6 (SC6) has selected PDF as "a basis for a standard to address industry requirements for the digital distribution of printing data. CGATS formed SC6 in response to a need to develop standards to permit transmission of digital ad data electronically." ("PDF for Production Printing, The Benefits of the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) for Production Printing Systems and Applications," White Paper, April, 1996. CGATS has also developed the PDF/X-1 format which addresses high-end publishing issues such as color space, trapping and referenced resources.)

The graphic arts community holds the PDF file format in high regard. In June, 1997, Scitex issued a report on the use of PDF in prepress workflows, and stated: "Scitex believes that ten or 15 years on from today, 1997 will be seen as the year of the file format revolution. In hindsight, we will see this year as the year that PDF (portable file format) stopped being just another promising term in the industry lexicon, and began to deliver the kind of consistent, predictable results that had never before been achievable." ("PDF for Prepress Workflows," Output Imaging Systems Division, Scitex Corporation Ltd., June, 1997.)

Acrobat has an expected street price of $49. Registered users of Adobe Acrobat 2.x and above can upgrade to version 4.0 for $99. Customers who purchased Adobe Acrobat 3.0 after February 16, 1999 may upgrade for free.

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

Productivity Reviews

InScribe (WIN CE)

InScribe is a small (60KB) program that provides an alternative text entry method for handheld PCs running Windows CE 1.0 or 2.0. It provides a configurable matrix displaying a character set that is accessed by dragging the stylus from character to character. The program can sense when the target character has been reached. The input rate is comparable to normal writing speed. Support is provided for special characters and symbols. A free 30-day trail version is available. $39

Contact: Ilium Software, 3759 Prospect, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, 888 632-5388, 734 973 973-9388,, e-mail:, fax: 734 973-2640

Pagis Pro 2.0 (WIN )

Pagis Pro 2.0 is a full-featured document and photo scanning application incorporating OCR, document imaging, one-button color copying, and photo editing. It incorporates TextBridge Pro 98, and the full version of PhotoSuite, an image editing program licensed from MGI Corp.

The copier function makes one-button copies, directly from the scanner to the color printer.

The program incorporates SmartCompression, a technology developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. The technology allows the user to capture documents and images and compress them into very small, high quality color files for easy sharing via fax, e-mail and the Web.

Other key features are: Forms fill-in capability; color picture retention during OCR; an enhanced search tool that finds documents and pictures quickly and rank orders them in terms of relevance; searches can be conducted using Boolean operators and Natural Language processing; support for over 40 image file formats; and more. $99

Contact: Xerox ScanSoft, Inc., 9 Centennial Dr., Peabody, MA 01960, 978 977-2000,

PhotoDraw 2000 (WIN )

PhotoDraw 2000 business graphics software supports both photo-editing and drawing, that is, raster and vector formats, in a single package. It is aimed at the business user who does not necessarily have innate drawing ability. It includes more than 20,000 graphics and 300 professionally-designed templates.

The program crosses the divide between the bitmap and object-oriented worlds, a distinction that might be both confusing and intimidating to business users. The wide range of capabilities provides the user with many powerful features including: a full suite of image editing tools; a full set of illustration tools; over 350 point-and-click special effects that can be applied instantly to photos, clip art, shapes and text; instant application of 3-D to clip art, shapes and text; the Save for Use In Wizard to automatically save any graphic in the correct format for which it will be used; a visual menu interface, which is unintimidating and easy to use; automated image correction for red-eye, dust and scratch removal, and brightness and contrast; Web graphic templates for producing banners, buttons and more; direct support for scanners and digital cameras; an online tutorial and Answer Wizard; and more. $149

Contact: Microsoft Corp., One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399, 206 882-8080, WWW:, fax: 206 93MSFAX.

Kai's Power Show 1.1 (MAC/WIN)

Kai's Power Show 1.1 is a presentation package for the on-screen display of digital photos, business slides and video clips. The program provides a simple yet elegant interface for importing, sequencing and sharing digital media. Presentations are enhanced with TV-like animated text and special effects transitions, as well as sound effects and user-produced audio.

Users move from the IN, SORT, EDIT and OUT rooms to create a presentation. The rooms provide a logical digital workflow. An entire presentation can be produced in seconds by using the "Create a QUICKSHOW!" which uses all imported slides, arranges them by name, and uses random transitions. Other features include: real-time transition preview (and over 65 transitions); dozens of flying text effects with control over font, size, color, alignment and shadow; a collection of 20 text slide template backgrounds; a 100 sound clip library; the option to play a CD track in the background; visual slide sorting and management; and import and play of PC PowerPoint slides.

Completed presentations can be shared through on-screen presentation, computer projector, printer, the SHOW player, or the Web. $49.95

Contact: MetaCreations, Inc., 6303 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria, CA 93013, 805 566-6200,, e-mail:, fax: 805 566-6385.

ClockWork 1.0.5 (MAC)

ClockWork 1.0.5 is an electronic day planner that can be used by an individual, or for group event scheduling. It resembles paper-based day planners in appearance, but goes far beyond them in usefulness. It makes good use of several Macintosh technologies, including Text-to-Speech, Auto-Power-On (PowerMacs), voice annotations, Publish and Subscribe, WorldScript, Text Encoding Converter, Drag and drop, and more.

The user is provided with a calendar, with daily, weekly, monthly, and list views. Appointments, to do lists, meetings, and events can be entered easily, with flexible alarms to remind the user of their impending arrival. Each event can be described with up to 32,000 characters. Other features include: a customizable user interface, printing in major day planner paper formats, user-definable categories, repeating events, file synchronization with the PowerBook, auto save, and password protection.

The workgroup capabilities are what distinguishes ClockWork from other products of its kind. It can use either an AppleShare server, or any user's Macintosh, to establish open calendar scheduling for a group. Prices range from $49 for a single user, to $399 for 10 users, to $2999 for a site license.

Contact: Century Software,

TextBridge Pro 9.0 (WIN )

TextBridge Pro 9.0 provides over 99% accuracy, and sports a new user-friendly interface that guides the user through the simple 3-step OCR process. Support has been added for color documents, and for the recognition of text printed on a tinted background. Online document production has been addressed by an output option of formatted pages for the Web. The program produces a hyperlinked table of contents, with embedded navigation, to make multiple page documents accessible. The improved OCR engine provides greater accuracy in word and page recognition (14% greater than the previous version), and now recognizes text in 56 languages, the most of any retail OCR product.

The Page Mirror technology reconstructs a scanned page with accurate recognition of multiple columns, tables, color pictures, headers, footers, line art, insets, reverse video text, and drop caps. Tables, both ruled and unruled, can be converted into spreadsheets, MS Word tables, and HTML tables. The AccuMorph Technology improves the recognition of fax images and second-generation photocopies. $99

Contact: Xerox ScanSoft, Inc., 9 Centennial Dr., Peabody, MA 01960, 978 977-2000,

Individual Training with Skill Assessment Software for Internet Explorer 4.0 (WIN )

Individual Training with Skill Assessment Software for Internet Explorer 4.0 is a training package that is deliverable over a traditional computer network or intranet. Its purpose is to introduce those who are new to the Internet to browser technology, and to acquaint experienced users with the new features of IE 4.0.

Users have the option of following a pre-set learning path or selecting their own order of lessons and tests. All of the information is presented in a visual, graphics-based environment that simulates the actual operation of the browser. The program, which takes an estimated 6-8 hours to complete, covers a wide variety of topics, including: What is the Internet?; What is the World Wide Web?; How to download and save information; How to work with e-mail; Usenet Newsgroups; Searching the Internet; Using Java Applets; and more. A similar program is available for Netscape Communicator. $99 for the individual copy, $800 for a 50-user network package.

Contact: Individual Software Inc., 4255 Hopyard Road, Building 2, Pleasanton, CA 94588, 800 822-3522, 800 331-3313, 510 734-6767, 800 822-3522,, fax: 510 734-8337.

Addition / Extension Reviews

Deep Paint (WIN )

Deep Paint is a 2-D paint system plug-in for Adobe Photoshop that simulates the use of artist's media through the use of 3-D lighting and texture control. The program provides access to the true "deep" or textured nature of paints, simulating the smudgy nature of paints, with control over shininess, thickness and other effects. The paints can be applied over existing photos or illustrations, or can be applied to a blank page.

The user is provided with a complete range of paint type, including oils, watercolors, colored and charcoal pencils, felt pens, calligraphy pens, chalks, pastels, gouache, acrylics, crayons, texture paints, and more. In addition there are a wide range of brushes and a powerful bitmap image spray option. Standard tools include: masking, color picker, fill, zoom, pan, rotate, selection, cut and paste floaters, geometric shape-making (circles, lines, polygons), text, eraser, advanced undo capability, standard cloning and more. The brushes and options are editable and saveable as new tools. New and advanced tools, as available, can be added to the "object oriented" software by accessing the Right Hemisphere Web site. The program is compatible with the Wacom Intuos drawing tablets. $249

Contact: Right Hemisphere, 600 South State St., Suite 315, Bellingham, WA 98225-6146, 877 309-3204,; International: Right Hemisphere, Level 2, 97A Grafton Road, Auckland, New Zealand, 64 9 309 3204,, fax: 649 309 4273.

AutoEye 1.0 (MAC/WIN)

AutoEye 1.0 is both a plug-in and standalone application developed for the purpose of providing push-button image enhancement. The program utilizes patented I.V.I.T (Intelligent Visual Imaging Technologies) technology which re-established the color and detail that is often lost in the transition from film or prints to digital files. In addition, the software automatically removes moiré patterns and applies a basic dust and scratch remover.

The program is especially good at rebuilding the colors which are lost in the transition to CMYK, which often results in images with a flat, lifeless appearance. This capability should be of interest to digital publishers who produce images for print. The on-screen preview, with full zoom and panning, provides a high degree of visual feedback and control.

Users can take advantage of Photoshop's Actions and Batch Process capabilities in the plug-in version (which also works in other applications that accept Photoshop plug-ins), and the application version supports drag and drop file launching and automatic file saving.

Among the automatic image enhancement features are: color correction, contrast, sharpness, saturation, anti-noise, brightness, tonal range, moiré pattern removal, and despeckle. The program can "pull" detail from dull or dark images, and can virtually eliminate the problem of underexposed film. $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.

Zax 3D Invigorator (MAC)

Zax 3D Invigorator is a plug-in for either Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia FreeHand, or Adobe Photoshop which provides a sophisticated 3D design environment, with a camera, lighting and built-in renderer. The controls are amazing for a product of the plug-in variety, with tools provided for moving, selecting, and viewing. It essentially provides a full 3D creative environment within a captive application. The host application provides the two-dimensional shapes with which Invigorator works.

Two-dimensional shapes can be drawn directly in the host program, or they may be imported from any appropriate clip art source. The version for Illustrator and FreeHand require vector images, Photoshop requires a bitmap image.

The images that are produced can be rendered at any resolution, in RGB or CMYK color. They can be produced for print as well as for Web, and the flexible manipulation within the design window ensures that the user will get exactly the right image, in exactly the right orientation.

The user can view the 3D graphic as a solid or a wireframe. Apple's QuickDraw 3D is used for the preview, which provides a smooth real-time solid model.

The results from Invigorator are very impressive. This should not be surprising since the program is derived from a high-end version used in film and video production, the products of which are seen frequently on television and in the movies. $199

Contact: ZaxWerks, 5724 Camellia Ave., Temple City, CA 91780, 626 309-9102,, e-mail:, fax: 626 309-9142.

Xdata 4.0 (MAC/WIN)

Xdata 4.0 is a QuarkXTension that provides powerful database publishing for large data-driven projects like catalogs, directories and price lists. It is used by some of the world's largest publishers, and has been the QuarkXPress database publishing solution of choice since 1990.

One of the strengths of Xdata is that it can accept database content from virtually any database application, in all of the common data exchange formats. In addition, data can be extracted from spreadsheets and even word processors.

The user simply creates a "prototype," which is a sample, in typographic form, of how the imported data is to appear. The software is highly intelligent, providing control over conditionals, loops, repeats, and nesting statements to evaluate and format incoming data. $300

Contact: Em Software, Inc., 503 Belleview Blvd., Steubenville, OH43952, 740 284-1010,, e-mail: fax: 740 284-1210.

Printing Reviews

Desktop Labels Deluxe (WIN )

Desktop Labels Deluxe is a versatile package for producing mailing labels, form letters, file folder labels, tickets, inventory tags, ID tags, Rolodex Cards, disk labels, video tape labels,and more. It incorporates a flexible label designer, database and address book, and barcode capability. $19.99

Contact: CompuWorks, GT Interactive, POB 1285, Loretto, MN 55599-9962, 612 559-5301, 800 229-2714,, fax: 612 577-0631

Olympus P-330 Instant Home Photo Printer (MAC/WIN)

The Olympus P-330 Instant Home Photo Printer is a multi-input, multi-output device that supports the filmless viewing of images from a digital camera or a computer, on a television screen, or on photo media.

The device accepts input via SmartMedia cards, which can hold images that have been captured using a digital camera, or which have been transferred directly from a computer. The printer essentially turns a television set into a digital home darkroom and processing lab. Images can be viewed on the television screen, cropped, and printed up to 30 copies in four sizes of up to 16 different images at once. In addition a user can connect a camcorder or VHS/DVD video signal and print any image that is displayed on the TV monitor.

The printer can also be connected directly to a Macintosh or Windows computer, allowing the user to manipulate or edit an image as needed, and print any computer-generated or downloaded image. Not surprisingly, since it is an Olympus printer, Olympus digital camera owners can print captured images directly from the camera, as well as from the removable SmartMedia cards. SmartMedia cards from other digital cameras are supported as well.

The prints are approximately 4" x 5.5", and may be composed of 1, 4, 9, or 16 photos per sheet. The media types are photo paper, labels, or thermal transfer media that can be used for printing on photo mugs or other surfaces. The printer can produce a print at a color depth of 24-bit in about two minutes. $449

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.

CD-ROM Reviews

SureThing CD Labeler (WIN )

SureThing CD Labeler (formerly known as DesignExpress) is a complete package consisting of CD-DVD templates and an applicator. Users can produce labels for CD-ROMs, DVDs, Audio cassettes, VCR tapes, Zip and Jaz cartridges, diskettes, jewel case inserts, and more. The software supports labels from Avery, Memorex, CD Stomper, PressIT, NEATO, and others.

The software supports the addition of creative text effects such as curved, angled, arched, distorted, and dropped shadow. The package includes over 500 background files and over 10,000 pieces of clip art, all of which can be browsed from within the program. The software also supports the scanning of CDs and Jewel Cases directly into a design. $39.95

Contact: MicroVision Development, 2185 Faraday Ave., Suite 140, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 438-7781, 800 998-4555,, e-mail:, fax: 760 438-7406.

The Effective Multimedia Workshop (EMW) (WIN )

The Effective Multimedia Workshop (EMW) is a CD-ROM-based training program which addresses multimedia production for students and professionals. It moves the student from the establishment of needs assessment to multimedia authoring, covering the major steps in Pre-design, Application Pre-design, Design, Modeling and Authoring. Pricing unavailable.

Contact: The Armstrong Computer Company Inc., POB 3993, Naperville, IL 60567-3993, 630 897-2749, fax: 630 897-2765.

Color: An Interactive Tutorial (MAC/WIN)

Color: An Interactive Tutorial is an interactive cross-platform CD-ROM which addresses the proper use of color in all phases of graphic reproduction: design, production and output. The author, John Whitehill-Ward, a veteran of teaching color theory for over twenty years, clearly shows and demonstrates the theory of color science, color perception, and the use of color in graphic communication. The program is organized into six sections: Color Orientation; Color Attributes; Color Relativity; Color Association; Color Illusion; and The Studio. The multimedia presentation uses narration, animation, and interactivity. While the program does not include user tests, it does provide opportunities for user interaction. In addition to its use as a tutorial, it can be used as a reference tool, with easy access via the Navigation screen. $27.95

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc. 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015 Albany, NY 12212

Internet Reviews

WebPainter 3.0 (MAC/WIN)

WebPainter 3.0 is an application for producing animated GIFs. We've had high praise for previous versions, and this one lives up to that reputation.

New to this version are: auto-transitions and SMPTE special effects; support for QuickTime filters, such as blur, emboss, and sharpen; tools for bitmap and vector elements; support for multiple image layers; Vector Image Library for fast image access; creation of highly optimized Web-ready content; bundled library of over 1000 animations; Photoshop plug-in support (Mac only); bundled copy of Apple QuickTime 3 Pro; and more. $89.95

Contact: Totally Hip Software Inc., 1224 Hamilton St., Vancouver, BC CN, V6B 2S8, (888) 8THEHIP, 604 685-6525,, e-mail:, fax: 604 685-4057

LiveStage 1.0 (MAC)

LiveStage 1.0, which earned the Macworld 1999 Best of Show, provides a creative environment for producing very compact, cross-platform, interactive Web media. Content can be created for banner ads, games, education and training, and attention-getting animated graphics. The viewer does not need any plug-ins or special player software.

The program has been described as providing the capability to convert a Web site into an "interactive improvisational theatre." Users can combine bitmap and vector graphics and animations with sound and interactivity. It uses the QScript QuickTime scripting language, providing access to the capabilities of QuickTime Wired Sprites. This gives the user control over 3D, VR and other QT media. In addition to publishing on the Web, the interactive movies can be used in any program that supports QT movies, including Acrobat PDF files and Microsoft PowerPoint.

The package includes a collection of royalty-free animations, sample scripts, and completed projects. The Totally Hip Web site has many samples that can experienced at any time. $199.95

Contact: Totally Hip Software Inc., 1224 Hamilton St., Vancouver, BC CN, V6B 2S8, (888) 8THEHIP, 604 685-6525,, e-mail:, fax: 604 685-4057.

Web Finder 4 (MAC)

Web Finder 4 is a shareware search engine that incorporates a plug-in architecture and multiple search fields. It has been compared favorably to Sherlock, but does not require a Power PC or OS 8.5.

The program is preloaded with over 80 search engine plug-ins, and more are routinely added at the Web Finder site. The plug-ins feature the same search fields that the user would find at the actual Web site.

An accessory plug-in factory application is included so that users can create their own plug-ins. It does not require programming, scripting nor coding.

A particularly useful feature is "AutoSearch" and "Download to File." These options allow the user to set a search to be performed by any or all of the basic search engines and have them executed in sequence, in the background. The results can be viewed in the browser or t hey can be saved in a file. $20

Contact: WWW: u/wf/ordering/order.html, e-mail:

Utility Reviews

51 Languages of the World (MAC/WIN)

51 Languages of the World is a conversation-oriented language learning system contained on four CD-ROMs. Among the languages are Albanian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Esperanto, Estonian, Farsi and 41 others.

The program uses real language, in the native cultural context, with a variety of interactive activities. The three-step learning process includes: 1. Listen, Understand, and Think Fast 2. Perfect Speaking with Advanced Pronunciation Analysis Features 3. Participation in Real, Native Dialogs.

Tests and quizzes are provided so that the learner can track their progress. Bonus software includes a 100 language multilingual word processor and a series of digital video travel presentations. The collection of language words totals 100,000, with 2000 phrases. There are up to 5000 key vocabulary words and hundreds of sentences per language. $29.95

Contact: Transparent Language, 22 Proctor Hill Road, POB 575, Hollis, NH 03049, 603 465-2230,, fax: 603 465-9850.

PC MacLAN for Windows NT (WIN )

PC MacLAN for Windows NT is the AppleTalk peer-to-peer networking solution for a Windows NT Server or Workstation to connect to a Macintosh to share files, volumes, drives and printers.

Using an Ethernet network, the NT client can access the Network Neighborhood interface and see any available Macintosh hosts, AppleShare Servers, or printer resources. Conversely, the Macintoshes can see the NT workstations in the Chooser, and mount NT files, volumes and drives. The NT workstation essentially becomes an AppleShare file server, with AppleShare user/group privileges and guest log-in access. NT files appear as Mac icons and support Mac Creator and Type making them compatible with matching Macintosh applications.

Of special utility in an electronic prepress environment is the capability for a Windows NT computer to spool print jobs to any AppleTalk or PostScript printer on the network. This includes LaserWriters, imagesetters, platesetters, RIPs and digital presses. Conversely, Macintoshes can print to any non-PostScript printer on the network provided that they have the appropriate printer drivers. $249

Contact: Miramar Systems, Inc., 10 East Yangnali St., Santa Barabara, CA 93101, 805 966-2432,, fax: 805 965-1824.

Conversions Plus 4.5 (WIN )

Conversions Plus 4.5 is a utility for Windows users that provides easy and complete conversion of word processing, database, spreadsheet and graphic files originating on the Macintosh platform. The program includes MacOpener 4.0, which lets the Windows computer read, write and format all Macintosh media types as if they were PC media. The program uses an "extension mapping" technology which makes it possible for the Windows' user to double-click on the Macintosh file to open it on their PC. Cross-platform files can be opened directly on their Window's software counterpart.

The program also includes Name Doctor, a utility that addresses the problem of naming conventions between the PC and Macintosh.

Thisnew version of the program, which Dataviz conscientiously keeps up-to-date to address new developments in the field, includes support for Windows 98, Macintosh OS Extended Format (HFS+), and new translators for Office 98 Macintosh. $99

Contact: Dataviz, 55 Corporate Dr., Trumbull, CT 06611, 203 268-0030, 800 733-0030,, e-mail:, fax: 203 268-4345.

ColorReady (MAC)

ColorReady is a color management tool that ensures color consistency between applications, specifically QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia FreeHand. It uses industry standard ICC device profiles.

The program accurately predicts how color will display on various devices, from within any of its host applications. It is provided as an XTension for QuarkXPress, a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator and an Xtra for Macromedia FreeHand.

The user can preview how any of over 16,000 PANTONE colors will print, viewing them against any chosen background color. The software will not only show the predicted color, but will indicate, numerically, how close the color is to a perfect match. $139

Contact: PANTONE, Inc., 590 Commerce Blvd., Carlstadt, NJ 07072-3098, 888-PANTONE, 201 935-5500,, fax: 201 896-0242.

WebEasy (WIN )

WebEasy is an easy-to-use, noncomplex, template-driven Web page creation application that promises to have a novice published on the Web in less than one hour.

The user simply selects a template and fills in information, adds photos and artwork (through drag-and-drop, supplied images, or an attached digital camera or scanner). A Web art library of over 50,000 photos, clip art pieces, buttons, backgrounds and templates is supplied, with a complete printed catalog. Imported images are converted automatically to JPEG or GIF. A completed site can be uploaded automatically, with all of the necessary HTML code. $49.95

Contact: IXLA Limited, 17 Jansen St., Danbury, CT 06810, 800 486-6704,, e-mail:

IXLA Explorer (WIN )

IXLA Explorer is a digital asset management (DAM) system designed for the casual digital photographer who needs a method of storing and retrieving their images (and digital sounds and videos). The program creates thumbnail images (in three sizes) along with the text detail (title, keyword, description) to be used to find them. High quality thumbnail reference sheets can be printed (to a compatible printer), and multimedia files can be previewed using the built-in audio/video players.

Images can be imported from virtually any source: digital camera, scanner, the Internet, CD-ROM, and magnetic and optical media. Once imported, the image format can be converted (or resized or reoriented) so that target images will be compatible with popular software applications.

Keyword searches make it possible to locate any image or digital asset instantly. Groups of images can be combined into a photo Web site by using the Web Page Assistant, which requires no knowledge of programming or HTML coding. Professional photos can be ordered from Kodak PhotoNet, and custom photo gifts can be purchased from $29.95

Contact: IXLA Limited, 17 Jansen St., Danbury, CT 06810, 800 486-6704,, e-mail:

EndNote 3.0 (MAC/WIN)

EndNote 3.0 is now expanded to include the capability to search remote bibliographic databases on the Internet and generate a bibliography directly. Heretofore users were required to search using one program, and create bibliographic entries using another.

EndNote includes over 100 connection files that will link a researcher, investigator, librarian, or student to a variety of on-line resources, such as the Library of Congress and MEDLINE. To add an entry to their own local EndNote database the user simply drags and drops it to the target window. EndNote 3.0 is the first search client that creates bibliographies.

EndNote has an enviable reputation as the foremost tool for organizing bibliographic references. The entries that the user stores in their EndNote database (of up to 32,000 entries) can be output flexibly in virtually any bibliographic format, allowing the user to add a complete bibliography in their word processor or other text-based application. The program can work directly in MS Word and WordPerfect, and can generate bibliographies in HTML for Web publishing. More than 300 bibliographic formats are supported, and the user is also free to create their own. $299

Contact: ResearchSoft, 800 Jones St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 510 559-8592,, fax: 510 559-8683.

PC MacLAN for Windows 95/98 (WIN )

PC MacLAN for Windows 95/98 is a networking solution for sharing files, drives, and printers (in both directions) between PCs and Macintoshes. This version of the software supports connections via the Internet (IP), modem, or Ethernet.

This software is a perfect solution for mixed Macintosh and PC publishing environments. The Macintoshes can print to any printers connected to the PC network (if they have the proper drivers installed), and the PCs can print to any output devices connected to the Macintosh network, including LaserWriters, imagesetters, RIPs, etc. In addition, this new version does not require that the computers are in the same environment. Using modems or IP addresses, the computers can be located virtually anywhere.

The software installs on the PC only. Once it is running, and network communications are in place, a Macintosh can "see" a PC MacLAN PC from the Chooser. $199

Contact: Miramar Systems, Inc., 10 East Yangnali St., Santa Barabara, CA 93101, 800 862-2526, 805 966-2432,, fax: 805 965-1824.

PC Migrator (WIN )

PC Migrator is a PC MacLAN utility for Windows that facilitates the rapid movement of Macintosh files to the PC environment. The utility both moves the files and renames them, adding the necessary PC file extensions during the transfer operation. The program is able to identify the proper file extension most of the time. When it can not, it prompts the user for assistance, and records the response so that it will not need to ask for assistance again. $69

Contact: Miramar Systems, Inc., 10 East Yangnali St., Santa Barabara, CA 93101, 800 862-2526, 805 966-2432,, fax: 805 965-1824.

Professor Franklin's Instant Photo T-shirt (WIN )

Professor Franklin's Instant Photo T-shirt is a easy-to-use program for preparing and integrating photographs for use as t-shirt images. The package includes hundreds of professionally prepared layouts, some which incorporate photographs, others which do not. Both front and back layouts are included. The package includes tools for photo touch-up, 70 premium fonts, and a library of clip art and stock photo images. $39.95

Contact: Streetwise Software, 2116 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 230, Santa Monica, CA 90403, 30 829-7827,, fax: 31 828-8258.

MathType 4.0 (WIN )

MathType 4.0 is a 32-bit version of the successful mathematical equation editing software for Windows 95, 98 and NT for producing professional quality mathematical composition. The program is an OLE 2.0 object server, supporting the placement of equations in documents that are open in any application that supports OLE. Programs which do not support OLE can import MathType files that have been saved in WMF, EPS, or GIF. In addition, MathType equations can be converted to TeX, LaTeX, AMS-TeX, AMS-LaTeX, and MathML code. MathML is the XML-based mathematical description language recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (

A limited version of MathType, known as "Equation Editor," has been licensed to Microsoft for use in its Office, Word, PowerPoint, and Works packages.

Other features of MathType 4.0 include: the new Euclid font set in TrueType and PostScript containing hundreds of mathematical characters; support for CMYK, RGB and spot color for use in any part of an equation; a floating or docked toolbar; toolbar access to hundreds of symbols and templates in the expression library; a novel "insert symbol" function wherein any character from any font can be dropped into the toolbar for later use; the addition of several new templates; zooming up to 800%; support for Unicode; and customizable keyboard shortcuts. $129

Contact: Design Science, Inc., 4028 Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803, 310 433-0685, 800 827-0685, fax: 310 433-6969,, e-mail:, fax: 562-433-6969.

Centurion (WIN )

Centurion is a hardware card for PCs, from XT to Pentium, that may be susceptible to the Crouch-Echlin effect. The effect, discovered by Jace Crouch and Mike Echlin, will result in severe timing issues after Dec. 31, 1999 during system start-up in a PC containing a non-buffered RTC (Real Time Clock). This instability will produce random jumps forward and backward in the time and date information and may produce corruption in the CMOS leading to the failure of drives, COM ports, and errors in the system's OS. The Centurion is claimed to be the only foolproof solution. $69.95

Contact: Micro2000, 1100 East Broadway, Suite 301, Glendale, CA 91205, 818 547-0125,, fax: 818 547-0397.

MacDrive98 Version 3.0 (WIN )

MacDrive98 is an essential utility for digital publishing production environments that are populated by both Macintoshes and Windows 95/98/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. This new version adds support for Macintosh HFS Plus volumes. The Mac disks work transparently, supporting copy, open, save, delete, and rename functions. Without MacDrive98, Macintosh media is totally unreadable on a PC. $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.

FontXpress (MAC/WIN)

FontXpress is a standalone utility program that gathers all fonts, including those used in EPS graphics, into a single folder for transport to a service bureau or other output destination. It uses the Document Report that is generated by QuarkXPress after the "Collect For Output" option has been initiated. The program then searches all attached volumes to collect the listed fonts in a designated collection folder. In the process, FontXpress produces its own report with job-related information that may be of help to the imaging service, such as any required XTensions, the presence of RGB or low-res images. $69.99

Contact: Morrison SoftDesign, 3818 - E Dry Brook Road, Charlotte, NC 28269, 800 583-2917, 704 597-3789, , e-mail:, fax: 704 599-5901.

FontDoctor (MAC)

FontDoctor is very useful diagnostic tool, not only for maintaining good font health, but also for locating font problems that may be causing seemingly unrelated system problems. The program examines a Macintosh, checking for corrupt or damaged bitmap, TrueType, or PostScript Type 1 fonts. It also searches for missing screen or printer font s, as well as unnecessary font sizes (with ATM installed), mixed font types, font ID conflicts, and duplicate fonts. The application has two modes: Diagnosis Only or Diagnosis & Repair. In the Repair mode, the user has the option of running on automatic, where any repairs are made without user input, or running manually, wherein the user is prompted for a decision regarding how each problem should be handled. $69.99

Contact: Morrison SoftDesign, 3818 - E Dry Brook Road, Charlotte, NC 28269, 800 583-2917, 704 597-3789,, e-mail:, fax: 704 599-5901.

FontVista (MAC)

FontVista is a utility program for producing professional-quality font specimen sheets or catalog pages from any fonts, either installed in the system, or available on a mounted volume. It provides three editable layouts, and can be invoked for a single font, all fonts, or an alphabetical range of fonts.

The program has additional features which are quite unique. It has a built-in OCR engine that can be used to match a given font against others on the computer that have similar facial characteristics. This is very useful for selecting from a group of fonts that all share a similar appearance. It can also be used to eliminate fonts from the system on the basis of their similarity.

The Font Matrix shows the complete ASCII character complement in a color-coded array, which represents the keystrokes required to generate each character. As a character is selected, it appears, enlarged, in the examination window, along with its keystroke sequence defined below it. A selected font name, size and style can be sent directly to QuarkXPress using built-in scripting. $69.99

Contact: Morrison SoftDesign, 3818 - E Dry Brook Road, Charlotte, NC 28269, 800 583-2917, 704 597-3789,, e-mail:, fax: 704 599-5901.

DubIt (WIN )

DubIt is a utility program that provides the capability to easily add audio to images, movie clips or screen captures in real time. A user can easily add narration to a video clip or still image while watching it.

The program offers a familiar VCR-style interface. Audio can be added by recording with a microphone or by inserting a WAV audio file. Audio can be added to any BMP. JPG, GIF, or AVI file. The recorded track can be appended, modified or deleted. After it is added, the audio and video can be optimized to create the smallest possible file. A fully functional evaluation version is available at $19.95

Contact: TechSmith Corp., 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 400, East Lansing, MI 48823, 517 333-2100,, ftp:, e-mail:, fax: 517 333-1888.

InDefense (WIN )

InDefense is a unique anti-virus program which protects a system against infection and does not need updates. It uses a patented process that prevents viruses from entering and destroying data and files. It was recently recognized by West Coast Labs as "the first product in the world that detects and eliminates unknown viruses...." It has been extensively tested against all know virus types with total success.

The program works by "vaccinating" system files against future infectionwith a small snapshot file for each directory (approximately 65K per .exe file) and a tiny copy of system elements (boot system), Master Boot Record (MBR), CMOS configuration memory and RAM (approximately 2K); deploying its smart memory resident module (10K) to continually monitor and protect PC operations; creating a system rescue method (stored on servers for networked PCs and on disk for stand-alone PCs) which also protects computers CMOS damage (viral and other) as an added bonus. $49.98

Contact: Tegam International, 303 Potrero St., #42-204, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-2780, 831 471-1413,, fax: 831 420-1313.

Multimedia Reviews

Amapi 3D version 4.1 (MAC/WIN)

Amapi 3D version 4.1 is a NURBS and polygon modeler with an exceptionally easy-to-use interface. The ActiveStyles rendering technology supports rapid Phong shading, with selective photorealistic ray tracing.

The well-designed workspace provides a maximum area for drawing, with a rich set of tools in close proximity. Not only can multiple views be seen simultaneously, with independent control of each, but the user can, with sufficient screen space, display an unlimited number of windows. The palettes, which are icon-based, are grouped for construction, modeling, assembly and workshop. An alternate interface uses a standard tool palette.

The list of 3D modeling tools is extensive and impressive: extended extrusion, sweeping, skinning, multi-profiles pathche surface creation, Bezier surface smoothing tool, interactive filleting tool, intuitive Boolean tool, NURBS free form deformation box, and more. Other features include: OpenGL display, 3D text editor, selective ray tracer (transparencies, reflections, refractions, etc.), texture-mapping, cartoon effects, and a library of over 500 objects and textures. Users can output to AVI or QuickTime.

The program includes a catalog system used to access objects and materials, which are accessible using drag and drop.

The object construction process consists of building with line, surface, volume, and possibly text components; modeling them with deformation, cutting or smoothing tools; and assembling them, using the move, scale, rotate, duplicate and group tools. After a model is completed it can be manipulated on the screen, printed, saved, or exported to another application. Amapi 3D Modeler is a good companion for Strata, Electric Image, Form*Z, Softimage, 3D Studio MAX, and others. $399

Contact: Template Graphics Software, Inc. (TGS), 9920 Pacific Heights Blvd., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92121-4331, 619 457-5359,, e-mail:, fax: 619 452-2547.

Corel Print Office (WIN )

Corel Print Office is a template-driven application that is used for the automated production of common printed items, such as letterheads, invoices, newsletters and business cards. The package includes 500 professionally designed business templates and 2220 third-party templates.

The program includes a copy of Corel PhotoHouse, consisting of bitmap image manipulation tools, and a collection of 35,000 business-specific graphics and 10,000 photographs. Additionally, a copy of Corel Colleagues and Contacts is included. This program is a personal organizer composed of a calendar, address book and list manager. The list manager can be used to create personalized mail-merge publications.

The suite of programs support the production of professional-looking printed materials. Wizards can be employed to lead the user through the production process, and typographic composition elements, such as leading, kerning, and text flow, are handled automatically. $99

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

CorelDRAW 8 for Power Macintosh (MAC)

CorelDRAW 8 for Power Macintosh is a suite of applications for vector illustration, image editing and creation, and font and media management.

The two main applications are CorelDRAW 8 and Corel PHOTO-PAINT 8. CorelDRAW 8 is an illustration and page layout program with many high-end features including the Kodak Digital Science Color Management System with standard ICC color profiles; an extensive list of color model, and palette color, pickers; support for color separations for CMYK, PANTONE, PANTONE Hexachrome, and custom inks; full-screen preview of separations and trapping; and output to PostScript levels 1, 2 and 3, OPI 1 and 2, and DCSI 1 and 2. The program is cross-platform compatible with CorelDRAW 8 for Windows (with layer support) and with other graphic applications and formats, including Photoshop (with layer support), Adobe Illustrator, QuickTime, PDF, EPS, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, PICT, PCD and more. The program also supports the Adobe plug-in standard and has 99,999 levels of Undo. The program has a number of unique tools including the Interactive Distortion tool. It is composed of three different tools: the Push/Pull, Zipper and Twister. The Push tool pushes the nodes of an object away from the center of the distortion; the Pull tool pulls the node towards the center of distortion; the Zipper lets the user add either a sharp corner or a smooth corner wave to an object; and the Twister twists or spirals the object as it were water spiraling down a drain.

CorelDRAW 8's Internet capabilities include export support for Web graphic file formats; support for embedded Java applets and HTML text objects; creation of image maps; HTML output as tables, layers and Cascading Style Sheets; HTML-compatible paragraph text; multipage document links; and more.

An additional, and quite important feature is the capability to place pages from any Adobe PDF file into a CorelDRAW 8 document, with a high-resolution preview. Users can place multiple PDFs and EPS pages within a document, and use the layout and imposition tools to design n-up and other professional signatures, preview them on-screen, and print them to an imagesetter or other device.

Corel PHOTO-PAINT 8 is a complete photo-retouching and painting program containing a variety of image-enhancing and special-effects filters. Among its more unusual tools are the Image Sprayer tool, which lets user spray one or more images onto another image; Lenses, which are special objects that let users view special effects, image corrections, or image adjustments before applying them to the image pixels; Image Stitching, users can stitch two or more images to create a panoramic efect; and more.

The suite is bundled with 1200 EPS clip art images, 100 high-quality digital photos, Web assets (animated GIFs, page backgrounds, floating objects, and tiling textures), and 1600 TrueType and PostScript Type 1 fonts.

Other programs in the suite are Diamondsoft Font Reserve, the excellent font database utility; Canto Cumulus Desktop LE 4.0; and CorelTRACE 8, a raster-to-vector tracing utility. $695

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

FlipAlbum 3.0 (WIN )

FlipAlbum 3.0 is a utility that helps to organize digital images into a book-like picture album. It provides three-dimensional page flipping to give the appearance of actual page-turning. Images can be organized into themes or topics, and the user can add captions. The program automatically generates a table of contents, index, and thumbnail overview. The recipient can view the images by flipping through or using the slide show option. Other features include optional background music and WYSIWYG printing. $49.95

Contact: E-Book Systems, Inc., 444 Castro St., Suite 412, Mountain View, CA 94941,

Miscellaneous News and Reviews

Color Management with Michael Kieran (MAC/WIN)

Color Management with Michael Kieran is a two-hour video tape that moves the viewer through the entire process of color specification, monitor calibration, ICC profile creation, and process control and production. Mr. Kieran is an expert in this area and imparts a wealth of practical information which addresses the key questions which anyone involved in color management must be asking. The viewer is shown how to implement an ICC-based color management system for the input device, monitor, proofer and press. The presentation moves along swiftly and covers an impressive amount of material. If you are in need of a color management education, this is the fastest, cheapest and most painful way to acquire it. $149.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling.

Contact: DPA Communications, 439 University Ave., Suite 1150, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Y8, 800 CMYK RGB (269-5742), 416 205-9604,, e-mail:, fax: 416 205-9605.

SpanishNow! Version 7.0 (MAC/WIN)

SpanishNow! Version 7.0 is an immersive language learning program that involves the learner in real conversations. It includes a free microphone so that the user can record and compare their voice to that of the native speakers.

The program is aimed at teaching the user how to read, write, speak, and learn to listen in Spanish. The program, which is used in over 6500 educational institutions contains over 10,000 words, more than any other language program. Among its other features are: full motion videos, advanced pronunciation analysis, "SlowSound" to hear every nuance, interactive games, on-line testing, personal progress tracking, and much more. $49.95

Contact: Transparent Language, 22 Proctor Hill Road, POB 575, Hollis, NH 03049, 603 465-2230,, fax: 603 465-9850.

Mouse Bungee (ALL)

The Mouse Bungee is a pedestal with a protruding set of flexible springs which hold a mouse cable in place so that it doesn't drag, snag or get tangled up. It is a simple device that solves a simple problem. $15

Contact: Computer Peripheral Research Inc., POB 160, East Winthrop, ME 04363, 207 395-2785,, fax: 207 395-2913.

Book Reviews

Teach Yourself Java 2 in 24 Hours

Cadenhead, Rogers

An easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide composed of 24 one-hour lessons. The reader can learn how to create Java applets, build a user interface with Swing, add interactivity and animation to a Web site, and more. The book has a companion Web site.

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

0-672-31630-7 429 pp. $19.99

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

Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days

Lemay, Laura; Rogers Cadenhead

Organized into 21 chapters, one per day, this book starts with an introduction to Java and ends with Handling User Events using Java Swing. In between it presents progressively more complex Java programming, with many practical, easy-to-understand examples.

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

0-672-31638-2 680 pp. $29.99

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

Java 2 Platform Unleased

Jaworski, Jamie

Certainly the largest and most complete book yet on the Java 2 Platform. It provides in-depth coverageof Java programming, applet programming, application programming, Swing programming, and Java applications for multimedia, networking, databases, and distributed applications. The accompanying CD-ROM, which works under Windows 95 and 98, Macintosh, and UNIX, contains sample code from the book, and several software tools, including JBuilder 2 Publisher's Edition, and Tek-Tools, Inc.'s Kawa.

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

0-672-31631-5 1424 pp. $49.99

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

Photoshop in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition

O'Quinn, Donnie

This book is an encyclopedic reference guide to Photoshop 5. It adds coverage for several new Photoshop features, including the History Palette, Editable Text Layers, Spot-Color Channels, and color management. Unlike other books that merely show the graphic user interface, here the author provides deep knowledge about every tool, command, palette, and sub-menu.

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

1-56592-565-3 660 pp. $24.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

Director in a Nutshell

Epstein, Bruce A.

A concise guide to using all of Macromedia Director's core components (the Cast, Score, Stage, sprites, and animation), delivery and optimization (Projectors, Shockwave, and the System Player and ShockMachine), and media elements (video, audio, SWA, bitmaps, JPEG, GIFs, animated GIFs, text fonts, fields, buttons, menus, cursors, dialog boxes, film loops, Flash, and vector shapes).

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

1-56592-382-0 658 pp. $24.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

Linux in a Nutshell

Siever, Ellen

A well-organized desktop reference to Linux. The author has amassed a complete listing of commands, syntax, pattern matching, and much more. Other contents include Unix Shells, the Emacs Editor, the vi Editor, the ex Editor, the sed Editor, the gawk Scripting Language, RCS and CVS, Perl 5, Boot Methods, and System and Network Administration.

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

1-56592-585-8 612 pp. $24.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

GATF Practical Guide to Color Management, The

Adams, Richard M. II; Joshua B. Weisberg

A landmark book in the area of color management and the controlled reproduction of color. The authors cover every aspect of color reproduction and matching, from color perception to hardware and software tools. There are numerous color photos showing the effects of applied color management technologies. Anyone who is using, or should be using color management should have a copy of this valuable reference.

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

0-88362-202-5 221 pp. $65

Contact: GATF Press, 200 Deer Run Road, Swickley, PA 15143-2600.

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition

Flanagan, David

This complete text covers version 1.2 of JavaScript, as well as version 1.1, which was established as the first industry-standard version known as ECMAScript. It provides a thorough description of the language and its client-side framework. The author includes sophisticated examples which illustrate the handling of common tasks. The reference section includes every JavaScript function, object, method, property, constructor, and event handler.

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

1-56592-392-8 800 pp. $39.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

Java 2D Graphics

Knudsen, Jonathan

A guide to the Java 2D API which was developed by Sun with partners Adobe, Taligent, Kodak, and Ductus. It covers the setting of line styles, pattern fills, image processing and font handling. Other topics include image data storage, color management, font glyphs, and printing.

Available for on-line ordering at -399541.

1-56592-484-3 366 pp. $29.95

Contact: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 103 Morris St., Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472, 800 998-9938, 707 829-0515,, e-mail:, fax: 707 829-0104.

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