The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 8.2 March / April 2003

Issue 8.2 March / April 2003


Storage Device & Media Reviews

DataLifePlus CD-R (ALL)
DataLifePlus CD-Recordable discs are now available in colors...blueberry, tangerine, avocado, grape, and ruby. The colors provide a convenient way to keep track of a collection of discs. For example, a user might organize their fonts on one color disc, their stock photos on another color, etc.

The discs are certified for a recording speed of 48X, and can hold a full 700MB of data or 80 minutes of music. At their rated speed they can be written in about two minutes. The patented \"Super Azo\" recording dye technology ensures error-free recording.

The discs are available in 25- ($16.45) and 50-packs ($29.99), with each disc enclosed in a color slim jewel case that matches the surface color of the media.

Contact: Verbatim Corporation, 1200 West W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28262, 704 547-6500,

Digital Audio

Voice Box (MAC)
Voice Box is an innovative application that enables users to create an audio file (aiff) from any text that has been converted to speech using the built-in text-to-speech capability of a Macintosh. The value of this is that users can send digital audio files of text rather than sending the text itself. The application is scriptable, and one of the provided scripts lets the user download news feeds from the Internet, and listen to them as they are received (in any of 22 voices). The captured feeds can be saved as audio files and downloaded to an iPod or other device. $10

Contact: RealMac Software, Brighton, England,

mp3voodoo (MAC)
mp3voodoo is an MP3 player and digital audio file management system that controls and maintains an MP3 music collection of any size. It provides the user with the option to display its contents in almost any manner, i.e. album, cover, list, or customized view. The player can be used as a jukebox with flexible playlist management. The player can be dragged out of the application and left to float above any other open applications. The user can substitute a different MP3 player if so inclined (Audion, iTunes, SoundApp, etc.). Collections can be exported as text files, and can be printed with covers. $35

Contact: Three-2-One, Sudwall 22, 47798 Krefeld, Germany, ++49 2151 31945-0,, e-mail:, fax: ++49 2151 31945-09.

Multimedia/Graphics Reviews

Button Builder extreme 3 (MAC)
Button Builder extreme 3 is an easy-to-use utility for creating attractive buttons for Web site construction and multimedia projects. The program includes over 100 buttons in ten different sizes. The user has realtime control over the background color, text color, font, font size, button size, roll-over effects, and other variables. Buttons can be generated as single images, and exported as TIFF, PICT, JPEG, or PNG, or exported in a page layout mode for Web page construction. Shareware. $20

Contact: REALmac Software,

MonacoEZcolor 2.5 (MAC/WIN)
MonacoEZcolor 2.5 provides one of the easiest and quickest methods for creating ICC profiles that control the generation of color for monitor, scanner and printer. The entire process can be accomplished in as little as ten minutes. Using the MonacoEZcolor wizard interface the user is led through the process of building and editing ICC profile files for a monitor (CRT or LCD), scanner, and printer (RGB or CMYK). The program supports color management for both RGB and CMYK printers.

Although the process works best with the optional MonacoOPTIX ($299), it can be accomplished through visual input. The process to color-manage a monitor, for example, consists simply of answering a few questions and adjusting three on-screen sliders until the color in each target matches its background. The process for calibrating a scanner involves scanning a test target (which is supplied); and the process for profiling a printer is equally easy. $299 for the software alone, $548 for the software and MonacoOPTIX colorimeter.

Contact: Monaco Systems, Inc., 100 Burtt Road, Suite 115, Andover, MA 01810, 978 749-9944,, fax: 978 749-9977.

EazyDraw (MAC)
EazyDraw is a new vector-based drawing program for Mac OS X introduced at Macworld SF in January 2003. The program is unique in that the recipient of an EazyDraw file, opening it using the free EazyDraw reader, is able to view the drawing as well as manipulate, edit, and interact with the graphics and text content. The reader does not allow for the creation of new content. Digital designers and their clients can use the application for conferring on design projects.

The program is designed for the creation of relatively simple diagrams and illustrations such as logos, icons, buttons, Web graphics, and stylized art. It is appropriate for the production of Web and print projects. Files retain full layer support. A "drawer" is maintained for each layer of each drawing window. Layers can be dragged and dropped between layers of documents.

The program saves its files in an "open" XML parameter list text-based file format. Drawings may be manipulated, maintained, or created with any text editor. $95 download, $115 on disc.

Contact:, N5040 Beach Garden Rd., Poynette, WI 53955, 608 635-7972,, fax: 608 635-8971.

SketchUp (MAC)
SketchUp for Mac OS X and Windows is a 3D design application. The program breaks new ground by providing a user experience that results in sophisticated CAD drawings, yet eliminates the complexity that is normally associated with that process. It's output can, in fact, be imported into most popular CAD programs. It achieves its simplicity by letting the user draw the edges of the target model in 3D space, just as they would using paper and pencil. The program's "intelligent inferencing" engine automatically renders the shape with the correct lines and fills.

A feature of the program is its TourGuide Technology, which supports the creation of short animations of specific model views. These dynamic animations can serve either as slideshows or fly-throughs which are helpful for client presentations. Unlike other programs, SketchUp supports their creation in minutes rather than hours.

One of the most remarkable and eye-catching features of the program is its patent pending Push/Pull capability. The only frame of reference would be an extrusion tool, but it is much more than that. Push/Pull can be used with any 2D shape or edge to quickly create sophisticated 3D geometry.

Other major features are: import and export of DWG and DXF files; export in Piranesi Epix file format (\"a variant of TIFF in which every pixel has a depth and material value as well as a colour\"); self-casting shadows and Shadow Tool Bar; easy positioning of the eye point (camera); advanced rendering options, including Profile and Extension lines; easy exploration of color and texture; 2D Hidden-Line Vector (HLV) output; and more. $475

Contact: @Last Software, 2019 10th Street, Boulder, CO 80302, 303 245-0086,

File Management Reviews

VOODOO Personal (MAC)
VOODOO Personal is a document management application that maintains all versions of documents to protect against accidental deletion or unwanted changes. The user can return to any previous version easily, and the efficient delta compression engine used in the program requires very little disk space for the versions. In addition to maintaining versions, certain file types, such as Microsoft Word, can be opened for the purpose of comparing two versions of the same file. The value of this software for digital publishers is obvious.

Users can maintain projects in an organizer, and drag-and-drop new instances of files into it. From this view the user can see and open any previous version. A complete history, including the name of who made the changes and why, is recorded. Users can be assigned personal access rights. Volume licenses are available by quotation. $79

Contact: Uni Software Plus, Softwarepark Hagenberg, A-4232 Hagenberg, Austria,, e-mail:, fax: +43 7236 3338 30.

PentaSuite (WIN )
PentaSuite is a collection of programs which facilitate the handling, viewing, transmission and storage of digital files. The feature-rich suite includes, among other things, an image viewer and slide show application; sophisticated file conversion capabilities; flexible CD burning; support for FTP; PGP encryption; and the file compress features that are provided by PentaZip 6. PentaZip 6 supports 15 compression formats, file splitting, backup, self-extraction, and more. $99.95 for the download, $109.95 for the boxed product.

Contact: PentaWare, Inc., 40 Munsey Dr., Hampton, NH, 888 998-1492,, e-mail:, fax: 603 218-6044.

Additions/Extensions Reviews

eZeMatte for iMovie (MAC)
eZeMatte for iMovie is a plug-in for Apple's iMovie video editing application that adds an overlay image to a movie clip. The overlay may be in the form of an image, such as a watermark; or a border, frame, logo, or user-selected graphic of any kind. The plug-in provides a preview view and control over when, during the clip, the image is to be viewable. $29

Contact: eZedia Inc., 2-396 Assiniboine Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3C 0Y1, 877 408-0195, 204 984-9764,, e-mail:, fax: 204 956-4960.

eZeScreen for iMovie (MAC)
eZeScreen for iMovie is a plug-in for Apple's iMovie video editing application that adds chroma key overlay capabilities to an iMovie clip. Chroma key is the effect also known as blue screen or green screen in which the user can control the transparency and fade levels of a specific color. The plug-in interface provides for the option to preview the effect, apply it, remove it after it has been applied, replace the original clip, select the effect in and out times, and to configure the plug-in. The configuration options include settings for the size of the chroma key; color to use as the effect; sliders for tolerance of the selected color, level of transparency, level of edge smoothing; and more. $29

Contact: eZedia Inc., 2-396 Assiniboine Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3C 0Y1, 877 408-0195, 204 984-9764,, e-mail:, fax: 204 956-4960.

eZeClip for iMovie (MAC)
eZeClip for iMovie is a plug-in for Apple's iMovie video editing application that provides the user with the capability to add an overlay movie over an iMovie clip. The overlay movie can be enhanced with a border, and its transparency and shadow properties can be modified. The plug-in's interface provides controls over preview, application or removal of the effect, effect in and out times, and configuration. The configuration screen provides fine adjustment of shadow opacity, shadow distance, movie opacity, preset and custom borders, and more. $29

Contact: eZedia Inc., 2-396 Assiniboine Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3C 0Y1, 877 408-0195, 204 984-9764,, e-mail:, fax: 204 956-4960.

Plugin Galaxy (MAC/WIN)
Plugin Galaxy is a set of 20 Photoshop-compatible plug-ins that can produce over 120 different effects. The plug-ins can be used in any application that is compatible with the Photoshop plug-in architecture, such as Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Fireworks,and Corel Draw.

The effects produce such results as blur, colorize, edge effects, neon, glass, grid, mirror, noise, rainbow gradients, stars, warp, zoom, and others. $49.95 as a download, $59.95 on CD-ROM.

Contact: The Plugin Site, Harald Heim, Tucholskystr. 120, 90471 Nurnberg, Germany, 49 911 868516,, e-mail:

Sonar Bookends InDex Pro (MAC/WIN)
Sonar Bookends InDex Pro for Adobe InDesign is a plug-in that provides sophisticated index generation capabilities. The software not only produces simple basic index listings and complex multiple-level indices, from one or more files, but can also produce a table of contents baed on style sheets.

Sonar Bookends InDex Pro produces four basic types of indices: Word Frequency List, which produces a list showing the number of times that words (other than common, unimportant words) appear in a document. Word/Phrase List, which produces an index based on words and phrases that are provided by the author or indexer, and can be processed using Boolean operations. The word/phase list can be generated from InDesign, a word processor, another computer, or from a database or other source. Subject List, which is generated by InDex based on its analysis and the user-selected filtering options. Proper Noun List, which operates only on proper nouns such as names of people, places, and things. The four methods can be combined to form a final index.

There are several features built into the software which enhance its usefulness in the index generation process. The Preview Mode, for example, allows the user to see each occurrence of each item as it is indexed, giving the user the option to select any items which should not be included in the index. Such selected items are applied to successive indices. Another feature is the singular/plural optimization, which can combine singular and plural listings into a single entry. Several other sophisticated indexing options are provided, which make this the indexing choice for serious publishers. $395

Contact: Virginia Systems, Inc., 5509 West Bay Court, Midlothian, VA 23112, 804 739-3200,, e-mail:, fax: 804 739-8376.

Plugin Galaxy for After Effects Version 1.50 (MAC/WIN)
Plugin Galaxy for After Effects Version 1.50 is a set of plugins that provide a variety of special effects, including page curls, star field, rippled glass, edge effects, plus many others. The collection of 21 filters provides over 150 animatable effects that can be used within versions of Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut Pro, Pinnacle Commotion, and Discreet Combustion. $99

Contact: The Plugin Site, Harald Heim, Tucholskystr. 120, 90471 Nurnberg, Germany, 49 911 868516,, e-mail:

File Transfer/Processing Reviews

Miliki Super Compressor (WIN )
Miliki Super Compressor ( is a file compression utility that surpassed ZIP-based compression by 5x or more for documents, and 8x or more for image formats based on independent tests performed by the National Software Testing Labs (NSTL). The compressor uses a patented Cellular Automata Transform to intelligently select the best compression scheme for each particular data type.

Compression schemes are of critical value to digital publishers since they can reduce file size, which results in the two major benefits: the need for less storage space, and the need for less time to transfer files over a network. Recipients of files compressed using Miliki, which creates files in the QuikCAT Compressed File (QCF) format, can use the free decoder available at

Two versions are available. The Professional ($49.95) supports image types JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIF, GIF, and document types PDF, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The Basic version ($29.95) supports only the image formats.

Contact: QuikCat Technologies, 767 Beta Drive, Mayfield Village, OH 44143, 216 692-0001,, fax: 216 692-0011.

CD-ROM Reviews

UnCoverIt (MAC)
UnCoverIt is a utility program for the automatic generation of cover labels for CD-ROM Iomega ZIP, Iomega JAZ, Imation SuperDisk, MO-Cartridges, and ORB drives. The covers are populated with the contents of the media, requiring no typing by the user. The user has control over the appearance of the label, selecting the font, size, alignment, and color. Shareware. $10

Contact: Iwas Coding,

Instant Copy (WIN )
Instant Copy is a personal CD and DVD back-up application for writing data, audio and video to recordable optical media. The software can be used to copy non-copy-protected CD and DVD files to recordable media. It produces 1:1 identical copies of virtually any disc format. Unique to this program is the capability to backup a 9 GB video DVD (dual layer) (including menus, navigational structure, audio tracks and subtitles) to a single 4.7 GB recordable DVD (single blank) with virtually no loss of quality. Users who do not have a DVD burner can copy a DVD across several VideoCDs or Super VideoCDs and play them on a DVD set-top player. A user can also run several burners simultaneously. $49

Contact: Pinnacle Systems, 280 N. Bernardo Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043, 800 4PINNACLE, 650 526-1600,, fax: 650 526-1601.

DVD Copy Plus (WIN )
DVD Copy Plus is a utility program that enables owners or creators of DVD movies to create copies on CD-R media. The copies can be viewed on a computer or a home DVD player that supports the VCD format (which most do). $79.99

Contact: 321, 720 Spirit 40 Park Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63005, 636 728-0100,

OCR Reviews

FineReader 5 Pro for Mac (MAC)
FineReader 5.0 Pro for Mac claims the highest recognition accuracy of any Macintosh OCR application: 99.9%. The program, which was co-developed by Sound & Vision, Inc., was designed to take advantage of the features inherent in the Macintosh OS. Features include: use of AppleSpeech to provide voice-read-back and aid in proofreading; single-button scan and read; Scan&Read Assistant to guide the user through preferred settings which can then be saved to automate repetitive projects; direct launch from MS Word; recognition of any of 117 languages; spellchecking in any of 23 languages; retention of the original document layout (columns, tables, pictures, graphics, wrapped text, dropped caps, and superscripts); image processing tools to despeckle, deskew, rotate, invert, or locate blocks; batch processing; and support for a variety of output formats including AppleWorks, MS Word, MS Excel, Simple Text, HTML and PDF. $129

Contact: ABBYY USA Software House, Inc., 3823 Spinnaker Court, Fremont, CA 94538, 510 226-6717,, e-mail:, fax: 510 226-6069.

FineReader 6.0 Corporate Edition (WIN )
FineReader 6.0 Corporate Edition was developed specifically for networked environments, with the intent for users to run multiple licenses in order to create an OCR workflow that can efficiently handle mid- to high-volume document conversion projects. Networked users can work on the same batch simultaneously in one connected production line. Key features of this version are improved word recognition accuracy and format retention, and PDF conversion.

Improvements in the OCR engine include: intelligent background filtering that improves recognition on low-contrast, color and degraded documents (by up to 35%); conversion of PDF documents into editable text as well as saving scanned results as a PDF, i.e. paper-to-PDF; adjustment of image size and quality during export; and retention of text alignment within table cells and bullet points when exporting to MS Excel and MS Word. $499

Contact: ABBYY USA Software House, Inc., 3823 Spinnaker Court, Fremont, CA 94538, 510 226-6717,, e-mail:, fax: 510 226-6069.

Utility Reviews

PowerPDF 2.0 for Windows (WIN )
PowerPDF 2.0 for Windows enables a user to create PDF documents from any Windows application. The PDF documents that are produced are fully compatible with all versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF versions 1.2 to 1.4).

The program installs as a \"printer subsystem,\" and facilitates the creation of a PDF document from any application that is able to print. The user can see a preview, in full size, prior to making the PDF. The software provides several options, including font embedding, user-selectable compression rates, watermarking, and more. $49.95

Contact: Xelerate Software, Inc., 102 Pennock Place, Media, PA 19063,, e-mail:, fax: 215 895-9601.

DVD X Copy (WIN )
DVD X Copy is a program that enables users of DVD movies, that an individual owns or has made, to be copied, for personal use, using a PC and a DVD burner. The copies are exact duplicates that can be played on a computer or a home DVD player. Copies that are made incorporate an anti-piracy technology so that they can not be duplicated. The program has obvious advantages for archiving expensive and valuable DVD-bound digital assets which a business may depend on. $129.99

Contact: 321, 720 Spirit 40 Park Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63005, 636 728-0100,

FontSight (MAC)
FontSight provides a visual font menu to all Macintosh Cocoa applications. The user can select the size that the font appears in the menu, where the menu appears (in the Format menu or in the Top Level menu) and if the fonts will be listed by family or individually. Shareware, $19.

Contact: Stone Design Corp., 2400 Rio Grande Blvd. NW pmb 116, Albuquerque, NM 87107, 505 345-4800,

Rewind ()
Rewind is a utility program for Mac OS 9 that can restore the operating system to a working state following the adverse effects of a virus, file corruption, accidental deletion or overwritting of files, and other mishaps. The program provides the user with the option to go back to a specific time when the computer was functioning properly. $99.95

Contact: Power On Software, 6525 West Campus Oval, New Albany, OH 43054, 800 797-7382, 614 933-0678,, e-mail:, fax: 614 933-0679.

Instant.EXE 2.0 for Windows (WIN )
Instant.EXE 2.0 for Windows enables a user to create Windows programs in a minimum amount of time, and with no prior experience required. With a total of 50 English commands, users can create programs, with dialog boxes and menu bars, integrated graphics, sound, and videos. Advanced users can take advantage of JavaScript, DDE commands, VB scripts, and access the serial ports on a PC. There are no royalties nor restrictions on the distribution of programs made with the software. $59.95

Contact: Xelerate Software, Inc., 102 Pennock Place, Media, PA 19063,, e-mail:, fax: 215 895-9601.

spyPC 7.0 for Windows (WIN )
spyPC 7.0 for Windows provides surveillance control over the operation of a PC. The software can be used to restrict access to the Internet, limit access to certain features of the PC, log the keystrokes that are entered, create stealth screen shots, lock the PC during certain parts of the day, disable all system functions, and more. $39.95

Contact: Xelerate Software, Inc., 102 Pennock Place, Media, PA 19063,, e-mail:, fax: 215 895-9601.

PowerUtilities 2003 (WIN )
PowerUtilities 2003 is comprised of four programs that are useful for managing a Windows system and attached hard discs. First is PrivacyExpert 2003 which enables the user to remove any trace of deleted files or Internet activity using guaranteed data destruction algorithms. Second is MigrateEasy 6.0 which simplifies the process of migrating to a new hard drive by enabling the user to move all data, operating systems, programs, documents, e-mail, settings, preferences, etc. in a matter of minutes. Third is DiskEditor 6.0 which provides an editor for repairing hard disc data errors and other disc-related issues. Fourth is DriveCleaner 6.0 which offers the user the capability to completely destroy data on an entire hard disc or slected partition. This is highly useful when returning a leased computer, redeploying a computer, or selling one. A bonus program, RecoveryExpert, is included in the boxed version. This program helps a user recover deleted partitions. $64.99

Contact: Acronis, Inc., 395 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 213, South San Francisco, CA 94080, 888 380-3736,, e-mail:

Database Reviews

Alpha Five version 5 (WIN )
Alpha Five version 5 is a full-featured database application that despite its power and sophistication is quite accessible and user-friendly. It comes with a variety of ready-to-use templates, however it can be applied to a wide range of business, personal, and organization needs easily.

At the heart of the program are a set of Script Genies that simplify what would be difficult to otherwise achieve without a programmer or the aid of a sophisticated and knowledgeable user. Most users will find that the Genies, which can automate over 200 different XBasic (Alpha Five's programming language) actions, lead them effortlessly through the processes of creating scripts that can perform almost anything that the user may want to do...all without programming nor coding. The Script Genie itself is written in XBasic, and developers can add categories and actions to it.

Users can easily build interfaces, enter data, formulate reports, export data to various destinations, and otherwise manipulate their data without restriction. In addition to its benefits for nonprogrammers and casual users, the program enables developers to be significantly more productive, reducing development time by as much as 80%.

Alpha Five is worthy of a close look for anyone seeking a database solution. It has features that we have not seen elsewhere, such as Smart Fields that can be set, when selected, to open a pop-up calculator, a calendar, the user's e-mail client or their Web browser. Digital publishers will appreciate that reports can be saved as PDF, Rich Text, HTML or plain ASCII. An automated mail merge capability with MS Word is provided, as is a direct export to MS Excel.

Stylesheets can be applied that embellish layouts with the look of professional design. These elements enhance the printed output as well as the on-screen appearance. $349

Contact: Alpha Software Corporation, 83 Cambridge St., Burlington, MA 01803-4483, 781 229-4500, 800 451-1018,, fax: 781 272-4876.

Digital Video Reviews

Visual Communicator Pro (WIN )
Visual Communicator Pro represents a new metaphor for the creation and delivery of digital video which is called \"Personal Broadcasting.\" It is to video what PageMaker was to publishing. It provides a rich environment for the production of professional-quality video presentations that can distributed in virtually every form. It operates much like a live TV studio where the presenter or \"talent\" works from a script or outline, and media elements are added along a pre-defined timeline. Output can be produced for training videos, product demos, video e-mail, and hundreds of other uses.

Visual Communicator incorporates several professional broadcasting capabilities, such as real-time special effects, live green-screen (chroma key) effects, virtual sets, and a built-in personal teleprompter, in a PC-based, software-only solution. In addition to being a software-only product, it supports the use of low-cost cameras (webcams and consumer camcorders) and standard home or office lighting. The program supports many video file formats (mpg, mpeg, m1v, mpe, avi, asf, wm, wmv, ivf), still image file formats (bmp, jpg, png), and audio file formats (wav, mp3, wma, aif, aiff, aifc, au, mpa, snd, mp2).

The green-screen capability is used extensively in television and motion picture production, and enables the illusion of a live actor being placed in any environment or location. It is routinely used for positioning weather reporters in front of a weather map, or newscasters in front of an impressive studio backdrop. Visual Communicator users can use any still image or video clip as a background.

Special transition effects are provided both for moving from one image to another, and creating special visual effects. Users can create inset graphics, page peels, curl-ups, fly-aways, and many more.

The Visual Communicator screen is divided into several areas, consisting of a teleprompter in the upper center, user content in the upper right with video effects in the lower right, and a preview of the finished video along the left side of the screen. The user can custom design their presentation, or use the Wizard templates with preselected graphics, titles, effects, and music. The user's script, speaking points, or outline is typed or pasted into teleprompter, and the media is keyed to it, aligned to the words which will prompt their appearance. The recording function starts the camera, scrolls the teleprompter and activates the associated media. The production can be saved as avi on disc or on tape, or compressed for CD, PowerPoint, or the Internet.

The program is available in three versions: Visual Communicator ($99), Visual Communicator Plus ($149.95), and Visual Communicator Pro ($349.95). The Plus version includes the V-Screen foldable (6' x 5') non-reflective backdrop and a professional-quality clip-on PC-compatible microphone. Both the standard and Plus versions produce video for the Internet. The Pro version provides capabilities to produce full broadcast resolution video for DVD, videotape, video projection, and more. It also incorporates a feature to convert native PowerPoint shows into video presentations. This version includes the full version of Pinnacle Expression software for CD and DVD authoring, and an expanded library of graphics, music, and real-time video effects.

Contact: Serious Magic, 916 859.0100, 2870-B Gold Tailings Court, Rancho Cordova, CA  95670,, Fax: 916 859.0180.

VideoStudio 7 ()
VideoStudio 7 is a consumer-level video editing application that supports real-time (InstaView(tm) for Pentium 4 users) capture, edit and output, which eliminates the time-consuming process of rendering prior to viewing each edit. With the use of a display card, users can output a preview to a second display device, providing full-screen previews. The software also supports Intel's Hyper-Threading (HT) technology which provides up to 23% faster processing speeds.

The package includes a step-by-step video editing tutorial so that new users can learn how to make videos easily.

The new MultiCut(tm) tool provides control over selecting and removing multiple video clips. The new fast/slow motion tool provides control over the speed of clips, either speeding them up or slowing them down. The COOL 3D 3.0 SE, enables the production of 3D animated titles and graphics as video overlays. The package includes 112 transitions and 35 video filters.

Finished video productions can be transferred to tape, DVD, VideoCD, DVD-RAM and the Web. $99.95

Contact: Ulead Systems, 20000 Mariner Ave., Ste 200, Torrance, CA 90503, 310 896-6388,, e-mail:, fax: 310 896-6389.

DTP Reviews

Corel Ventura 10 (WIN )
Corel Ventura 10 marks a milestone in the growth and versioning of the desktop publishing genre. The program was developed by Ventura Software, which was started by Don Heiskel, John Meyer, and Lee Jay Lorentzen. It was among the first significant desktop publishing programs published for the IBM PC, running DOS. Released in 1986, it included a run-time copy of Digital Research Corporation's GEM Desktop. The program was distributed by several companies, including Xerox, which eventually became the sole distributor, and Ventura Software became an affiliated Xerox company. Version 3 was released in 1990, followed by version 4.0 in 1991. The program was acquired by Corel in 1993. The first Corel-inspired version, Ventura 5.0, was released in 1994.

Ventura provides an architecture for creating long, structured documents. It retains at least one major feature, which it introduced from the start, that has not been implemented by competitors. Users can import multiple files to a File List. The list can hold any number of files, text or graphic, allowing the user to gather all associated publication files at one time, and then place them within the publication where and when required. This function provides for increased productivity, and makes good digital workflow sense, yet Ventura alone works in this way. Ventura users can also import files directly to a page, at a cursor location, or can drag blocks of text from another application or from another Ventura publication. The Navigator, which is used to manage multiple publications, enables the user to move elements within its window, or between publications. The use of the Navigator tool enables the user to see the structure and content of multiple publications and move around and between them.

Corel Ventura 10 adds the capability to import XML, extending its functionality in a cross-media publishing environment. The XML import feature, when used with an XML editor , such as Corel's own XMetaL, can leverage the data and graphic assets of an enterprise, and facilitate their formation into structured business documents.

The cross publishing functionality has been enhanced with the integration of a preflight engine that provides feedback prior to final output. The user can save preflight styles that are customized for job workflows for print, PDF, and the Web. The preflight process provides warnings of potential problems that the user can usually fix prior to output.

One of Ventura's strengths is its capability to deal with a wide variety of file formats. In addition to its use of XML, Ventura 10 supports one of the largest lists of import and export, text and graphic filters, of any publishing application.This version provides support for more than 80 import and export filters. The user can also create and manage style sheet properties from a central location, the Tag Window.

In addition to its strength in print output, the program can be used in cross-media publishing environments. Documents can be published to PDF, for the Web, and for mobile devices, such as cell phones and PDAs. The package includes Ventura 10, Corel DataBase Publisher, Corel CAPTURE 10, Corel Barcode Wizard, Adobe Acrobat Reader 5, XML Mapping Editor, 1500 TrueType and Type 1 fonts, and the Corel Ventura 10 user guide. $699

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

Internet Reviews

Freeway 3.5 (MAC)
Freeway 3.5 is a visual Web page composition application that is modeled after desktop publishing conventions. It is an HTML generator, not an HTML editor. It is a totally visual environment which frees the user from any representation of coding. The program provides considerable control over page layout, graphic positioning, and typography. The user can create multiple templates each with multiple master pages. Page elements can be dragged-and-dropped into position including layered Photoshop files. The program supports both Macintosh OS 9 and X.

In the tradition of DTP, Freeway provides control over kerning; tracking; leading; text/graphic runarounds; textbox linking; text skewing, rotating and scaling; force justification; text/graphic overlay; and more. Typographic elements can be composed in any font. Text on the Web can be marked for conversion to anti-aliased GIF bitmaps, yet remains editable. Experienced page layout artists are likely to find the program very accessible and easy to use. It is likely the easiest route for experienced print professionals to enter the world of Web site publishing.

Although the program is not an HTML editor, users can add their own extended HTML tags and insert JavaScript, using Freeway Actions. Users can not import existing HTML sites, however they can recreate sites directly within the program. Completed sites can be uploaded using the FTP upload feature. $249

Contact: SoftPress Systems Ltd., Mitre House, Lodge Road, Long Hanborough Business Park, Long Hanborough, Oxon OX8 8LP UK, 01993 882588,, e-mail:, fax: 01993 883970.

Digital Imaging Reviews

Photomeister (WIN )
Photomeister is a digital photo processing application that enables the user to import photos, improve them, manage them, and output them.

The "import" stage involves entering the photos into a photo album. This can be accomplished directly from a digital camera, scanner, or memory card, or by moving photos from an existing folder. As the photos enter the photo album they appear as thumbnails.

The "improve" stage provides a collection of tools for modifying the images. These include rotating, red-eye removal, adding a frame, cropping, blurring, sharpening, optimizing, deleting, and dumping (temporarily removing the images from the album, but not deleting them).

The "impress" stage deals with the actual use of the photos that are contained in the album(s). The program supports printing, e-mailing, creating a Web-based photo album (using one of the more than 15 templates), saving the album as a PDF, creating a screensaver slideshow, and outputting to a Palm Pilot. $55

Contact: Paessler GmbH, Hornschuchpromenade 7, D-90762 Fürth, Germany, +49-911-7872497,, e-mail: fax: +49-911-7399031.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 (MAC/WIN)
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 provides the nonprofessional with many \"elements\" of the full version of Adobe Photoshop, but with a higher degree of accessibility and an enhanced ease-of-use. The program provides users with image editing and manipulation tools for output to print, e-mail and the Web. The program supports easy image importing from digital cameras, scanners, disc-based media, and still images from digital video.

One of the strengths of Photoshop is its extensive range of tools that can be applied to fix or improve poor images. Photoshop Elements provides "Quick Fix" solutions for accomplishing such tasks as removing red eye, dust or blemishes, straightening a crooked image, or improving the overall color and appearance of an image. Many special effects can be applied, ranging from text effects (3D, drop shadow, bevel, and glow) to the generation of seamless panoramas composed of multiple images. A series of filters is also provided to modifying images with painting effects, such as watercolor and charcoal.

After images have been corrected, modified, and otherwise manipulated, they can be output in compact forms and easily attached to e-mail messages; ganged, in various sizes, on a single sheet and printed; or output as a Web page using a supplied template. $99

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

Vuescan 7.6.23 (MAC/WIN)
Vuescan 7.6.23 is a program that enables the use of a wide variety of flatbed and film scanners that otherwise might not be accessible from computers running Macintosh (OS X and OS 9), Windows, and Linux operating systems. The software is easy to install and does not add any files to, nor modify, the operating system. In addition, it does not affect the use of other scanner software that has been installed.

The Vuescan interface is clean and very easy to control. We downloaded and installed the software in less than ten minutes and were scanning within 12 minutes, and most of the delay time was waiting for the scanner light to warm up. The software automatically recognized the model of scanner that was connected and we simply pressed the Preview button to initiate the first scan. It was simple and flawless. If only all software worked this well!

The program takes advantage of the capabilities of the scanner that is connected, and produces accurate color rendition based on ICC profiles and IT8 calibration. A truly elegant solution. $79.95 (the standard edition, with fewer features is $49.95)

Contact: Hamrick Software,

Book Reviews

GATF Encyclopedia of Graphic Communications, The
Romano, Frank; Richard Romano

The most complete and concise desktop reference covering all aspects of the graphic communication field. The authors start with a comprehensive history of the first 500 years of printing and end with a 2000 year timeline of events that have shaped the history of communications. In between these two book entries are over 10,000 definitions, with longer articles interspersed appropriately. This is a book that belongs in the library of every serious practitioner of the art and craft of printing.

Available for on-line ordering at

0883621908 940 pp. $250

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

Database Profits
Idzik, Mark

This ebook encompasses strategies for harnessing the power of databases to Web sites for automating processes, selling products, and providing up-to-date information on goods, services, and enterprise information. The author has several years of experience in creating data-driven Web sites, and presents his book as a brandable entity that can be used by developers and ISPs to inform and educate their clients and customers, as well as being used directly by end-users.


Contact:, Trimak New Media, LLC, 4980 S Alma School Rd, A2-602, Chandler, AZ 85248, 480515-0061,, e-mail:, fax: 602-532-7035.

How to Use Adobe Premiere 6.5
Dixon, Douglas

An attractively produced, full-color tutorial that shows, in easy-to-follow two-page spreads, how to accomplish production processes that can be achieve in Adobe Premiere 6.5. Each series of tasks is related to specific areas of interest to the digital video producer, such as getting started, importing and organizing clips, assembling clips in the Storyboard and Timeline, adding transitions, and much more.

Available for on-line ordering at

0789728265 278 pp. $29.99

Contact: Que Corporation, 11711 North College Ave., Carmel, IN 46032,

PDF Print Production Guide, The
Marin, Joseph; Julie Shaffer

This book is an invaluable guide to printers and prepress technicians who rely on the Acrobat PDF file format as a critical component of their digital workflow. The authors specifically address the problems that are common to printing and publishing workflows, with step-by-step instructions for fixing PDF-related problems that have been identified in a recent survey conducted by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF). The authors are GATF instructors, and all of their recommended procedures have been tested in the GATF labs. The book includes a glossary.

Available for on-line ordering at

0883624311 151 pp. $45

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

Macromedia Contribute for Windows
Negrino, Tom

A handy guide to Macromedia Contribute for Windows, a program that enables non-programmers to easily maintain a Web site. The author covers all aspects of the program, using profuse illustrations and step-by-step instructions.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321167813 212 pp. $19.99

FileMaker Pro 6 for Windows & Macintosh
Hester, Nolan

The ultimate quick-start guide for FileMaker 6, the popular database application. Readers benefit from the author's ability to explain fully and illustrate clearly. The book features new capabilities in version 6, including XML and image import.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321167821 366 pp. $21.99

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

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