The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 8.6 November / December 2003

Issue 8.6 November / December 2003


Multimedia/Graphics Reviews

Verbatim Digital Movie DVD+R media
Verbatim Digital Movie DVD+R media is cleverly printed with an image of an old time movie reel on its surface. The realistic representation, although a novelty, provides immediate identification of the disc as carrying video content. The surface of the 4x disc is coated with Verbatim's exclusive Metal Anzo recording dye which is known to provide "superior archival stability." $11.99 per 3-pack.

Contact: Verbatim Corporation, 1200 West W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28262, 800 421-4188, 704 547-6500,, fax: 704 547-6609.

DeskTop Author (WIN )
DeskTop Author is a tool that enables the user to produce electronic publications that can be read on-screen, using either a free standalone reader, or a browser plug-in. The program is provided with a collection of templates and other assets that streamline the production of e-books, brochures, tests and surveys (using the new multi-select function), of practically any shape and dimensions.

Features of the program include a built-in image editor and manipulator, as well as an easy to use interface to import and place graphics (through the use of cut and paste, drag and drop, and an image browser). Pages are assembled using a WYSIWYG interface, and hot links can be established to other media, such as movies, sounds, Web sites, e-mail, and other files. The finished publications, which can include books, photo albums, restaurant menus, newsletters, magazines, reports, resumes, etc., include page flipping animation consisting of one of six page turn settings selected by the user. In addition, the publication can be set to automatic page flipping for trade show, in-store, or kiosk presentations. The program can produce professional-looking digital publications, generally of modest file sizes, and with print functions either enabled or disabled. Many of the examples on the Desktop Author Web site are visually stunning, and the page turning effect is quite engaging. One note for digital publishers is that the program is not Macintosh compatible, other than with the use of a Windows emulator, which restricts the distribution of its files to Windows users. $125

Contact: DNAml Pty Limited, P.O.BOX 875, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012, Australia, 61 2 8353 3680,,

PhotoStory on CD & DVD 2004 (WIN )
PhotoStory on CD & DVD 2004 is an application that enables the user to create slide shows that can be viewed on a TV using a DVD player or PC. The program facilitates the capture of images directly from digital cameras, scanners and pre-existing sources. A PhotoStory production is created by dragging and dropping images into the application, and then arranging them. The production can be burned to a CD or DVD, output as a streaming video for the Internet, or saved as an .AVI movie for use with other applications. The presentations can be supported with voice-over narration, special FX, background music, transitions, subtitles, video clips, virtual camera movements, and other effects. Users have the choice of using the Easy Storyboard mode or the mor sophisticated 4-track Timeline mode.

The program package includes MAGIX Photo Clinic 2.0, a 24-bit image editor that can be used to improve the quality of images by adjusting sharpness, contrast, brightness, and removing red eye. It also provides tools to add visual, fun effects, such as fish-eye and mosaic. $39.99

Contact: Magix, 1680 Michigan Ave., Suite 900, Miami Beach, FL 33139, 888-326-2449,, e-mail:

Specialized Output Reviews

Business Card Factory Deluxe 2.0 (WIN )
Business Card Factory Deluxe 2.0 is a complete business card production operation in a box. In three simple steps a user can produce professional-looking business cards that can be printed on any inkjet or laser printer, or sent to a commercial printer. The user starts by selecting a design from the more than 4000 templates provided for matching business cards, letterheads, and envelopes. Next he or she enters their personal information. Finally the job is printed.

The program supports the use of business card stock from several vendors, and allows for the composition of up to ten different cards on a single sheet of paper. Users can maintain user profiles so that cards can be generated at any time after a profile has been saved. The editor supports modifications and adjustments using precision layout and alignment tools. 750 logo elements are provided, and the user can import graphics in almost any format. Business cards can be produced in horizontal, vertical, double-sided, folded, and even in CD business card formats.

The package also includes over 35,000 graphics, composed of royalty-free photographs and clip art. The collection of 500 fonts includes a wide variety of styles. All this for only $29.95.

Contact: Nova Development Corporation, 23801 Calabasas Road, Suite 2005, Calabasas, CA 91302-1547, 800 395-6682, 818 591-9600,, fax: 818 591-8885.

Greeting Card Factory (MAC)
Greeting Card Factory provides a complete software environment for producing custom-made greeting cards for virtually any occasion. In three easy steps the user can generate a professional-looking card. First the user selects from the over 3000 greeting cards and projects, choosing from a major category, and then selecting a holiday or occasion. Second the user personalizes the selection by adding text, applying special graphic effects, and/or including a personal photo. Third, he or she prints it to any inkjet printer, or saves it for electronic delivery. The package includes over 45,000 graphics, 500 color photos, and over 300 fonts. $49.95

Contact: Nova Development Corporation, 23801 Calabasas Road, Suite 2005, Calabasas, CA 91302-1547, 800 395-6682, 818 591-9600,, fax: 818 591-8885.

Business Plan Writer Deluxe Edition (WIN )
Business Plan Writer Deluxe Edition must be among the most valuable tools that a potential business owner can have. Everything that is necessary for preparing a factually accurate, and visually impressive business plan is included in this heavy-weight package. The user builds their business plan by working through four steps, as presented by the Plan Wizard. First, the user customizes their plan by completing a simple interview. Second, the user adds details regarding their management team, product or service, and marketing plan. Suggested professionally-written text examples can be used. Third, the user enters financial data, and the program generates a balance sheet, P&L, statement of cash flows, sales forecasts, and more. Finally, the completed plan is printed or published to the Web.

Added features include Kiplinger's Business Attorney software, 260+ real-world sample business plans, 9000+ reports with industry trend data, 10,000+ graphics supporting 40 industries, export filters to MS Word and Excel, and more. $99.95

Contact: Nova Development Corporation, 23801 Calabasas Road, Suite 2005, Calabasas, CA 91302-1547, 800 395-6682, 818 591-9600,, fax: 818 591-8885.

Entertainment Reviews

Burning Monkey Solitaire (MAC/WIN)
A massive collection of 26 different solitaire games that are enhanced with several multi-media elements, such as flaming arrows, bad jokes, and performing monkeys. Users can download more jokes from the Internet, play using pretend casino cash, compare scores to others as recorded on the Web, change the card deck and background, and more. A great diversion from the intensity of digital publishing. $24.95

Contact: Freeverse Software, 212 929-3549,, e-mail:

Wingnuts Temporal Navigator (MAC/WIN)
Wingnuts Temporal Navigator is an arcade game with impressive graphics and realistic sound effects. The objective is to capture Baron von Schtopwatch and his time-traveling airforce. Along the way the player encounters biplanes, blimps and helicopter gunships. $19.95

Contact: Freeverse Software, 212 929-3549,, e-mail:

Wipeout 2097 (MAC)
Wipeout 2097 is a 3D arcade racing game with fantastic graphics and photorealistic detailed landscapes. The game features eight race circuits, 11 weapons, four racing classes, and up to 15 craft on track. $29.95

Contact: Freeverse Software, 212 929-3549,, e-mail:

Additions/Extensions Reviews

nik Color Efex Pro! Classic/Design Bundle ()
nik Color Efex Pro! Classic/Design Bundle consists of two photographic filter sets that have proven very popular with professional imagemakers. The filters are optimized for improving pictures that have been taken under a wide variety of conditions, and which lack the essential qualities that would render them acceptable for sale.

Among the capabilities that the user will attain are: adding sunshine to an image; removing a color cast; enhancing the blueness of the sky; converting a color image to black and white while maintaining control over tone and shadows; softening and controlling light; and much more. $199.95

Contact: nik multimedia, Inc., 7580 Metropolitan Dr., Suite 208, San Diego, CA 92108, 619 725-3150,, fax: 619 725-3151.

Smart Catalog v2 (MAC/WIN)
Smart Catalog v2 is a plug-in for Adobe InDesign that enables the linkage of a data source to text or image frames in InDesign. It is a database publishing solution that is appropriate for the production of image catalogs, pricelists and other forms of data-driven publications. A significant characteristic of the program is that it "links" rather than "copies" data, so that the data remains "live" until it is committed to publication...and can be updated prior to output at any time.

The process of publishing from a database consists of selecting a data file and establishing one or more links in the publication file text or image frames. Images need not reside in the database. So long as the database contains references to the images on local or networked volumes, the program will be able to properly link them to designated image frames. The process can be accomplished using one-button linking. The process can be automated by using an optional Robot module that supports the use of scripts. Other add-on modules include ODBC, XML, and Layout. $999

Contact: WoodWing Software, Dijkven 27, 1504 DB Zaandam, The Netherlands, +31 75 61 43 400,, e-mail:, fax: +31 75 61 43 399. In U.S.: 888 563-3427, e-mail:

Andromeda Cutline Filter (MAC/WIN)
Andromeda Cutline Filter is an Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in that has just been released in a Mac OS X native version. See our review at The filter produces images that appear hand engraved, or with a woodcut look. $74

Contact: Andromeda Software, Inc., 699 Hampshire Road, Ste. 109, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361, 805 379-4109, 800 547-0055,, fax: 805 379-5253.

EtchTone Filter (MAC/WIN)
EtchTone Filter is a Photoshop compatible filter that simulates the look of a steel etch engraving. It has just been released in a Mac OS X native version. See our original review at $98

Contact: Andromeda Software, Inc., 699 Hampshire Road, Ste. 109, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361, 805 379-4109, 800 547-0055,, fax: 805 379-5253.

Series 3 Screens Filter (MAC/WIN)
Series 3 Screens Filter is a Photoshop compatible tool that enables the user to convert grayscale images into a variety of mezzotint and engraving forms reflecting line art screen values of from 15 to 400 lpi. The variety of effects is very impressive, and not achievable using other methods. Samples can be seen at The filter is now available for native Mac OS X. $109

Contact: Andromeda Software, Inc., 699 Hampshire Road, Ste. 109, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361, 805 379-4109, 800 547-0055,, fax: 805 379-5253.

Dfine 1.0 (MAC/WIN)
Dfine 1.0 is a plug-in for Photoshop that can reduce the noise and JPEG artifacts that are inherent in almost every digital capture. Noise is an annoying element that has been difficult or impossible to least until now. Nik has over 60 extra-cost camera profiles available that target the noise structures that are peculiar to specific digital cameras. The user can selectively remove noise from specific areas of an image, such as skin, backgrounds, sky, shadows, etc., and initiate exposure and other tonal adjustments. $99.95

Contact: nik multimedia, Inc., 7580 Metropolitan Dr., Suite 208, San Diego, CA 92108, 619 725-3150,, fax: 619 725-3151.

Image Collection Reviews

Contact Icons (MAC/WIN)
Contact Icons is a library of over 50 collections of icons related to the process of "contact." Contact icons are designs that represent the following forms of business contact: phone, fax, e-mail, truck delivery, credit card, shopping basket, WWW, payment, and post. Included are vector, raster, and font representations of contact icons. The icons are useful for Web design, business cards, brochures, and other forms of commercial communication. Approximately $48.50.

Contact: Ingram Publishing, Ingram House, High Street, Tattenhall, Chester CH3 9PX, United Kingdom, + 44 (0) 1829 771880,, fax: + 44 (0) 1829 771883.

Instruction/Learning Reviews

The Professional Photoshop Digital Retouch Series (MAC/WIN)
The Professional Photoshop Digital Retouch Series consists of three DVDs that encompass the entire realm of skills and techniques necessary for dealing with problem images of all kinds. The series is presented by Katrin Eismann, an RIT graduate, and internationally known digital artist, author and educator. Each disc contains a themed series of lessons that are clearly demonstrated and explained. They are both instructive and entertaining. The user can follow along on their computer using the actual files, which are available at the author's Web site at Katrin gives the the viewer a rare insight into the workings of a Photoshop expert, providing the tips, tricks, and techniques that accomplished professionals use daily to produce quality results in minimum time.

The first volume is Tone, Exposure & Color Correction which provides the techniques to restore or enhance the image quality of black and white and color images. Ms. Eismann shows how to compensate for poorly exposed images, faded photographs, inaccurate skin tones, color casts, etc. She demonstrates how to add stunning lighting effects, adjust image tone and contrast, color correct images, determine image tonality, and more.

The second volume is Image Restoration & Repair which presents a succession of photographic challenges in the form of old, torn, moldy, scratched, cracked, discolored, stained, and otherwise distressed images which Ms. Eismann handily restores to their original grandeur. Like the other volumes, the DVD menu system provides the means to easily select and view a particular image enhancement technique, which provides a handy reference source to have on hand.

The third volume is Portrait Retouching which deals with the intracacies of producing a digital portrait that is as good as it can be. The professional techniques shown by Ms. Eismann include adjustment of the facial toning, accentuating the eyes, red eye removal, blemish concealment, retouch brush settings, wrinkle reduction, five 'clock shadow removal, background retouching, glamor retouching, body contouring, soft focus adjustment, and more.

The producers should be commended for including English subtitles for the hearing impaired. DVDs are $69.95 each, or all three for $188.85.

Contact: Desktop Images, 2603 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505, 818 841-8980,, fax: 818 841-8023.

Total Training Presents: Adobe Creative Suite ­From Design to Delivery (MAC/WIN)
Total Training Presents: Adobe Creative Suite ­From Design to Delivery is a set of three DVDs containing over 12 hours of instruction. The educational value of the training set is so compelling that Adobe has included a one hour sample on the Creative Suite installation discs to help users begin to learn some of the impressive capabilities of this new software collection. The production is very professional, very easy to follow, and as entertaining as it is educational...a rarity in multimedia training programs.

The instruction is lead by Steve Holmes, a professional designer with many impressive credits. Mr. Holmes worked with the Creative Suite programmers during its development, and influenced its ultimate feature set. He is uniquely qualified to demonstrate the integrative characteristics of the software. He does so by beginning with a design concept for a series of travel brochures, and then takes the reader through the digital workflow required to create them, for print and for the Web. The project files are provided so that the user can stop the video at any time and create the projects along with Mr. Holmes. The nature of the projects is such that they provide the user with a clear understanding of the impressive capabilities of the software suite. The genius of the integrative design of the Adobe software becomes evident as Mr. Holmes smoothly moves between the programs to produce professional results in record time. As he works he highlights the various new features of the software, and shows how digital production workflows benefit from the innovative Adobe Version Cue software which intelligently manages multiple versions of files shared by a work group.

The first disc, entitled "Design, Creation & Layout," covers logo design, color management, 3D graphics, Photoshop CS effects and automation, page layout and nested styles, compound paths and feathering, and more. The second disc, entitled "Final Artwork, Prep & Output," includes clipping paths and text wrap, master pages and auto folios, print preparation and books, Illustrator CS symbols and artwork, trapping and output preview, preflight, and more. The final disc, entitled "Web Design & Delivery," covers site creation and hierarchy design, into page and layout, GIFs and rollovers, cascading style sheets, smart objects and layers, image maps, cool browser control, FTP publishing, and more.

Considering the time, money and intellectual capital that an investment in the Adobe Creative Suite will require, this training series is a bargain at only $99.

Contact: Total Training Inc., 324 Encinitas Blvd, Suite B, Encinitas CA,  92024, 888 DO TOTAL, 760 944-3900,, e-mail:

FileMaker Pro 6 Training Series (MAC/WIN)
The FileMaker Pro 6 Training Series is a set of seven CD-ROMs comprising 14 hours of instruction. The CDs cover all of the basic operations of database construction, administration, and maintenance. Those new to the field of databases will learn what a database is, how a well-formed database is generated, and how to utilize database technology most effectively.

Each of the CDs addresses a well-planned series of topics, so that an individual title can be purchased separately to meet specific training needs. Volume 1, Structure Setup, provides an introduction to database structure and the entry of data. Volume 2, Layout & Form Design, covers the Layout mode and the presentation of data on screen and in print. Volume 3, Summary Reports, deals with the topic of summaries and the creation of an auto report generator. Volume 4, Import/Export, contains information about the various ways of importing data into, and exporting data out of, FileMaker. It also includes the process of publishing FileMaker databases directly to the Web. Volume 5, Relational, covers the important topics of flat field versus relational database structures, Entity Relationships (E-R) and the proper way to diagram them. It also includes coverage of the various kinds of database relationships: one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many. Volume 6 focuses on Scripting...what it is, how it is used, and how it can be applied for enhancing the efficiency of a database. Finally, Volume 7 tackles the issues related to Passwords and Security, and provides insight into how databases can be protected.

Each of the volumes is presented in a user-controlled video format, showing the use of the software with narration by Keith Kiel, a database expert, and the creator of previous FileMaker titles for MacAcademy and WindowsAcademy ( The user can quickly access any topic and play it, stop it, or review it at any time. Actually seeing how important operations are accomplished is much more beneficial than reading them from a book, and much more lasting than taking a class or workshop. The ready availability of the CDs provides the user with an excellent reference source that can be accessed instantly for learning how to accomplish a given task, or reviewing infrequently used methods and techniques. In addition, the CD format allows for their use in a multi-user setting. Single CDs are $39 each, the set price is $273, and a multi-user license for up to 20 users is $1033 for the set.

Contact: MacAcademy, 102 East Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, FL 32176-1712, 904 677-1918, 800 527-1914,,, fax: 904 677-6717.

CD-ROM Reviews

Toast 6 Titanium (MAC)
Toast 6 Titanium redefines the disc recording process in numerous ways, simplifying the steps of moving all kinds of digital data to CD and DVD media, and making it easier and more foolproof than ever before. The program supports all of the many audio and video formats that are processed by Apple QuickTime, and is fully compatible with the Apple iLife applications. Toast now enables the user to author Video CDs, Super VCDs and DVDs, with professional style elements, such as menus, buttons, and chapters. These discs can be played on a computer or on most home DVD players. Despite the sophistication of the authoring process, Toast retains both its elegant degree of simplicity and its reputation for reliability.

New to this version is the amazing ToastAnywhere technology which provides the means for users on a Mac OS network, or the Internet, to share CD and DVD burners. Groups can share burner resources and set up shared burning servers. DV camcorder users will like the Plug & Burn™ feature which enables them to plug-in their cameras, click record on the Toast screen, and have their videos transferred and burned to disc automatically.

Also new is the capability to drag and drop iPhoto photos to create full screen slide shows in a variety of disc formats, that can be watched on a DVD player or computer. Motion Pictures software generates the illusion of movement from still images using pan and zoom effects and crossfades.

Users who want to convert analog records and tapes into digital form will be impressed with the improved capabilities of CD Spin Doctor® 2. The program supports the recording of live audio performances, and includes sophisticated computer algorithms that reduce annoying background noise, scratches and pops.

Digital publishers will especially appreciate the integration of the Toast function into the Macintosh OS. Users can directly burn files and folders from the desktop using the Toast It™ pop up contextual menu. Users can also control a scheduler that will execute automatic back-ups, using data compression, 128-bit encryption, and password protection. All in all, Toast is one application that every Macintosh user should have. $99.95

Contact: Roxio, Inc., 6900 Wedgwood Road, Suite 200, Maple Grove, MN 55311, 763 494-7240,, fax: 763 494-7301.

Utility Reviews

NTI CD & DVD Maker 6 Platinum (WIN )
NTI CD & DVD Maker 6 Platinum is reputed to be the most reliable and easy to use media writing program available. The program simplifies the process of transferring various forms of digital content onto disc-based recordable media. It can, for example, encode MPEG from AVI, enabling the production of VCD and SVCD movies. Unique features include Live Audio Recording, whereby the user can record anything from their sound card directly to a CD or a wave file; a new, easier to use interface; support for virtually every DVD Recordable format; automatic audio track balancing to produce consistent volume levels; enhanced support from Gracenote's CDDB2 Music Recognition Service to CD Text and jewel case labeling; automatic conversion of WAV, CDA, and WMA files to MP3; production of Slideshow Video CD (VCD) and Super Video CD (SVCD) with Audio; an improved Jewel Case Maker (version 2.0); the addition of a WAVE editor with effects that include trim, normalize, fade, echo, filter, and amplify; and more. $69.99

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

Suitcase X1 for Mac (MAC)
Suitcase X1 for Mac provides professional font management for digital publishers and other graphics professionals. The program provides a complete solution for installing, finding, previewing, organizing, activating, repairing, printing specimens, and using fonts that are both active and inactive in both OS X and Classic. Users of ATM Deluxe can use the provided utility to convert their font database to Suitcase. In addition to standard font formats, Suitcase supports OpenType, Windows TrueType, and Apple's dfont formats.

Suitcase X1 empowers the user to control all available fonts, including those in the OS X System. Fonts are automatically activated in popular applications, such as InDesign and QuarkXPress, using the Extended Auto-Activation Support feature. This ensures that fonts used in given files are available for immediate use when the files are opened.

Users can preview active and inactive fonts in a choice of layouts that can be customized to suit individual needs. Fonts can be selected individually or in groups, and can be previewed side-by-side. Fonts can take on a variety of states: made permanently active, active until the system is restarted, auto-activated based on application, or deemed temporary.

Corrupt fonts, which can cause a variety of irritating problems, can be scanned as fonts are added to the Suitcase database, and repairs can be applied to correct common font problems. The bundled FontDoctor application can diagnose and repair damaged fonts. Any duplicate fonts can be removed easily with the Duplicate Font Management function.

Users can deal with large numbers of fonts, locating the most appropriate designs, using the keywords and styles function and previewing them in groups. The QuickFind tool supports searching for fonts using name, style, or keyword. After appropriate fonts have been located they can be managed individually, or in sets defined by project or other criteria, and activated either during startup or when a supported application is opened. Fonts can also be collected and copied for sending them to an output service.

Every font library owner will appreciate the bundling of LemkeSoft's FontBook application which enables the user to print professional-quality type specimen pages in a variety of useful layouts. $99.95

Contact: Extensis Inc., 1800 S.W. First Ave., Suite 500, Portland, OR 97201, 800 796-9798, 503 274-2020,,, fax: 503 274-0530.

Ten for X Utilities Volume 2 (MAC)
Ten for X Utilities Volume 2 brings together a collection of some of the best utilities available for the Macintosh OS. Despite its title, the suite of applications actually numbers 11 applications. These include:

Carbon Copy Cloner: A file backup utility that copies drives, volumes, and folders to produce copies that preserve all file attributes and permissions.

DragStrip: A one-click desktop file management system that simplifies the process of organizing applications and files by project and function. Programs can be launched with one click.

iCan: An alternate desktop trash can that includes "force delete" and "shred" options.

iClock: A menubar accessory that includes a local clock, world clock, weather, calendar, area and zip code look-up, and more.

iPulse: A system monitor that displays memory, CPU, disk, and network bandwidth.

Labels X: Provides label functionality similar to that of the Classic OS.

MacReporter: A news agent stored in the Dock that tracks headlines from favorite Web sites.

Path Finder: A file browser with conversion and file utility capabilities.

Quick Voice: A simple voice recorder that can create voice e-mail messages.

Spamfire: A spam elimination utility that removes spam before it reaches the user's Inbox.

X Overload: An extension manager for OS X that simplifies the management of extensions and plug-ins.

The software suite has a value of over $150. $49.99

Contact: Aladdin Systems, 245 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 831 761-6200, fax: 831 761-6206,, e-mail:

OCR Reviews

Readiris Pro 9 (MAC)
Readiris Pro 9 is the latest version of this venerable and trusted optical character recognition program. The application now embodies a range of capabilities that fulfill most of a digital publisher's document conversion needs. These include the conversion of paper documents into computer-processable forms (with page layout and graphics left intact); conversion of PDFs (including read-only) into editable form; and conversion of source documents and files into text, RTF, PDF, WYSIWYG HTML, and more. The program ensures that virtually no document or file will need to be retyped in order to access its text content.

The program is sufficiently intelligent to automatically recognize various areas of a page, such as columns of text, tables, and graphics, or conversely, it can be set to ignore irrelevant information. The user can manually define zones on a page to selectively capture content, or to capture it in an order different from the way that it appears on the source page.

The program's recognition engine supports up to 104 foreign languages. In addition it contains many productivity features, such as automatically rotating and straightening pages to facilitate more accurate scanning; utilizing the user's Photoshop scanner plug-in software or any TWAIN compliant device; and scanning up to 50 pages in succession. $149.99

Contact: I.R.I.S. Inc., 1600 N.W. Boca Raton Blvd., Suite 20, Boca Raton, FL 33432, 561 395-7831,,, fax: 561 347-6267.

Database Reviews

FileMaker Meetings (MAC/WIN)
FileMaker Meetings is an integrated set of databases that have been designed in a ready-to-use package that can enable the user to plan and manage meetings more efficiently and productively. According to an MCI Conferencing White Paper (Greenwich, CT: INFOCOMM, 1998), professionals attend an average of 60 meetings per month, and according authors Nelson and Economy (Better Business Meetings, Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin Inc., 1995, p. 5) more than 50% of meeting time is wasted.

FileMaker Meetings, which requires the FileMaker Pro 6.0 host application, provides intelligent forms for creating an agenda, recording and distributing meeting minutes, and assigning action items. The application provides the means to focus a meeting on specifc topics; follow-up a completed meeting with e-mail messages containing the meeting minutes, action item assignments, and anticipated next steps; and track overall progress.

The application ships with sample data so that the user can see how the various components interact, and with a 62-page PDF User Guide. To begin, the user enters the contact and group list data as well as the information about the meetings, and the action items that need to be managed. The management of dates is facilitated by the Calendar Widget which provides miniature calendars for any month of any year, and allows for the input of a date by simply clicking on it in the calendar view.

The Home Page view shows a listing of all meetings and action items, and provides access to the Preferences. The Meeting section lists all past and future meetings. A check mark beside a meeting indicates that information (such as the agenda, action items, etc.) has been e-mailed to the meeting members. The meetings are listed by date, with the future-most meetings listed first. Clicking on a meeting will reveal its list of action items.

Communication with meeting members is handled through e-mail. The application provides E-mail Tempates, some of which are provided (and can be edited) and others of which are created by the user. Templates facilitate the process of sending meeting agendas, minutes, etc. automatically to all meeting members. In addition, there is a flexible data export function which enables the user to use data in another application, or simply to back it up.

The process of calling a meeting is conducted from the Meetings page. The top half of the display contains the basic meeting information: date, time, location, objective, and notes, such as what items should be brought to the meeting. The attendees are selected from the pre-defined Contacts and Groups lists. The bottom half of the setup display contains areas for the minutes (which the user can enter during or after the meeting); agenda items, the date they were added, and their status; and action items and the assignees.

Action items are managed using the Action Items page, which provides a detailed view showing the item name, its associated meeting, the assignment date, the date due, a description, the assignee, the e-mail addresses for the assignee and those who have been copied on associated messages, and a check box to indicate if the item has been completed. A history is maintained for each item which includes details related to e-mail messages sent about the item. Notifications can be sent to assignees using predefined templates which can be edited as needed. These notifications are added to the Send History.

The Meetings application not only provides the user with several preference settings for customing its use, but because the application was built using FileMaker, the user can customize it further to suit individual needs. This is an excellent investment for anyone who regularly manages meetings and projects. $49

Contact: FileMaker, Inc., 5201 Patrick Henry Drive, Box 58168, Santa Clara, CA 95052-8168, 800 325-2747, 408 987-7000, 408 727-8227,

MacSQL is an application that enables users to construct a graphical and scriptable interface to the major SQL database servers, notably Oracle, Sybase, MySQL, OpenBASE, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and FrontBase.

The program gives users the capability to create and edit tables, columns and indexes; import data from text files or SQL script files; export data to text files, SQL script files, XML, or MS Excel; sync SQL tables with FileMaker Pro databases; generate PHP or Embedded Perl pages to work with the user's databases; and script database access using AppleScript.

Digital publishers will appreciate the power and usefulness of MacSQL as a means to automate their digital workflows. Publishers are using the program to automate the insertion of copy, wire service and local stories, and advertising copy from enterprise databases directly into QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign through the use of AppleScript. $249

Contact: Runtime Labs, 121 West 27th Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001, 917 661-0216,, e-mail:

Mergemill 3 (MAC/WIN)
Mergemill 3 is an application that enables the use of database output to generate static Web pages or structured output for distribution on CD-ROM. The content that it processes can be derived from virtually any database application, including FileMaker Pro, 4th Dimension, MS Access, MS Excel, or any text editor.

The program is quite sophisticated, and processes its files using templates, which are either created by the user, or provided by Cross Culture. A template consists of the static elements that will be used by the output files, and tags that are understood by Mergemill. The Mergemill field tags are place holders which, when processed, will contain the data from the database or other external source. The template also consists of IF tags which flag conditional states, Loop tags, to automatically repeat parts of a template for each data set, and a Date System tag, to indicate the generation date (if required). The program has the capability to convert graphics into Web and WAP standard formats (.gif, .jpg, or .wbmp). The merged data can be in exported from its source as tab-separated text, simple text with properly bracketed data element markers ([Fieldname]), or as XML.

Digital publishers will find many uses for this software, not the least of which is its capability to restructure data to fulfill a specific design need. $79

Contact: Cross Culture Limited,, e-mail:

FileMaker Pro 6 Unlimited (MAC/WIN)
FileMaker Pro 6 Unlimited is a special version of FileMaker that includes all of the functionality of the regular version of the software as well as unlimited access to FileMaker Pro databases over the Web. It extends the Web accessibility of ten users, provided by the standard edition, to an unlimited number. It enables users to share databases over the Internet without restrictions, with support for JDBC and XML.

FileMaker's Web publishing capabilities are unequaled in ease of use and flexibility. They are greatly extended with the use of the Unlimited version, and make it possible not only to share data with a larger audience, but to collect data as well. Using The Instant Web Publishing feature a user can publish a database with just a few clicks, simplifying a very complex and involved process, and eliminating the need for programming and specialized Web and database skills. See our review of the previous version at $999

Contact: FileMaker, Inc., 5201 Patrick Henry Drive, Box 58168, Santa Clara, CA 95052-8168, 800 325-2747, 408 987-7000, 408 727-8227,

Digital Video Reviews

iBubble Titles (MAC)
iBubble Titles is a unique collection of cartoon-style bubble panels that can be applied to Apple iMovie clips as a means of inserting text attributed to characters in a scene. The collection contains 13 variations of the theme, including Thought Bubbles, Speech Bubbles, Labels, Labels with Arrows, Glowing Text, etc. The application includes an interface that enables the user to position the text exactly where they want it to appear. $24.99

Contact: Virtix Inc., 264 North Broadway #204B, Salem, NH 03079, 603 893-1682,

MAGIX Movies on CD & DVD 2004 (WIN )
MAGIX Movies on CD & DVD 2004 is an all-in-one digital video solution that enables the novice digital video or VHS camcorder owner to transfer, restore and edit recorded content and burn it to VCD, SVCD, and DVD. The program can output to MPEG 1, 2, and 4; Windows Media (tm); QuickTime (tm); and Real Helix.

The digital video process consists of three major components: capture, edit, and burn. The user can capture video directly from a camcorder, VCR, or downloaded Internet movies. In addition, with the use of a TV tuner card the user can record live TV at preprogrammed times, then remove the commercials and execute Hollywood-style edits. The resulting video production can incorporate multimedia DVD menus and sophisticated interface elements. $39.99

Contact: Magix, 888-326-2449,

Video Explosion Deluxe (WIN )
Video Explosion Deluxe is full-featured package combining virtually everything that the home video producer needs to create professional-looking video productions. The user begins by capturing video from a variety of sources (using a FireWire card which is not included) including videotape, live digital capture, or digital camcorder. The program contains intelligence to sense scene changes and generate separate clips for each. This feature simplifies the editing process considerably.

After clips have been imported the user takes advantage of the video editor, which supports two video and three audio tracks in a conventional timeline format. Movies are created by assembling motion and sound elements in the timeline in the desired order. Productions can be enhanced with the library of digital assets packaged with the program, including over 250 video clips, 200 MP3 audio thems, 1000 sounds, 750 backgrounds and overlays, and over 300 fonts for titling and credits. Other features include chromakey capability, the application of audio effects, and the use of real-time narration.

In addition to its flexible video editing features, the program provides a variety of output options including writing to videotape, DVDs (the program includes DVD authoring software with a library of templates), video CDs, and to the Web. This is quite a feature-filled package for such a modest cost. It is not only capable of meeting the needs of the home user, but also satisfying business needs for producing in-house training and sales videos. $79.95

Contact: Nova Development Corporation, 23801 Calabasas Road, Suite 2005, Calabasas, CA 91302-1547, 800 395-6682, 818 591-9600,, fax: 818 591-8885.

Productivity Reviews

Aquaruler (MAC)
Aquaruler is a must-have utility for digital publishers working within the Macintosh OS X environment. It provides a rich set of on-screen measurement, alignment, and viewing tools that will change the way in which users interact with a number of their applications.

Among the most significant tools are:

The Edge Ruler: User-definable semi-transparent rulers that appear along the top and left edges of the monitor. The rulers can be hidden with a mouse click, and can show the value of the ruler position. Running the mouse pointer over the apex of the ruler reveals the menu of available options.

The Measure Box: This is a semi-transparent box (of a color selectable by the user) that enables the measurement of rectangular objects to ensure correct sizing.

The Resolution Box: This option presents a viewing window of a specified size. It is useful for Web designers, and others, who need to approximate the resolution in which their pages will appear.

Drag Ruler: The drag ruler can be positioned anywhere on the screen to provide accurate measurements. The horizontal part can be adjusted in length, and an optional vertical ruler can be attached. Buttons are provided to move the rulers in 1 pixel increments in any direction. Precise transparency controls are also positioned on the ruler itself.

Zoom: The Zoom window enables the user to magnify or reduce the size of the area corresponding to the mouse cursor position. The magnification and the size of the window can be adjusted, and the window also displays the color (in RGB and the closest Web Safe color).

All of these features are available for a modest $11.

Contact: Dot Software,, e-mail:

Spring Desktop (MAC)
Spring Desktop is a major departure from what is typically thought of as the computer desktop. This highly innovative and creative application provides a canvas on which the user represents people, places, things, and other objects. Users initiate actions by dragging between objects, such as connecting two cities to book a flight, or issuing an invitation by connecting the picture of the invitee to a picture of the party venue. $21.95

Contact: User Creations,, e-mail:

QuicKeys X2 (MAC)
QuicKeys X2 is the most powerful macro utility available for Mac OS X. It enables users to record and playback a complex series of keystrokes to simplify their reuse and make their application faster and more efficient. Digital publishers will find the product highly useful as it enables users to capture repetitive operations and assign them to a short series of keystrokes, saving time with each use. Users can also take advantage of the QuicKeys editor to modify a saved action to respond to changes in the environment. Tasks can be scheduled using timers, and frequently used shortcuts can be held in a custom toolbar. $99.95

Contact: CE Software, 1801 Industrial Circle, POB 65580, West Des Moines, IA 50265, 515 221-1801, 800 523-7638,, e-mail:, fax: 515 221-2694.

DTP Reviews

Canvas 9 (MAC/WIN)
Canvas 9 adds over 100 new features to a product that was already swelling with high-end capabilities. Canvas is the highest precision drawing application available, with an incredible maximum page size of 2000 x 2000 miles, a zoom range of 0.0001-102,400%, an object limit per document of 2 billion, a control point limit of 2 billion per polygon or Bézier curve, and many more stunning statistics (see the comparison chart at

Canvas is unique in that it combines a sophisticated drawing program, a page layout program, with image editing, Web graphics, and presentation capabilities. Among the new features are: a one-step Image Crop and Scale command with options for hard and soft crops; an advanced Red Eye reduction tool; addition of Eyedroppers to the Levels image filter; new Image Measurement filter providing standard deviation, average, histogram, area, perimeter, etc.; Smart Toolbox that tracks and displays all tools associated with the last chosen tool; Properties Bar that tracks objects and tools; Math Expression 2-D Plotting Tool plots complex 2-D equations in Polar and Cartesian coordinates spaces; a Page Cropping Tool that cuts all vector content outside a trim area; an Interactive Print Preview that centralizes print and page setup settings; Speaker Notes that can be added to presentation documents and shown on a separate monitor when using dual monitors; a Set Print Area command that permits definition of a defined area either visually or numerically; and much more.

Our coverage of previous versions of Canvas can be found at:

Canvas is available in three editions, each aimed at a different part of the graphics market. The Professional Edition, of most interest to digital publishers, extends the feature set of previous versions of Canvas. The GIS Mapping Edition includes native support for GIS data for creating precision maps. The Scientific Imaging Edition supports 32 bits of floating point pixel data per channel to support the accurate measurement, analysis, and processing of digital images. $399.95

Contact: Deneba Software, ACD Systems of America Inc., 1150 NW 72nd Ave., #180, Miami, FL 33126, 305 596-5644, 800-6-CANVAS,, fax: 305 273-9069.

Internet Reviews

NetNewsWire (MAC)
NetNewsWire is an RSS Web news reader, or aggregator, application that provides an easy-to-use interface for accessing and displaying news from a large number of Web sites and weblogs. RSS is a format that was developed by Netscape, and extended by UserLand Software, that enables sites to syndicate their news and content.

The program ships with hundreds of site listings, and has the capability to discover a new site's RSS news feed from its home page URL. It is exceptionally intuitive, and provides access to sites as soon as it is launched. News listings are displayed as soon as a source site is chosen, and clicking on a topic takes the user to the source in a browser window.

Major features include a Weblog Editor which enables the user to post entries to Blogger, Movable Type, Radio UserLand, and others. The Notepad can be used to store information gleaned from surfing as well as comments and observations that the user may want to post in the future. The program provides the opportunity to view the Web in an entirely different way, and access targeted information more directly. $39.95

Contact: Ranchero Software,, e-mail:

Suck It Down (MAC)
Suck It Down is a useful utility that has the capability to download content that is both on, and linked to, a target URL. The program was designed originally to simplify the process of quickly gathering images that were linked from a specific Web page, but has been expanded to enable the user to gather digital assets of various kinds.

The program does not download entire sites, other programs do that quite well. It, instead, concentrates on gathering files of specific types, namely those with extensions of .gif,.jpg,.jpeg,.png,.pdf,.mp3,.mov,.mpeg,.mpg. The user can specify which file formats they seek, or search for them all. Users are advised to respect the rights of copyright holders.

The program consists of an easy-to-use interface. The user simply specifies the target URL and the file formats that are being sought (it defaults to a listing of them all), checks boxes related to how and if images will be captured, and the sets the location of where the found files will be stored. As content is discovered it is listed in the Content view, where images and any QuickTime playable files (movies, sounds, etc.) can be previewed, and unwanted files can be deleted. $19.95

Contact: R.A.D. Productions,

WebMerge 2.3 (MAC/WIN)
WebMerge 2.3 is the latest release of the useful product that we reviewed previously ( The program enables users to publish database and spreadsheet data to static pages on the Web without the need for a hosted database Web server. The pages it produces can be hosted on any Web server. The program creates a new page from the data contained in each database record, and it can also create an index page with links to the detail pages.

This latest version contains several improvements, including: a new Replace Attribute capability that enables the user to perform multiple search-and-replace operations on field data prior to publishing; the TagMaker window which simplifies the process of making WebMerge tags; the Debugger window which steps through the program's generation process to locate errors in a template; and more. $79

Contact: Fourth World Media Corporation, 620 Moulton Avenue, Studio 101, Los Angeles, CA 90031, 323 225-3717,, e-mail:, fax: 323 225-0716.

Macromedia MX 2004 (MAC/WIN)
Macromedia MX 2004 is a sophisticated, comprehensive collection of software tools consisting of Dreamweaver MX 2004, Macromedia Flash MX 2004, Fireworks MX 2004, FreeHand MX, and ColdFusion MX 6.1 Developer Edition. Together these applications present the most complete solution for designing and developing Web sites and applications, and presents, in a single suite, all of the software necessary for creating a dynamic, interactive Web presence. The applications have been designed to work seamlessly together and make the design process more fluid, efficient, and productive. Fireworks, Dreamweaver, and Flash, for example, have the same Check-in/Check-out capabilities, and all three benefit from an improved interface design, with a maximized workspace area. The level of integration between the applications is unprecedented.

The package includes a collection of prebuilt components and professionally-designed templates that simplify the process of constructing a site. Through the use of drag-and-drop visual tools, the user can create complex feature sets quickly and easily.

The Flash environment provides a rich set of features for creating interactive interfaces and animating graphic elements. Logic and control can be applied using the ActionScript programming language. The Flash file format has become an industry standard, and is installed on over 98% of all desktop computer systems, ensuring that potential users of Flash content will be able to properly view it. There are over 515 million Flash clients running on Macintosh, Windows, and Unix computers; Pocket PC and Palm OS handhelds; Nokia, NTT DoCoMo mobile phones; and a variety of consumer electronic applicances, including Sony PS2, Leapfrog toys, and TV set-top boxes. New to Flash is the Transform Timeline Effect feature that can act on an object's position, scale, opacity, and tint in a few clicks. Other new features are a spell-checker, Search and Replace, deployment kit, importation of native Fireworks PNG files into Flash, direct importation of EPS and PDF, and a History panel.

Dreamweaver, released in 1997, holds a 91% share among professional Web designers, according to NPD Intellect sales reports. Its core technology is Roundtrip HTML, which ensures integrity between code and design views. New to Dreamweaver is cross-browser compatibility development intelligence. This feature addresses a common and persistent problem in Web site development: displaying content uniformly in all browser environments. In addition users can make minor edits, and crop and resize images using Fireworks technology that is built into Dreamweaver. Another useful new feature is the capability to preview Flash files with the Play/Stop button on the Flash Property Inspector.

Fireworks, introduced in 1998, represented the first application designed for an integrated digital workflow that addressed the creation, optimization, and exportation of Web graphics. New to this version are motion blur Live Effects, Red Eye Removal tools, new text anti-aliasing options, and more.

FreeHand, which entered the market in 1988, is now a multi-publishing design solution in its MX form. According to Macromedia, 70-80% of traditional print designers also design for the Web. The integration of FreeHand MX with Flash MX, simplify the migration of images from print to the Web. FreeHand is renown for its rich set of illustration and drawing tools, enabling talented designers to create highly sophisticated and complex images. The program supports the creation of multi-page projects supported with master pages and backgrounds, and symbol libraries. All in all, this suite of programs is a highly refined solution for cross-media publishing. $999

Contact: Macromedia, Inc., 600 Townsend, San Francisco, CA 94103, 415 252-2000, 800 326-2128,, e-mail:, fax: 415 626-0554.

Digital Imaging Reviews

Texture Bank Volumes 1 and 2 (MAC/WIN)
Texture Bank Volumes 1 and 2 are a rich set of 200 royalty free backgrounds, each in RGB, and averaging 26 MB. The discs contain a browser for easy image viewing and selection. The wide range of designs and patterns are appropriate for multimedia, Web page design, and print campaigns and advertising. Sample images are are available for free download at For pricing contact the publisher.

Contact: Ingram Publishing, Ingram House, High Street, Tattenhall, Chester CH3 9PX, United Kingdom, + 44 (0) 1829 771880,, fax: + 44 (0) 1829 771883.

BullZEye™ (MAC/WIN)
BullZEye™ is an amazing digital image color correction application based on technology developed by Pictographics. It is amazing both in terms of the speed by which significant image improvement can be accomplished, and the ease of use by which it can be executed. The program, unlike other solutions, is is not a Photoshop plug-in. This presents the advantages of using a program that accomplishes a single, important purpose...and does it well, and does it in significantly fewer steps. The output from the program can be processed further in Photoshop, or another image editing program, if required.

One of the strengths of the program is that it is batch oriented. The user can select any number of images, including entire folders, and process them, quickly, one-by-one. As each image is presented the user can decide to either delete it, keep it, or color correct it. During that process the program does not alter the original. It saves the modified image, appending "AAA" before its name, and saves it, in its original folder, at the highest (12) JPEG setting. The digital workflow is highly useful for digital photographers and digital publishers, who must color correct many images. In addition, since the program is much less expensive than Photoshop, it can be loaded on a computer that is used solely for reading-in images from digital cameras and then doing the color correction on the spot. It can also be used effectively in the field to optimize the quality of images that have just been captured. It is obvious that the talent of Gary Fong, a skilled and experienced professional photographer, is reflected in the capabilities that the application provides. Within minutes anyone should be able to achieve visually improved image results.

Chief among Mr. Fong's objectives in creating the program were addressing the needs of professional digital photographers to first, process images using the most "lossless," least destructive, imaging technology; and second, to keep original images intact and untouched. After a folder of images has been processed they may be dragged to a new folder and renamed. Mr. Fong suggests that a renamer utility be used for that purpose.

The program works by having the user sample (by clicking in target areas) areas of neutral color saturation which exist in the gray, white, or black areas of the image. The process of correcting improper color cast results in materially improved image appearance. Because the user is not modifying the colors, simply removing offensive color casts, the colors remain true and accurate. Using the remaining two tool tabs the user can modify the tonal range, brightness, contast, and saturation as needed.

A unique feature of the program is the Histogram Expander. This never before seen capability enables the user to stretch the length of the histogram below 0 and above 100 to spread the midtones. This is useful in images that have too much contrast by extending the limits of the dark and bright areas. $99

Contact: Gary Fong, Inc., 5777 West Century Plaza Suite 363, Los Angeles, CA 90045,

Photo Explosion Deluxe (WIN )
Photo Explosion Deluxe is a suite of applications that support the use of digital photographs. Images can be imported from virtually any digital camera, scanner, PhotoCD, or other source, and then edited, stored, and published. The digital photo editor provides powerful features that enable the user to perform several image enhancement functions that can generate materially better images. Among the typical image improvements are brightness, contrast, and color balance adjustment; red-eye removal; cropping; resizing; rotating; silhouetting subjects; cloning; adding transparency; and more. Modifications can be applied in batch mode...a feature that can provide significant time savings.

In addition to the image enhancement capabilities, users can modify images with the use of more than 600 photo effects, such as watercolor and fabric, that change the surface appearance of an image. Over 1200 frames, props and borders are also included to integrate photos into creative projects. The collection of over 400 fonts can be applied to label, caption and annotate, as well as to compose advertisements and training images with call-outs. Text can be reshaped, warped, and composed in modified perspective.

The package also includes over 5000 24-bit high-resolution photos that can be used for image compositing. Users can combine their images with professionally shot travel and nature photos.

After images have been captured, and optionally edited, they can be organized in theme-based albums for easy access. The albums can be searched using user-defined keywords. Selected images can be output in contact sheet form, as custom printed photo albums, in various print size layouts, as components in more than 2500 photo projects, as slide shows for Palm and Pocket PC PDAs and mobile phones, as e-mail and Web albums, as CD slide shows viewable on TV, and as GIF animations. In collaboration with Club Photo, users can also have their images applied to mugs, mousepads, Post-It photo cubes, and chocolate photo pops. $49.95

Contact: Nova Development Corporation, 23801 Calabasas Road, Suite 2005, Calabasas, CA 91302-1547, 800 395-6682, 818 591-9600,, fax: 818 591-8885.

Scrapbook Factory Deluxe 2.0 (WIN )
Scrapbook Factory Deluxe 2.0 is a software environment created for the purpose of preserving family photos, either by scanning legacy images, or by importing digital images from digital cameras or PhotoCDs. Images can be enhanced using the built-in image editor. The projects include the generation of printed scrapbooks, mini-albums, journals and diaries, and digital scrapbooks, including Web slide shows, Web albums, CD Photo scrapbooks, and more. In addition there are many craft projects that can be produced, including magazine covers, trading cards, stickers and cut-outs, family trees, photo cubes, hanging scrapbook frames, paper dolls, recipe cards,book covers, t-shirts, and more. $39.95

Contact: Nova Development Corporation, 23801 Calabasas Road, Suite 2005, Calabasas, CA 91302-1547, 800 395-6682, 818 591-9600,, fax: 818 591-8885.

Book Reviews

Adobe Acrobat Hands-On Training
Chow, Garrick

This is the learn by doing solution for developing expertise in the use of Adobe Acrobat 6. In addition to a logically arranged, and graphically clear presentation about Acrobat, the author has included a cross-platform CD containing movies that show how to accomplish several of the more difficult Acrobat procedures, which would be difficult to present in print. The CD also contains files from the exercises.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321202996 654 pp. $44.99

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

Adobe InDesign CS Bible
Gruman, Galen

This aptly named book is the definitive guide to using the many sophisticated features of the latest version of InDesign. The author shows, step-by-step, how to accomplish many of the processes that are central to high-end typesetting, and page composition and layout. The author includes information for QuarkXPress and PageMaker users who are considering the migration to InDesign.

Available for on-line ordering at

0764542273 938 pp. $44.99

Contact: Wiley, Professional/Trade Group, 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030,

Adobe Photoshop CS Classroom in a Book
Adobe Systems

Adobe's Classroom in a Book for Photoshop CS provides the reader with a grand tour and tutorial for hands-on learning. The practice files, provided on a cross-platform CD-ROM, enable the user to follow along and achieve expertise in using the various Photoshop tools and techniques. It is the next best thing to taking a course or in-depth workshop, and has the benefit of remaining available for reference, or for providing a refresher of technically complex processes. The content covers setting up the work environment, using the File Browser, accomplishing basic image enhancements, working with selections, using masks and channels, retouching and repairing, painting and editing, basic pen techniques, layer techniques, special effects, working with Web images, producing and printing consistent color, and much more.

Available for on-line ordering at

032119375X 690 pp. $45

Contact: Adobe Press, Prentice Hall, 113 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Business Travel Almanac 2004
Williams, Donna; Michael Miller

A handy guide for the frequent business travel containing the essential information for making travel more convenient, productive, and enjoyable. The authors present many time- and money-saving tips and suggestions related to air and ground transportation, hotels, and more. The book also includes city guides for 15 major U.S. cities with recommended hotels, restaurants and business services, maps, and related information.

The book has a companion Web site at, and provision is made for downloading the book to a laptop or PDA.

Available for on-line ordering at

0789729342 430 pp. $19.99

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

Don't Make Me Think
Krug, Steve

The author, a Web usability expert, has written a short guide that is sure to have a positive impact on Web site designers, regardless of their talent or experience. He shows, in clear examples, how to make Web site design obvious to the point where the user need not think about how they will navigate and gain some benefit from their site visit.

Available for on-line ordering at

0789723107 195 pp. $35

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

Easy Quicken 2004
Kinkoph, Sherry

A well-constructed and organized full-color guide to the many capabilities of Intuit Quicken 2004. The author provides hundreds of screen captures that are clearly annotated with step-by-step instructions for executing all of the program's capabilities. The visual clarity of the page design simplifies even complex procedures.

Available for on-line ordering at

0789730731 248 pp. $14.99

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

How to Do Everything with Your Digital Camera, Third Edition
Johnson, Dave

In this book the author presents both the technical elements of digital cameras and the professional photographic picture-taking basics required to capture usable shots. Much of the book is devoted to what happens after the shot is made: digitally editing it, printing it, and sharing it over the Web.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072230819 453 pp. $24.99

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

Jerry Hofmann on Final Cut Pro
Hofmann, Jerry

This book is as useful as it is unusual. The author provides all of the elements from a movie entitled "The Midnight Sun" on DVD so that the reader can re-edit the movie using the instructions and techniques that are presented in the text. This is an incredibly valuable experience that empowers the reader to acquire not only the technical skills, using Final Cut Pro, to create a movie, but an understanding of the rationale as to why cuts are made as they are.

Available for on-line ordering at

0735712816 561 pp. $35

Contact: New Riders Publishing, 201 West 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290.

Mac OS X Illustrated
DG Books

A full-color guide to all of the features of the Macintosh OS X 10.2 operating system. The illustrations are large, clear and easy-to-follow. The text is concise and well-composed.

Available for on-line ordering at

0764539159 320 pp. $24.99

Contact: WILEY, Professional/Trade Group, 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030,

Macromedia Flash for Windows & Macintosh
Ulrich, Katherine

The author has written an excellent guide to using Macromedia Flash MX 2004, with easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions for accomplishing almost every fundamental aspect of Flash operation. Like other Peachpit Visual QuickStart Guides this book is organized for easy access to targeted information. Chapters include The Flash Authoring Tool, Creating Simple Graphics, Frame-by-Frame Animations, Authoring Utilities, Adding Sound, Adding Video, and much more.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321213440 672 pp. $24.99

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

New Rider's Official World Wide Web Internet Directory, Seventh Edition
Bibler, Mark; et al

A hefty volume that looks like the yellow page listings of a major city. In this case the city is the World Wide Web, cleverly organized by topic, and completely indexed for easy reference.

The book includes a cross-platform CD-ROM containing the entire contents of the printed book, searchable, and with live links.

Available for on-line ordering at

1562058819 1214 pp. $29.99

Contact: New Riders Publishing, 201 West 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290.

Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition, The
Williams, Robin

Following the phenomenal success of the first edition (with sales over one-quarter million), the author has expanded her guide book with more tips and examples that can lead the reader to the production of successful design and typography projects. The author shows, through the contrast of bad and good design, how to apply traditional design rules to achieve acceptable results.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321193857 191 pp. $19.99

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

QuarkXPress 6 for Print and Web Design
Baumgardt, Michael

A spectacular full-color book that details the role that QuarkXPress plays in the lives of professional designers. The book features a number of renown designers. It also includes complete coverage of the technical elements required to prepare files for import into QuarkXPress, and export them from finished projects. The author provides step-by-step instructions for creating common types of work such as brochures, magazines, and books. A fascinating read, full of useful tips and techniques.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321168909 346 pp. $39.99

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

QuarkXPress 6 for Windows & Macintosh Visual QuickStart Guide
Weinmann, Elaine; Peter Lourekas

Not only does this book conform to the best design ideals of the Peachpit QuickStart Guide series, but it provides those upgrading to QuarkXPress version 6 with a complete reference for dealing with the many changed menus and appearance modifications as well as the multitude of new features. Now that Quark charges for a printed manual, users have an inexpensive option that will provide them with a significant volume of valuable information...concisely presented and profusely illustrated.

Available for on-line ordering at

0321205480 541 pp. $24.99

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

Copyright and Distribution Information

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing is (c)opyright 2003, Graphic Dimensions, Pittsford, NY, all
rights reserved. You may distribute the released version (older than 120 days) of this document,
unmodified and in its entirety. You may distribute portions of this document, up to 200 words in length,
unmodified, provided that you also include this copyright notice and subscription information.

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing is published in Adobe Acrobat PDF format Each issue costs $4.95, with a 6 issue subscription costing $24.95. The free
Acrobat reader is required for viewing.

Past issues (more than 120 days old) of The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing are available on the Web
at: Comments and inquiries should be directed to: The Kleper Report
on Digital Publishing, POB 20013, Rochester, NY 14534 USA. E-mail: