Review: Avery DesignPro for the Mac Overview

Templates to design labels of any type at the right price. (June 24th, 2008)

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Product Manufacturer: Avery Dennison Office Products Company

Price: Free

The Good

  • Download for free. Creative. Lots of clip art and you can add your own. A lot of sample ideas. Easy to use interface. Works well with iTunes and Address Book.

The Bad

  • Did not like the grid to align items. Text tool difficult at times. Inconsistent and slow when used in Mac OS X 10.4.x.

Mac users have had to use page layout programs like Adobe PageMaker and Adobe InDesign, or dig up MS Word templates to print various labels from Avery stock for quite a number of years. In a pinch, we made templates of our own. Without the use of expensive graphic programs, your end product may have lacked imagination.

Avery DesignPro for the Mac

The new and free Avery DesignPro for the Mac has finally solved the label-printing problem. The software lets you select a particular Avery paper product and displays templates. There are a number of pre-designed templates for you to use or you can choose a blank template to create a label from scratch. You create a CD label by adding some color, a graphic or two, circle text, a gradient or what ever your heart desires. These same elements can be added to the jewel case insert. For an iTunes CD, you can insert track information on your label too. This is very easy to do and makes your label look professional.

When you want to create a Christmas mailing or one for your club's newsletter, DesignPro helps you with the address labels. Pick out the Avery label you want to use, add a graphic if you like and merge the addresses from your Address Book. You can also import addresses stored in a database into the Avery software. DesignPro can import comma and tab delineated files from FileMaker Pro, Bento, and other database products. You can use the database to stay organized and DesignPro to make your project happen.

If your group needs to make t-shirts, there's a useful t-shirt template, in which you can drag clip art from the library and place it on your template with some type. To print you just put your transfer sheet into the printer, click reverse orientation and print out your t-shirt transfer. Your transfer will come out backwards, ready to iron on to your t-shirt. No printer adjustment needed!

There are over 1,300 pre-designed layout templates and many features available in DesignPro for the Mac. Categories of templates include Binder labels, business cards, occasion cards, dividers & tabs, mailing labels, media labels & inserts, name badges, photo ID and specialty products. All the templates include an Avery paper product number and sample templates to choose show in your work area.

DesignPro screen


Avery DesignPro Interface

Overview

I have kicked the tires, and tried all of features on many of the Avery products. This program is very easy to use. With a little imagination, there are many uses for this software. The library can store your graphics or a snap shot of your design for use multiple times.

Personalized invitations and birthday cards are easy to design and print out. Make business cards, name stickers or membership cards with the same template in different layouts. You can even take a sheet of dot labels and create price tags for your garage sale. All of the templates that I used printed out great In Mac OS X 10.5.

After you choose the product you want to create, the tool bar changes from product icons to editing icons. You click an icon to insert a text or graphic box on your layout and edit within the box. Buttons under the editing icons let you choose to preview your design, complete a mail merge, arrange or align your elements, and zoom in to see the full view. Tools on the left palette let you set the font, color, and tweak your graphics.

DesignPro screen


Choose A Graphic For Your Project

Small Problems

When you create a text area the text "Place text here" goes in the center of the text box. The box tends to cover most of the area of the mailing label for example and so does new graphics. You have to reduce the size of the text box so you can see the gray selection handles that are at the edge of the text box, before you type. It can be difficult to select the template's text and replace it with your own. Another problem is that if you want to edit the first text block you created, you have to go layer by layer to get to it to highlight it. An uninitiated Mac user may find this process frustrating.

DesignPro screen


Card Created in DesignPro


While the ideas are endless and the price is right, there were some inconsistencies working with the program. Free software may sound like a bargain, but Avery paper products are often more expensive than other manufacturers. Read Avery DesignPro Part 2 for a closer look at working with DesignPro.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Rick Curran


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