Review: The Print Shop for Mac Version 2

Robust, simple publishing software for everyone! (February 16th, 2006)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: The Software MacKiev Company

Price: $59.95 US

The Good

  • Great for adults or kids. Templates for most all Avery products. Easily integrates with Apple\'s iLife.

The Bad

  • Graphics CD is only searchable through the Print Shop application.

The Print Shop for Mac Version 2 comes in a two CD set. The first is the application and the second is a 700MB graphics CD. To save space on your hard drive, you can insert the second CD when you are using The Print Shop. When you install the program, it lets you download a universal update so you can run The Print Shop on an Intel-based Mac. Included on the CD, is a 100 page PDF Users Guide. Although the manual is helpful, the program is so easy to use; you may not even need it.

The Print Shop offers you a variety of projects to select from in the opening screen. You can create a greeting card, gift tags, tickets, banners, certificates, stationary, envelopes, business cards, newsletters, pamphlets, CD and case insert, and calendars, to name a few, Once you select the type of project, you can start with a blank page or use a QuickStart layout.

screenshot
Opening Project Screen

For example, the QuickStart Certificate asks what size paper and what kind of certificate you want. Once you select paper and kind, you can select from a number of templates. You can then edit the text and graphic placeholders for your particular needs. You can add your own graphics, or choose from the CD. The graphics CD is the only drawback; you can only use it from within the application, so installing the graphics might be a good idea if you don't already have a good choice on your hard drive.

Creating your publication

I created an e-card using the "get help with your design" choice. First, I selected a background. There were 27 categories and 4 types (illustrations, textures, patterns, and designer look). Next it offers you a number of layouts, on which you select place makers for text and graphics. You can even gray out the back ground so the text and graphics you put on top show through. Click on the headline text and change its font, alignment, rotate, color, add a gradient, place your text on a curve, and add depth. Now click on the insert graphic button and go to the large collection of graphics available. Once it is just right, you can export your creation in a number of formats including .PDF, tiff, bmp, jpg, PNG or html at a number of resolutions for printing or to use on the web. If I had wanted to create a printed card, there are a number of card formats to use including half-fold, tri-fold, note card, or quarter-fold.

You can also make address labels, shipping labels, floppy disk labels, media labels, and more. Click on address labels and select the Avery format you want. There is an illustration on the right side of the selection window that presents the layout of the page. When you click continue an image area template is shown. From here you add graphics, text, background, effects, and borders. You can make many different types and sizes of labels. If you have a Canon or Epson printer that lets you print on printable CDs, you can create and print a label with The Print Shop program. The option to choose the printer is an installable option.

iLife Integration

The Print Shop also works with your iLife applications. You can import your playlist from iTunes to be placed on your CDs or jewel case inserts. If you have a perfect iPhoto image, just drag and drop it into your project's workspace. If want to create a calendar, you can add your iCal events on the pages. You can even integrate your address book with a The Print Shop document. There are also CD layouts compatible with all the iDVD themes.

Cool Photo Editor

The photograph editor includes quite a large number of effects you can apply, including fixing red-eye and white-eye problems. The effects are fixed to three levels, but the variety is excellent. You can also print multiple photos on a page, much like the options you receive for school yearbook photos.

This program was made with the design challenged person in mind It is so simple anyone can create professional design projects, yet it is also great for school projects. For those who need it, the program walks you through the design process.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Rick Curran


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