Desktop Publishing: Serif Pageplus X3 Publisher Professional

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Serif Pageplus X3There are few desktop publishing (DTP) software applications that will give you adequate features for the average user and give you change from £100.  However Serif Pageplus X3 Publisher Professional does just that with a range of features over and above that of competitors such as Broderbund Pro Publisher 22, Microsoft Publisher 2007 and Adobe InDesign which are either of similar price or much more.

Serif Pageplus X3 comes with two CDs, the installation CD and a "Premium Content Pack" which contains a multitude of high quality logos, templates and graphics.  Also included is a comprehensive manual (and we mean comprehensive!) that covers all of the aspects of the software including step by step instructions for each tool or option.

The menu system is designed with a nice layout and features are easy to find.  Serif Pageplus X3 includes a series of flyout menus for custom content insertion: Text box and table frames, free drawing, shape and picture insertion.  Alongside these are the range of editing flyout menus: crop, warp, fill, transparency, shadow, filter, and also an instant 3d tool that as the name suggest converts anything you have created to 3D.  The range of tools and extensive variations are easily manipulated and cover everything that the average professional or home user could ever require, whether just creating a simple flyer or business card to creating a full glossy magazine.

It would be fair to say that Serif Pageplus X3 is not just a single application: it incorporates a series of subapplications that really do make your life easier when editing or designing documents for publication.  There are many tools that catch your eye within Pageplus X3, but we will concentrate on those that we found most useful:

"Image Cutout Studio" allows users to simply remove the background from any image, something that is nearly impossible.  It equates to the magic selection tool of the Adobe image editing tools, however it is much simpler and quicker to use than any other tools we have utilised.

"Save as Package" allows the saving of documents as well as their linked fonts, images etc.  This means that content can't be lost when sending for print or between editors as it is all packaged within a single file.

"Tables" are very easy to publish and more importantly alter when working woth Pageplus X3.  There are various table templates, which once in place can be extended by simply clicking and dragging the relevant header or row to add or remove cells (something that Microsoft doesn't cater for).

"fx" gives a series of effects to enhance any object including shadow, glow, reflection, each of which is customisable in a way similar to the Adobe range of products.

"Logo Studio" allows users to create a custom logo either from a range of templates supplied, or from scratch using a dazzling array of texts (with customisable text paths), object shapes, predefined effects, fills etc that should allow any user to create their own business identity.

"PDF editing" is unsurpassed in Serif Pageplus X3.  Importing and editing of any PDF is simple, allowing manipulation of text boxes and pictures quickly and effortlessly.

All in all Serif Pageplus X3 provides a definate all rounder that is simple enough to use by a beginner, but enough features and time saving tools to satisfy a professional.  Not only is it simple to use, it includes a fully detailed manual, which many packages don't, and still only retails at £79.99.  We definately recommend Serif Pageplus X3 for those learning the ropes of publishing or on a tight budget.

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Amazon: Serif PagePlus X3 Publisher Professional