Shop Deluxe 10
The Little Program
That Could Raises its Own Bar
by Jim Bray
For fifteen years,
Broderbund's "The Print Shop" (about $49.95US) has been empowering home
and home office users who need a quick, easy, and affordable way to do
basic publishing chores.
It was a testament
to Broderbund having gotten the program right the first time that, other
than making technological upgrades like the jump from 16 to 32 bit Windows
features and the addition of the requisite clip art libraries, "Print
Shop" had hardly changed from its initial incarnation to the first 32
bit version (available as Print Shop Ensemble III).
We last reviewed Version
6, which was a virtually complete redesign that added a lot of power to
the package. This "new tradition of excellence" has been carried on in
the jump to Version 10, a 9 CD-ROM tour de force if I've ever seen one.
So the new version
lets you do all the nifty stuff of versions past, like designing or adapting
from a template your own greeting cards, signs, banners, calendars, etc.
You can save your designs as HTML files, too, so you can throw 'em up
onto the world wide web - which fits in nicely with the package's Web
site creation module.
The latter is definitely
no "Dreamweaver" or "Hot Metal Pro," but they'll indeed let you
create a basic web site without studying HTML.
You can also take
advantage of some 8000 pre-designed layouts that add a lot of flexibility
to your projects as well as adding from the 160,000 pieces of clip art
(a lot of which is clip paintings" and "clip photos" rather than your
run of the mill line drawing clip art, though there's lots of that,too).
I like beginning with
a pre-designed project, and adapting it for my own use; it's a nice and
easy way to get started, yet the finished product usually bears no resemblance
to the template with which I started.
How much you deviate
from the templates is limited by your own creativity. I generally write
my own greeting cards, using Print Shop as the starting point - but if
you want to you can choose from an abundance of sayings, quotes, or best
wishes from the software's collection.
You can now make multi-page
calendars and photo albums, borders, and even do some pretty good photo
editing see below). And that isn't all. Though I don't really know why
it would be included in what's basically a publishing program, Print Shop
Deluxe 10 also includes "The Ultimate Mail Manager," which includes address
book, mail merge function, and can be used to send out automatic mailings.
A nice touch, I suppose,
and an unexpected bonus - but I'm sure no one would have known if it hadn't
Back of the graphics
side of things, Print Shop 10 also lets you create logos and seals and
import images from many different file formats, including jpg, wmf, tif,
bmp, pcd, png and more.
Its photo editing
capabilities will let you add drop shadows, transparent effects, and stuff
like that. You can also create digital photo albums and share them over
The package also includes
Serif DrawPlus 3, a "dumbed down" CorelDraw/Adobe Illustrator type graphics
creation program that's incredibly easy to use, yet surprisingly flexible.
And "3D Greetings" is a cute app that lets you create animated cards you
can send to your friends via e-mail.
Plus, the interface
has been redesigned (there was nothing wrong with the old one, but I must
admit the new one is even smoother) to feature cascading menus like you
see on many Web sites. This makes navigating the plethora of choices much
Now, Print Shop Deluxe
isn't going to put Quark or PageMaker out of
business - nor will it give CorelDraw or
Adobe Illustrator/PhotoShop a run for their money. It isn't meant to,
though. Print Shop is designed to let the average computer user do the
basics of all those heavyweight apps, and unlike its industrial strength
competition you can use it right out of the box, with no special training.
In short, Print Shop
Deluxe 10 is a graphic design, layout, photo editing and cataloguing,
Web creation tool and more - all with a no brainer interface and enough
built in stuff that the average person can be up and running on it with
virtually no learning curve.
sneer at this Print Shop, but they're doing it a disservice - and it isn't
meant for them anyway.
If you're someone
who wants something quick, easy, and incredibly flexible, that unleashes
your creativity without sending you back to school, check out this product!
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think