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Old 10-16-2005, 01:19 PM   #2
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Originally Posted by Mike
This month's Tidbits had a very mini review of Swift Publisher from BeLight. Sounds like it might be a good investment for anyone who doesn't have ID or XPress and needs to produce leaflets and posters, etc.
That was the first I’d heard of it, so I downloaded a copy to see how it compares to Apple’s Pages.

They are fairly similar. Neither could stand in for XPress, InDesign, or other real page layout app because neither of these little programs has essential typographic controls — no H&Js, no min/opt/max word spacing controls. (Both of them support tracking, however!!)

Swift Publisher seems to me to be easier to use than Pages, with lots of templates and scads of built-in clip art. Both programs cost about the same: Swift Publisher is $35 (download; or $40 for a CD with additional clip art). Pages only ships with Keynote, and the pair costs $75 or so from Amazon, so it is effectively more expensive unless you need both. Pages and Keynote come with print manuals; you must download a PDF for the Swift program.

Only thing about Swift Publisher that stymied me: I can’t figure out how to select anything. I managed to change some text at one point, but that was it. After that, I could not move it, edit it again, or do anything else to it. I’m sure it will turn out to be something easy, but for now I am stumped, so I put it away.

Another advantage it has over Pages: You can download a copy and play with it. Until you pay up and register, a watermark will print on your pages. Fair enough.

Swift also has a Business Card Composer, Mail Factory (to print labels and envelopes), and Image Tricks (a free image editor that applies special effects). You can get the lot for $80 (download; $90 box).


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