Print Studio beats office suites at some office tasks

It pays to buy a package that duplicates capabilities you already have--if
it's much easier to use.


Micrografx Inc.'s Draw6 Print Studio falls into that category. A Corel Corp. or
Microsoft Corp. office suite can make World Wide Web pages, calendars, certificates and
everything else Print Studio can make, but not nearly as fast or easily.


To choose a Print Studio template, click on a category, and a thumbnail image appears
at the right side of the work window. If you approve it, double-click and begin to edit
right on the template. If not, scroll through the samples until you find something close
to what you want.


You can make documents and images from scratch, but that would be a waste. Print
Studio's strength is the way its templates speed up document building.


I installed Print Studio on a fast Pentium-clone PC with 32M RAM under Microsoft
Windows 95. Then I put the package's wizard through its paces on a simple Web page.


You click on the Business Web template icon, and a dialog box tells you to insert the
content CD-ROM.


It loads up a multiwindow workspace with detailed instructions along the left side, a
tool bar at the top and the sample Hypertext Markup Language page in the middle. A
selection of images and a vertical tool bar appear along the right side.


The template gives you text, background and a space for image insertion. Clicking on
the empty image space brings up a dialog box for choosing from among picture files, clip
art, or scanned and digital camera images. Print Studio previews each image and presents
options for cropping and fitting.


Click on the text, magnify the text field, click on Hide Visual Toolbar to expand the
workspace and set to work editing. If you want more than the Business template's three
pages and one layer, expand by clicking on Add Page.


Want something fancier? A wizard shows you how to add HTML code, Java applets and
ActiveX objects.


When you're finished, click Save As, select .htm format, and see the options for how
and where to save your HTML pages. You can preview them offline in your browser by a
single click and, if everything's OK, post them to your Web site. You even see an estimate
of the upload times for connections ranging from a slow modem to a T3 connection.


The three Print Studio CD-ROMs are packed with software and files. Besides Print Studio
and Draw6, you get extra templates and document wizards; PhotoMagic 6 to capture and edit
images from digital cameras, scanners or screen shots; Instant 3D to make fancy text;
50,000 pieces of clip and stock photo art; and 300 TrueType fonts.


Some templates are for specialty papers and Avery labels.


Print Studio's templates for home work don't detract from its professional ones. It
would be useful for workers who produce certificates, badges or organizational charts.


You can save your work as a new template to maintain consistent office document styles.


This $50 program can't compare to the power of sophisticated presentation graphics or
desktop publishing software, but it's ideal for common office tasks.


John McCormick, a free-lance writer and computer consultant, has been working with
computers since the early 1960s.


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