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BeLight Software Swift Publisher 2

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By Tom Nelson and Mary F. O'Connor

BeLight Software Swift Publisher 2

Swift Publisher 2 includes a collection of templates and clip art.

Courtesy of BeLight Software, Ltd.

The Bottom Line

Swift Publisher 2 is an easy-to-use desktop publishing program that makes short work of creating brochures, letterhead, newsletters, catalogs, and other personal and small business documents.

Better yet, at $49.95 or less (and a free upgrade from version 1), Swift Publisher 2 is a steal. It offers some of the features found in more expensive DTP programs, and it’s much better at creating non-standard documents than a word processor. On the down side, it’s not very good at long documents, and it can’t currently export pages in HTML format, neither of which should be a deal breaker for casual use.

Pros

  • Intuitive interface.
  • Well integrated with iPhoto and Art Text.
  • Includes basic drawing tools
  • Supports layers, masks, and transparency.
  • Imports files in JPG, TIFF, GIF, EPS, and PDF format.

Cons

  • Can’t export pages in HTML format.
  • Doesn’t work well for long documents.
  • Limited options for formatting tables.

Description

  • Compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 or later
  • Free demo available for downloading from the BeLight Software web site
  • Available in standard and retail editions.
  • Available as a standalone product or as part of the Printfolio bundle.
  • Retail edition has 40 additional templates and more than 20,000 additional clip art images.
  • Can export files in TIFF, JPG, EPS, and PDF formats.

Guide Review - BeLight Software Swift Publisher 2

Individuals who have occasional desktop publishing needs are often stuck between a rock and a hard place. Word processors aren’t usually very good at creating documents that don’t fit neatly into letter-size formats. Inexpensive DTP programs usually leave much to be desired in terms of features. And mid-range to high-end DTP programs are too expensive and have too high a learning curve for casual use.

Swift Publisher 2 may be the answer to a casual desktop publisher’s dreams. For $44.95 (or $49.95 if you want the complete collection of clip art), it’s affordable enough for almost any budget. And with an intuitive interface and a built-in collection of templates that are easy to customize, Swift Publisher can have you turning out projects in a surprisingly short period of time.

One of the biggest differences between Swift Publisher and a word processor is the way it works with text. Rather than clicking the mouse to create an insertion point and starting to type, you use the text tool to define a box to hold your text, a method that is standard operating procedure for Adobe InDesign, Quark XPress, and other higher-end desktop publishing programs. If you’ve never worked this way before it may feel a little strange, but you should get used to it quickly. You can create and move blocks of text as if they were an image, which is more intuitive for creating brochures, newsletters, and similar documents than the word processing approach. You can format the text or add shadows or color with a few clicks; link text boxes; insert and build a table; insert one of the supplied images or import one of your own; or import a logo or other graphic from Art Text. A floating Inspector palette provides easy access to many editing and formatting options.

In addition to printing documents, you can export them in PDF, TIFF, JPG, or EPS format.

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