I’m an old hand. Don’t let that fool you. A manicure can do wonders. I’m an old hand at desktop publishing on the Mac. I used PageMaker. I remember ReadySetGo. I use Adobe InDesign.
I’m very impressed with BeLight’s Swift Publisher. Why? Swift is swift. Cool. Elegant. It works. A value package with style.
With all the attention the web is getting these days, it would be easy to forget about desktop publishing. You know, printing. Paper. Brochures. Documents.
Guess what? DTP is still here and doing well. It started on the Mac with Aldus PageMaker and ReadySetGo. Aldus sold out to Adobe. Adobe lost the market to Quark. I don’t know what happened to ReadySetGo.
Now, Quark is losing chunks of market share to Adobe’s very good InDesign. Both applications are powerful and carry a power price tag. About $700 new.
Whoa! What else is available on the Mac to handle desktop publishing chores? Plenty. Even Apple’s new iWork Pages is a very good, basic, simple page layout application.
However, If you’re serious about DTP you don’t use Microsoft Word and you probably won’t use Pages. What else?
Swift. As in ‘Swift Publisher.’ If money is a concern and you don’t want either the hardware expense or the learning curve or the initial cost of InDesign or Quark, here’s one for the budget.
If your basic layout needs include newsletters, brochures, letterheads, flyers, and fancy documents, you will like Swift Publisher.
The CD version (there’s also a download version) brings in 40 basic designs on top of 60 in the previous package (100 total), and 23,000 images, 100 masks, and all the basic tools to support many different requirements for DTP.
Swift even integrates with iPhoto so drag and drop is back in DTP.
There are certain things you look for in a desktop publishing application. For me, the first is ‘intuitive.’ That means, can I figure out the basics without cracking a PDF file?
Belight gets it with Swift, and well they should as they also publish the popular and well designed Mail Factory, Business Card Composer, and the new DiscCover.
These folks are smart and savvy and keep on top of things. For example, Tiger’s Core Image Filters are available in Swift Publisher. The basics are there, too. Flow text from one column to another, wrap around objects, change character spacing and indentation.
Multipage documents? Of course. Image editing? Of course. My favorite is Smart Guides (I tend to be a little sloppy when throwing together a document).
For those intimidated by Quark and InDesign, you’ll love the Swift Assistant. Choose a preview design, and get started without having to start from scratch. Templates are my life.
Then add text, style the text, add images, edit images, tweak text, send to printer.
I’m not much on the creative side but I know when something looks good and when it doesn’t. Since it takes me forever to come up with an original creative design, I appreciate templates. You can never have too many.
Swift Publisher comes with catalog templates, letterhead templates, certificate templates, menu templates, brochure templates, poster templates, greeting card templates. I thought I’d died and gone to template heaven.
What don’t I like about Swift Publisher?
What’s with this gray plastic look that’s so prevalent in Mac applications these days? Set your expectations.
If you’re looking for a cheapo version of Quark or InDesign, you’ll be disappointed.
If you’re looking for a remarkable value in an attractive, well-designed application that actually gets you working quickly, you’ll not be disappointed.
If you used Quark or PageMaker years ago, and now want to do more DTP, the check out Swift Publisher because you’ll be surprised. Less than $40.
BeLight is an accomplished, highly-acclaimed Mac publisher who seems to ‘get it.’ Click Here for BeLight and try the trial version. I gush, but I paid the money. Swift is what you get.
Later this week I’ll review BeLight’s new Disc Cover. I just installed Disc Cover and I’m impressed.