Mac360’s focus remains true to our roots. We review Mac software that we use ourselves. If we don’t use it, we don’t show it.
Here are 6 superbly designed and utterly userful Mac applications that we use daily. All from the same Mac developer.
What is it about Mac applications that make them, on average, better tools for the job than Windows applications?
Are Mac developers more detail oriented? Are they more careful about user interface design? Do they have a better understanding of human nature?
Whatever it is, it’s usually personified in Apple’s mainstream and professional applications, and the very good Mac developers “get it” with their own applications and utilities.
My focus today isn’t the typical Friday Freebie, though one of the suite of BeLight applications is just that—free. Focus is on utility, capability, and features from one of Mac360’s favorite developers.
BeLight Software makes a suite of Mac applications and utilities and most of the staff at Mac360 bought three or more of the suite of six. That’s a recommendation.
Business Card Composer
First on the list is the popular Business Card Composer. There’s plenty of ways to print business cards these days, but doing it on your Mac in small numbers is a treat.
Business Card Composer lets you create a business card from scratch or pull from 600 designs using over 20,000 images.
Plus, BCC integrates with AddressBook in Mac OS X to make the set up process even easier.
There’s also integration with iPhoto so making the most personal of business cards using your own photos takes only a click or a drag.
That same integration is evident in DiscCover, BeLight’s CD and DVD labeling application. iTunes, iPhoto, and iDVD integrate with DiscCover with playlists, track titles, and albums.
Create labels for CDs, DVDs, tray inserts, booklets, mini disc labels, VHS cover wraps using standard paper layouts from Memorex, Neato, and Avery. Check out our first review for DiscCover.
Remember, these are superbly crafted Mac applications from the same developer. BeLight “gets it”.
Page layout is not just Quark Express or Adobe InDesign. BeLight’s Swift Publisher brings page layout and design to those of us who can’t afford either the price tag or learning curve of Quark and Adobe.
120 templates make creating page layouts a breeze in the purely Mac-like point and click arena of Swift Publisher. Flyers, newsletters, brochures, catalogs. You’ll find it difficult to tell output between SwiftPublisher and a comparable layout from Quark or Adobe.
Check out Bambi’s review of Swift Publisher.
The first application I purchased from BeLight was Mail Factory.
Use your Mac and any decent printer to create and print envelopes and labels.
Mail Factory even comes with a built-in integration with the Mac’s AddressBook, Entourage, Now Contact, Microsoft Excel, and FileMaker Pro to handle mail merge requirements.
Check out Carol’s review of Mail Factory.
Mac360 recently reviewed ArtText which lets you and your Mac create art from text, similar to the old TypeStyler for Mac OS Classic. We got excited about ArtText with version 1.0. Three updates later we’re still impressed.
Twist and turn and stylize text on your Mac until it becomes a work of art. Then drop it in to your favorite Mac graphics application. It’s tough to do what ArtText does even using Photoshop.
Check out Mac360’s review of ArtText.
Finally, since it’s Friday there has to be a Freebie involved, and BeLight doesn’t disappoint us with Image Tricks, their free image editing and generating utility. We’ve reviewed Image Tricks before and recommend it to all Mac users. Did I mention that it’s free? Check Carol’s review of Image Tricks.
The best bargain from BeLight is five of their best applications in the PrintFolio suite. Business Card Composer, Swift Publisher, Disc Cover, Mail Factory, and Image Tricks for one price.
Live Interior 3D
Still not convinced that BeLight is buzzing with Mac goodness? Check out Live Interior 3D for Free. For now. Interior designing software for the Mac lets you create an interior layout—not just layout, but with 2D and 3D tools so you can visualize your design.
It’s all drag and drop but uses Mac OS X’s built in graphics tools to enhance the 3D mode—which you can edit. Live Interior 3D is scheduled to ship in Frebruary but you can view the “preview” now.
Between now and the end of the month we’ll review our favorite Mac developers and their specialties—great Mac applications and utilities. BeLight is in our Mac360 Top 10.
Have you used anyone of the BeLight tools? What did you think? Share your perspective and experience in the Comments section below.