Friday is normally a slow news day and a slow reviews day. Who releases new software on Friday, the day when everyone has something else on their mind? Surprise.
From the ashes of Mac Classic comes a 20th century designer’s hero—TypeStyler, the PostScript and TrueType textual graphics editor for the masses, is now available for Mac users running OS X (Tiger or Leopard for PPC Mac owners, Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard for Intel Mac owners). We’ve waited almost eight years for TypeStyler to run on Mac OS X (without Classic) and it’s here now. With a hefty new price tag.
That Was Then, This Is Now
I downloaded TypeStyler to my Mac and have it running now. It comes with a 60 day free trial, so you can take your time getting acclimated to all the new features.
I was one of those TypeStyler users who pretty much gave up on ever seeing a Mac OS X version. Yet, here it is. Friday’s big Mac news.
I remember the ads floating around the Mac community the past five or six years. TypeStyler—Works Great in Mac Classic! And the ever present follow on to build up your hopes and keep the flame alive. Native OS X Version on the Way.
Based on my eyewitness account, I can assure you that TypeStyler for Mac OS X is alive and well. And expensive.
While waiting and forgetting all about TypeStyler, I managed to find a pretty decent replacement in BeLight Software’s Art Text. The similarities between Art Text and what I remember of TypeStyler are striking. Point and click text and shape manipulation.
Art Text is one of Mac360’s favorite graphic applications because it filled the TypeStyler void and made quick work of text designs that would take an expert to pull off in Photoshop.
How different is TypeStyler from Art Text? On the surface, except for the price tag, they appear similar. However, having been a very long time TypeStyler user and admirer, I’ll forgo judgement and a more detailed review until I can spend some quality time with the resurrected version.
ArtText is very good, very affordable, and easy enough to learn than quality results can come from non-graphic professionals with point and click.
What Of TypeStyler Today?
If you remember the TypeStyler of the past century, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see plenty of familiar looks and tools. The same bare bones floating tool palette, circa Macs of the mid 1990s, when TypeStyler was king.
The iconic toolbar is totally reminiscent of the past, and nothing at all like toolbars of current Mac applications and utilities. It’s almost as if Strider Software simply ported TypeStyler to run on OS X and didn’t bother to bring the interface into the 21st century.
An interface is one thing, functionality is another, and TypeStyler seems to function like the graphic text manipulator of the 20th century. If you like floating palettes (and what Mac graphic designer does not?) then you’ll be right at home.
TypeStyler for OS X comes with a new bag of new tricks, ranging from the Visualizer with a whole bucket of document templates for 3D objects (disc, sphere, cone, can, jar, etc), something not found in Art Text. Container Text can be filled with images from iPhoto (or anything else), with a rotating view that can be saved as a QuickTime movie.
The big news is that TypeStyler is back and looks like the old TypeStyler but with 21st century features. The other big news is the price tag. At $180, TypeStyler dwarfs the $39 for Art Text, which may end up being the beginner’s TypeStyler.
As noted, a more detailed review will come after I’ve had a chance to take this new Mustang out on the road, but I have some concerns beyond the price tag. The 21st century TypeStyler looks and feels much like the 20th century TypeStyler. Why would TypeStyler’s developers spend seven years on an OS X version and then create the world’s ugliest Buy Now and Download Now buttons to entice potential customers?