One of the more interesting aspects of being a senior member of the Mac360 staff, and an original 128k Mac owner (circa late spring 1984), is the privilege of seeing the entire computer industry change. Several times.
I ran Aldus PageMaker on a 512k Mac, Photoshop on a Mac Plus, and was involved in the move from desktop publishing to online publishing to ecommerce (first ecommerce website was CheapTickets.com). What’s changed? Everything.
More for less. That may be the greatest change in the computer revolution. We get more. We pay less. That has never been truer than in the desktop publishing field, still growing, still relevant, and remarkably capable at an incredibly low price.
My favorite desktop publishing app is BeLight’s Swift Publisher which offers many times more tools, features, and functions that previous versions of PageMaker or other apps.
Swift is used to create brochures and flyers, business cards, CD and DVD discs and covers, even labels and envelopes, all on your Mac’s screen, and in an almost miracle-like intuitive manner that won’t have you running back to the manual (never used it).
How can desktop publishing be easier? In the old days, everything on a page had to be created from scratch. Swift destroys the past with more than 500 templates that make quick work of brochures (bi-fold, tri-fold), product or information catalogs, business cards, or anything else you can think of that needs to be printed.
Start with the template, drop in copy and images, and you’re done. Yeah, it’s almost that easy. Swift even handles two pages side-by-side, double-truck style, perfect for magazines and small newspapers. Years ago I made a living creating business publications on PageMaker. Swift does more for far less and much faster.
Choose a master page for repeating projects, complete with headers, footers, common background elements; even page numbers. Then, drag and drop elements you need right into place.
What makes Swift special is the ability to use or create a template which can be reused, saving hours to days of work. Each element– images, photos, text, can be dropped into placeholders, which reduces production time.
Swift Publisher comes with more than 2,000 clipart images, over 100 image masks, plus the Extras Pack provides 40,000 more images and 100 additional fonts for less than lunch.
You can never have too many fonts (except within the publication).
Way back in the early days of Mac desktop publishing, we use an app called Fontographer which helped to turn bit-mapped fonts into higher resolution Postscript and TrueType fonts for LaserWriter printers. Forget that. Swift comes with fonts and text tools that would make Shakespeare swoon.
Easily create circular or vertical text, use built-in drawing tools, shadows, fills, and tiling. Text boxes can be controlled to flow from one box to another, then flow around graphics objects– automatically. Swift Publisher is layer-based, so every element is easily managed; turn on or turn off with a click. Contacts and labels can even be printed using the Mac’s Contacts app and mail merge. Serial numbers and barcodes, too.
Desktop publishing has never been easier or more capable, and the learning curve is diminished thanks to a dozen video tutorials for each product category; image and design, master pages and templates, text and styles, and more.
Normally at Mac360, we don’t include an app’s price tag when there is a trial option, but Swift’s $20 sticker is too low to pass up. Swift Publisher is my go-to app for desktop publishing and has been for a decade. Highly recommended.