drawing: Micrografx Draw – Print Studio (1998)

Age range 10-adult. For PC Price £49 or less from computer dealers. Web: www.micrografx.com Reviewed by Roger Frost for TES

Micrografx Windows Draw used to be a part of RM’s school network bundle. Though lost among other software goodies, overshadowed by word processing nevertheless here was a capable tool that let you write, draw and layout pages.

‘Draw’, which is now called Print Studio, lives on today but it has grown into a rich bundle of quality software. Like so much in this genre it offers the material for class projects such as posters and tickets while dealing with countless admin needs such as tray labels and notices. You’ll find flyers, forms, signs, stickers, newsletters and web pages in all colours, themes and flavours – what’s good is how quickly you can get from start to finish and the non-patronising help that you can take or leave.

If you want a head start, a step by step ‘wizard’ helps lay down the basics of a project. After this, a side panel invites adding pictures, text effects and ways to change things. If you want to add a graphic it has the good sense to offer examples that fit the theme (say music) you’re working on – rather than present all its gallery of 20,000 examples.

With help or not here is a tool set that the experienced will not find too wanting. Nice tricks include ways to do folding booklets, a map for visitors and canny web animations (to make animated ‘gifs’). To complete the deal, Draw also edits photos and does 3D text effects. There are yet more wizards for special effects such as drop shadows, wooden text, metallic text, and making Internet page push buttons.

It may be hard to go wrong in choosing a ‘creativity’ package but this one is value for money and a short cut to elegant results.

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