One of the early hits of personal computing was Aldus (later, Adobe) PageMaker, the desktop publishing app. I’m old enough to remember using PageMaker in a business just a few years out of college.
That was my introduction to the Mac. Whatever happened to page layout apps?
Adobe took over, added years of bloat and feature creep, and kept increasing the price tag. If you long for the elegance and simplicity of PageMaker to tackle basic page layout, but don’t have to money for Adobe’s InDesign, what are the choices?
I’ve been using Swift Publisher on a project for a local business organization my husband belongs to. This brings back memories of PageMaker, except Swift Publisher is all a modern Mac app.
This is so much like using PageMaker that it’s creepy. Except this app comes with almost 200 templates so getting started on a layout is much easier.
What can a page layout out create? Brochures for business, advertisements, flyers and newsletters (my speciality), invitations, greeting cards, and pretty much anything you want.
Swift Publisher comes with all the basic features you’d expect. Text wraps around images. Drag and drop images into text and resize. Change fonts and sizes (and headings). Even create columns that link to columns on the same page and then to another page.
You can customize a page lout to your exact specifications, but the templates are a better place to start.
Swift Publisher gives users a bunch of valuable extras, including 40,000 clip art images ready to drop into a layout (with the Extras Package), 100 additional fonts, and built-in image editing tools with an standalone app that adds 60 Core Image effects and filters, and 100 masks.
There’s even a built-in calendar maker.
The list of design, layout, and image enhancement features is extensive, and that leads to the only problem I’ve encountered so far with Swift Publisher.
If you’ve never done page layout before, the interface can be daunting. If you’ve used PageMaker in the past (or, nearly any similar page layout app), you’ll be right at home.
Otherwise, Swift Publisher is nicely done, fully OS X compliant and usable as soon as you install (the learning curve is remarkably different than Adobe apps, all of which should come with a night course at a local community college).