Back to 12/96 SW: First Map for Excel 95
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to 12/96 SW: WEB Office 1.0

December 1996 Reviews This Month

12/96 Reviews SW: Windows Draw 5

By Joel T. Patz

Letters on banners and graphics on posters-sounds like a Julie Andrews song, doesn't it? But when it comes to an easy-to-use graphics application that lets you create these items, Windows Draw 5 could easily be one of your favorite things.

Families, small businesses, church groups, clubs and anyone with a good idea that needs some quick but professional printed expression will appreciate Draw 5's simplicity and surprising power.

The program offers 18 template categories to get you started; these organize 300-plus projects and include idiot-proofing wizards where appropriate.

Most output, from calendars to greeting cards, is geared for the home market. You can build detailed diagrams, and edit in labels and connecting lines. The package also includes a spell-check utility.

Once your basic project is generated, you can use Draw's extensive toolbox to add arrows, borders, drop-shadows, curved text and gradient-filled shapes. The program includes rulers and grid controls for precise editing. To perfect your design, you can select, rotate and position any item.

Once you've placed an image in your composition, you can apply more than 50 special effects from the Image Effects option on the Tools menu. Choices range from color adjustment and distortion to texture and photographic effects, each with controls for fine-tuning.

With Draw 5 you can create an image from scratch, scan one in or import a graphics file. The program supports most popular graphics file formats, such as .BMP, .PCX, .TIF, .GIF or .JPG. You can manipulate your images by changing colors, eliminating sections or applying filters to specific areas-right down to the pixel level.

Draw 5, which ships on two CD-ROMs and is Win95- and NT 3.51-compatible, also offers several related applications, including Instant 3D, an application for quickly creating three-dimensional text and graphic objects.

Capture and edit photos with Photo Magic, which lets you fix common photographic problems such as red eyes and stray marks.

The package also includes Micrografx ABC QuickSilver Internet plug-in. It lets you save graphics in .JPG, .GIF and interlaced .GIF formats.

Though the beta I looked at was highly unstable, the performance was very good. I would expect overall operations of the suite to increase in speed with the final, shipping version.

ABC Media Manager lets you organize your artwork, as well as the clip art that's included, by providing thumbnail previews of more than 50 graphic file formats.

Draw 5 offers a lot of power and a wide variety of editing tools, enough for any casual graphics user. The price, $49.95, isn't much for a tool with these abilities.

Platforms: 95, NT
Blue Sky Software Corp.
800-571-9764, 619-459-6365
WinMag Box Score: 3

Back to 12/96 SW: First Map for Excel 95
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to 12/96 SW: WEB Office 1.0