If you have ever looked for desktop publishing software, you know that it can be very expensive. So I was surprised and excited to run across the PagePlus 5 freeware by Serif Software. Serif Software is a privately owned independent developer based in the United Kingdom with operations in Europe and North America. PagePlus 5 is an older version of Serif's desktop publishing software, they are currently at version 8, and they are offering version 5 free as a promotion for the new one.
PagePlus 5 is advertised as high end publishing software, comparable to Corel®, Publisher® and PageMaker®, but at 30 MB the size of the program is dramatically smaller. The layout window looks very much like other publishing programs with toolbars, rulers, layout page and property sheets. Some of the features included in the package are: linked text frames, a tool for building logos, and a drag and drop feature called Portfolio, which holds images and design objects. It also has a one click feature that converts printed documents to web documents, and has wizards for help in creating documents and tables of content; although some of the reviews said the wizards where missing. Help features seem to be fairly good having tool tips a Hint Line and tour presentations of various features. There is also online help available and a printed manual. The download can take 90 minutes if you're using a dial-up connection, but they do have a CD available for the price of shipping.
Serif's web site is very nice holding allot of information about PagePlus 5 and their other products. The user comments seem to be unedited and they have tour presentations of their software. The support page is very impressive having a knowledge base with a search feature and user forums that are very active. Serif offers registration for their freeware and there is also complete contact information.
PagePlus 5 would be a good choice for someone just learning desktop publishing or a small business owner who does not need a full-blown publishing program. This freeware is definitely worth looking into.
Till next time,
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Product Information and System Requirements
Name: PagePlus 5 - Version 5
Developer: Serif Software
Download size: 30 MB
Required RAM: 8 MB (Win 95), 16 MB (Win 98), 32 MB (Win NT), 64 MB (Win 2000.XP)
Other Requirements: 30 MB of Storage and VGA Video, additional memory (RAM) needed when editing large documents.
Suggested Operating Systems: Windows 95, 98, XP, NT or 2000