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Review CornerSoftware
Print Artist Grande Suite 8.0
Rating: three and a half stars
The Bottom Line
This all-in-one package will satisfy the basic printing and publishing needs of families, including crafts, print projects, photo editing, basic web publishing, animated e-cards, and more.
 
Ages: 10-up   Subject: Utilities/Reference  Brand: Sierra Home
Review Sections: Product Overview  Technically Speaking  Dollar Value
 
 
Print Artist Grande Suite 8.0 Product Overview

Another exciting title from SierraHome's home productivity line, Print Artist Grande Suite 8.0 is a conglomerate of various software tools specifically designed for a family's home publishing/printing needs. A wide array of projects are possible with this package of 8 CD-ROMs that contains over 200,000 graphics and images and more than 10,000 layouts.

Print Artist itself boasts a revamped, easier to use interface, and makes a variety of projects easy. Greeting cards of all types, crafts for grown-ups and kids, newsletters, stationery, banners, posters, and more, are easy to create. The pre-designed projects can be used as is, or can be customized with 300+ fonts, the program's graphics or imported ones, and with a special effects gallery. A new layering tool allows users to create multi-layered artwork effortlessly. Users shouldn't forget to download free Print Artist graphics and layouts online at www.sierra.com.

fsprintartistgr8sm1.jpg (17193 bytes)People who love to create will enjoy the many craft options. Make bookmarks, calendars, boxes, coasters, recipe cards, place mats, and ornaments, and get your kids working in the Kids Crafts section, creating and customizing their own door hangers, flashcards, mobiles, and ornaments. Labels and stickers can be customized and printed on special Avery sheets. Themed party sets, scrapbook pages, banners, certificates, signs, and family or club newsletters are just a handful of this print program's offerings! There's a little something for everyone in the family, whether you want to create a personalized label for your homemade jam jars, customize special gift boxes, or make a banner to welcome home that special somebody.

A tutorial is included to help lessen the learning curve, but most users who are Windows user will find the interface familiar. In fact, many children will be able to use the program. Though for the most part Print Artist 8.0 is easy to use with its new drag-and-drop interface, some things were more awkward than they could have been. For example, changing the font of the text in a greeting card we were working on required multiple steps, and this task was easier to do in a kids' software title such as Pokemon Project Studio.

Those who are interested in building a basic web site will enjoy the program's Web Studio Express. Web page creation is simplified to a level for the inexperienced, and posting directly from the program is effortless.

fsprintartistgr8sm.jpgSnap Shot Express can help users make the phrase "pictures don't lie" obsolete. This software allows users to correct and enhance their photos and covers most basic photo editing needs, including getting rid of red eye, adding new backgrounds to your photos, and adjusting brightness and color. Photos can be imported from any source, including your hard drive, scanners, digital cameras, and the Internet. Creating digital photo albums can be an exciting project for many, and the ones here are quite straightforward.

With this package's iCollect program, users can collect images and artwork from the Internet and store them without taking a sizable chunk out of their hard drives!

Another program included in the package is devoted to a selection of easy-to-use, customizable animated e-cards, complete with sound and movement. Though there's nothing outstanding here that can't be found for free on the web, users might enjoy browsing through the 50+ offerings. Choose to send e-cards directly from the program or save the e-card to your hard drive and send it as an attachment in your regular email program.

This title comes with a printed Clip art catalogue containing black and white thumbnails of graphics organized alphabetically by topic. Topics include such things as Christmas, Fruits, Backgrounds, Women, and Zodiac. Though well-organized in the catalogue, it can be a bit of a struggle browsing through the clip art onscreen. Better searching capabilities would have been helpful.

This suite contains a decent collection of basic home publishing options. The designs and graphics are pretty generic fare -- remember that this title is targeted at the average home user, and it covers good ground on that note. As well, users can import graphics from their hard drives, directly from scanners and digital cameras, or the web.

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are Windows 95/98/NT, a Pentium 100 processor (Pentium 133+ preferred), 16 Mb RAM (32 Mb RAM preferred), and 4X CD ROM. This title requires 225 Mb of free hard disk space.

Dollar Value
This CD-ROM retails for $69.95 US.

Released: 1999
Reviewed: October 2000