PrintMaster Platinum 2.0 full review

Design Tools

Printmaster’s Design Tools appear along the left side of the window and give you the ability to add and customise your project. As you click each tool, context-sensitive options for that choice appear and other selections in the list close, accordion-style. This saves space on the screen and avoids the need for popup dialog boxes, which helps you stay in creative mode.

You can also click the element on the page to display the options in the Design Tools. For example, when you double-click a photo on the page, the Photos area expands, presenting you with all the tools you need for editing, enhancing, rotating, cropping, and resizing the image.

The design and cropping tools are easy to use; photo editing is simple and intuitive. When you double-click a photo, the photo editor pops up over the PrintMaster window so that you can apply photo effects, crop the photo, and click OK to save your changes and return to the page.

Working with text was just as intuitive, offering a range of easy-to-select tools that enable you to change everything from text size and colour to shadow and shape. At first the text box seemed too responsive (I kept clicking it when I didn’t mean to), but with a little practice, adding, editing, and applying formats to text becomes a smoother process.

PrintMaster Platinum 2 puts all the tools and resources you need within easy reach.

When you’re done adding photos and text, you can click Check Project and preview it in one of four different ways: Page-by-page, as a photo album, as a calendar, or as a greeting card. Again the preview pops up over the rest of the work area, greying out what you don’t need, and helping to focus your attention on the task at hand. Nice. You can use the other Check Project tools to run the spelling checker and check for design errors in your project.

When you’re happy with what you’ve created, you can share your project with others. The Share Project tool gives you the choice of printing your project in a variety of quality levels, ranging from Draft mode (50 ppi) to Best (300 ppi). You can also export the project as a series of JPEG images, or upload it to order a high-quality photo album, greeting card, or calendar that will be professionally produced and delivered to you for a fee.

[Katherine Murray is a technology writer in Indianapolis and the author of Creative Digital Scrapbooking (Peachpit Press).]

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