Printworks 1

I have used various print (although print and web is blurred these days) design programs over the years including Adobe InDesign. No, I am not a professional designer. But, I have used these types of apps enough to know a little about them and what they offer. Enter a really cool application called Printworks from Belight Software.

Since Adobe has gone exclusively to the creative cloud model many people are looking for alternatives to Adobe software. And, many companies providing are alternative software, at least to some degree. Enter Belight Software’s Printworks design application. Printworks (hereinafter referred to as PW) is a very sophisticated program. No way can I give you a decent review in one article so I will try it in two or three. But, if you have the slightest inclination toward print design and with beginner to intermediate skill level, then I urge you to read all of my articles on Printworks. It is an excellent program for the rest of us. If you are a professional designer (InDesign, Quark, etc.) then this app may not be for you. PW is no Adobe InDesign killer, however it could be used for many things people do with InDesign.

Overview

Lets begin with an overview. Here is the main window. I know it is small in this blog, but just click on the image for a larger version.

This is a flyer I did for my local garden club. Hey! A computer geek can garden too ya know. There is a lot of stuff you can do with this app so I would like to try to take it in sections. In this article I am going to talk about the very top menu area.

Top Menu

Here is a screenshot of the top menu area:

Lets take it by the numbers. There is just too much to cover and not enough space to do it any other way. If you can click on the above image and keep it in a separate browser window for reference it would be easier.

  1. Selection tool
  2. Text Box Tool (used to create a text box)
  3. Rectangle Tool (used to create rectangles)
  4. Line Tool
  5. Create Textual Graphis & Headings (graphically designed text)
  6. Click to zoom out
  7. Click to zoom in
  8. Share (email, Facebook, etc.)
  9. Print
  10. Styles (yes, PW has styles)
  11. Insert a table
  12. Insert a calendar
  13. Insert a barcode
  14. Toggle Preview Mode (you can preview without all the design lines)
  15. Show/Hide the Source Panel (left column)
  16. Show/Hide the Inspector (right column)

Needless to say, PW has many of the typical design tools you would find in a design app or even an app like Pages and a few other goodies as well. This really is a full featured program. I love that it has “Styles” and the “Preview” button is very handy as well. You can constantly view changes to your design. Once you use these tools for a while it is second nature. They are easy to use and pretty much self explanatory.

You can get Printworks from BeLight Software for $49  It is worth every penny, but I don’t expect you to buy it based on one article. Please tune in for part 2 of Printworks coming soon to your favorite Mac blog.

Doug