Printworks 2

In my previous article on Printworks I provided an overview of the app and covered the top menubar. Today I want to go over the Design area. But, I want to present it in three sections.

Here is the screenshot of the Design area sectioned off (click on the image for a larger version):

Section #1 is the Source Pane which provides all kinds of resources to drag into your publication. Section #2 is the Design Area where you will be doing your creating. Section #3 is the Inspector where you can adjust your design elements to your hearts content.

Section #1 – Source Pane

Here are the three modes to the Source Pane; Clip Art, Photos & Smart Shapes. First off is clipart collections:

You just click on the drop down for a ton of high quality clip art. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this, there is tons of clipart for your choosing.

If you look at the middle pane of the above screenshot, you will see the Photos area. You can access iPhoto, Aperture or a folder. 

The next icon is Smart Shapes. You can drag these shapes onto your document and then proceed to edit them with a colored fill, larger outline, etc.

Section #2 – Design Area

The middle section of the window is where you design your document. 

If you do not have a ton of computer screen real estate you can set the 100% drop down to a lower percentage. Just to the right of that you see “Foreground”. This is a very cool feature. You can have layers, sort of. You can place stuff in the background of a document like this:

If you look carefully, the header of this document is available for editing, it is a background item. The stuff below (the content) is kind of greyed out, it is foreground material. This Falcon Garden Club flyer is kind of a template. So I created the background which stays the same every time. I just change the foreground material every month. The next couple of symbols to the right let you scroll through pages and/or add pages to your document.

Now zoom over to the upper right corner of the above screenshot. You will see “Content Pages”. PW allows you to make “Master Pages” which is totally awesome:

You click on that menu and you can setup a Master Page!! For a designer that is totally cool, especially if you have a long document with several pages. As you can see PW is quite versatile and full featured.

Section #3 – Inspector

The Inspector is where you edit and modify the various objects in your document from text to photos. It has pretty typical editing features in this area. Here is a screenshot of the four sections combined:

From left to right is, Document, Geometry, Appearance and Text. They work like many other programs with design capabilities.


Printworks is a totally fun application with which to do design work. It is easy to learn and a real pleasure to use for the intermediate or below designer. It runs great on my 2012 iMac. The system requirements are Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. I highly recommend it, at $49 you cannot go wrong