Serif DrawPlus X3 meets most needs
It is quite easy to get started with the program and produce acceptable results. The on-line videos give one a good idea of what can be done even though they move too fast to enable one to really learn how to do things. On the other hand, I found the program’s help, accessed as usual via F1, was both appeared comprehensive and easily understood. This is due to a large extent to the fact that the text is often supplemented by illustrations.
In keeping with the modern trend, a user manual is not supplied. However, I would recommend downloading the DrawPlus X3 Graphics Studio User Guide in which is easy to look up any particular command and so have a reasonable idea even before you touch the mouse. In practice, once one starts to become familiar with a particular task, a quick glance at Help will probably suffice.
Emphasis has been placed on the use of DrawPlus as an artistic tool although, obviously, one’s skill as an artist or draftsman will evidently have a major effect on the quality of the final drawings that one can produce. It has a wide range of pen, pencil and paint brush tools which can be used freehand with a full spectrum of colours, line thicknesses and styles. These are in addition to a wide range of geometric shapes and lines together with the tools for combining, cropping and joining objects so as to develop more complex shapes. These can be in virtually any colour including Pantone colours. Also, downloadable from the supplied “Resources” CD are well over 200 additional decorative fonts and backgrounds which can be used to great effect.
When one adds to this the array of text features and tools, such as being able to fit text to a path, one has a program that caters for most needs.
This is complemented by a range of templates for posters, greetings cards etc. that provide a useful starting point for a program which is claimed to be the all-in-one studio for professional quality creative design. Unless one is a professional designer with expertise in using drawing programs it is impossible to verify this claim. Nevertheless, it is both versatile and easy to use and so will meet most people’s needs both for occasional and regular use.
Available from Serif (www.serif.com) priced at £79.99 for either the disc or the download versions, the former can also be bought from Amazon for £68.96.
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