Tag Archives: free version

SpringPublisher Free Version – Design And Output Business Cards And More

imageOne of the very first freeware applications that I remember downloading, when the Sun first rose on the Internet, was a business card design application. Now, here I am, many years later, reviewing for the first time exactly that – a business card design application.

SpringPublisher 2.1 is a freeware application (upgradeable to a pro version), which allows a user to design and print a Business Card, Flyer, Postcard, and Letterhead with ease. The learning curve is … well, there is no learning curve really. If you can use a word processor; you’re good to go.

The following screen shots represent a walkthrough in designing a business card with SpringPublisher. Clicking on any graphic will expand it to it’s original size. Since these shots were captured on a 22 inch screen, they are very large.

You can create a blank project or alternatively, you may choose to use the Template Library to create a project from a template. In the following example, I’ll work with the template option.

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For this walkthrough I’ve chosen the business card style indicated by the hand icon. I should point out, that the “style” you choose can be carried forward into additional projects, including – Letterhead, Postcard and Flyer.

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Expanding the following screen shot to its original size will give you an opportunity to carefully study the GUI. I think you’ll find the GUI uncomplicated, easy to follow, and self explanatory.

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Clicking on any element within the template opens an edit input box (text, image, shape). In the following example, I’ve just completed work in the address, telephone, email address, etc., edit box. You’ll notice, I’ve replaced the suggested graphic with something a little fancier.

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The completed business card is shown below.

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But then, since I’m into simple – I replaced the background color with plain white. Which meant, it was necessary to replace the “company name” color with black – very easy to do with the “select color” command.

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This simple walkthrough doesn’t begin to test the power built into this application. The “fast facts” will provide a better overall picture of what can be accomplished with a little creativity.

Fast facts:

Enables you to add images, texts, vector shapes, logos and arrange them as you like.

Provides various image effect: shadows, opacity, rotation, and more.

Allows you to download high quality templates from the template store.

Makes it easy for you to print your artworks either with your own printer or in professional print shops.

Generates high resolution artwork with a maximum output of 350 dpi.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7

Download at: Developer’s site (SpringPublisher)

I haven’t used this type of application in years, so I’m not surprised to see that  SpringPublisher is a major step up from what I recall from back in the day. There are just enough tools and selections available  that customization possibilities are considerable – very impressive for a freeware application.

Along with your appearance (that great big smile  Smile ), your firm handshake (the dead fish handshake is a no-no), your business card can tell a tale. Make sure it’s the one you want to convey. SpringPublisher is a terrific little application which can help you experiment in developing a card which expresses who you are.

The professional version, with Template Store credits and high-quality output is available from the publisher at $23.95(USD).

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Filed under DeskTop Publishing, downloads, Freeware, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Take Advantage Of Your High Def Computer Display With Slickscreen

It’s always seemed to me that there’s not much point in having a wide screen LCD display when surfing the Net – not when I have a ton of wasted space on either side of the web page I’m viewing.

Here’s what I mean:

In this screen shot (click to expand), I’ve got Internet Explorer open on a 22 inch monitor set at 1680×1050  – notice the amount of wasted screen real estate on either side of the Web page.

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So, for the past few days I’ve been testing Slickscreen – an Internet Browser which takes advantage of high resolution displays by dividing the screen into separate windows.

In the following screen capture (click to expand), you’ll notice that I have three Web sites open – plus a running application (Windows Live Writer), which I’m using to write this post.

In fact, you can even run your regular Browser inside Slickscreen, if you wish, so that you have access to your personal configuration specific to that Browser.

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The bad news (sort of):

The configuration options in the free version are far too restrictive in my view. At least two selectable startup web sites would be more appropriate, so that the full value of the application can be properly assessed.

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Having to deal with the developer’s pre-selected sites, and then having to manually gain access to my sites, is less than ideal. Actually, it’s annoying as hell.

Click on graphic to expand to the original.

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Fast facts (pro version):

  • Maximize your screen real estate with Slickscreen’s unique non-overlapping interface.
  • Capture Windows applications into our unique interface.
  • Compare and work with web sites side by side with ease.
  • Save multi-panel layouts, Slickscreen’s multi-panel bookmarks.
  • Drag and drop links from one panel to another for the ultimate in web productivity.
  • New:  Every Slickscreen panel can add ‘traditional’ web browsing ‘tabs’.
  • Leverages Microsoft’s Internet Explorer rendering engine for performance, privacy and security.
  • Lightweight – We keep it simple for fast web browsing.
  • Integrates – doesn’t try to replace – your default browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer)
  • Panels can auto-refresh and auto-rotate at user defined intervals.  A great solution for corporate lobbies, break rooms or operational dashboards (requires a corporate license to use).
  • Skins:  Customize the look and feel.
  • Hosted on Amazon.com cloud infrastructure.  Get Updates fast and reliably.
  • No advertisements.  We don’t do ad-ware at Slickscreen.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 Client Profile – installed automatically if not present).

Download at: Developer’s site

User comments at CNET:

Pros: – Simple Download
– Great user preferences
– Drag and Drop features
– See multiple applications in 1 interface

Cons: – Some applications may function differently in Slickscreen

Pros: The ability to have VLC player, Outlook, Facebook and a work window, all in one interface is very helpful.

Cons: The new App Capture feature is a little glitchy at times. Understandable I suppose because.

Summary: Very nice application. Free version gives you more than enough functionality.

Pros: Ability to layout your screen with web and traditional apps in a non-overlapping fashion so apps/web sites don’t get hidden or clipped.
Dragging and dropping content from panel to panel is very useful.

Cons: You need a good sized screen or high resolution display. Minimum display resolution is probably 1200 pixels wide.

Summary: Great application for people with good screens.

Note: Since this is not a full review (after only two days running with the free version of this app, I’m reserving judgment), but instead, an informational post only – you may find the comments from CNET users valuable.

Initial impression: I’m leaning toward the professional version since the free version’s restrictions are annoying. On the other hand, at less than $5.00 for the pro version, I think there’s good value here.

From the developer:

Slickscreen Professional is a one time fee for home users.  Corporate purchases of 5 or more licenses will be good for two years from the purchase date, at which time, an upgrade fee may be required for continued use.

Home users can install Slickscreen Profressional on all of their personal PC’s.   Corporate users are restricted to 1 computer per license.

If you’re interested in this type of application, then I suggest you view the short video on the developers product information page, here.

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Filed under Antimalware Suites, Browsers, Desktop Toys, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Multimedia Tools, Multiple Monitors, Software, Windows Tips and Tools