Epyx has pulled some desktop printing magic from its software hat. Print Magic provides Apple users tuxedo-and-bowtie-quality performance, producing either whimsical- or professional-looking documents with the wave of a magic wand-er ... mouse.
With Print Magic up your sleeve (or in your disk drive), you can produce customized greeting cards and invitations, award certificates, meeting announcements, publicity notices, scratch pads and personalized stationery, and eye-catching banners. You're limited only by your imagination.
Print Magic is as fast as your Apple lets it be. It loads in less than 30 seconds on a IIe, despite a flip of the disk after you've made a keyboard/mouse input choice. The program isn't copyprotected, so it's easy to make working copies of the three disks included in the package: the Startup/Program disk, the Graphics/Typefaces disk, and the Holiday Graphics disk.
The program employs a Macintosh-type user interface that is responsive, easy to learn, and intuitive. Pull-down menus provide access to many functions. Dialog boxes handle file loading and saving. Scroll boxes and scroll bars make file viewing and loading an easy task, especially since filenames are always displayed in alphabetical order. A clipboard facilitates transfer of graphics between documents.
Icons are used sparingly and appropriately to represent editing and drawing tools. Close boxes return you to the previous screen. A wristwatch icon reminds you that the current action will take time to complete. Print Magic also handles mouse input well.
Because it handles the file formats of other software of its genre, Print Magic allows you to capitalize on your existing collection of Print Shop graphics and Newsroom clip art without having to use several different programs to accomplish what you want.
The package's accompanying graphics are sensational, though limited in number. Finely crafted and highly detailed, they can be resized up to the limit of a standard letter-sized sheet. Even in the larger sizes they don't have a chunky appearance.
Text handling is equally impressive. Plenty of dramatic and detailed typefaces are available in two sizes, and the several styles provided should satisfy the most demanding document designer.
My favorite Print Magic feature is its complete flexibility for placement of graphics and text. It is difficult, however, to obtain pixel-level positioning of text on the page. At this level, positioning becomes a trial-and-error proposition at best, since the entire page is nearly always displayed during text entry.
You should read at least the first six pages of the documentation. They cover Print Magic's usage of certain icons found in other software but used in a particular manner by this program. Some terms are defined in rather specific ways, but the rest of the program should be intuitive to all but the computer novice. Some users prefer to plunge into a program and come back to the manual for assistance. If that's the way you like to operate, then Print Magic's manual was designed with you in mind.
A 30-minute tutorial leads you through the production of a one-page Christmas party announcement which contains one of Print Magic's best graphics. Other developers take note: A simple tutorial is worth many pages of detailed documentation.
Print Magic provides solutions to nearly every drawback you've encountered with other printing programs, while maintaining communication with them. With its ease of use, intuitive interface, exquisite graphics and text, and superior documentation, Print Magic delivers a fine performance.
- Duncan Teague
Apple IIe (128K, 80-column card), IIc, IIGS-$59.95
600 Galveston Dr.
Redwood City, CA 94063
IBM version to be released this year- $59.95