May 1998

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MacWaves MUG
a SIG of Brookdale Computer Users Group
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PhotoFrame 1.0, Extensis, $129.95. Mac/Windows

Like the frame around the page banner? It took PhotoFrame 6 seconds and 2 keystrokes to create it and about the same time to frame all the other images on this page. Most of the time was spent deciding on a frame from one of the twenty-eight frame categories that ship with PhotoFrame. The Photoshop plug-in lets you create an unlimited variety of border effects using combinations of professionally-designed frames. You get real-time previews, interactive controls, background processing, multiple undo-redos and the ability to control border and background opacity, blur, color and rotation. PhotoFrame ships with a demo of Portfolio, a catalog of the frame files. Locate a frame you like and simply drag its thumbnail into PhotoFrame and start using it. It's now just a (cheap) keystroke away from breaking an image out if its box and adding an artistic edge or frame effect.


GoLive CyberStudio 2 for Macintosh, by Shelly Brisbin, JavaScript, 2nd Edition, by Tom Negrino and Dori Smith, and BBEdit 4 for Macintosh, by Mark R. Bell, Peachpit Press $17.95-$18.95.

Attention Webmasters! Three new books in Peachpit's Visual QuickStart series will have you working quickly and efficiently in three critical Web applications. With their "here's what the screen looks like, now you do it" approach, these books are ideal for a good overview of the applications as well as for step-by-step instructions in getting them to work well enough for someone to pay you for using them. Always worth more than the cover price, these Visual QuickStart books are excellent learning materials that really deliver a quick start to learning these complex applications.


One-Minute Designer, Revised Edition by Roger C. Parker, MIS Press, $24.95

This easy to read and easy to use book is an invaluable tool for anyone designing pages for business or personal publications. It covers (quickly) the basic rules of using which typeface for which project and why and how to use typographic contrast to create interesting pages. The author includes design information for visuals (the rules are different) as well as hints for specific projects such as brochures, newsletters, and resumes. If you are publishing on the desktop, especially if you are developing business communications and don't have a design degree, you need this invaluable book.


QuarkXPress 4 for Macintosh, by Elaine Weinmann, Peachpit Press, $18.95

Another excellent book in the Visual QuickStart series, this book will make users new to QuarkXPress comfortable with the basic as well as new functions in version 4.0. For experienced XPress users, the intelligent organization and explanation of the material, much of which involves working with PostScript drawing tools and commands, is a better introduction to the new version than the 900-page QuarkXPress 4.0 manual. If you learn more easily when complex information is presented in small, illustrated segments, then you'll find this book an excellent learning tool as well as an important reference work.


Illustrator 7 Studio Secrets, by Ted Alspach, IDG Books, $49.99 w/Mac and Windows CD

With a wonderful combination of "Here's how you can make it wonderful" with "Here's how to do it," this book boosts your creativity and competence in using Illustrator 7. There's a lot of helpful information about using Illustrator with Photoshop images, and many techniques such as creating chrome, rings around a planet, and masking. Both the novice and experienced user (especially those new to vector art) will find much to learn and even more to enjoy from this beautiful and well organized book.