Serif PagePlus 11
- Great value, Easy for beginners to understand, Intuitive interface
- No InDesign or QuarkXPress support, Some awkward tools
PagePlus is an ideal desktop-publishing app for small business use. High-end pros may sniff at the use of wizards, but as a standalone desktop publishing app or PDF editor there's no better value for money.
Price$ None (AUD)
For most of its life, budget page-layout program Serif PagePlus offered competition to the equally cheap and cheerful Microsoft Publisher. But version 11.0 of this venerable program has loftier ambitions - it is clearly intended to compete in the same rarefied professional market dominated by expensive desktop publishing apps such as Adobe InDesign.
The good news is that despite these aims, PagePlus 11.0 remains true to its roots. It's still inexpensive and remarkably easy for beginners to understand. For those with no desktop-publishing experience, a wizard guides you through building respectable-looking documents from templates. The program's interface, further polished in version 11.0, is as intuitive as a desktop publishing app is going to get.
But improvements in PagePlus 11.0 will appeal more to designers and business people. PagePlus already offers pre-press quality PDF export - increasingly welcome as PDF becomes the currency of print publishing - and this version goes further. It can now edit PDFs directly, something no other DTP app can do - although InDesign users with Adobe CS can use Acrobat.
In practice, PagePlus moaned as if it was a recalcitrant teenager when we attempted to open some InDesign-created PDFs, complaining that it didn't understand all their components. But aside from automatic font conversion - we didn't have the fonts used in the PDFs - the results were stunning. Text and picture elements were correctly isolated and although text flow was often broken into smaller paragraphs, these remained easily editable.
Working with PDFs is near-seamless. You can drop a multipage PDF into a standard PagePlus document and if the page sizes don't match, existing ones can be automatically resized to match those of the PDF. You can then save the combined document as a PagePlus file, PDF or even as a bitmap image. But anyone thinking of dumping their copy of InDesign or QuarkXPress in celebration of this versatility should note that there is no way to export editable files to either.
Thanks to established features such as mail merge, PagePlus has built up a following in the business market. Another feature of version 11.0 - the ability to create interactive PDF forms that can be filled in and submitted online - will further that appeal. To quickly build a form you drag elements such as text fields and radio buttons from a toolbar onto the page. When completed, forms are usually submitted to bespoke web-based apps for processing. Sensibly understanding that few will have this ability, Serif offers a free online service that collects form data and forwards it to your email address.
There are still niggles with PagePlus, although these relate more to usability than features. For example, ruler guides stubbornly confound common standards: dragging a guide from a document's vertical ruler creates a horizontal rather than vertical guide. Equally awkward is an over-complicated Align tool which makes it harder to line up items than it should be. But if we're reduced to criticising these, it only highlights how good the package is.
Alongside support for native layered Photoshop files, PagePlus 11.0 offers workman-style image-editing features. By selecting an image in a document and clicking a toolbar icon, you can add adjustments, such as Levels or Curves, or add effects, including blur or dropshadow, directly to an image. Adjustments are applied in layers in a dialog box and be easily re-ordered or deleted. It beats a trip to an image-editing app.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- 2 First Look: Nikon D850
- 3 OnePlus 5: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Nokia 8: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
Latest News Articles
- AMD Radeon Pro Graphics powers Amazon Web Services AppStream 2.0
- Trend Micro Strengthens its Security Offerings in Trend Micro Security
- Here's the Apple macOS High Sierra release date
- Adobe and Microsoft expand productivity partnership
- Huawei CEO Talks Up AI Ambitions At IFA
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- Moto E4: Full, in-depth review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- CCProduct Owner - TelcoVIC
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTProfessional Services Consultant - UCMOther
- FTRPA DeveloperOther
- CCService Desk ConsultantNSW
- TPSharepoint AdministratorQLD
- FTOffice 365 SMEOther
- CCTRIM Support OfficerVIC
- CCLean Six Sigma Black Belt 6 month contractVIC
- TPTechnical AnalystNSW
- FTSystem EngineerOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCPrincipal Business AnalystQLD
- CCWindows 10 Deployment TechnicianWA
- FTLead Business AnalystOther
- CCMultiple Hadoop Developers SydneyNSW
- FTBackend Java DeveloperNSW
- FTData Scientist/Java LeadVIC
- FTTechnical writerNSW
- FTSenior Change ManagerOther
- FTiMIS Engineer / DBAOther
- FT.Net - Sitecore DeveloperQLD
- TPSenior Full-Stack DeveloperSA
- FTMultiple Opportunities - Business Analyst - Contact CentreOther