Pty Ltd, go
to the web site
95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, XP 300 MHz Pentium, 64 MB RAM 8
MB Video Graphics Adapter 20 MB free disk space
Author helps you create e-books, business & marketing
collateral and photo albums. The e-docs attempt to recreate
the page turning experience one has when using a real
book or paper document. The software helps you navigate
through an e-book by simply clicking on the pages. Click
on the right side and it goes forward, click on the left
and it goes back.
When I received this product I had a particular project
in mind - production of an e-book several hundred pages in
length; a kind of baptism by fire. Unfortunately this program
is ill-suited to that kind of endeavor. I went back to the
drawing board, read the manual and looked at the examples
on the Dnaml web site and tried something less ambitious.
I found that I could quite quickly and easily create a small
book or presentation with this software. The tools in the
product are quite simple to use even if they're not intuitive.
I created a small, 8 page document and was quite pleased
with the result. The product does what its supposed to although
I did have to fight with it to achieve what I thought should
be fairly straightforward results. The program does not have
any real document or text import functions. You can only
input text via the clipboard or through direct entry. The
graphics handling and import, although simple to achieve,
are also fraught with problems, mainly because of a lack
of supported file formats.
The inclusion of templates is a nice touch although I did
find that the implementation of templates is problematic.
You can't really apply a template globally in the form of
a master page or document style and as a result this creates
an additional and unnecessary workload. Because the Desktop
Author user interface has no menus, I also had problems with
figuring out how to close my book until I found out that
right clicking on the book displays a context menu with an
exit option. You can actually add a button with an exit function
to the user interface.
nice feature is that you can use the product to create
in different languages. Arabic, Chinese,
Hangul, Japanese and Thai are facilitated through Desktop
Author's support for Unicode. The Eazyform tool is nice and
allows for the "easy" creation of form based documents
such as tests, feedback and subscription forms, contests
and surveys. The function facilitates the e-mailing of results
to the creator or client without any need for heavy programming
knowledge of HTML or CGI.
There are a few key features missing from the software including:
- Import filters text - Word, HTML RTF and more. It would
be nice if the import filter could also parse the imported
docs and add pages to the e-book as needed.
- Additional graphics format support - Animated GIFs and other
formats; alpha channel support would be great too as you
could create nice frames and photo accents and import them
to create nice photo albums
- Controls - percentile scaling control or a size-to-fit function
for all elements
- Grids and page element guidelines - for easy style and template
- Multi-platform support - there is no support for MacOS or
- Bookmarking - a handy function for longer projects
- Multimedia - Desktop Author has no support for AVI or MPEG
- Templates - application of a template either globally or
to a range of pages
- Background - the ability to set background color at the
page level rather than just as a global setting
- Drag and Drop support
Desktop Author is very easy to use and does what it is designed
to do very well. It is an excellent small document tool and
can achieve much with the simple tools provided. If some
of the missing features mentioned above are incorporated
it will become a much more robust e-document creation tool.
Even with some of the shortcomings mentioned above, I still
rate this product very highly. One last item of note is that
ACD Systems (makers of ADCSee) are now distributing this
product as part of their Third Party Partnership strategy.
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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