I figured out the software pretty easily without use of the manual. If I had to explain even basic concepts to my in-laws and even some of my friends, though, I would be tearing my hair out. This is NOT for everyone. Consider this: if you constantly pester your kids or your IT/tech-savvy friends with basic computer stuff, just stick to pen and paper and your mind's eye.
There are many, many plants, trees, shrubs. Many, many. I thought I read a previous reviewer claim there were only 50. Wrong. If you are looking to add an addition or a deck and some flower gardens and such, then this might be for you. If you're like me and seeking full xeriscaping ideas, save your money now.
I assumed incorrectly that a "Landscape and Deck" edition of a designer software would provide much more flagstone, paver, brick ideas. There are some, but very limited in patterns, colors, etc. I am very disappointed and would return this if I could.