12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Graphics Software!,
This review is from: DrawPlus X5 (PC) (CD-ROM)
First of all, I must say that I got my copy from directly from Serif as I am a huge customer with almost all the software and three versions of DrawPlus. So my review is based on using Drawplus since 2008, when I bought DrawPlus X2.
This is the best Drawplus ever. The first thing that impressed me is speed. It is noticably faster compared to Drawplus X4. The interface is a lot cleaner and beautiful. I use it mainly for creating my web graphics alongside the Gimp.
My favourite new feature in this version is shape bulder which allows you to create a shape of any type by subracting and adding other chapes by just choosing to add or subtract. I advise learning how to use the pen and node tools as they come in hand when you create your own graphics. You can then add them to DrawPlus for use in your projects. Thes graphic images can be exported easily as GIF, JPG or PNG. It is easier (compared to most high end Graphics software) to create PNG with Alpha Transparency (example use, website backgrounds using CSS) using the nice transparency tool or presets.
Creating logos is very easy once you master how to use the pen and the node tool. You can create any type of shape, you can draw on paper scan, import in drawplus, trace over the image using the pen tool (you need to know how layers work in drawplus, very easy) then color it any way you want. Any image imported can be converted to curves after which you ca manipulate it with the magnificent pen tool (know the pen tool and you are friends with Drawplus)
One other nice addition is the dedicated Photo lab, which can be launched from the main tool bar. I am able to outsource photos to PhotoPlus if the photo requires extensive editing not possible within DrawPlus by selecting edit in PhotoPlus and the moment I finish I have the resultant photo back in DrawPlus.
The Cut-out Studio is marvelous. I had jpg logos on two website and was forced to make the color of the header white to match the logo background. When I got DrawPlus, I imported the logo and extracted the logo easily from the background and saved it as a gif. Since now I had a gif with transparent background, I was able to create better web headers and the logos blended nicely since now they took the header's background colour.
Text on a path is effortless! You can create a logo where you have a circle and text flows around the circle. Text can along any path and you can mould the path using the node tool, with handles. My DrawPlus purchase had the User Guide and Resource guide. The resource guide is more helpful as it has step-by-step tutorials as well as projects, simple and advanced. It also has an extensive gallery to make you aware of resources available to you.
I do not understand Action Script, so creating flash movies for my web projects was a huge problem. Since getting drawplus, I am able to create nice flash movies (saving them as .swf) using a WYSIWYG. Now I am not an advocate of WYSIWYG editors because they do not usually get things right. However for this I think I am getting decent results as I do not customise templates. I start from scratch adding frames with custom colors and objects so I have been able to create nice web headers and that I have been able to integrate into my hand-coded Web pages. I have also used it to create stunning text for Web headers as you can easily create text with reflections, shadows, embose, etc by just choosing from a multitude of text styles.
Organisational charts cannot be easier and so is any charting job that requires connecting various text boxes. You can pick from premade graphics and add your text and even for pre-made graphics you can still change their colours, add text, shape add/ change transparency settings.
What I DONT like:
In previous versions of DrawPlus up to DrawPlus X3, all projects were on the Resource DVD. Now after X4, you have to download all project samples. I found it hand when I could just navigate to a location withy the DP folder and pick project files, but now i have to go to serif website. I travel and work from places where I do not have an internet connection and i cannot have access to project files.
I still use my DrawPlus X2 Resource guide as it has a lot of quality projects ranging from creating interactive User Interfaces involving flash to creating rich web banners and headers. It is large and is packed with stuff that I prefer it to newer smaller resource guides for DP X4 AND X5. I wish they made even more comprehensible user guides because Serif products being proprietary software, do not have as many free tutorials created for it like you would find with for instance the Gimp, which is open source and free. These reasons do not allow me to award it 5 stars, it loses a star.
I recommend to anyone who wants professional results with minimal effort. However I think it is a lot easier if you have the resource guide especially if you are new to DP which may not be bundled with this DP depending on your purchase.