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Serif Desktop Publishing Suite review

Three tools in one package, the perfect start in desktop publishing

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Our Verdict

An inexpensive and comprehensive introduction to desktop publishing

For

  • Good value for money
  • User friendly

Against

  • No central interface
  • Have to install each separately

Desktop publishing allows you to create everything from a leaflet, a poster or even a brochure. The first thing to know about this latest package from Serif is that it has launched each product independently, but this is a cost-effective way of picking up three distinct tools: PagePlus 11, DrawPlus 8 and ImpactPlus 5 for a mere £50 (inc. VAT).

PagePlus is the best known of the tools on offer here and is a great resource for either designing a leaflet, brochure or even a book. Aimed at home users instead of professionals, who are likely to opt for either InDesign or QuarkExpress as they're the two leading professional names, this is a user-friendly package that has a neat family feel to it.

Using templates

You can choose to build a page from scratch, but for the inexperienced there are a host of different templates you can load and modify simply by double-clicking the boxes and inserting you own images and copy.

As the name implies, DrawPlus allows you to put your own designs together and comes with a whole raft of drawing tools and effects. Completed images can be saved off in any format and can even be imported into PagePlus designs.

The final part of this package is ImpactPlus, which is a 3D image effects package. This is an easy-to-use tool for making logos or graphics that can either be used alongside the other tools here or even incorporated into web animations.

As a budget package, Serif hasn't linked these tools together, so you won't find a central interface. You'll need to install each one independently. There is also a separate disc with each program full of extra resources.

If you're looking for an easy way to start using desktop publishing software, this is a great place to start. Serif has updated all these packages, but at £50 (inc. VAT) for all three, this is as cost-effective a budget package as possible.