A few thoughts on PagePlus X5

I’ve only been using PagePlus X5 for a little over a week, but in that time I think I’ve touched most of the major features and I can honestly say I’m really impressed. It almost pains me to make a comparison to Microsoft Publisher but PagePlus seem to have a lot of the ease of use of Publisher but also the power and precision of the big apps like InDesign. But unlike InDesign, the layout and menu structure of PagePlus makes sense. If you want to insert something you go to the Insert menu. If you want to format something you go to the Format menu. It seems half the battle of the other apps is just understanding their quirky methodology. PagePlus follows a more conventional word processor approach.

Formatting text, like making a drop cap is very easy. PagePlus understand what it means to make one so you don’t have to get sidetracked with making the frame yourself. But, it does offer a full of array of choices should you wish to fine tune the appearance.

The same is true for adding images. You simply drag the image into place and the text will flow around it. However, you get plenty of options to control the text flow, spacing, rotation of the image and lots of other options.

Plus it handles Microsoft Word documents with ease. And you don’t have to hold down special keys or wait for the planets to align so you can get text to flow across multiple pages. PagePlus is smart enough to know it needs to flow the text so it does it.

I mentioned before it has a similar look and feel to Corel Draw. The difference is, PagePlus can actually handle putting books together. Using the BookPlus feature you combine multiple PagePlus documents into a single file which can then be printed or exported to PDF. I created a 50 page book complete with images and was able to edit, format and put it all together without any glitches. My questions were answered by the well written help file so I didn’t have to resort to a 1,000 page manual or hours of searching and then manual work.

My first project was merely a test run but it went very smoothly. I think PagePlus is a real gem among the desktop publishing apps out there. It has all the features I’m looking for, it’s actually usable out of the box, and I don’t think you’ll find a better app for even twice the price.

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