Editor's note: A newer version of this product is available. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version of this product when we next update the Mac Publishing Software site.
PrintMaster is a great Mac desktop publishing program for those who want lots of project possibilities in one nice package. PrintMaster looks great and is a breeze to use.
The image tools used in PrintMaster are decent. While the tools and effects aren’t as powerful as some of the other programs reviewed, they do enough to get the job done. All the basic image manipulations are available through the sidebar, each with their own button, making it a breeze to tweak your photos and the supplied images.
A nudge photo utility is also included, which is surprisingly helpful for making those minute adjustments to your project. Not every program has this feature, and this software certainly benefits from its inclusion. The image effects aren’t as flashy or as controllable, but what is available is a humble feature set that can get the job done.
The text functions, once again available through the great sidebar, are quite useful. While word art capabilities aren’t really available, you can add shadows, match colors and change the opacity. These features aren’t mandatory with a lot of other programs so it shows that the developers were thoughtful in what they chose to include. Once again, overall, you won’t find the deepest set of tools, but the ones that are available are well done.
Printing is a snap. You can choose which pages you need to print from your project, saving ink and paper on those pesky reprints that always pop up. You can also alter the print quality and resolution to suit your project and its intended use. A photo brochure and letterhead don’t require the same printing output and these printing options reflect this need.
There is a comprehensive array of templates to choose from. The project assistant organizes project types into categories, then subcategories such as modern, traditional and other. Once you choose a project you can select the option to auto-fill the template. This is a feature not supported by any other program. While it takes a bit of the fun out of the design process, this option is great for those who are intimidated by the prospective of designing a whole project. You simply choose the photos you would like to use. Then they are preloaded into another sidebar ready to drag and drop right into your project.
The layout of PrintMaster is very thoughtful. The sidebar on the left of the workspace functions as an action tree, expanding for each aspect of your project (photos, text, clipart, etc.) as you add it. On the other side is your resource folder, utilized by the auto-fill option mentioned above, or simply a direct link to your default photo folder on your Mac. This is combined with another toolbar at the top of the space and accessed through the drop down menus to provide different avenues to perform the same tasks. These different options make PrintMaster a breeze to use, catering to several different skill levels. PrintMaster is eager for you to make it your own and use it to its fullest potential.
Flipping through the provided user’s manual you will find extensive instructions on using all the features of PrintMaster. Steps are illustrated with examples and diagrams, making it a very useful and user friendly guide. If you misplace the guide you can always download a PDF version from the website. On the website you will also find a handful of frequently asked questions in the support area. Through this list you’ll also find access to email and phone support for PrintMaster. Email is free, but if you need more direct support, a technician can be reached on the phone during normal business hours for a small price. But really, large system hiccups aside, it’s doubtful that you’ll need to phone in for help as PrintMaster is a breeze to use.
PrintMaster is great Mac publishing software. The features, while not as deep and diverse as some of the other programs we reviewed, are all thoughtfully considered and presented. PrintMaster won’t do everything, but what it does do, it does exceedingly well. It’s a great middle-of-the-road program that is fun and easy to learn and use. For a more advanced desktop publishing suite, see our reviews of the best Mac publishing software.