PROS / This inexpensive software has a good selection of graphic design and photo editing tools.
CONS / You won’t be able to import or export text from common programs like Microsoft Word.
VERDICT / With plenty of templates and art assets, PrintMaster Platinum can be used for personal creative and business projects alike. There are many options, which helps make up for some of the lapses in quality designs.
PrintMaster Platinum v7 is a simple desktop publishing package with some impressive features. You won’t get the same level of sophistication with this software as you would with some of the higher priced software in our desktop publishing software reviews, but it has a nice feature package that will let you do a diverse set of tasks.
This software is primarily a collection of templates and art assets you can use to build your publications. You won't get any new fonts when you install it, but you'll get access to a portfolio of 165,000 assets – clip art and page graphics, mostly – and 4,700 templates. The quality of clip art isn’t always consistent, but most people will find what they need given the sheer volume of options.
For desktop publishing software in this price point, PrintMaster has some impressive features. It supports Avery products and has plenty of other templates to use: brochure layouts, calendars, invitations, letterheads, newsletters, postcards and more. We did notice the absence of both resumes and invoices in the template collection. While you can perform business tasks, such as creating brochures and newsletters, overall this software is probably still better suited for such at-home tasks as creating calendars and greeting cards.
PrintMaster v7 has master pages, which gives it multiple-page document support. This is a nice feature for an affordable desktop publishing software package. You can create nice, though somewhat basic, newsletter designs. You can link text boxes together and have content flow between them, which helps you format articles or a multipage newsletter. The text flow isn’t as sophisticated as the best desktop publishing software that will automatically flow text around the art on your page. Yet, having the ability to flow content from one text box to the next is a big advantage. There is no support for tables or graphs, and you won’t be able to import or export to common programs such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. You’ll have to copy and paste the text from those documents into this program.
Fortunately, the software offers a decent suite of graphic design tools. You can't expect a full-vector graphics editor – such features are reserved for the best publishing programs on the market. But you'll have access to quickshapes, effects like beveling and 3D perspective, and an integrated selection of photo correction tools to help you smooth out blemishes and remove annoying red-eye issues.
Encore has nice support options. There is a nice library of video tutorials on the website that will walk you through the majority of the software’s features. This should answer many of the questions you have as you are learning to use it. There is also a FAQs page to get answers to commonly asked questions. The website has a toll-free number and live chat support if you need help in real time. However, there are no email options.
PrintMaster Platinum is fairly simple software, but with a nice feature set, especially for software at this price point. While there is more capable software out there, this affordable desktop publishing software has templates of all kinds to help with simple publishing tasks such as creating greetings cards and the more diverse tasks of creating multiple-page documents like brochures and newsletters. This software doesn’t have the sophisticated functionality of some of the better software, but that is to be expected. This software has an extensive selection of clip art, and while the quantity outshines the quality, most novice publishers will find what they need.