Cenocre's Recent Posts
Having used Quark and hated the company for over 20 years, I have been looking for YEARS for a good replacement for the few simple projects that I now do each year. I tried Swift Publisher (lousy interface), MultiAd Creator Desktop (quite good, but the idiotic company discontinued it), and Scribus (sucks, but should be great). iStudio Publisher is FINALLY it. It has a few quirky ways of doing things, but it is clean, intelligent, and stable. And, the price is great.
I really want to like this program as Art Text can do really great things. I will continue to use it, but the interface and work flow are very defective. Parts of the interface are utterly idiotic (understatement). For example, almost 100% of the time when you create something and then go to the Category menu MERELY TO EXAMINE OTHER OPTIONS your carefully crafted creation gets altered. Then when you go back to the original category, the changes usually don't revert to your previous choice so you have to hunt through the palettes to find your old selection. The layout is awkward, where you can't hide layers, you have to go through two different windows simply to change any text characteristic, and objects can't be edited directly (so it's not truly WYSIWYG). The Panels (palettes) are stuck to the main window and cannot be resized so they are often in the way or too small. There are MANY other inconveniences such as where multiple steps are required where other programs only require one and where changes on the screen are not what they logically appear to be. I copied some gold text with a gradient and made a new layer. Absurdly, new layers automatically put in content which alternates between blue text and a solid blue rounded rectangle. So, I pasted in the gold text and the program changed it to solid blue. This is idiotic behavior. Strangest of all this is a graphics program that does not work with multiple monitors. All of the program resides on the main monitor so it is crowded with overlapping windows while your secondary monitor just sits there will totally wasted space. Doesn't BeLight realize that it is people doing graphics who have one of the biggest needs for multiple monitors?
Update: Turns out that it does work with multiple monitors in most arrangements, just not the one I have where a big monitor is above a laptop screen containing the menu bar. All other programs work fine with this arrangement. Strange. Also, it turns out that you can hide layers, IF you just happen upon the layers palette. In this inconsistent interface there are multiple menus for layers that are almost the same, but with subtly different choices. If you find the rather obscure Layers popup menu, you'll find a choice for the Layers palette. Why is this not in the menubar menu? Ah, but it is, just way down and in a different menu! The layers palette is actually nice and clear and a separate floating window. I wish the rest of the interface were like this. There are many other aspects of this program's behavior and interface that make it hard to use and the more I use it the more I dislike it. It is missing such rational conventions such as restricting the dragging of objects to a straight line when the Shift key is depressed. The only way to move in a straight line is to hold down the arrow keys and wait and wait. Doing things differently is great when improving on convention, In this case, it is just a big annoyance. So, I would give this program five stars for what it can create, but only one star for the interface.