|★ APPLICATIONS ★ DIVERS ★ LABEL DESIGN ★|
|LABEL DESIGN|Amstrad Action)||LABEL DESIGN|CPC Attack)|
There's no shortage of word-processors on the CPC, but when It comes to printing a label, or even disks, you're faced with ail uphill task. Does Label Design make it easy? David Wilson finds out...
Alan Scully, once a well-known figure in the world of CPC PD, has recently turned his attention to commercial software. After budget DTP package Pagemaker Deluxe, his latest project (written with help from Struan Bartlett) is a cheap utility for designing and printing disk labels. Aimed squarely at Goldmark Systems' £12 LabelMaker, it certainly wins out on price. But is the program itself any good?
One of the major selling points over Goldmark's program is that four, rather than two, label sizes are supposedly available: 3-inch, 3.5-inch, 5.25-inch and 'address labels'. In fact this is being slightly economical with the truth, because the 5.25-inch and address label sizes are exactly the same. However, support for 3nnch labels is well implemented: the tricky Question of how to print each side the right way up has been solved by the inclusion of two options, “Mirror" and “Invert". (The program's author will supply labels for the price of £2.50 for one hundred 3” or 3.5” labels, or £1.40 for 100 address or 5.25” labels).
Options are selected by pressing a letter for each function. Although the manual is on disk and consequently needs to be printed out on your own printer, a “quick reference" sheet is supplied with the program, and a list of possible options is displayed on the screen at all times. In general, the program is pretty user-friendly, although some options could certainly be easier to use.
Although you cannot draw your own pictures - not even simple lines - you can load in dip art in either Stop Press/PowerPage or Pagemaker Deluxe format. This means that to get the most out of the program, you need a DTP package that can save clip art in one of these formats: so although starting off with the program is easy, thanks to the pieces of clip art supplied with it, this is likely to become extreme, tiresome in the long run when you want to use your own designs.
Alternatively, you could use an art package such as Art Studio or GPaint. This deprives you of the option to save frequently-used blocks for direct import into Label Design: however, it may prove a cheaper option for those who don't possess a DTP package. To facilitate this, labels are saved in 17K format, which does mean that they take up about twice as much disk space as they ought to!
It is possible to print labels in either draft or quality mode: the second option, while taking longer, provides a more impressive result However, be warned that, due to the peculiar method employed by the program, some users will find that their printers do not support this mode. The instructions state that printers must be "fully Epson-compatible": well, until I used this. I thought that my Epson printer was..
The big question is whether you actuary need this program. Although it's cheap, and provides the essentials needed to design and print disk labels, a PD desktop publishing program - such as the new PowerPage 128 - will do just as much as Label Design, for an even lower price. In addition, features missing from Label Design (such as the ability to create your own art, more than two text sizes, and a zoom mode) will be available. You can also use a DTP package for other design applications, whereas Label Design is unsurprisingly restricted to the one task. As such, if s difficult to endorse wholeheartedy.
CPCrulez[Content Management System] v8.7-desktop/cache
L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.