Professional desktop publisher

Create e-books for fun and profit with this DRM-enabled program.

Desktop Author allows users to create and publish electronic books. Although it's not the most intuitive program we've ever seen, it was fairly easy to use once we spent some time getting used to it.

The program's interface contains a toolbar with the familiar desktop publishing functions: adding and formatting text and images, inserting and deleting pages, and so on. Most of this was straightforward, although some of the features related to managing pages were a bit confusing. For the most part, though, we were able to add content to our book without too much trouble. The program's built-in Help file could have gone into a little more detail, but was overall fairly thorough. We liked that in addition to static text and images, users can add interactive forms to their books. Users can also link text and images to other locations within the book, making it easy to create a table of contents or cross-reference. The program contains digital rights management features that allow users to preview a portion of the book before paying for access to the entire thing. The program does assume a certain level of familiarity with DNL and DML files, and users who are not already familiar with these formats will likely be confused when it comes time to package and publish their books. Users who already have some experience with electronic books will likely find this program fairly intuitive to use.

Desktop Author is free to try, but the trial version only lets users create two pages. The program installs desktop icons without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program to intermediate and advanced users.

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