SpringPublisher review

Print it right the first time with help from this free but capable desktop publishing tool.

SpringPublisher can create and print high-quality documents, cards, and more using templates or your own settings. You can add images, text, barcodes, QR codes, maps, and more. It's free for non-commercial use in Windows 2000 to 8. A Pro upgrade, supporting high-resolution printing, microperforated paper, and other features is available.

SpringPublisher's user interface offers a pleasing take on the Office look, with ribbon-style toolbars running along the top and left edges. The top bar creates, saves, and prints Projects and accesses Help Topics and Updates; the side ribbon's tools insert text, images, shapes, and so on. A smaller toolbar holds Copy, Paste, Delete, Zoom, and similar commands. We mentioned Help: Plenty of that is available in the Web-based manual. But you can't go far wrong by starting a new Project and browsing through the Local Template Library (a Web Template Store has more selections) to see what SpringPublisher can do. It's a lot, too; everything from postcards to business letterheads, in both U.S. and International Standards. We could add Layers of images, text, and so on; change the canvas size and background color; undo and redo changes, and even do the front and back of documents like business cards. The Page Manager tool let us preview creations before committing them to paper.

Desktop publishing programs aren't the dominant force in software they were when every PC had a dot-matrix printer. But these days, when you do print something, it needs to look good, too, and that's where SpringPublisher shines.

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