Serif PagePlus X2 - PC review

4.5 out of 5
£100

For

Plenty of tools, easy to use

Against

There are cheaper options out there

If you want to use your PC for more than just the basic tasks, then you need a Desktop Publishing Package (DTP), which allows you to make a raft of things from simple posters through to brochures and even your own photo-albums.

As one of the first packages released for home users, the emphasis has always been on easy of use as well as value for money and this approach has held Serif in good stead against such rivals as Microsoft’s Publisher package. So, it comes as no surprise this latest version sticks to the trusted formula.

PagePlus has always been fairly easy to navigate but this latest version has to be one of the cleanest options in recent versions. The ay layout makes it easy for you to find the most commonly used tools, so rather than you fighting against the creative package you can concentrate on getting the best from your skills.

For instance, Studio Tabs are neat little icons that move in from the side of screen and hold the function tools so you don’t need to go routing around clicking on taskbars. These tabs range from colour swatches to rulers and even style galleries.

When it comes to importing images into your page design, you’ll find a Media Bar has been added to the foot of the page that makes it easier to source and load pictures. DTP isn’t just about pictures though and there are a number of ways you can enter text. The most basic is to create a media box and type your words directly onto the page, which is fine if you’re just creating a poster.

However, for large topics, you can always launch the WritePlus utility, which is a mainstay of previous versions and is a basics word processor that will allow you to import and edit your text before laying into the page.

It’s not just for the printed page this package works for as the new array of filters comprehensively covers everything from traditional print to getting copy ready for a blog or web page. The design templates are generous, so you don’t even need to create your own if you’re in a rush or new to the package.

That said, if you are new to DTP then you’ll appreciate the amount of guidance that is given to the first time user as Serif has included a range of How To tutorials that will allow you to work through most tasks, giving you the confidence to experiment with page layout and designs.

Verdict

Serif PagePlus X2 continues to be a well thought out and impressive DTP package. At £100 (inc. VAT) it’s a little over priced for the casual user but once you get to grips with it and start to use it regularly, we feel it’s a great package and worthy of recommendation.