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Print Explosion Deluxe 3.0 is an application that helps you create a multitude of personalized projects, such as business cards, t-shirts, and banners. The program is easy to use, sports mail merge capabilities using Address Book or text files, and even young children will have no problem creating personalized cards and crafts. But the program is also capable of creating professional-quality products suitable for business use.
When you launch the program, a window gives you the option of opening a template, creating a new document from scratch, or going through one of several tutorials on how to use each of the program’s templates. The program works like most other layout and design programs such as Pages or the Drawing app that’s part of AppleWorks, allowing you to insert and manipulate images and text with ease.
The program ships with over 13,000 professionally designed templates, more than 100,000 pieces of clip art, and dozens of blank templates that are sized specifically as greeting cards, envelopes, stationary, and postcards. All of Print Explosion’s templates are intelligent—that is, depending on which type of template you choose, they are programmed to print properly. For example, if you’re creating an iron-on image for a t-shirt, Print Explosion knows to print the image backwards.
Print Explosion Deluxe both borrows ideas from and integrates well with Apple’s iLife apps. For example, Print Explosion’s massive template and clip art libraries might make finding the item you want to use difficult. To resolve this issue, the program uses an iPhoto-like media browser that organizes these elements into libraries, allowing you to view resizable previews of the available templates and artwork. The program also allows you to use photos you’ve stored in iPhoto (although camera Raw formatted images are not supported). You can also insert track information from playlists you’ve created in iTunes and, although not technically an iLife app, easily merge contact information from the Address Book app into any document you create.
The program’s only downside will be an issue if you own a Mac that doesn’t have a DVD player. The application only ships on DVD, and to get the disks on CD, you must buy the application, call Nova, and have them send you the CDs. Most Macs now have DVD drives, so for most people, this will not be an issue.
Macworld’s buying advice
Beautifully designed templates, extensive clip art collections, integration with iLife, and ease of use all combine to make Print Explosion Deluxe 3.0 an excellent tool for all your personal creative design endeavors. Just keep in mind that if you don’t own a Mac with a DVD player, you may need to wait a few days after your purchase to use the program.
[ Jeffery Battersby is a regular contributor to Macworld.]Print Explosion Deluxe’s simple design tools and extensive clip art and template collections make it a real personal design delight.