Acrux Software, a provider of Mac multimedia software and courseware, has updated both iBuild Lite and iBuild Pro Preview to preview version 0.9.5. iBuild is a multimedia authoring and creativity tool for the Mac that, according to Acrux, “makes the creativity of software design accessible to the non-programmer.”
You can use iBuild to create a vast range of “stacks” and applications: interactive presentations, photo-albums, movie-albums, slide shows, e-books, educational courseware, quizzes and tests, talking books, games, stand-alone applications, and kiosk contents.
The new version offers easier editing of text, according to Mike Thorpe of Acrux. Objects underneath the text object being edited can move down automatically when the text object increases in height while you are typing. It’s now possible to put questions using familiar Mac-style radio buttons.
The update adds new stationery. “Human led presentation” lets you build PowerPoint-like presentations using text and graphics, Thorpe said. The color and pattern of the background of the each card (slide) can be adjusted in user mode so that an optimum result can be obtained to match the conditions of the auditorium or beamer. Using the new print stack facility, you can easily create sets of handouts for your audience to take with them after the presentation, Thorpe said.
Windowing in design mode has been beefed up. The small size stack windows (previously called “miniaturized windows”) have been improved to allow you to directly edit the name of cards, and enter notes or a description of the card, according to Thorpe.
iBuild could always print the contents of the front window. But to print out the entire stack, you had to move to each card and repeatedly print. Now you can print out the entire contents of a folder, or the whole stack, with one command. You can optionally print two cards per page, and optionally print the notes you attach to each card. This can be done in both design mode and user mode, and also via AppleScript.
With preview version 0.9.5, it’s now possible to print out portions of the online guide. A button is provided for this purpose at the start of each folder in the Guide.
And there lots of minor enhancements, as well. You can now hide the mouse cursor when giving presentations, or using touchscreens. Neon objects can now display multiple pieces of text. The online Guide and Library have been revised and expanded.
Version 1.0 of iBuild is nearing completion and is expected to be released within one month, Thorpe said. More info can be found at the product Web site.
iBuild Lite is freeware that serves as a player, but can also be used to create stacks of up to 25 cards using the Lite design level. No registration code is required to do this. You can find it at the Acrux download site.
iBuild Pro can be used to create stacks of any length, without restrictions. It can be used to create standalone applications that can be freely distributed for non-commercial purposes. It uses AppleScript as its scripting language (although you can build lots of cool things with it without scripting, according to Acrux), and is an alternative to HyperCard. iBuild Pro is a US$49.95 shareware product.
Acrux also offers iBuild Site, the Apple File Sharing-compatible version of iBuild. When used on an Apple File Sharing-compatible network, a single copy of iBuild Site can be simultaneously used by multiple users. Plus, single copies of each stack can be simultaneously used by multiple users. iBuild Site can be used to create standalone applications which can be freely distributed for commercial purposes without any additional royalty fees.