This is an update of a post I wrote earlier this year.
Remember desktop publishing software? Back in the old days, you had your pick of a dozen or more programs (Publisher, PageMaker, etc.), but now the field is practically empty.
Granted, you can still buy Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress for a small fortune (they run $699 and $799, respectively), but what if you just want a simple program for creating newsletters, brochures, flyers, and the like?
Enter Serif PagePlus X5, the latest and greatest version of what was already a terrific desktop-publishing application. It's ideal for designing print and Web-based documents alike.
It normally sells for $99.99, but from now until Sept. 12, Serif is selling PagePlus X5 for $74.99. Not a huge savings, I grant you, but 25 percent off is still 25 percent off. Shipping will run you $6.95, unless you opt for the download version.
Alternately, if you can wait a couple weeks, Lenovo has PagePlus X5 for just $61.21 shipped--but the estimated ship date is Sept. 19.
Either way, it's a deal worth considering. PagePlus offers robust page-layout tools for everything from calendars and greetings cards to books and magazines.
It has a PDF editor, logo builder, and photo lab. It also comes with over 1,000 templates so you can hit the design ground running. And to help beginners get started, it incorporates tutorial videos.
The software supports nearly every imaginable output option, including four-color separations, press-ready PDFs, double-sided printing, and Web publishing. CNET hasn't review it, but I think this review from PC Pro is very telling.
In short, PagePlus X5 can stand toe-to-toe with Quark and InDesign, but at a fraction of the cost. The program is compatible with Windows XP and later. I'm a huge fan.
Bonus deal: A good surge protector is essential for protecting your electronics and computer gear. Monster Cable makes great stuff, but way overpriced. Not today: Buy.com has the Monster HT700 Home Theater PowerCentre 8-outlet surge protector for
$15.99 shipped. Best feature: a $50,000 guarantee against fried equipment. Update: This was either a price mistake or a very short-lived deal, but the HT700 is now showing $38.99--not a compelling deal at all.