Print Shop Deluxe 12.0 review: Print Shop Deluxe 12.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Comes with more than 11,000 templates for everything from greeting cards to photo albums; easy-to-use interface; integrated photo editor; excellent online support.

The Bad Chews up at least 670MB of disk space; weak Web integration; most templates not suitable for professional use.

The Bottom Line For fun projects from greeting cards to banners, boot up Print Shop. But look elsewhere for a business or professional publisher.

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Print Shop isn't just for kids. Sure, the newest edition of this 16-year-old printing and desktop publishing program helps children churn out greeting cards and birthday party banners. But Print Shop also includes a full-fledged photo editor and tools that the most cash-starved home-based business can use to create simple paper projects, such as menus and marketing materials. For $50, Print Shop is hard to beat if you need an at-home publisher. However, most small-business owners will find that the program's templates aren't professional enough; they should steer for Microsoft Publisher instead.Print Shop isn't just for kids. Sure, the newest edition of this 16-year-old printing and desktop publishing program helps children churn out greeting cards and birthday party banners. But Print Shop also includes a full-fledged photo editor and tools that the most cash-starved home-based business can use to create simple paper projects, such as menus and marketing materials. For $50, Print Shop is hard to beat if you need an at-home publisher. However, most small-business owners will find that the program's templates aren't professional enough; they should steer for Microsoft Publisher instead.

CD juggling act
In general, Print Shop 12.0 is supereasy to use. However, you may have a tough time digging up the clip art you need on its six CDs and finding enough drive space for this monster program. Even if you stick with the minimum installation option, you must surrender 670MB of drive space. And if you go for broke and give Print Shop more than a gigabyte, you still have to keep its extra clip art CDs handy and swap them as you access the art. If your PC sports a DVD drive, get the DVD edition for the same price, and you won't have to swap discs since one DVD holds the whole shebang.

What's with all the CDs? Altogether, they contain a gargantuan collection of clip art and images (more than 134,000) and layout templates (more than 11,000). If you have another 2.4GB free on your hard drive, though, you can load all of the clip art to the drive and swear off CD swapping.

No-frills interface
Once you get over the CD-swapping hassle, Print Shop is pretty smooth sailing--not flashy but easy to use and functional. Menus hold scores of commands and simple toolbars at the top and side icons for functions such as launching the photo editor. Finally, Print Shop leaves a large open space in the center for your work.

You'll have no problem tackling the preset projects, either. Just pick a template from one of many categories (including business cards, greeting cards, signs, and certificates), walk through a two- or three-step wizard, then replace existing place-holding text and art with your own--easy, especially since Print Shop 12.0 ships with 5,000 more templates than the previous version. Our primary interface complaint: each time you launch a project, another window opens, needlessly cluttering the screen. In the next version, Print Shop should try the slick everything-in-one-window approach of competitors such as Microsoft Publisher.

Jack-of-all-trades, master of none
Print Shop 12.0 does many tasks adequately but few superbly. People's exhibit No. 1: the integrated Photo Workshop. Although Print Shop has added plenty of new special effects for imaging editing, including warps and distortions, it's not up to the standards of, say, Picture It 2002. To crop an image tightly around its outline, for instance, you must draw lines, one at a time, to create the cropping area; there's no automated cropping tool. Ugh!

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Where to Buy See all prices

Print Shop Deluxe 12.0

Part Number: 380871
Low Price: $80.00 See all prices

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  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC