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Download Micrografx Designer 9.0.1
The newest upgrade to the iGrafx Designer Suite, the Micrografx
Designer suite provides a complete toolset to meet your design needs
-- with Micrografx Designer 9 for your vector graphics needs and
Picture Publisher 9 for image editing.
Anyone who creates vector-based graphics will benefit from Designers
easy-to-learn interface and highly productive tools. Picture Publisher
provides users the easiest professional level image editing tools with
an incredible array of visual and special effects and unique
The Object Explorer gives Designer a more technical feel and this is
apparent throughout the program. Further examples of Designers almost
CAD-like approach are the range of grids and guides, dimensioning
options and especially the dynamic snap - as you draw youll find that
your cursor is constantly being attracted to the defining points of
existing lines and shapes like a magnet. In version 9 these snap
points are now clearly indicated as you move the cursor near them.
Designers power is concentrated on technical drawing.
Designers dynamic snap certainly helps produce precise 2D technical
drawings, but the program cant compete with dedicated 3D-oriented
packages with true isometric capabilities. What Designer can do though
is work with the drawings produced with these dedicated CAD packages
which is why its ability to import technical standards such as CGM,
DSF, DS4, DRW, GRF and MGX format files is so important. With Designer
9 this capability is extended with the ability to import the latest
DXF/DWG files from AutoCAD 2000 and to pick-up the current scale and
to convert colours.
Once youve created or imported your drawing, you can embellish it
with a wide range of formatting options including technical favourites
such as customizable hatching and more creative options such as bitmap
fills and even variable transparency. You can also import and place
bitmaps and Designer 9 includes the full Picture Publisher 9 program
(reviewed issue ) for just this purpose.
Designer also lets you enhance your drawings by marking them up with
its Callout tool. Simply click on an object and drag to produce a
linked callout. You can enter the callout text yourself or
automatically pick-up dimensions such as the objects area or
perimeter. Now with the Callout tab of the Dimensions dialog box you
can control everything from the inner and outer margin between the
text and its border through to the "halo width" which is the blank
space around the callout line.
Its a welcome addition but the ability to fine-tune callouts isnt
going to set the world on fire. So where is the new power in Designer
9? The answer lies in its output capabilities.
To begin with Designer 9 now offers the ability to output to Acrobat
PDF files so that its drawings can be viewed in the widely and freely
available Acrobat Reader program. Multiple page publications are
supported along with four different levels of export quality ranging
from Web to Pre-Press. Designer isnt the right program for producing
commercial print, however, so its definitely Web delivery which is the
main target - an impression reinforced by the ability to set up
hyperlinks to other pages and to external targets.
Multi-page drawings can be exported to PDF.
Web output is also catered for with Designer 9s new ability to
export its drawings as Flash files which have the advantage over PDFs
in that they can be fully integrated into the HTML page. Output of
drawings to SWF is relatively straightforward thanks to the Publish to
Web command which offers a preview, the ability to set size and
quality and which also produces the necessary HTML code.
More importantly Flash also offers the ability to create
vector-based animations. There are two ways to bring your drawing to
life in Designer. The first is to create each step of the animation on
a separate layer and then map each layer to a frame in the Flash setup
dialog. Alternatively you can use the Transform or Blend effects to
create a grouped series of objects that you then apply an AsAnimation
Designer can create Flash animations - but the system is awkward.
This property-based approach to animation has certain strengths such
as the ability to make elements draggable and to set up crude rollover
effects where the colour of an object changes when the end-users mouse
moves over it. Generally though its an intimidating and awkward way to
set up and manage animations and interactivity. While its relatively
straightforward to convert existing flat drawings to SWF, you
certainly wouldnt want to use Designer to produce Flash animations
This is typical of Designer as a whole. The program offers an odd
mix of CAD-like technical drawing functionality and more creative
graphic design capabilities. Most users will tend to fall into either
one camp or the other and so would be better off with a more dedicated
application. Where Designer does come into its own though is for those
users wanting to translate between the two worlds. If you want to take
an embellished CAD projection through to Flash or PDF output, Designer
comes into its own.
IBM or compatible Pentium/AMD processor (900 MHz or greater), 512 MB
RAM or greater. 1024 x 768, 16-bit display (32-bit recommended)
Windows XP SP2
Windows Vista all SP?