Free Serif Software

I remember back in the days when I used to publish a small fanzine that I was a big fan of Serif PagePlus as it was a capable piece of DTP (desktop publishing) software which was extremely low cost when compared to others that were on the market.Serif seems to have been pushed out of the limelight in recent years but some of their applications still give the costly alternatives a run for their money.

In order to increase the profile of some of their flagship products, Serif are now offering a large amount of their back catalogue or cut down versions of their current products for free at the website and it certainly is worth going along to see what you can get hold of.If I pick out a few of the highlights then I’m sure that you’ll find something that would suit you perfectly:

PagePlus SE – This is the perfect application for the DTP novice as it allows you to easily create documents containing text and images such as cards, flyers, advertisements, invitations, magazines and the such.Too many people still use Word Processors for tasks such as this and they really aren’t suited to the task as they don’t allow any degree of flexibility when manipulating your document layout.

PhotoPlus 6 – Whilst not nearly as powerful as programs such as Adobe PhotoShop, this application will cover most the tasks that any amateur photographer would need on a daily basis.You can choose to use the inbuilt drawing tools to create a bitmap from scratch or use the application to import and alter or enhance existing photos that you have on your hard drive.

WebPlus 6 – An application designed for those interested in producing and publishing their own website.Unfortunately there are no decent tools included as standard in Windows that offer this facility and powerful solutions such as MacroMedia Dreamweaver are just far too expensive for the home enthusiast.If you’re looking to publish a fairly simple website from scratch or to alter one of the existing templates supplier then this tool will be perfect.

DrawPlus – Ideally suited for producing logos and illustrations, this application gives you the tools you need to sketch and animate quickly and easily.I must be honest in saying that I’ve never used a dedicated piece of drawing software before so I have no basis for comparison but for those who are interested it must certainly be worth the 24mb download.

3D Plus – As the title suggests this application is used for creating 3D text, graphics and animations.You can set up a scene and then play around with camera angles, lighting and backgrounds until you render an image that you’re happy with.

Whilst I think that PhotoPlus, Drawplus and 3D plus could have been quite easily been made into one program and placed under the same umbrella I’m not going to complain too loudly since all three applications are offered here completely free of charge.The applications are certainly not ground-breaking in any way, shape or form but they are all very capable especially since you are not paying for them.The applications can be downloaded separately or the entire suite would be a 120mb download which isn’t problematic for those of you with a broadband connection however those on dial up might want to consider getting a friend who has a high speed connection to burn the applications on to a CD for them.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.