My favourite software... Serif PagePlus

If you have ever tried to produce more than a single-page leaflet or newsletter in Microsoft Word you know its limitations. But look at professional leaflets or this magazine - you can create this quality on your PC with PagePlus.

Last year, I used PagePlus to produce our practice leaflet - 16-page A5 colour booklet to be printed in a large quantity. The output was suitable for professional printing, including crop marks, registration and colour calibration - see marks inside a cereal box. I also use PagePlus to create patient hand-outs, which we save as PDFs on the intranet to print as required.

I like the way you can manipulate objects on the page such as text, pictures, clip art, shapes, lines, charts and tables. You can place any object anywhere and at any angle, adjust the wrap around it, move it behind and in front of other objects, control transparency, fill with colours and textures and more.

Text is typed into a frame that can be many pages long, which is great for multipage documents. Add words or a picture anywhere, and the text flows around the picture through the frame. Text can be adjusted for font, point size, slope, width, leading, character spacing, kerning, angle and colour by both sliders and numerical input. Good for tweaking letter headings to look even to the eye.

I use master pages for complicated text, logos and such. You can also use layers to create different parts of a page, so you can protect what you have done.

It is a powerful program for home and surgery use.The licence lets the user install PagePlus on their main PC plus a copy on their laptop for exclusive use. This allows me to use the same software at home and at work.

Dr David Matthews is a GP in Thames Ditton, Surrey

WIN SERIF PAGEPLUS 11

We have one copy of PagePlus 11 up for grabs

System requirements: IBM-compatible Pentium PC with CD-Rom drive, Windows 98 SE, ME, 2000, or XP, 64MB RAM, 541MB disk space, SVGA monitor. For a chance to win, please email GPlife@haymarket.com, by Friday 6 July, giving a postal address, and writing PagePlus in the subject panel.

Dr Matthews has used PagePlus 11, and recently upgraded to PagePlus X2.

PagePlus X2 costs £99.99 from www.serif.com

A previous version, PagePlus SE is available to download for free from www.freeserifsoftware.com.

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