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ArtWorks 2.7 features revealed

Published: 13th Mar 2007, 21:07:21 | Permalink | Printable

Multi-page PDF generation

Artworks logoThe first confirmed features of the next version of graphics package ArtWorks were revealed this week. ArtWorks 2.7 is set to include multi-page document support, which works with PDF export, and an upgraded colour bar - colours can be re-ordered and new colours can be added by sampling any pixel on screen.

Developer Martin Wuerthner said this opened up the ability to create multi-page PDFs directly, and said the code was already tested and working.

He told ArtWorks users: "From an editing point of view this looks very much the same as in the current version of ArtWorks except that you can insert new pages before/after the current page and you can jump to the previous/next page using the menu and keyboard shortcuts or use the 'Goto page' dialogue box to visit a page directly. Similar to master pages in a word processor you can have master layers that appear on each page.

"In contrast to word processors, which usually show all pages in a scrolling view, ArtWorks 2.7 only displays a single page at a time, which retains access to the complete pasteboard around the page. For the time being most existing features (e.g., Draw export) simply operate on the current page."

The new version is expected to be launched in time for this May's Wakefield show. More features may be added between now and May.


MW Software website

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As usual: Good work, thanks Martin!

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 14/3/07 6:06AM
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Great, I'll be snapping that up like a shot.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/3/07 8:53AM
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Excellent news - time to give Adobe Indesign a run for its money eh? :-p

Looking forward to hearing more about this. Artworks was really great at the time, nice to see Martin improving it in leaps and bounds to far beyond its original remit.

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 14/3/07 10:12AM
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Sounds very promising, for me especially the "sample picker" for the colour bar; i look forward to the release of 2.7.

 is a RISC OS Usertinopeners on 14/3/07 12:18PM
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Indeed - the colour picker is absolutely excellent news ! Saves me having to run the freeware utility I've got to do the job (and then, of course, I still have to manually enter the colour properties)/ Good work Martin.

 is a RISC OS UserMendosa on 14/3/07 3:20PM
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Agree with everyone's positive comments! Under Martin's stewardship Artworks has really blossomed; I always thought that CC had produced a great skeleton but that it was weak on features. Martin has cured that with a vengeance - I produced my first ever professional print job recently, designed in AW, including text areas, exported to PDF directly by AW.

Total non-event: The printers asked for a two-up master which AW did with no effort; they loaded it onto their PC-based system and there it was done, just as it looked on the Iyonix's screen. Classy piece of software.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 14/3/07 8:57PM
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Yes, this is fantastic news!!! I'm really looking forward to 2.7.

 is a RISC OS UserRickCB on 14/3/07 9:36PM
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With multipage support and PDF export ArtWorks 2 can be used to create presentations - one task for which a good tool was missing up to now!

... well as a work around you can already create the separate pages as ArtWorks 2 files, collect them in one TechWriter document and export the whole as one presentation in a PDF, or use Publisher, followed by GhostScript, but with all done with just ArtWorks 2 is certainly much easier to do and the PDF export of ArtWorks is very good.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 15/3/07 6:06PM
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I really wish there was a demo of Artworks. It all sounds good, but it's far too expensive to buy and then find I don't get on with it.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 16/3/07 10:11AM
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I sympathise with this. It took me ages to take the plunge (although once I did I never regretted it - it's superb). However, with the margins in the RISC OS market being so tiny, it's hard to expect authors to spend much time on demo software. Can you get to a RISC OS show and see it in action? Or a local user group? This might be a cost-effective way of helping to make a decision.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 16/3/07 10:30AM
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SimonC: I have been planning to do a demo version for quite some time and it is quite likely that there will be one for ArtWorks 2.7. The problem is not mainly producing the demo software itself but supplying adequate documentation, i.e., tutorials, to show off its features. Obviously, this is something regular purchasers could do with, too! The advent of multi-page documents has made this task far easier because I can now supply multi-page tutorials that look like presentations (as hzn mentioned) and are much easier to navigate and handle than having lots of individual example files.

A few new extra features are still neeed to make that work smoothly - for instance, I hope to add active objects that behave like links in a browser, i.e., they link to other objects or pages (which would also mean that PDF export could create active links!).

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 16/3/07 12:12PM
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lym: Yes on both parts (or I could; I'm being shoved off to France for 6 months just in time to miss Wakefield this year :( ), but there's nothing like actually having a play around with software to make your mind up. It's not only a case of how good it is, or appears to be, there's how you as an individual get along with it.

wuethne: Superb! I'll certainly have a play with any demo that does appear. Artworks seems to have an amazing track record of things that people ask for actually appearing. If someone does have time to do some tuturials that'll probably be very helpful. I inevitably find that they're the easiest way to get started, although I appreciate they can be time-consuming to create.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 16/3/07 1:17PM
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In reply to SimconC It's not ArtWorks that has the amazing track record of implementing things that people want - Thats down that man Wuerthner! He rocks.

 is a RISC OS Usernx on 16/3/07 2:39PM
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In reply to SimonC/wurthne: Perhaps a combination of the odd good image with AWRender might be a good idea for starters.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 16/3/07 4:09PM
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Personally, I find the option of saving a large number of undo actions within an ArtWorks file already a great tutorial.

 is a RISC OS Userdelink on 16/3/07 5:54PM
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In reply to SimonC/wurthne:

What about a 30 day money back offer? It encourages people to take the plunge and the return rate is normally very low compared to extra sales. It also shows great confidence in the product (which is justified).

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 16/3/07 8:11PM
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markee174: That would do me equally well, and is obviously less effort than creating a demo. I can't think of a reason to say no to it.

hzn: Whilst that has some advantage of making a good initial impression, it's not enough for me to make a personal decision on, in the same way as I wouldn't want to buy a canvas and oil paints just because I've seen a good oil painting.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 17/3/07 1:21AM
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SimonC: You are welcome to contact me personally (info at mw-software dot com) to arrange a money back offer. I have yet to find someone who does not get on with ArtWorks, it is generally acknowledged to be very easy to use. I have started the work of producing a demo version, too, but that will probably take quite a bit more time to arrive - it really should come with good documentation.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 17/3/07 9:31AM
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Why not try it as a general offer on the newsgroups?

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 17/3/07 10:24AM
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In reply to wuerthne:

Here's a few questions for you: do you have access to a Mac or PC? If so, do you try out features in Adobe or Xara software? I was picking up on your comment earlier about 'active objects' - however, what software like Adobe Creative Suite does is much the same as what RISC OS already provides. So called 'Live' objects, where an Indesign document containing Photoshop files updates when those files are edited. We can do the same using Artworks and Photodesk side by side, we know the OS does the job for us.

I do feel it may be a good thing to be able to view more than one document at a time however, in much the same way that Adobe Acrobat allows you to view multipage documents. Good for when you're designing 'master' pages, and ensuring elements are properly positioned, aligned etc...

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 20/3/07 10:28AM
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The continued development of ArtWorks is great. A job really well done. I can see why ArtWorks keeps people with RISC OS, in the same way that XaraX keeps me with Windows and not MacOS. Having said that, ArtWorks is getting to the stage where it is becoming a viable alternative to XaraX. This is why I keep my eye on the RISC OS scene. I hope one day soon it will be viable to add a new RISC OS machine to my setup.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 20/3/07 11:51AM
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sascott: Yes, I do look at Xara's software now and then - I happen work for them. ;-) I wrote all the new text features (tab rulers, linked text frames) for the recent Xara Xtreme Pro release.

I think you misunderstood my point about 'active objects'. What I was referring to was simply the ability to allow objects to be hyperlinks to other objects (in particular on other pages), in the same way as you can have links on web pages.

However, what you wrote about your idea of 'active objects' does not make sense either: RISC OS does not provide anything like you describe and the OS does not do the job for us. If you have an ArtWorks file containing sprites there is no way to have the ArtWorks file updated after editing the sprite in PhotoDesk. There are protocols that would provide that functionality (OLE, or, even more advanced and sadly underused, PCA) but they are not provided by the OS and ArtWorks does not support them.

Regarding being "able to view more than one document at a time": In ArtWorks, you have always been able to view more than one document at a time, even the same document multiple times. I think what you meant was "more than one page of a document at a time". Unfortunately, due to how multi-page support works, you can only ever view one page of a document at a time. If you want to align objects across pages, you can always add a guideline to a master layer, which appears on all pages. Master layers effectively allow you to create a master page (or, actually, two because you can have master layers for even and/or odd pages).

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 20/3/07 7:43PM
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So does Martin's work for Xara mean that he might be inspired to add bevels to Artworks? This is a pseudo-3D effect that I would really like because it gives a quick way of achieving some very 'modern' effects. I have asked before but there's no harm in reminders :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 20/3/07 10:43PM
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Curious about the new multipage features - do they print as separate print jobs, or as multi-page printjobs? The reason I ask is that I've been doing a lot of duplex printjobs recently, starting with PDF files, and manipulating them as drawfiles on RISC OS. Being able to reasemble the drawfiles into a multi-page artworks file, and print duplex would be exceedingly helpful.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 22/3/07 2:34PM
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arawnsley: They will print as multi-page print jobs. It would be a bit odd to have multiple pages in a document without being able to print them in one go.

If all you want to do is print a collection of Drawfiles, then using ArtWorks would be overkill - any word processor will do it much faster because word processors just load the whole Drawfiles in one go whereas ArtWorks imports each one converting it to ArtWorks format, which is more work. If, on the other hand, you want to manipulate the graphics and then print, then ArtWorks is probably the best tool.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 22/3/07 5:08PM
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Yep, it is the combination of manipulation and multi-page handling that I find attractive. Right now, I have to use !PDF or RiScript to open the PDF, save pages as Draw, load them into Draw, manipulate them, add/remove stuff, move things around, and then save each page individually. Only then can I load them into a wordprocessor/DTP program, and resave. Using Artworks would allow me to manipulate, print and store files all in one program/format. It sounds great news, and finally a really good use of Artworks for me as someone who can't draw and doesn't do much graphics work! Looking forward to it :)

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 22/3/07 7:38PM
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