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DrawWorks Select

Charles Embersley looks at the latest DrawWorks

I have to confess that I have been an avid DrawWorks user for some time, indeed on looking back I still have a copy of DrawWorks2 in my desktop publishing directory and from that point I have taken the opportunity to indulge in each of the DrawWorks upgrades as they have become available. I have found that DrawWorks is very useful when one wants to design some small graphic for some purpose or other. Most of the DTP work I have done over the last few years has had some input from DrawWorks at some point.

However I did discover a problem with DrawWorks after I first purchased a Select subscription and installed the latest version of Select on my RiscPC. Suddenly for no apparent reason many of the DrawWorks New Millennium features that I had become so accustomed to no longer functioned. This caused a certain amount of soul searching and in the end I decided that I preferred having the facilities of DrawWorks available and so reluctantly decided to remove RISC OS Select from my system.

I then decided that perhaps I should contact APDL, who now handle DrawWorks and the other software titles previously published by iSV Products, and ask about the Select problem. I was informed that yes there was a problem, however it was not Select itself that was causing DrawWorks to fail, but rather it was the version of Draw that was supplied. If I went and downloaded the version of Draw called DrawDA from the RISC OS Ltd website then provided I used that version I would still be able to use DrawWorks.

This was fine for a while, but I decided that it did not seem sensible to have a new version of Draw on my system that I could not use with DrawWorks. Especially as I often found myself getting a little confused (perhaps in part due to age) and loading the wrong copy of Draw and then discovering that I needed to save my files, then I had to quit both Draw and DrawWorks and then had to re-load everything just to do something that would only take a couple of seconds in DrawWorks.

DrawWorks for RISC OS Select

I was therefore delighted to see the announcement of a new DrawWorks that would support RISC OS Select was being made available quite a few months after Select had first been made available from the RISC OS Ltd website. The delay was apparently caused because APDL didn't want to produce a Select compatible DrawWorks until Select had been finalised and was available from RISC OS Ltd on CD.

The new version of DrawWorks comes in several different versions depending on which version of DrawWorks you have. If, like myself, you have kept up to date with DrawWorks then an upgrade can cost as little as £8.50 on floppy (in my case the upgrade cost 15 as I had an original iSV Products DrawWorks Third Millennium), with a full stand alone CD version of DrawWorks Select for £39 complete with Mr Clippy, loads of clip art, over 2500 fonts, FontFiend and lots of other extras.

Editors note - for those who may not be familiar with DrawWorks we have bundled a copy of DrawWorks Millennium with this issue of RISCWorld. Long term readers may remember that we have cover mounted this in the past, but its worth running it again for newer readers.

DrawWorks Select looks much like any other version of DrawWorks and is installed and loaded in the same way. Users of DrawWorks Millennium or New Millennium will find that there have been substantial changes. A full list of the changes between DrawWorks Select and DrawWorks New Millennium is shown below.

  • Works with all versions of RISC OS from 3.11 onwards.
  • Supports normal !Draw, !DrawDA and the Select versions of !Draw
  • Faster than any previous Millennium version of DrawWorks.
  • Over 50% less processor load than any previous version.
  • Double click an EPS file and it loads into Draw.
  • Autoscroll or manual scroll toolbars.
  • Autoscroll toolbars now move much faster.
  • All features now work with !DrawDA.
  • New microbar with commonly used features.
  • Line width, colour, rotate and scale options always available.
  • Font and pt size menus always available.
  • Export as SVG option.
  • Export as PDF option (using GhostScript).
  • Writable options for start cap and end cap menus.
  • Nudge buttons for start and end cap triangle options.
  • Freehand drawing mode.
  • DWDistort tool to distort objects visually by dragging.
  • New Draw clipboard controls on the main DrawWorks toolbar.
  • Extract the text from text objects automatically.
  • Export all text objects from a drawfile in one text file.
  • Text Area control tool including font and point size.
  • Change the number of columns in a text area easily and quickly.
  • Set margins, line spacing and paragraph spacing for text areas.

Improvements to existing features

  • Export GIF with NetSafe colour palette.
  • New moulds for the path moulder.
  • Improved EPS output.
  • Shadow tool auto groups all soft shadow layers.
  • Start cap and end cap menus tick to show current selection.
  • JPEG export tool improved.
  • Re-designed preferences window.
  • Defective paper size icon in the PrintTool corrected
  • CM spacing/subdivision menu bug fixed


DrawWorks running with a Select version of Draw

Users of DrawWorks Third Millennium will not notice as many changes, indeed I only noticed the new clip board controls and the evidence of a couple of minor bug fixes. However there is the one very important change, that DrawWorks and RISC OS Select can now happily co-exist on my desktop. This is one upgrade I simply couldn't do without.

Conclusion

If you want to be able to use DrawWorks and Select together and don't want to have to be forced to use !DrawDA then DrawWorks Select is excellent value. As the adverts say "it does exactly what it says on the tin". However I would have liked to see a few new tools with this version of DrawWorks, but then those who have DrawWorks Millennium or New Millennium will find plenty of new experiences with the multitude of new features and improvements. I don't know what work had to be done to get DrawWorks and Select to live happily together (I know :-( - ED) but I am very glad that it has been done especially as Select release 3 is now available.

Product details

Product: DrawWorks Select
Supplier: APDL
Price: £39.00 inclusive
£8.50 upgrade from a full version of DW3M from APDL.
£12.50 upgrade from an APDL (Silver) DW3M upgrade CD.
£15.00 upgrade from an iSV Products (white) DW3M upgrade CD.
£24.00 upgrade from DrawWorks Millennium or New Millennium.
Address: 39 Knighton Park Road, Sydenham, London, SE26 5RN
Tel: 0208 7782659
WWW: www.apdl.co.uk
E-mail: info@apdl.co.uk

Charles Embersley

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