Adventures in testing of PagePlus

Gus' Test Site for checking out the PagePlusX5 features
Gus' Test Site for checking out the PagePlusX5 features | Source

When a person gets a new “toy” it is expected of them that they will play with it before really getting down, dirty, and serious about the thing. This is probably all the more so when dealing with some new computer software. There's a lot to play with – and a whole lot more to be learned.

Like Serif has been in the family

I just received my newer version of the Serif PagePlus software – the publishing company on a CD is how I like to think about PagePlus. The first version of this now time-tested publishing and word processing software that came into my hands was back in 1995 – a long time ago as computer programs are timed. That one was “Version 3.” It did lots of things in which writers indulge themselves, but as the years went along, PagePlus became bigger and better.

When Version 8 came along, I was near the front of the line to get a copy. By this time, the program retained and improved upon its built-in word processor, had bolstered its already formidable paper publishing features, had made its ability to output pages converted to HTML for use as Internet Web site pages, and had also added a very fine, new feature – the outputting of whole publications in up-to-date PDF format.

After PagePlus Version 8 I obtained Versions 10, 11, and 12 (now known as “X2.” There were improvements made to the software along the way, but, as nearly as I could tell, there were no really spectacular advances – just a tweak here and a tweak there is how I would describe the changes.

X5 may look like a space vehicle, but it's software

Just the other day I received a newer PagePlus package – Version X5 (number 15, if you prefer to think of it that way). What used to be on a CD disk capable of holding almost 700 megabytes of combined recording, the new software stuffs almost 2.3 gigabytes of programs and data onto a DVD disk.

They say, “Live and learn”

This old Redneck is in for lots of studying and learning it would appear. So, with that in mind, I got right into the fun (and fury) of it – the testing of my newer version of Page Plus. I've been at it, off and on, for several days. The more I see of my new PagePlus, the more I realize that there is probably a whole lot more to the programs on the DVD than I'll be able to learn before I leave Planet Earth.

My first logo using the new PagePlus "Logo editor" - the output being saved as a JPEG image
My first logo using the new PagePlus "Logo editor" - the output being saved as a JPEG image | Source
A text + embedded image page exported to the computer disk as a JPEG image
A text + embedded image page exported to the computer disk as a JPEG image | Source
Screenshot showing the saved text-photo image file and the regular PagePlus "paper" work file that are both on the disk
Screenshot showing the saved text-photo image file and the regular PagePlus "paper" work file that are both on the disk | Source

Logos are supposed to catch the eye

I learned the very basics of using the built-in “Logo Editor.” That editor provides its own special drawing board on which to manipulate texts and images, colors and shadings, tears and smiles, and whatever else you can think of that can go into the building of a logo - or a greeting card - or a cartoon – or whatever else you might want to use the “Logo Editor” to construct. When you are all done, you can save your logo work as a work file (so you can return to it and do more constructing), as a logo to print on paper, or as a photograph.

If you are perfect at first, you probably won't learn much later

In my playing with the “Logo Editor” I made some mistakes. Having saved the logos as photographs, there was no way that I could back my way into them again to correct my errors. However, because I now knew that I could input JPEG photos into that “Logo Editor” and use them as the background on which to construct the text portion of my intended logos, I figured that I could re-enter the entire logo, mistakes and all, into the editor and add new text to it. That's how things worked out.

What's this about publishers wanting pages submitted as photos?

The other day I read an article by a fellow HubPages author in which he referred writers to the “fieldi.com” publishing Web site as a service provider for authors who desire to self-publish their works. Being the curious character that I am, I visited the Web site and learned, to my surprise, that they want their authors to submit whole book manuscripts in the form of JPEG photos, one photo for each page in the book. There may be other's who prefer photos to word processing pages. I don't know about that, but I do know that fieldi.com wants photos, not word processing page files.

PagePlusX5 is able to handle that requirement very nicely without the writer needing to convert word processing pages from text to photos using one of the image editing programs to accomplish that. Having already learned that direct output of JPEG images is easy from my beginning logo-making, I wondered if the same thing would be true for saving what I would ordinarily think of as paper pages typed in at the keyboard using the word processing facilities of X5.

I saved regular paper-type pages as photos, too

Here is what I got when I saved a word processing page file to disk as a photograph. You will notice that I stuck a regular photo image onto the page, too. It saved the whole mess as a JPEG image. When I viewed that image using the “Picasa” photo viewing and editing program, I could keep good image sharpness on up past the 200% enlargement level. (Because HubPages limits the pixel density of images on its HubPages, you can't push the size of that page image too far before it crummy's up a whole lot.) So don't be looking for perfection from what you see on the screen at which you are now looking. I also saved the PagePlus file as such, and thus I can return to it for additions or corrections whenever I want to.

Sleeping and eating get in the way

I would probably have a whole lot more to tell you about my newly acquire PagePlusX5, but I have only had it here for several days. During that time I had some other stuff to tend to, mostly eating and sleeping. I promise to return to my PagePlusX5 education directly, looking for more interesting stuff to tell you about when I find it. I'll try really hard to not allow myself to get too distracted with viewing of the large number of really fine photos the Serif folks sent along to me on a separate (and stuffed-full) DVD. Just for the fun of it, I'll put one of those photos up on top of this little report so that you can get some Serif-type enjoyment along with me.

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Comments 28 comments

torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

hi gus,

really nice article that you have here.

i never knew what PagePlus was until i came across your article. thanks.

voted up


Gawth profile image

Gawth 3 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

I'm extremely glad to know this. I am going to check it out. Never heard of it before. Thanks.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Howdy Ron (Gawth) -

A good writer like you deserves good programs like these.

Gus :-)))


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hi Torri Lynn (torrilynn) -

PagePlus has been around a while but not everyone knows about it. If you go to their Web site you can learn more and, in addition to getting onto their eMail list for news about new software, you can download some interesting free introductory programs. Have fun.

Gus :-)))


sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk

Hi Gus, tried it out once but decided on Dreamweaver for some web pages I was building. Looked pretty neat though. Just goes to show, it really is is never too late to teach and 'old dog new tricks'. No disrespect, I am one of your greatest fans! I am full of admiration! You have a great day!


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas

Sounds good to me -- although I'm still in the dark ages as far as sophisticated computer programs go. I use the free Serif program (downloaded from CNET) and also use free Picaso -- don't know if I'm smart enough to use PagePlusX5 but it sure sounds like a great challenge -- keep us advised of your progress! Best/Sis


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hi Sally (sallybea) -

I admire anyone who can fight their way through Macromedia's "DreamWeaver" software. We bought into that one way back when folks began yelling about how wonderful it was. Two textbooks (one of which is 852 pages in size) later, I gave up on that software and so did my boss. We got it to make several screens for us, but that is as far as things went for weaving dreams. :-)

I guess that software is good when the user catches on to whatever it was that the program developers were thinking when they did their developing. We just never did catch on to their thinking.

Don't misunderstand, now. Writing programs is taking overall thoughts about a collection of processes and steps and de-collecting them. Like you might describe some kitchen task as "baking a cake." You can see how that works in your mind, like in one big thought. The program writer, however, takes each little stepand puts them down into the proper order, links those things that need tying together, and so forth. It may require 50 pages to code "Make a cake."

If you know of someone (you?) who would like that huge Dreamweaver book, plus the CD it also contains, it is here and available. It cost too much to throw away and I did not have the heart to give it to anyone from nearby who might decide to come back here and beat the stuffing out of me [another :-) here].

Today is learning how this version of PagePlus handles MP3 sound files and makes its PDF's, among other things.

You have a blast today, too - and do it some more in the days to come.

Gus :-)))


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hello Neighbor Angela (Angela Blair) -

I, too, believe that the freebies can be among the better pieces of software you can use. For example, FireFox is said to be "livlier" than are some other Web browsers - and it is free to all. As to the free Serif PagePlus version you downloaded from CNet, it is but a hint of the stuff inside of one of the distribution versions. Yes. You are"smart enough" to make good use of the real stuff. They have made it reasonably easy to learn and use, and there are some nice tutorials to assist. What I am doing here is to "play" with my newly-arrive X5, and what I am messing with is not typically straight forward. When I get through replying to your kind and generous comment, I am going to post some more X5 adventures - those from today. I made a PDF file from a 1-pager X5 file and installed a sound file onto it. I will link that onto the hub of the same article so folks can see how that goes.

Gus :-)))


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas

Hello again, Gus -- looking forward to your progress and observations! Best/Sis


sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk

That sure is a generous offer, the one about the Dreamweaver book and CD. Not sure what version of Dreamweaver it applies too - that being the problem with software. It sure goes out of date in record time but think I am only on version 8, which goes back sometime too! Reckon the postage on a large book like that might be a bit prohibitive! It might perhaps make a good flower press or be useful in beating off the neighbors! The new software sounds great, especially the part about it putting one's thoughts in the right order Better get myself a little bit of that.

Have a great day.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Your 'playing' with PagePlus, Gus, is very beneficial to all of us. Send a copy of your PagePlus hubs to them and maybe they will reciprocate with a discount or two. Just suggestin'.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hello again Angela (Angela Blair) -

Wow - I grew quite a headache trying to figure out why the PDF/MP3audio page did not behave the same way brought to my computer through the link on HubPages and when I simply used it by itself without linking, or when I called it to my computer directly from the Web site using my "FTP" (file transfer system). I learned that in order for the sound icon to appear on the page when doing the HubPages deal, it worked OK when I used FireFox or Adobe Acrobat 8.1 to open the PDF/MP3 file called from HubPages. For some strange reason, Adobe Reader would not work on the HubPages called file. Very strange. I do not have a clue as to why...

Gus :-)))


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hello again Sally (sally bea) -

The book is about Dreamweaver-3 as is the CD (which was never used). The book weighs about 4 pounds and might go "book class" in the mail for not too much - if you want it. My Grandkids don't want it and I have no further use for it here. Let me know your pleasure - if it doesn't cost much more than 5 bucks to send, payday is around the corner here. I was thinking of donating it to the local thrift shop, but if you want it, we can do that instead.

Gus :=)))


macteacher profile image

macteacher 3 years ago from New York

I've been grappling with Fireworks CS5 and Photoshop - with minimal success if you've seen any of my drawings. I've never heard of PagePlus, but you make it sound very enticing. If it's not too expensive I may check it out at some point. Since we now know where to go for expert PagePlus advice, you should have version 15 down pat by the time I have any questions. ;-)


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hello Good Doctor bj (drbj) -

Gotta tell you that the new PagePlus gave me a real arschweh this afternoon - the crazy thing produced a lovely PDF file complete with a photo and a tie-in to an audio (MP3) file on one of my Websites - and it worked like it was supposed to work until I tried to make it go from inside HubPages. There the link pulled it in, but omitted the MP3 joinder. After the second hour of trying to figure out the why of that, I told the machine to open the inputting PDF file with FireFox instead of with Adobe Reader (like it was supposed to do...) Computers will drive a person plain nutty. Obviously the problemdid not have to do with PagePlus - it worked just fine, but there was evidently something passed along to my Web site incoming file via HubPages. What that was is not one of the secrets that HubPages or God has provided me. :-)

Gus :-)))


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hi Wendy (macteacher) -

So far-so good with learning a bit about this X5 (#15) version of Serif's PagePlus. I saw from their Web site that they are off and running with an even newer X6 version, but I would never complain - this one cost me 20 bucks and not the usual 99 + some shipping charges on top of that. That company has a web site on which you can learn about and ask for free downloads of a bunch of introductory programs that have many of the important features found in their commercial offerings. I use their intro version of PanoramaPlus quite often, and there is a intro to PagePlus there, too, but not with all the features or the new stuff. Take a look sometime.

Gus :-)))


macteacher profile image

macteacher 3 years ago from New York

Hey Gus,

Thanks for a great Hub and all this wonderful info on new programs. I love learning new technology. I'm going to check it out soon. :-)


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Your are welcome, Wendy (macteacher).

Gus :-)))


sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk

Hi Gus, perhaps the book might be a little out of date, in respect of the fact that it is a lot earlier than my software, I think it best to decline the offer, in aid of the thrift shop and save you the bother and the five bucks.

So lovely of you to think of me though, I very much appreciate the offer, thank you.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hola Sally (sallybea) -

I am glad that you reminded me (by not wanting the book and its CD) to stop by the nearby St. Vincent de Paul thrift store this morning on my way to the big Micro Center computer joint. Gotta replace a broken DVD R/W unit. Probably will get an external plug-and-play unit. those things are mighty inexpensive these days - thank goodness for that.

Have fun today.

Gus :-)))


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Hi Gus, I see you have a new gadget to figure out! I can tell you're in your glory, don't forget to eat and sleep! lol Kathi :O)


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Howdy Kathi (Fossillady) -

The world without gadgets to mess with is not what God intended there to be. Anyone who can figure out a reasonable use for big fig leaves is my kind of gadget-lover. God and me - what a team.

Gus :-)))


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

You make me laugh and smile with your wit. I don't know how you come up with some of the things you do!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Kathi (Fossillady) -

If I could only add to that wit stuff it might be possible to put you into full-blown convulsions.

Gus :-)))


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

I feel like such a techno-dinosaur. I liked the days of carbon paper.lol. Thanks for the education, what little my pea-brain could digest! I do love CNET, so I might visit them for free Serif PagePlus.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Maren Morgan M.T. - Don't feel bad about not going for all of the techie stuff. Most of it is rather simple once you get yourself past the funny words techies like to use. Tell you what, I am busy learning new stuff every day around here... just today I found out that I could output pages and photos using my new PagePlus version as "Adobe Acrobat" slide shows. Found that little thing out right after I used another nifty freebie program to construct some panorama photo pix of a big church and its education building. There's more to learn in this crazy world of ours than I have room for in my currently shrinking brain (old age is setting in with unwanted rapidity at the moment ) It is said that "you can't take it with you," but I am greedy and don't want to leave any of it behind, either. :-)

As to CNET programs, I have used a few of those in days gone by, but I much prefer to download from a site I trust a whole lot more than CNET - www.sourceforge.net. I would also suggest that you go directly to Serif's own Website to download their freebies. That way you are going to get the latest versions of their giveaways. (The last time I looked over there I saw probably 10 or so different free programs, the baby version of PagePlus being one of those.)

Have fun and stay happy.

Gus :-)))


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

Gus, your writing style is so amusing and makes a technical topic even more enjoyable to read. Thanks for the information on fthe new product.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hello teaches12345 -

Until you said so, I never thought that my writing style was anything better than simply whacking away on a ten-buck keyboard. :-)

Now that you mention "amusing" for the writing style, I have to agree with your observation - AND I have figured out the "why" of that amusing stuff. I do it so as to help hide inaccuracies. (kinda like commercial advertisers do...)

Gus :-)))

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