For the past couple of years, Chronos’ PrintLife has offered a reasonable alternative to Apple’s own Pages when it comes to designing print. However, version 3.0 sports a completely redesigned the user interface which makes the software even easier to use (and it was pretty darn easy to start with).
PrintLife can help you jump start a variety of printing projects such as greeting cards, collages, labels, letterhead, gift tags, contact summaries, certificates, photo pages, CD labels, raffle tickets, fax covers, activity lists, flyers, postcards, jewel cases, file folder tabs, invoices, activity summaries, invitations, posters, envelopes, name badges, contact lists, and menus. It packs an artwork collection that’s over 7.6 GB and includes 145 kits (called “iScrapKits”) containing over 5,100 graphics. All of the artwork has a resolution of 300 dpi.
So what’s new with PrintLife 3’s interface? The Smart Inspector has been replaced with dedicated inspectors in a sidebar for one-window use. There are also now optional standalone inspectors for those of us using Macs with big screens (especially handy for my 27-inch iMac).
However, the latest rev of PrintLife offers even more than user interface improvements. It integrates with iTunes, allowing you to insert playlists (regular, circular, and spiral) and album artwork onto CD/DVD labels and jewel cases. It also integrated with the new Photos app; a new media browser supports face searching, favorite searching, and place searching.
PrintLife 3 also lets you create 3D headlines. For photos it offers paper texture, glass texture, and “old film look" overlays, as well as eight vintage photo effects (including black and white, fade, warm, cool, bold, and instant. The new version also makes it easier to straighten photos.
With the latest version of Chronos’ tool, you can select a particular label on a page and create a special design for just that label. It’s easy to copy designs between labels on a page, so you can make minor changes like changing a color or graphic from label to label. You can even create multiple pages of labels where each page has its own custom labels. The built-in label selector makes it easy to see exactly which label you're working on.
If you don't tackle a lot of print projects, or if Pages handles the ones you do undertake just fine, PrintLife will be overkill. But if you find Apple’s own software too limiting for such jobs, check out Chronos’ software.
PrintLife comes with 150-plus pre-designed templates. It supports 3,200-plus stocks including those from Avery, PaperDirect, NEATO, DYMO, APLI, and Formtec, as well as popular paper and envelope sizes.
PrintLife costs $49.99 and is available directly from Chronos. A family pack is also available for $89.99.