Corel Ventura 8
From brochures to pamphlet and from company letterhead to business cards, a successful marketing and promotional campaign demands both quantity and quality.
But they both come at a price that is high for small companies struggling to build and gain ground on their competition.
Corel's Ventura 8 is ideal for a small business that needs to publish professional-looking documents with a tight marketing budget. For the price of the software and ensuing printing costs, anyone can design and lay out a limitless number of documents to cater to any audience. An address change or a change to a lineup of products can be adjusted in a matter of seconds without having to pay someone to do it at a high hourly rate.
The key to Ventura 8's ease of use and functionality is that the Corel family of products works together seamlessly. Anyone familiar with Corel's WordPerfect or even Microsoft's Word will quickly adapt to Ventura's interface.
The key difference is that text cannot simply be typed in, it must be placed within a box. This is an extra step but makes things easy to lay out, since a box of text can be resized and moved easily.
Another major difference is the necessity of using images to complement the text. While a word-processed document may use an occasional image, special consideration must be given to an attractive use of graphics when designing marketing material. Integration is a key feature.
Ventura 8 interacts well with Corel Draw and Photo-Paint 8. With a few clicks, you can quickly jump from laying out your document to editing an image. Photo-Paint 8 is bundled with Ventura and can edit bitmap images to accompany your designs. In addition, if you have another graphics application that uses plug-ins, Corel can use these without leaving the Ventura interface.
To get you started, Ventura comes with 1,000 photos, 40,000 clip art images, 750 floating objects, 1,000 fonts and 80 templates for brochures, menus and newsletters. The templates provide a sample design, you simply replace the company's name, logo, address and promotional material with your own. Ventura also has the ability to publish to the Internet. You can create documents and save them in HTML (hypertext markup language), the Web's file format, or use Java to view a document in its original form.
This last feature requires a longer download time and more processor power for the Web surfer, so it should be used with caution.
At $479 US ($719 Canadian), Corel Ventura 8 is not cheap. But it's an inexpensive alternative to paying to have documents professionally designed. Of course, to maximize its use and woo a customer, you must have the time and creativity to design your publications. But if you have an eye for design and the need do all the work in-house, Ventura can get the job done.
Reviewer's rating: 4 / 5
Comments: Corel Ventura 8 is an effective publishing program to design professional-looking documents and save the trouble of getting expensive, promotional material made.
System requirements: A PC with a Pentium processor running Windows 95, 98 or NT 4, 16 MB of RAM, minimum 80 MB of hard drive space, CD ROM drive, SVGA display.
More info: http://www.corel.com Price: $479 US, $719 Canadian
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