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    $209.99 $179.99 list()
    1. Punch! Home Design Architectural
    $169.99 $144.99 list($199.99)
    2. Punch! Home Design Architectural
    $99.99 $89.99 list($129.99)
    3. JASC Paint Shop Pro 9
    $109.99 list($129.99)
    4. Punch! Home Design Architectural
    $199.99 $149.00 list($289.99)
    5. Final Draft 7
    $66.99 $66.88 list($79.99)
    6. Punch! Master Landscape Professional
    $44.99 list($79.99)
    7. Quicken Willmaker Plus 2005 With
    $89.99 $74.99
    8. Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 (Mac)
    $54.99 $54.86 list($59.99)
    9. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping
    $94.99 list($99.99)
    10. Better Homes and Gardens Home
    $49.21 list($299.99)
    11. MapPoint North American Maps 2004
    $446.99 list($495.99)
    12. Better Homes and Gardens Home
    $169.99 list($299.95)
    13. Niles Endnote 8.0 Windows
    Too low to display $70.00 list($79.99)
    14. Apple iWork '05 (Mac)
    $32.99 $29.29 list($39.99)
    15. Microsoft Streets and Trips 2005
    $82.99 list($99.99)
    16. Art Explosion 800,000
    $24.99 $23.95 list($29.00)
    17. Punch! Ultimate Deck and Landscape
    $205.00 list($299.00)
    18. Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard Edition
    $219.99 $165.00 list($249.99)
    19. Final Draft 7/Syd Field's Screenwriting
    $99.99 $94.88
    20. ScanSoft PDF Converter Professional

    1. Punch! Home Design Architectural Series 4000

    our price: $209.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002Z44YG
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 1195
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Home designing software with easy-to-use interface
    • Single integrated application with 400 applications and 32 programs
    • Built-in video tutorials for beginners; complex features for the pros
    • Drag-and-drop over 30,000 design combinations with just a click
    • Fully integrated with landscape software title, Master Landscape Pro

    2. Punch! Home Design Architectural Series 3000
    list price: $199.99
    our price: $169.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000CFY84
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 2951
    Average Customer Review: 1.62 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Combines 22 integrated home design software programs into one easy-to-use interface
    • Improvements include more robust editing interface, precise dimensions, better display options
    • Get professional results regardless of expertise
    • Video ToolTips tutorials teach you as you draw
    • Drag and drop windows, doors, furniture, texture, color, and landscaping

    Reviews (8)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd Read The Reviews First!
    Like a fool I purchased this software based on the cool pictures on the box and the long list of features. Unfortunately, the pictures turn out to be not actual screenshots, and the features are, as Bart pointed out, little more than limited templates. A couple cases in point -- there is apparently NO WAY to create dormers, although they're featured prominently on the cover. The palette of textures is nowhere near as extensive or impressive as those shown on the cover. The lighting effects displayed on the box are not possible with the basic software. To me this is deceptive advertising!

    The MOST ANNOYING feature is the 3D fly-through. You have two choices: buzz around in dizzying circles like a drunken bee, unable to stop or slow down. Or zoom into the geographic center of your drawing, always ending up one inch off the floor. After hours and hours of tedious construction and experimentation, I never did figure out how to view the second floor interior....

    In short what you get is about $15 worth of cartoonish rendering, and a really cool $100 box. My advice would be to AVOID all the Punch products (of which there are about six variants of the same product).

    1-0 out of 5 stars Lies, Lies, Lies!
    If someone can figure out how to reproduce the screenshots they show on the box, they are better than me, and I am pretty competent with this kind of software. This thing is worth about $15 on a good day. I will definitely take my business elsewhere.

    1-0 out of 5 stars This program is worth about $20 Take your money elsewhere
    This program is a waste of money. If you are seriously thinking about building a house and want some nice software I would recommend paying a bit more and going with the Better Homes and Gardens Pro software. On the front pages of the Punch software it shows nice looking floor plans, to generate these it would take you a VERY long time. All the examples they give you on the CD are terrible, nothing like whats shown on the cover pages.

    Too bad they don't have a return policy, they would have a lot of returns if they did.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Totally Useless
    This product uses none of the thousands of user friendly improvements now available -- few right-click menus, few keyboard shortcuts. With a 2.4 ghz machine the 3D viewing is uncontrollable! The existence of the totally intuitive useability of the inexpensive 2D program DeltaCad or the expensive Photoshop demonstrates that programs can be much more user-friendly than this ridiculus contraption.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Bart is right... this software is pure crap
    I don't need to repeat all that has been said... just this... DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS SOFTWARE.

    Oh yeh... that one positive review? A shill for PUNCH...ignore it. ... Read more

    3. JASC Paint Shop Pro 9
    list price: $129.99
    our price: $99.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002W2UMW
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Jasc Software
    Sales Rank: 25
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Digital Camera Noise Removal Filter scans photos and removes image noise while intelligently preserving image textures.
    • Create masterpieces using realistic Art Media tools include Oil Brush, Chalk, Pastel, Crayon, Colored Pencil, and Marker.
    • Text Options in the print layout make it easier than ever to add captions and titles to photo layouts.
    • Fill Flash Filter corrects the underexposure of shadows and Backlighting Filter compensates for overexposed areas.
    • Powerful Selective Undo functionality allows users to easily undo any individual editing step in a document’s history.

    4. Punch! Home Design Architectural Series 18
    list price: $129.99
    our price: $109.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006SIJQ
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 2709
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

    From layout to landscaping, Home Design Architectural Series 18 from Punch! Software delivers a complete home-design solution. Flexible and easy to use, this software integrates 18 programs and adds more than 60 new features and enhancements. Explore easy-to-use wall tools, robust text and dimension tools, additional 2-D geometric creation tools, photo-realistic lighting, enhanced framing and estimating, and much more. Help text and video clips explain and demonstrate how each tool is used. Plus, you can join the Punch! Developers Network, download the free developer's kit, and get started customizing your own PowerTools plug-ins. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Home Design Software & Value
    I was looking for an inexpensive and powerful Architectual program and now I found it. My profession is a Senior Mechanical Engineer and I have used 2D & 3D mechanical CAD programs for the last 15 years. I was truely amazed when a friend showed me a house he designed using this product. I saw a product like this 15 years ago running on a main frame computer and hoped that one day I could run a program like that on a PC. Well that day is here. I started drawing a simple rectangular house with three floors and a hip roof in five minutes. I then drew up my complicated house with a full kitchen addition including cabinets, furniture and landscaping in less then 40 hours. You do not need to be a CAD Professional to take advantage of this full featured program. Just take your time and have fun with it.

    2-0 out of 5 stars slow program and 3d bugs make it practically unusable
    This is a very frustrating product - it is good in that it has a lot of features, however the major features seem to have bugs that make them almost unusable. Doors and walls disappear in the 3D view unless you "nudge" them around so that the program redraws, and even then it doesn't always do it correctly. I have spent more time on this program trying to get it to do what I want it to do, and it is extremely aggravating.

    I am using Windows XP with a 1.5Mhz Pentium IV processor and 512MB of RAM, so I don't think the speed problem is due to my computer, but just a problem inherent in the product. Viewing Punch's website support forum reveals frustrated users continually running against the limitations or outright flaws of the software.

    I don't know what other home design software to recommend, but not this one - there's just too many flaws for it to be worth the purchase price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An exceptional product!
    I will make it short and sweet! Punch has developed many different programs and Architectural series 18 tops them all! I have been using PUNCH software from the beginning in 2000! I have been very satisfied with their programs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Built a VR model of my new home
    I found the Punch 18 interface easy to use. First, I scanned my first, second, and elevation blue prints into a picture image as a file. Next, I imported the both the first and second floor designs into punch; using the ruler, I redimension the floor plan designs to scale; next I added exterior walls, interior walls, doors, windows, tiolets, tubs, sinks, and mirrors; punch allows you to switch between floors and see only the working floor or all floors; using the custom wizard, I added furniture, entertainment centers, tables, and appliances - additionally, the custom wizard allow you to create user defined objects; next, I used the cabinet wizard to design the kitchen cabinets full, bottom, and top to dimension. Punch allowed me to add staircases, porches, and landscapes. Textures for the exterior such as siding, rock, and stucco were also available from a drag and drop capability. I was also able to add different types of roofs and control their elevation and the exterior walls were pitched up to match the roof angles. However, I did not find a turret type roof which I needed.

    Features I found difficult, the 2D navigation control was ok. You have a dot and arrow to control movement of the 3D tour, it requires two clicks, one to move, and one to orientate. If you have a computer graphics accelerator card, the running man mouse navigation is two fast even at the slowest setting.

    I have a VR home exportable to VRML for the internet. I've seen my home before it was built. The control of size and portion was very helpful. By adding color and texture, lighting, and landscapes the complete picture of your home is possible. You can import photo images into the model increasing realism. A good buy for the money.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fine for the consumer, but not for constuction documents
    Punch! AS 18 gets a C+ grade at best. It's fine for drawing up a house to "walk though" to get a feel for what it will look like, but it falls frustratingly a bit short of providing the tools needed to design real construction drawings that you could give to a contractor or submit for permits.

    I'm designing a two bedroom apartment over a garage, and I need to submit drawings to my city for permits. The last design I submitted to the city for permits was a garage that I designed using pencil and paper four years ago. I'm an engineer and I'm used to drafting in this fashion. However, it was painful when I had to make a change to a window or a door, erasing and re-drawing all the wall studs and everything. So, being the 21st Century, I figured that there has got to be some architectural software design program out there that a design/builder could use to draft up drawings to submit to the city for permits without having to manually draw wall studs (like AutoCAD and other general CAD programs).

    I searched high and low and found that you could spend $1,000 or more for a true architectural design program like Chief Architect or ArchiCAD, and everything cheaper seemed to fall into the consumer floor plan design category of not being able to produce real construction drawings. Since I draw up buildings for permits about once every four or five years, I didn't want to spend $1,000 for a program. I thought Punch! AS 18 would be just the ticket. It has a framing utility for automatically framing walls, floors and roofs, and it has an elevation editor.

    The frustrating part of this software is that on the surface it appears to provide the features needed to design construction documents. It's only when you put the software to work that you realize its deficiencies. For instance, the software has a framing tool for adding wall, floor and roof framing. It provides very "pretty" 3D views of the framing. But, when you decide to print a framing section, you find that you cannot print the section to scale. It also doesn't insert any dimensions or allow you to manually insert dimensions or text. Your typical contractor isn't going to pull out a scale to find that your header is 2 @ 2 x 12, and the city wants to see this information. So, you can sort-of work around this deficiency by saving the "image" as a BMP file, editing it in an image editing program like PaintShop Pro to print at the correct scale and add the required text. The question that begs itself is why Punch! didn't program the software to automatically display dimensions and text in the framing editor? It already has all the information in the design for header sizes, height, width etc. It also doesn't allow for edits to the rafters or studs. One of the rafters was displayed with a large spacing of about 25" on my design, while all the other rafters were spaced at 16" o.c. It doesn't allow you to edit this at all, and again, you have to edit the BMP file in a drawing program to try to get it right.

    This is only one of the deficiencies. The DXF export utility will export every floor on top of itself. So, when you open the file in a CAD program, you see a huge mish-mash of dimensions and floors on top of itself. The program really didn't want to draw a basement, and I had to do all sorts of work arounds to show one. At one point I had a 3' deep foundation showing up at 6' high in the air, and it took me hours of editing to get the foundation to display correctly. As with other reviewers, I had the problem of objects protruding through walls, and I had to constantly view the design in 3D to be sure everything was aligned and not penetrating another solid body.

    If all you want to do is see what your house design will look like after it's built by using the 3D walk through and fly around features, this product should work fine for you. However, it seems like there are plenty of lower priced competitors (3D Home Architect, FloorPlan 3D, etc.) that will do the same thing. If you want to draw construction documents, look elsewhere or draw it up by hand. While you may be able to monkey around with this program to get what you need eventually, either by editing in another program or editing with a pencil after printing, it's a frustrating experience when you know that other software out there will do what you need. ... Read more

    5. Final Draft 7
    list price: $289.99
    our price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001XNGZ2
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Final Draft
    Sales Rank: 186
    Average Customer Review: 2.69 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Word processing combined with professional script formatting
    • Designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics, and stage plays
    • Automatically paginates and formats script to industry standards
    • 100-percent cross-platform compatibility; easily import/export files
    • 50+ templates; text to speech, have your script read back to you

    Reviews (16)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great formatter with poor font rendering.
    As a screenplay formatter Final Draft 7.0 works as well as its predecessors, but still has a rotten font rendering quality. I would have thought that this would the number one priority to attend to at this stage in Final Draft's development cycle.

    That gripe aside - and it's a really significant one - everything else works very smoothly.

    Because of this issue, I would recommend Screenwriter 2000, which does everything that Final Draft can do, and doesn't have any issue with its ability to render fonts cleanly. In addition, screenwriter 2000 has a more useful suite of associated products, notably: Dramatica 4 pro and Storyview 2. The tech backup is superior, too.

    2-0 out of 5 stars If you're a new user, DON'T BUY IT!
    I've used Final Draft since version 5 through version 6, and although it was antiquated and clunky compared to contemporary word processing software, it was at least useable and relatively stable.

    HOWEVER - I recently upgraded to FD7, and it's a mess. It implemented new features in such a way as make them impractical in daily, minute by minute by use, while simultaneously dumping several genuinely useful features from previous versions. It's been through two patches since it was released already, and it's still clunky, bug ridden, crash prone, and less usable in practice than the previous version.

    If you are a first time buyer, I'd recommend delaying your purchase for at least six months till they sort out the bugs (assuming that's possible), or consider buying another of the many products available, e.g. Screenwriter or Sophocles.


    I'd also recommend you read some of the reviews on this site with a pinch of salt - there are a couple that I would consider suspiciously glowing. There's nothing to stop someone from the manufacturer adding a review, is there...?

    1-0 out of 5 stars Just add words?
    I have to work every day with FD 7 (Mac OSX) as the production company I write for asked me to do so. To cut it short: I have never ever seen a programme with so many bugs and crashes! Unfortunately recent updates have not changed anything. :-(

    3-0 out of 5 stars Weird (on a PC anyway)
    I have a friend who uses the Mac version and swears by it. I purchased the PC version and it's certainly interesting. It behaves like no other text editor I've ever seen. Simple operations like cut and paste become strange exasperating games to see what text Final Draft will actually decide to let you cut and paste. I guess it's trying to keep script elements contiguous--but there are times when you move...the damn...WORDS. Final Draft makes the mistake of assuming too much.

    Edit: I hereby redact the rest of my review. I still think the program could use some polish on a PC...but my previous ire was more from ignorance than the program itself. It ain't so bad.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finished Another First Draft With Final Draft
    I have written or re-written over 30 scripts, both hits and flops, both TV and Feature, with Final Draft. Like most people who have made the mistake of buying Movie Magic Screenwriter, I switched when the program didn't work and they made me angry on the phone. I have never had a problem with my fonts, or tech support, or upgrading or updating. Ever. They even make their own font to make the switch from Mac to Win seamless and it is. The other programs are okay, but not as 'finished', maybe because just about every TV show and Film is made with Final Draft. It really is combat tested. I just bought another copy from for my office and both companies are great! ... Read more

    6. Punch! Master Landscape Professional and Home Design
    list price: $79.99
    our price: $66.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001ARFHU
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 1072
    Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Design a dream landscape with survey, deck, and plant wizards
    • New state-of-the-art animation and outdoor lighting
    • Create property lines with surveyor tool; customizable plant editor
    • Simple, complex, and multi-level deck templates
    • PhotoView editor; file import/export options; dynamic user interface

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment
    I bought this package with the intent of designing a large patio for my backyard. The tools are very clumsy to use and attempting to draw free-form curve lines is almost impossible. Drawing a rectangular patio would be fairly easy, but who needs a software package to do that?

    I should have saved my money and bought some graph paper to sketch things out by hand.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Powerful tools, takes time to learn
    This program can do a lot, you just have to take the time to find out how to do it. We scanned our floor plan, and using the Floor Plan Trace tool, we had an exact copy of our house modeled within two hours. The lot topography was more difficult to duplicate; the tools allow slopes and excavated areas, but contours are hard to get right. Some room for improvement there. We built terraced stone retaining walls, various plants beds, and reserved an area for a future pool. The database didn't have all or even most of the specific plants that we wanted, but we could find suitable equivalents. The program doesn't offer a huge assortment of pre-made objects, but the tools allow you to construct just about any 3D object you want - it does take time. As a previous review stated, for some smaller projects it might be quicker to do a paper sketch. But if you want to model your existing house and landscape in order to do a "what if" analysis of what a blue spruce would look like next to the garage, or where to route a new garden path (and be able to examine it from all angles), this is a good planning aid.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Easy to visualize
    It made my backyard & deck design easier to visualize. I put a picture of our house in the program then drew a new deck. I also added plants and other landscaping ideas to see how they looked. I hadn't used the computer to do stuff like this before and I didn't have much trouble figuring it out.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth it even if it were FREE!
    Absolutely AWFUL for doing any type of landscaping. It was $70.00 wasted in buying this program. It is NOT intuitive, has VERY limited capabilities other than a few of the basics for landscaping. I wanted to design a brick walkway, a round brick sitting area and a Koi pond with some plants around it. Not too demanding of a project. The results were totally unacceptable, and the touted features virtually worthless. Perhaps if you want to design a basic deck... square with a railing, you can do. Maybe even a bit more than that. But if you want to do anything OTHER than a wooden deck, better get out a pencil and sketch pad -- it'll be a lot easier and look better.

    My advise? Don't waste your money or effort with this program.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great for homes but landscaping NO WAY
    I have just bought this software and although this is good for homes (not alot of selection like chimneys) this is not the way to go for landscaping. There are not enough plants to be happy with and the plants that are there you can not change the height or how wide they get. The plant editor is lousy as well, the plants all look like pices of cardboard cutouts. I would not recommand this software. ... Read more

    7. Quicken Willmaker Plus 2005 With Free eBook
    list price: $79.99
    our price: $44.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00030B3JY
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Nolo Press
    Sales Rank: 94
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Choose from 40,000 legal documents; protect family and assets
    • Create a legal will, living trust, financial power of attorney, and more
    • Comprehensive and easy to use with step-by-step interviews
    • Automatically reflects specific state laws; cuts legal fees
    • Comprehensive onscreen legal manual; expert tech support available

    8. Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 (Mac)
    list price: $89.99
    our price: $89.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002UDQAO
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Adobe
    Sales Rank: 29
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Photo enhancing tools with industry-leading technology
    • Make quick fixes or use advanced editing options
    • Get high-quality with camera raw and 16-bit support
    • Enjoy flexible print options; process batches of photos at once
    • Easily adjust shadows and highlights; view before and after

    9. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer
    list price: $59.99
    our price: $54.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Z72OK
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 37
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Review

    Your yard has always been good to you, giving you space to play with your kids, barbecue, and even sun-bathe on those lazy summer days. But now you're ready to bring some creative elegance and flair to your outdoor living. And you don't want to spend a mint just to have a landscape designer or consultant tell you what you want. If you know what you want, but you just need a little help turning that vision into reality, the Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer software package is just for you.

    Better Homes and Gardens, the number one home and garden publisher, has partnered with leading software designer Chief Architect to bring you the Landscaping and Deck Designer. This program can help you transform your yard space into the landscape of your dreams, at a fraction of the cost of what a professional would charge. Using the software's fun, intuitive, and easy-to-use tools, you'll quickly be on the way toward becoming the envy of your neighborhood as your backyard barbecues in the sun turn into elegant moon-lit affairs on your new deck.

    With the Landscaping and Deck Designer, you don't need any design experience to plan your new landscaping, deck or patio areas. In a few easy steps, you'll be able to take care of site planning and cost estimating. The software will give you everything you need, from conception to planning to pricing.

    With a huge library of over 1,200 plants at your disposal, you won't have to be stuck with the same old options the local home and garden shop offers. You can create beautiful landscaping with trees, shrubs, water features, and flowers of your own choosing. You can even import your digital photos and add your own custom landscaping features to your plans. To keep those plants thriving, you'll want to install a sprinkler system. The "sprinkler designer" feature can help you lay out sprinkler zones for optimal watering. A "furniture" feature allows you to project a wide variety of backdrops, objects, images, and textures onto your designs. It's never been easier to select the right patio furniture for your new deck or out by the swimming pool.

    As you plan your new outdoor living area, the software can project 3D models of your plot and perimeter designs, giving you realistic images of what your designs will look like. A "terrain" feature can help you build fences and driveways, and the software will help you choose the best materials for the pathways you design through your gardens. You'll even have a special "fence tool" at your fingertips that will help you to choose from several different custom fence and gate styles.

    In short, with the Landscaping and Deck Designer software at your fingertips, you can say good-bye to all those cookie-cutter yards that populate new developments. You can finally say hello to an outdoor living area that not only reflects your dreams and visions, but that also reflects how your outdoor area should be experienced, day in and day out, for years to come.


    • Landscaping templates designed by Better Homes and Gardens help you to quickly place your landscaping beds
    • Use the Better Homes and Gardens Design Planning Center to guide your designs with tips and advice
    • Choose from a library of more than 4,000 items for your designs, including over 1,200 plants
    • Plant Hardiness Zone reference maps helps you choose the most appropriate plants, and a Plant Chooser feature helps you search for plants based on climate, drought tolerance, deer resistance, and much more
    • Layout sprinkler zones quickly and efficiently
    • Design single or multi-level decks with Deck Designer
    • Assign the materials you want for your new patio design
    • Quickly lay out your deck, add stairs, then place and arrange furniture
    • Deck foundations automatically generate to match sloped lots
    • Design and visualize your areas in 3D
    • Import your own photos of houses, plants, people, and more
    • Produce realistic images of your outdoor projects
    • Easily create hills and valleys for custom landscapes
    • Automatically generate materials list to estimate costs
    • Includes free How-To Tutorial CD
    What's in the Box Landscaping and Deck Designer software on CD and instructional CD. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fence angles on odd shaped lots will be a problem.
    From the online reviews I decided to purchase Landscaping and Deck Designer ver. 7.01. I have to warn you that if you have an odd shaped lot you'll run into a problem with the software. If you have to make fence angles that aren't at 90 degrees perpendicular to each other you may not be able to draw a fence that is exactly shaped like yours. I have an odd shaped lot and when I tried to make the fence angles the same as mine the drawn fences only rotate in 7 1/2 degree increments. This means you either have to make a lot size bigger or smaller than what your actual lot size is. The work around is to draw a lot size bigger than yours then manually draw your actual fence lines. I confirmed with their tech support that the software works that way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is best consumer level landscaping software out there
    After extensive research, I eventually concluded that nothing really good existed in the low end consumer world of Landscape Design software, but I held out great hope that Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer would be different.

    So I took a chance and bought it from Amazon in April.and After some initial delays in actually getting the product, it was worth the wait!This software has blown me away after using it just two days now!!

    This is the newest 7.x version of the landscaping modules first introduced in the BH&G 6.x home designed suite.The new version, just recently released in Mar/Apr 2005 by Chief Architect for BH&G is now standalond landscaping and deck design product.I suspect a 7.x home designer suite will eventually follow.

    It is clear that this software has inherited many good things from its more professional rooted product line at Chief Architect.

    This latest Landscape and Deck designer is really easy to use.It comes with a program CD and tutorial CD.After a quick and easy installation process ... I found myself able to use this software quite quickly.

    This worked for me, since I despise reading confusing manuals and going through endless tutorials ... this software was easy enought to "figure out", with a little help from the tutorial videos and the help subsystem.

    Each video clip on the tutorial CD is only 2-4 minutes in duration and shows how to do several useful things at a time.This "show and tell" approach to learning really worked for me.I watch a quick video -- then I go do it myself.

    Unlike other tutorials, this one is quick and to the point.You won't spend more than 30-45 minutes to watch all of the videos included.I reccomend watching the first 1-3 videos, then go try the program yourself, then come back to the tutorial videos a finish them off after you have an initial grasp of the program.

    There is also a more comprehensive help utility where you can look up individual topics by topic or search for things within the help system ... very good overall.

    This program is easy to use and the 3D capabilities are very impressive.I had my new home' irregular shapes lot laid out and my new home located on that lot to within half foot precision in the first night of use.You almost fool yourself into thinking this program is more than just landscaping, but there are certainly limits, but reasonable ones.

    I was zooming around my lot and house in 3D on the first night of use.The house roof wasn't exactly correct, but very close ... and thats where the landscaping program meets its limits ... you can't really make the house architechturally correct from top to bottom, but very accurate dimensionally and certainly good for planning your landscape and/or deck.

    You can even take an actual picture and mask out the surrounding and paste that picture onto your 3D model of the house.That really makes the product yield realistic looking models.And I did that one side of the house on my first night of using it.

    You can save pictures of your 3D drawing to files, you can even make a motion video tour of your landscape ideas.I was blown away by the capabilities.I can't wait to get home and see what else I can do.

    I didn't get into the landscaping till day 2.By the end of Day 2, I had an initial landscape layout 80% completed.This program is very usable and probably could be used by a pro if they didn't have the budget for the $1000+ software out there.

    I can't say enough good things about this software.It should be a top seller within 1 year, if others feel the same as I do.My hats off to BH&G and Chief Architect -- "home run" guys.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Professional Calibre Software But Easy to Use
    As a designer and general contractor who has for many years relied on Chief Architect professional level CAD software, I nevertheless decided, when it came time for me to research consumer-level home design and landscaping products (as I am frequently asked to recommend these products), that I would evaluate those by other companies, as well.

    I'm happy to report that the BH&G products won out.I was amazed to see how much Chief Architect capability has been incorporated into its consumer level products, marketed under the illustrious Better Homes & Gardens name.I am thoroughly impressed with how useable these programs are and how quickly non-professionals are able to learn them.The quality of the output is stunning and, as far as I'm concerned, the Chief Architect based products far surpass the competition in terms of integration and useability.

    The unexpected outcome of my evaluation is that I deem these products, despite being consumer oriented software, to be of sufficiently high quality that I can use them in the office as ancillary products for interns and short-term employees to use.The output from Home Designer Pro can then even be opened in Chief Architect for further work by professionals.The Home Designer series is a boon for the consumer and the professional alike.In this day and age it's nice to see software developers who take their craft seriously and who are responsive to their customers, and to acknowledge that rare quality I've taken the time to write this review.

    Jay Palmer
    New York, NY
    ... Read more

    10. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 6
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $94.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000DIEKZ
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 68
    Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Inspire your designs with the Design Planning Center
    • Create a virtual walk-through of your house
    • Design and visualize in 3D
    • Choose from a library of more than 4,300 items for your designs
    • Generate automatic material lists for project cost estimating

    Reviews (21)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very solid product
    I was looking for a software that would let me create a good design of my new house. I am not an architect and I am not interested in details such as plumbing, electrical, framing etc. I just wanted to create the walls, add the doors windows, furniture, stairs, roof, etc.

    This software can do all of these easily, no bugs, no frustration, everything fits or can be rezized. So far I am 80% done with my house. I have had no crashes when I use it with my desktop (2.6 GHZ P4, 256 RAM, GeForce FX5200). But it crashes when I use it with my Laptop (P4 1.8 GHZ, 512RAM but a mobility ATI radeon). The error message says it crashed because of my video card and it happens when switching to 3d view.

    To see the good about this software read the marketing review, I strongly agree in all of them. I'll list only my complains:
    - Not 100% of the objects can be copy/paste from one plan to the other.
    - When you start a design make sure you carefully select the template plan. The template plan gives properties to the objects (cabinets, tables, walls, etc). Because when you are half way in your design and realize that you want some object (ie fancy railings) that is not available in your template but it is in another, you also realize that you cannot change the template of the plan you are currently using. You can open a new plan with the correct template, add the object and do a copy and paste, but not all objects can be copy and pasted (ie. Railings).
    - When you switch to 3d view it recalculates everything. This gets annoying and slow when your project is almost finished.
    - So far i do not see a solution to adding new objects. For example a new door style, a new sofa style. The publisher does not have an online database where they can add new styles for users to keep their design updated.

    The software is pricy but it is the best I have used. Granted that I have not used the punch software. I have wasted 15/20$ at a time buying low cost software on the software bins

    5-0 out of 5 stars We love this software!
    We bought this software after researching alot of others to find the best product for the price we wanted to spend. We are very happy that we chose Home Designer! Our project is adding 1500 square feet, part of which is a second story, to our existing home as owner/builders (pretty ambitious, huh?). We have been able to design and redesign with this software while working out alot of the problems we have with our lot constrictions. We read about other programs only having preprogrammed lot dimensions that weren't editable, but we drew our weird lot dimensions and started right in! It's nice to see that things we thought would work in our heads aren't really that practical when you put them "on paper". We now have the luxury of seeing everything in the new space that we dreamed about for years! The decorating aspect of Home Designer is great too with lots of options and textures. We've been able to see the space and plan it better with the AWESOME 3D views, Doll House view and Glass House view. AND it takes hardly any time, is easy to use (love the drag and drop) and we had a "do-able" plan within 3-4 hours. We still have the roof to work out but that's it. We haven't had any problems with crashing or drawing speed. It all works seamlessly and really quite fast. Our computer runs Windows XP with 512mb RAM and a 64mb GeForce4 MX graphics card. We highly recommend this software for home building or remodeling!

    1-0 out of 5 stars They just want you to buy the upgrade
    It's as if they stripped out most of the functions on purpose...I guess they want customers to be frustrated with this software so you'll buy their expensive upgrade.

    I hope they take my return instead.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Almost worthless for anything but a box with a roof
    I bought this software to help design an addition to my house, but Home Designer Suite 6 is not even able to let me draw my existing house, a 1400 square foot house with an attached garage.

    The problem is more than one style of roof, and a mud room attached to the front of the house. Home Designer cannot accept more than 1 roof style, and does not allow me to add a roof to the mud room without automagically changing the roof on the main part of the house.

    I feel really stupid for spending $80 on this product, and will probably go back to paper and pencil.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Software - Very Powerful
    This is great software. I have the Home Architect Deluxe 3.0, so I already had some experience with how the program would work. From that, this version let's you do amazing things if you take the time and put in a little effort. Photo quality renderings that no architect could ever give you.

    Anyone who is giving this a low rating isn't spending enough time with it. And that's not to say you need to take a course on it.... I spent about 3-4 hours and got the results I wanted, which was a 3D rendering of our planned house, which has a complex roofline. Powerful software can overwhelm people, or they just don't want to give it the time to learn. Like Microsoft Excel, you can't expect to become an ace with spreadsheets just because you buy the software. You have to put in a little time to learn.

    The results you can get from this software can't be produced any other way. Buy it and spend some time with it and you will love it. ... Read more

    11. MapPoint North American Maps 2004
    list price: $299.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00009XFRI
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 1021
    Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars $269 for this GARBAGE?
    I wouldn't pay $2.69 let alone $269.00!!!! for this dreadful program. It is NOT user friendly. The data mapping is worthless. This program makes Street Atlas 2004 (mediocre mapping program) look like the best thing since sliced bread.

    Don't waste your money!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Stand-alone only sucks
    For many years, I've used the Microsoft Map feature of Excel. It's a great little tool that only does a few things but served its purpose well, and on occasion even justified using Excel rather than SPSS or some other data-management tool.

    Then came OfficeXP, with an Excel version from which Microsoft has stripped that Mapping tool. Now I have to pay hundreds of dollars and gets lots of data I don't want or need (and could find much of on the web anyway)? No thank you.

    Time to find an alternative...

    4-0 out of 5 stars OK, now that I've been using it...
    If you used Mappoint 2002, you will be very comfortable with 2004 as the interface is identical. The biggest upgrade is the updates to the street maps themselves - although it is still not perfect. I live in a fast-growing suburb of Cincinnati, and Microsoft still missed a major huge street that was actually built in 2002!?! Oh well, it IS Microsoft after all, perfection should not be expected. At least you can't get a virus through this program! I think...

    THE GOOD: Other upgrades/changes include 2002 Census update data, and a whole bunch of new data fields that can be mapped thematically. These are consumer-oriented demographics, like households with internet access, computers, etc. There are a lot of statistics on avg. household expenditures (movies, clothing, furniture, food, etc.) Another nice upgrade is the ability to print maps almost edge-to-edge, getting rid of that stupid huge amount of white space at the bottom that took up 25% of your page real estate. There are more pushpins, and it is supposedly easier to import new pushpins (I have not tried that.)

    THE BAD: Mappoint 2002 had census data projections for 2005; this version has no projections for anything, 2002 is as current as you are going to get. No upgrades that I have been able to see with respect to territory mapping, they still have the same small (and ugly) selection of colors to shade your territories. Data is still mapped at the census tract level or higher - if you need block group level fuggedaboudit. Data import options seem to be unchanged as well.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: If Mappoint 2002 floated your boat, this is a required upgrade just to get updated roads. If the older version didn't have the flexibility or features, you probably should be looking at coughing up the dough for Arcview by ESRI. For a real comprehensive list of all the updates and changes, go to the Mappoint home page on Microsoft's web site.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Ummm
    How exactly has the first reviewer been able to comment on the 2004 version, as it has not been released yet? Anyhow, the previous version is a great product, so hopefully Microsoft didn't mess it up. Easiest to use, and most powerful, off-the-shelf desktop GIS out there. And believe me, I've bought them all...Maptitude, BusinessMap 3 from ESRI, etc. While Mappoint does not have as many customization options, it is MUCH easier to use, and comes bundled with good demographics dataset. Here is hoping that the new version has really updated the streets, freshened the demographics, and has incorporated a web update feature. Users of Arcview, forget about it, this will seem like a joke to you, Arcview is the best (but a real bear to learn).

    5-0 out of 5 stars I found my way there ! Worth EVERY Pennty of price !
    Lets say your lost, and you have your laptop and you have a connection to your digital phone ?

    I found myself absolutely lost the other day driving around Fort Lauderdale, Florida looking for an address of a friend in the area.

    I plugged in my cel phone, fired up my laptop, entered my location and BOOM, a CURRENT map that I could use and direct instructions.

    I have used other programs and services before and found myself at the "Road Closed" intersection or at the exit that no longer was where it was supposed to be.

    With Map Point that does not happen as I can get a current map that has been updated.

    The Update makes it all worth while.

    Best Regards to all, MC - TheStickRules.Com ... Read more

    12. Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Pro 6
    list price: $495.99
    our price: $446.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000TSUYY
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Chief Architect
    Sales Rank: 676
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • High-quality software for home design, remodeling, and landscaping
    • Inspire your designs with Better Homes and Gardens design planning center
    • Create a virtual walk-through; design and visualize in 3D
    • Automatic material list for project-cost estimating
    • Library of more than 4,300 items; 70+ training tutorial videos included

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating and not worth the money
    The number of bugs in this program is unbelievable. After using it for 6 months, I have spent hundreds of hours fixing problems due to software bugs or restarting the program after it crashes. I'm running it on a new computer with XP, a faster processor and far more memory than the minimum that the vendor requires.

    The print functions do not all work. For example, one function allows you to print a cut-out of your design, which you can then cut with scissors, fold, and tape together. That would be great...however only 3 of 4 walls will ever print. I have never therefore been able to use this function. Even more frustrating is the bug that does not actually save your work even if you have saved prior to shutdown. I have re-drawn the same features 4 times in one plan, simply because the program will not save the changes, or it will only save some of the changes.

    Also, the hardware key (dongle) takes up one of my USB ports and only works if I reboot my computer after inserting it. Even then, sometimes I have to remove and replace it multiple times.

    I wish I could recommend an alternative.

    5-0 out of 5 stars DIY Home Remodel
    I am not an architect or builder. But I consider myself handy and cheap. My motto is give me a book (or program) and tools and I'll do anything. My remodel consists of adding a garage and increasing the size of a single story home. Me and my conscripted nephews plan on doing most of the work ourselves. I originally bought the Punch software and was very satisfied with the intuitive ease of use and the 3D design renderings. But when the rubber meets the road and permit requirements become reality, this software was the most affordable one I could find to bypass the professional services usually required for that process. While not easy, meeting the goal of saving that considerable expense has made it worthwhile. Now if I can just figure out a way to build things square...

    5-0 out of 5 stars very stable and is fast to work with
    I tested the cheap old version - 3D Home Architect deluxe 3.0 just for getting a feeling of this kind of software.
    I then spent quite some time looking around at the Internet at e.g. Punch, IMSI floorplan and finally chose to buy Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Pro 6.
    I chose the product because it is the actual upgrade to Home Architect and it is made by a company that also makes professional products - which in my mind makes them able to use theirs skills while making a stripped version from the professional product.

    After getting the product my I could confirm that this is a professional home design product with very good documentation. And the program is easy to use and it very fast to draw a sketch of the house and later easy to adjust if needed.

    No crashes and the 3D workes fine.

    I have only tested the software om my new PC with 1GB RAM, Pentium 4 -3GHzHT and ATIRAdeon 128MB graphics - so I do not know yet whether it has good performance on my old PC.

    I chose the Pro version (5 times more expensive) instead of the suite because I needed conversion from DXF and some of the other things that are extra in the Pro version - see the comparison matrix at the manufacturers site.

    I think that if you don't need the extras - which I guess most people won't - then the suite is the right product for you!


    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Pro-sumer product out there!
    I've used a couple of the consumer products in the past; most notably, 3D Home Architect (v4 & prior) by ART and Architectural Series 18 by Punch. Both these products were probably the best in the <$100 market for the home user. 3DHA was sold to Broderbund and they messed up v5 so bad that I've never seen so many unanimous negative reviews for a piece of software. AS18 v6 is showing its age, although they have a newer AS3000 which I have not seen.
    Fortunately, ART stayed together and started creating professional products (Chief Architect line)and now has home and semi-pro products marketed under the BHG label. The home user product is Home Designer Suite 6 and the semi-pro product is HD Pro 6 - which I am now using. ...
    I went with HDP6 and absolutely love it! It blows away all the home user products. It's fast, stable, has a ton of features and is very configurable. Everything I wished I could do in AS18 is easily done in HDP6. I'll just give one example to illustrate: Exterior walls can be configured to have up to 10 layers. Starting form the inside you can define sheetrock, studs, sheathing, Tyvek and then siding. That's only 5 layers. Each layer can then be described more fully by width, material type, color, etc. This is typical of the rest of the program.
    I know the Pro version is 3-4X the cost of the typical home user product but it can handle custom homes with ease. If cost is an issue, try HDS6. I would expect the core designing tasks to be identical, minus some options. They have a 30 day, no-questions asked, money back policy which got me to try it. Needless to say I'm not returning it and I doubt anyone else would if they try it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best product I have ever seen!
    I was on the beta test for this program. This product blows away every other consumer product I have ever seen. Don't even bother with any of those other cheaper products, it's just not worth the trouble. It's like comparing a Geo to a Hummer. There is no comparison! ... Read more

    13. Niles Endnote 8.0 Windows
    list price: $299.95
    our price: $169.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002ER3GI
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Niles Software
    Sales Rank: 825
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Essential tool for research, writing, and publishing
    • Create instant bibliographies; organize references and images
    • Build libraries of any size; new reference types and fields
    • Add, edit, and display references in any language
    • Search online bibliographic databases

    14. Apple iWork '05 (Mac)
    list price: $79.99
    our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007GCXZ2
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Apple Computer
    Sales Rank: 26
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    iWork '05 ... Read more


    • Integrated iLife media browser and photo masking
    • Create, present, and publish work quickly and easily
    • Cinema-quality slide presentations; streamlined, yet powerful word processing
    • 40+ professionally designed templates with multiple page designs
    • Freeform graphics canvas; easy-to-use text styles, charts, and tables

    Reviews (16)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Underestimate This Program.
    A number of reviewers have commented upon how easy this program is and, I suppose, in one sense it is, especially if you stick to using the templates.However, as one who has had occasion to work with "Adobe Pagemaker," this program can do sophisticated page layout and, as such, there will be a learning curve for the inexperienced.

    But, the User Manual is good and there are good books coming out, like one from Visual Start in July, that will help people learn.

    It is wrong to think of this program as a word processor "in competition with" Word."MS Word" is a robust word processor; "Pages," as its name implies, is a page layout program.Having also worked with "MS Publisher," the real point of comparison and not "MS Word," "Pages" far exceeds "Publisher" in capabilities and yet for relatively simple layouts is as easy as "Publisher" to use.

    I have not as yet put any real strain on the program, but at first blush, on my Powerbook G4 1.5, speed of operations is just fine.Yes, as a few reviewers have pointed out, some of the palettes could be more elegantly combined.One tends to get a clutter of open palettes.But, these are refinements that will be made in future editions, I am sure.

    Bottom line: If you want to layout pages with a lot of the sophistication possible in the more expensive "Quark" and "PageMaker" programs; if you want to be able to export your documents to universal portable PDF file format and print out beautiful documents; if you want to pay, basically, only about $40 for these benefits ["Keynotes," the other half of iwork represents another $40], then buy "Pages."

    And, if you are a novice with respect to not only page layout programs but also to very robust word programs like "Word," don't expect that everything will be simple.You will have to learn, but you will be rewarded relatively quickly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I almost didn't buy it....
    I thought, "I have MS Office for the Mac, why do I need iWork?" Was I wrong!

    Okay fine I suppose I don't really NEED it. But it is a great program, and worth the price. The ability to export my work as a .pdf file is worth the price by itself. The Pages interface is much better, cleaner than Word. And the templates are suprisingly useful. I created a web page by costomizing a template and exporting it as HTML. I twas easy and quick and the result looked great. Most of the people I work with are PC users and because they were unfamiliar with pages the web Page looked fresh, not like a modified copy of someone elses work.

    I use my Mac for research mostly and the ability to save documents as .pdf files is very valuable as they are searchable. With Tigers ability to search the text within a .pdf I can now save my work as a .pdf and later find everytime a particular work appears in the fines I've created. This has made cross-refrecing very easy and fast. I now use a program called Pyramid to create a "mind map" of my work and create links from the "map" to refrences in the .pdfs.

    I don't use Keynote as much. I t more visially appealing than Powerpoint and pretty easy to use. The ability to use Quicktime movies in the presentation is helpful and the ability to export as a Powerpoint file is nice.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Great program if Microsoft can develop an imitation
    Keynote and Pages, the two applications included in iWork, were flawless under the Panther operating system. The Keynote app has always suffered from its inability to share with PC users. Oh yeah, I know I can convert a Keynote file to Powerpoint, .swf, QuickTime, or PDF, but the problem is that, especially when converting to PowerPoint, Keynote loses all its buttery-rich goodness. It's a PowerPoint problem, I realize, but without a Keynote viewer, there's no way around it. Thus, Mac folks must rely on Microsoft for slide presentations if they don't want to lug around their Mac laptop.

    Also, installing Tiger will mess up the purchased Keynote templates you have saved. Even reinstalling them won't help.

    My humble advice is to wait a couple of years until Apple fixes the bugs in Tiger, then MAYBE think about using a Mac. Until then, I'm switching back from a Mac to a PC.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Big time winner!
    iWork comes with two programs, Pages (a word processor) and Keynote (Apple's version of PowerPoint).Both of these programs are very simple to use and very effective.Without a doubt, there are better programs available, but their cost several hundred dollars more and for the average user don't provided more bank for the buck.

    When I first turned on Pages I thought "How cheesey!"But as I got to using it I found my first impression was totally wrong.It's simple appearance is very deceptive.This is a word processing program that can do everything that is needed for ordinary personal documents and beyond.You have to be willing to explore the program to discover its gems, but once you learn were things are you will find it a very fast and easy to use.The real value of the program is its desk top publishing.The 40 some templates let you create profession grade newsletters, journals, resumes, invitations, marketing brochures, and many other kinds of documents.This is worth the price of the software alone.It seamlessly works with your iPhoto, iTunes and iMovies.This is one powerful piece of software.With it you can produce commercial grade color brochures or newsletters at an entry level price.

    Keynote makes wonderful multimedia presentations, and like Pages is seamlessly integrated with iPhoto, iTunes and iMovies.If you are using graphics or want to import photos into your presentation, Keynote is significantly easier, quicker, and simpler to use that PowerPoint.You can't miss with this program.You can even save you presentation as a PowerPoint, Quicktime, or PDF file or post it on the internet for all to see with the easy of a single click.

    I have used both Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and keep them on my hard drive but rarely use them.As my skill with Pages and Keynote has grown I have found them to be more than sufficient in producing quality documents from personal letters, teaching handouts, to professional grade overhead presentations.
    For the cost, iWorks cannot be beat!And you will not be disappointed.

    iWork `05 System Requirements
    - Macintosh computer with a 500 mhz or faster Power PC G3, G4 or G5 (G4 for PowerBook); G4 or G5 recommended
    - 128 MB of physical RAM (512MB recommended)
    - 8 MB of video memory (32MB recommended)
    - Mac OS X v10.3.6 or later
    - QuickTime 6.5 or later

    2-0 out of 5 stars Pages is a disappointment
    I had high hopes for Pages, Apple's new Word Processing Application, but these hopes were shattered once I tried to design a newsletter with it.

    I find the interface unintuitive, unlike most Apple software, and the templates are not easily customizable. What's more, the application continues to mysteriously "erase" work that I have done, even after I have saved it.

    Apple, I know you can do better than this... ... Read more

    15. Microsoft Streets and Trips 2005
    list price: $39.99
    our price: $32.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002DOEAM
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 30
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • All-in-one mapping solution withU.S. and Canadian maps
    • Orient yourself on the road with GPS support
    • Download road construction updates quickly
    • View, add, delete, and rearrange destinations
    • Easily locate points of interest; Pocket PC compatibility

    16. Art Explosion 800,000
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $82.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001XWNSS
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Nova Development
    Sales Rank: 282
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • 800,000 premium royalty-free graphics on 34 CD-ROMs
    • Complete professional art library; no downloading required
    • Scale most images to any size; popular file formats
    • 32-bit image browser software with full-color previews
    • Includes DrawPlus 5, a powerful graphics editor

    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Collection--with some minor limitations.
    Amazon has the best price going for this clip art series. Period.

    This collection of images, fonts, and whatnot is truly extensive. The enclosed drawing program, DrawPlus 5, I'd like to call "Illustrator Lite"; it has some functionality (you can export your work as GIFs, TIFFs, JPEGs, and such), but its usefulness will only get you so far until you'd have to upgrade to the real deal.

    As far as the clipart and photos go, this is no ordinary collection. If you're a desktop publisher or graphic arts moonlighter (aspiring to full time), this is a gigantic amount of material to use for your clients. The pictures are fantastic, the clipart is comprehensive--you'd probably find just about anything you can think of, or at least have the basic building blocks to customize what you need--and the fonts are a nice extra. However, most of the fonts in this collection you'd probably already have, especially if you have MS Publisher or any Adobe product (who has the best font set in the market).

    I have issues with the catalog search engine. It's useful up to a point, but I don't end up using it much. If you have Windows XP, you'll be using the Windows Explorer photo feature more than the search engine, anyway. The image book (thank gods!) that comes with this set is the size of your average Merriam-Webster dictionary, and it's ESSENTIAL for this collection. The CDs are arranged in the exact order that the images appear in in the book, so using the book, then using Windows Explorer will be a much better searching feature than the included search engine program.

    For Macintosh users, there are instructions in the book as to how to use the discs. I can't attest to it, but I assume you can use the CDs in Macs as well as you can use them in a regular PC.

    The big blue book (the book is big and it's blue) doesn't have an extensive listing of the photos on the CDs. What you see in the book is only a representation of the category; you'll have to search the entire disk to find specific images that you want to use. Thus, you're browsing blind as far as the book is concerned.

    All in all, a wonderful comprehensive library of images.

    P.S. Note to Pagans: the images in this collection are rather stereotypical. (I.E. green-faced witches, mostly cartoonish wizards, etc.) No specifically named clipart pics point to "our" holidays, even though they have an "other holiday" category in the set. However, the mythology clipart is extensive, colorful and tasteful. From those sets and other parts of the collection, you should be able to either find, adapt, or customize the art you need for specific Pagan-centered projects. Bright Blessings and happy desktop publishing!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Getting Better
    I must say, the clip art in this edition has gotten so much better than my previous buy. However, I am very disappointed with the quality of all of the photographs. They are blurry, have compression noise and are not very well composed. And do I really need 10 copies of each NO! My little point and shoot digital takes better pictures than these...think I'll take my own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Collection Ever!
    I just received my box last week and it is great. All of the images are inside the box and the printed catalog makes finding the exact image I want to use very easy and no downloading is required. I thought it would be good, but this is GREAT! If you want clip art, this is the one to have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Overwhelmed!
    I ordered this package since I just needed a few images for a project I was doing and it looked nice. When it came in the mail I could not believe how heavy it was and there was so much inside. It comes with a huge printed image manual which makes finding any image easy. It is over 1800 pages! This was so much more than I expected. I just ordered a second copy for my friend. 5 stars!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Where's the Mac version?
    This is a great product. I know it's available in a Mac version and I wish Amazon would offer that. I guess I'll have to buy it somewhere else. ... Read more

    17. Punch! Ultimate Deck and Landscape
    list price: $29.00
    our price: $24.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004OCHJ
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Punch! Software
    Sales Rank: 1012
    Average Customer Review: 2.14 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

    Ultimate Deck & Landscape integrates landscaping, deck design, and exterior home design. Estimator and deck wizards aid in creating your ideal outdoor living space. Get 3-D photorealistic fly-throughs, drag-and-drop textures, and landscaping--all with a single interface.

    Use the software to see how your home exterior will integrate with your deck and landscape design. Add stone, siding, or paint color to match your current home, or view changes as a remodeling part of your project. When you're ready to landscape your home design, just add your plantings to your existing file. The software lets you landscape without redrawing your house plan. Your results are rendered in high-resolution 3-D, complete with shadows just like a photograph.

    Design the perfect deck for your home plan with Ultimate Deck. Multilevel or multistory decks with 3-D photorealistic textures, stairs, railings, object placement, and color capabilities give you the ability to design exactly the deck you want. Deck Wizards walk you through railings, baluster options, and more. The Deck & Landscape Estimator compiles building material and landscape planting information in a custom spreadsheet report as you draw. The editable and exportable spreadsheet is available right from the program. Just add in costs and you'll have an accurate report of your expenses. ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad for the Money
    This is an inexpensive CAD program for home exterior, landscape, and deck design. I found it fun and relatively easy to use. In just a few hours I had a reasonable model of my home and it's decks entered. The walk-through feature works well and is great for viewing the plan in 3D easily from any angle. The instant 3D view as you change items on the plan is very nice for getting things like roof lines, railings, and windows set up and placed correctly. Landscape design options are pretty limited, like the small number of plant and fence options, but adequate to get a rough view of how something might look.

    Overall, it does what one would expect from a $30 program and is useful if you aren't too picky about getting the result to look exactly like the finished product. Punch seems to have a whole range of products, and given that this one works pretty well for what it is, I am planning to upgrade to something from Punch with a bit more flexibility, assuming that it can input what I have created so far.

    The program installed easily but does exhibit some kind of bug in that plants are not visible unless the walk-through is in motion. I e-mailed Punch about it and got a very rapid response on some things to try in adjusting my graphics card parameters. I'm impressed with the responsiveness of their support people.

    Overall, I would recommend this program for someone who wants to try out the concept of computerized landscape design and needs only basic capability. If you are trying to do a detailed, complex project I would recommend going with a more fully featured product.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Far better ways to spend your money and your time
    I had low expectations to begin with but they were still too high. This program is just not up to the task - plain and simple. I spent several nights trying to get a two-tierred deck designed and have wasted my time struggling with this terrible product. If I hadn't borrowed this CD from a friend who also couldn't do any constructive work with it, I'd have demanded my money back. I beg someone to write a review who's HAS designed and built a deck with this toy; add a link so we can see what you actually accomplished. Its time to use something useful like AutoCad...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Thought it was easy.
    I worked with it without reading any directions, so for this I give it a thumbs up. I do however wish I could have drawn a little more accurate with it (I am an autocad design/drafter) so if it would have been more autocad friendly that would have been nice. The only thing else I wish I could have done with the program, that I was unable to do, was design a screened in porch. The system allowed me to design a deck and an all weather room, but I could not get the look of a screened area. Overall I felt it was easy to use, teach and quick to design/redesign. The files take up very little space. I give it 4 out of 5 stars but have no other deck design program to compare it to, it is the only one I have ever tried.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
    I just bought Punch deck design. You would expect that it would be taylored to designing decks. Guess again. It is nothing more than a simple cad program with a few deck related overlays. You must build multiple decks to create a single mult-tiered deck. It does nothing with deck supports or even patterns of wook on the deck. Stairs beyond a simple straight stair case forget it. DO NOT BUY this product. Get a piece of paper and ruler and you will be better off.

    1-0 out of 5 stars junk
    i purchaed this program to design my deck.All it does is create a picture.I used to have a program that designed a deck and also gave me a break down of materials to build it and accurate dimensions in which to cut my lumber and also a walk through the construction.This program [punch]does nothing like that at all.If anyone wants to build a deck using this program they are wating there money. ... Read more

    18. Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard Edition
    list price: $299.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008ZGRY
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Adobe
    Sales Rank: 336
    Average Customer Review: 2.92 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

    Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard software lets business professionals quickly and easily convert any Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, or other paper or electronic document to a reliable Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file. Adobe PDF files preserve the visual integrity of documents so that they can be e-mailed to colleagues and then viewed and printed on a variety of platforms using free Adobe Reader software.

    Acrobat 6.0 Standard software’s intuitive review tools allow business professionals to comment on documents electronically and make it easy to track, manage, and incorporate feedback into original documents. Acrobat’s full set of features help you streamline communications and reduce the costs and inefficiencies associated with paper-based review processes.

    Password protection lets you secure files to prevent unauthorized users from opening and viewing sensitive documents. Apply permissions with 128-bit encryption that control whether users are allowed to view, edit, comment on, sign, or print Adobe PDF files.And with digital signature support you can approve final documents, verify authenticity, and build a list of trusted certificates. ... Read more

    Reviews (53)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Software
    This software Create PDF files from almost any word processing or html programs with very effective compression ratio almost 1/10 the original size. You can also convert post script ps files into PDF files. You can extract pictures, text from any already created PDF files as well.
    With this version you can also create an interactive electronic forms similar to the tax forms. This upgrade version will only install on your system if you have Adobe acrobat 4 or 5 installed. This version only works with windows XP, 2000, NT with latest service package.
    The difference between the acrobat 6.0 and the acrobat 5.0 is not so big. The new version is optimized for intel P4 systems and it's slightly faster than the old version.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Upgrade is no help for Real Estate
    As a Realtor who is pushing the envelope, attempting to move to digital file keeping, digital recording, digital faxing, and digital signing, the concept of Adobe Acrobat is extremely helpful. I've been using Adobe Acrobat since version 4. Version 5 was a very useful upgrade, worth every cent. Version 6 was a grand waste of money and has turned into a waste of time. Files take longer to save in Adobe Acrobat 6, but they do end up being smaller, so maybe there is a more advanced compression algorithm at work. Nevertheless, files do take about twice as long to save in the new version.

    Furthermore, at least for my line of work, I see no useful additions to the software. The interface looks a little fancier, and a little more advanced with more curved lines and a splash screen with transparency...(everybody together now, "Oooooh, aaaaaaah"). But, at least for my line of work, I have not seen any productivity or security upgrades which make the investment worthwhile. Save yourself the money and stay with version 5.0.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the other reviewers' negative comments are right on the money.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money.
    I bought the 6.0 upgrade without reading the reviews. Woe to the foolish. It slowed WORD to a crawl, brought DtSearch to it's knees, and twice locked my system up so tightly I couldn't get the task manager open.

    I didn't waste any additional time seeing how slow it was at its own tasks. I'll take everyone's word for it.

    Less than one day on the machine. I've gone back to 5.0.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Lasted 1 day on my PC
    I downloaded an evaluation copy of Acrobat 6 before I read the reviews here. I can confirm what others are saying: unlike the upgrade from 4.0 to 5.0, 6.0 doesn't offer the average user additional usefulness over 5.0.

    It's also much slower to load and takes twice as long to creat .pdf files. The interface is completely different, so there will be a steep learning curve for users upgrading from previous editions. Sometimes, software developers just screw one up, and this one is such an upgrade.

    Pay close attention to the features you need: If you just want to print files to .pdf, you don't need all the stuff 6.0 offers. You'll never use 80% of the features they've added.

    After one day, I got frustrated, realized I didn't have the time to learn an entirely new piece of software so that I could simply continue to make .pdf files, and uninstalled it.

    Lesson learned: Check for reviews FIRST.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Here is the Skinny on the Deal
    By the time I was done reading the reviews for Adobe Acrobat 6.0 I was depressed. Not only do I not have Windows XP, or Windows 2000, or NT installed in my machine (The only operating systems that will work with 6) I also couldn't muster up the confidence in the product after so many people were giving it the thumbs down. I want to create an eBook, and Adobe Reader is the most popular reader out there, with some 400 million, to a half a billion users with it installed. What a dilemma. I kept coming back to read some more. Finally I found the answer. I bought a new Adobe Acrobat 5.0 here at Amazon from one of their vendors, and it works great with my Windows 98SE. I planned on buying the 6.0 upgrade after they got the bugs out, and or I got a new computer with XP. Then I found out that 5.0 was the only version before, and that was the professional version. 6.0 Standard is a geared down version of 5. Ok, so it has some additional features, but it is missing even more of them.
    So what's the skinny on the deal? For what I paid for a new 5 that is the full program, unregistered, and upgradeable, plus what I would have to pay here at Amazon for the 6 Professional Upgrade, I saved 80 bucks, and wound up with both versions 5 and 6 pro. Which as I mentioned are both professional versions. If I bought 5 and upgraded to 6 standard, I would only spend a little more for both versions. (About 4 percent more for standard, and about 20 percent less for professional) That way if 6 standard turned out to be as bad as many were saying it is, I would have 5 also.
    In the final analysis, I am using 5 and am super excited about the new capabilities that Adobe Acrobat gives you. I'm hoping that by the time I get a new machine with XP on it, Adobe will come out with 6.something, or a second edition of 6 etc. with the fixes built in.
    I'm not the only one to come to this conclusion. I noticed in the sales rank at the time I bought it and wrote this review, that 5 was outselling 6. Also I noticed that in the "Those who bought 5 also bought this" section, it had a special note that said, 47% of the people who bought 5 also bought the 6 upgrade. If your running XP, 2000, or NT, get them both. That way all the bases are covered.
    Check out the reviews on 5 you'll be surprised how everybody raves about it. To be perfectly honest with you, if I had an XP machine, I would have ordered the 6 upgrade at the same time. Hope this helps. ... Read more

    19. Final Draft 7/Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop DVD Bundle
    list price: $249.99
    our price: $219.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001XNKP8
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Final Draft
    Sales Rank: 332
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Word processing combined with professional script formatting
    • Designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics, and stage plays
    • Automatically paginates and formats script to industry standards
    • 50+ templates; text to speech, have your script read back to you
    • Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop DVD for all skill levels included

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars What They Write With & How To Do IT!!
    Okay, so I found out that Final Draft is the Industry Standard in Tinsel Town. Great. I'll buy one. Check out who uses it on their website. Wow! But the software alone doesn't tell us, say, what goes where and why in a screenplay. It just lays there, blank, with blinking cursor... waiting for some brilliance to be entered by me. Enter Syd Field. I have his books on screenwriting and, although the DVD is a little 'talking head'-like, it did make me understand more about the craft of screenwriting, like plot, story structure, action points and character arcs - the things that make up a really great movie. Take notes while watching the DVD! It made me better and less insecure about taking the movie idea out of my head and Final Draft is a cool tool that formats for you and types things you type alot for you. An excellent combination!! Highly recommend. ... Read more

    20. ScanSoft PDF Converter Professional 3.0
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $99.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00094OT7C
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 143
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    PDF Converter Pro 3.0 ... Read more


    • Combine multiple source files, such as JPEGs,Word files and Web pages, to create a single PDF file to share your work as an integrated document.
    • PDF Converter delivers everything the business user needs, including powerful document and form creation, conversion and editing.
    • Instantly create 100% industry-standard PDF files that can be read, printed, or processed.
    • For the first time you can edit directly within a PDF file. Add copy, rearrange words, even change the position of charts and graphics.
    • Convert PDF Files into Microsoft Word, Excel and Corel WordPerfect documents.

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A solid alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    I found this to be an amazing PDF product - but its not from Adobe.I have used Acrobat in the past, but this does things that Acrobat doesn't do - like turn PDF back into Word, and turning forms into fill-able forms. I use scansoft Paperport too, and this works perfect with the PDF files from scanners. ... Read more

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