Serif PagePlus X4

Serif PagePlus X4 represents a significant upgrade over the previous version, with substantial new productivity and creation tools.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Serif PagePlus X4
  • Serif PagePlus X4
  • Serif PagePlus X4
  • Serif PagePlus X4
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Integrated photo tools, includes informative video help

Cons

  • Importing photos over a network is very slow

Bottom Line

Despite some quirks, we recommend Serif PagePlus X4 highly. With its new integrated PhotoLab, enhanced drawing tools, and direct import of text from files, PagePlus X4 is a comprehensive, worthwhile upgrade that can stand on its own.

Would you buy this?

Serif PagePlus has long been a respected desktop publishing program for designing attractive print and web-based material. The latest version, Serif PagePlus X4, represents a significant upgrade, with substantial new productivity and creation tools.

Primarily for small-business and home use, Serif PagePlus is known for its ease of use and its large library of fully editable templates for a wide range of purposes - newsletters, business cards, websites, greeting cards, and so forth.

In a move to make PagePlus a more comprehensive, stand-alone program, Serif has added both integrated photo editing and extra draw capabilities. For instance, the new PhotoLab is a full-featured tool that allows you to edit placed photos within Serif PagePlus X4, rather than requiring you to launch a separate image editing program. PhotoLab provides simple-to-use, single-click thumbnail-based effects and adjustments, as well as more advanced tools to control lighting, tonality, color, and other aspects.

Some of the new features are ones we've been looking for in this program for quite a while. For instance, Serif PagePlus X4's LogoStudio was already a fun tool for editing and creating logos and other design elements, but previously it was missing all-important Boolean commands (add, subtract, combine). Now, with Boolean commands, developing complex, interesting shapes from basic ones is much easier in Serif PagePlus X4.

Other added features improve productivity and overall ease of use. You can now anchor pictures, shapes, and text frames to text so that they flow and stay in place relative to copy. For instance, you can put a shape in-line as though it were a character within a sentence. Edit the copy, and the shape remains in the same position in that sentence, wherever your edits take it. Similarly, the new dynamic guides take the work out of aligning elements to one another, making items snap automatically to designated object edges or centers. In addition, Serif PagePlus X4 offers more control over editing and saving formats for tables and calendars.

Text handling has been enhanced as well. You can place Word or other documents directly from the files, rather than merely copying and pasting the material from another application. PDF import has been improved for greater control, allowing you to import individual pages and to use embedded Type 1 fonts. On top of that, linking text boxes so that copy flows from one to another (regardless what page it is on) is now easier too. In our hands-on testing, we were generally impressed with Serif PagePlus X4. We were able to go from a blank page to a fully customised, template-based newsletter in short order. The instructional videos in the new Learning Zone were informative and useful, and they helped us get a jump start on our project.

We encountered some annoying quirks, however. For instance, importing pictures over a network tended to be slow, bogging down the workflow, so we ended up copying the photos we wanted to use in our publication to a local hard drive. Also, Serif PagePlus X4's use of the word "flash" to describe a new gallery of shapes and objects was initially confusing; here, the term refers to static shapes (such as stars or pointing fingers), not animated Adobe Flash elements. What's more, when we placed "flash" shapes, only three of the many color-set schemes were available, requiring us to perform some complex editing to make the shapes match the rest of our document.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?