Self-Improvement and Creative Software - Part 1 - PC Retail

Self-Improvement and Creative Software - Part 1

A look at the new software on the market
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Come the New Year, people will be shopping with resolutions in mind – to learn a language, improve the home, take better family videos. And there’s software for everyone, as Helen French finds out...

ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE MASTER COLLECTION

SRP: from £423.34 (student and teacher edition) to £2589.97 Distributor: Ingram Micro, Douglas Stewart Edu

They say: Make an impact with exquisite design for virtually any screen. Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection software is a comprehensive creative environment that provides a full complement of design and production tools. Design with professional imaging, vector, and page layout tools; develop online experiences with the ultimate web tools; and create mind- blowing video with high- performance editing, effects and audio tools. Includes Photoshop Extended, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5.5 and much more.

BERLITZ PREMIER (SPANISH, ITALIAN, FRENCH, GERMAN, CHINESE/JAPANESE)

SRP: £30.63 Distributor: Gem Distribution, Interactive Ideas

They say: The UK’s best-selling language software from the number one name in language learning
Specs: Watch lessons on PC or Mac, listen in the car or load them up to a media player. Suitable for all levels. Offers Flash Card System. Features complete instruction such as actual conversations and videos. Improve pronunciation with speech analysis tools. Also includes interactive games such as puzzles and fill-in-the-blanks.

101 LANGUAGES OF THE WORLD

SRP: £40.84 Distributor: Focus Multimedia, Interactive Ideas

They say: Whether you’re a language enthusiast, fascinated by different languages, a budding Jason Bourne, or you want to greet business partners in their native language, 101 Languages of the World features over 140,000 words and 25,000 phrases, native speaker comparisons and hundreds of interactive dialogues.

GRAND DESIGNS 3D SELF BUILD AND DEVELOPMENT

SRP: £99.99 Distributor: Koch Media

They say: Enables you to quickly and easily visualise your home improvements before work begins. Plan out and see your ideas in full 3D simply by drawing a 2D plan. Draw walls, rooms and buildings quickly and accurately with dedicated, fully customisable tools. Change measurements, scale, colour and textures at the touch of a button to create accurate scaled plans. With a single click of your mouse, enter 3D mode where you can add furniture, lighting, change de?cor and take a virtual walkthrough.

COMPLETE GARDENS: PLANT AND PRUNING GUIDE

SRP: £10.20 Distributor: Focus Multimedia, Interactive Ideas

They say: Packed with in-depth planting advice, this interactive plant guide will help you select the best British plants to suit every aspect of your garden’s conditions and seasonal needs. Full of plants that are ideal for the UK climate, this helpful garden planner is the perfect companion for every gardener in Britain. Features 2,700 specially selected ornamental and fruit plants (from bulbs and perennials to shrubs and trees) and 9,000 photographs.

TEACHING-YOU TOUCH TYPING

SRP: £10.20 Distributor: Focus Multimedia, Interactive Ideas

They say: The best-selling software for enhancing your typing skills. Whether you’re new to the keyboard or want to refresh your existing skills, this easy to use interactive training course will soon have you typing like an expert. It includes extensive features, an accessible help system and three progressive training courses for Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced level users.

KAZ LEARN TO TOUCH TYPE IN 90 MINUTES

SRP: £19.99 Distributor: Koch Media

They say: Using KAZ Typing Tutor’s unique accelerated learning system, you will learn to touch type correctly and master your keyboard in minutes instead of hours. Get a real ‘buzz’ from learning so quickly. Touch-type the a-z keys in a single lesson. Ditch hunt and peck typing and start touch-typing effortlessly. Write creatively instead of stilted looking at the keyboard. Suitable from ages six to adult.

DRIVING TEST SUCCESS ALL TESTS 2012 EDITION

SRP: £10.20 Distributor: Focus Multimedia, Interactive Ideas

They say: With the test changing on the 1st January 2012 it is crucial that learner drivers and bike riders get the best revision they can. Driving Test Success All Tests is the UK’s favourite revision aid, containing official DSA Theory Test revision questions, hundreds of Hazard Perception clips, the highway code and Practical Test tutorial videos. Premium edition also available for £15.31, with L plates and road sign guide.

DRIVING TEST SUCCESS ALL TESTS ULTIMATE NEW 2012 EDITION

SRP: £35.73 Distributor: Focus Multimedia, Interactive Ideas

They say: Absolutely everything a learner driver could possibly need to pass their driving tests! The Ultimate pack contains all the essential items found in All Tests Premium and adds two extra products. Learners can get behind the virtual wheel of a 3D car in Practical Simulator. Also included is Car Maintenance Made Easy, an interactive DVD.

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA 2012 ULTIMATE EDITION

SRP: £10.20 Distributor: Focus Multimedia, Interactive Ideas

They say: Three encyclopedias in one resource: adult, student and children’s, making this 2012 edition an excellent all-in-one research companion for all ages. Spend less time searching and more time learning.

CRAFTARTIST: CRAFTS, CARDS AND MORE!

SRP: £10.20 Distributor: Focus Multimedia, Interactive Ideas

They say: The fast, fun and easy way to create your own projects. Perfect for the creative minds and nimble fingers of arts and crafts lovers everywhere. This easy-to-use software contains everything you need to create your own custom- made print and craft projects.

SERIF CRAFTARTIST GREEDTING CARDS

SRP: £19.99 Distributor: EntaTech

They say: CraftArtist Greeting Cards is the perfect software for creating high quality cards for all occasions. You’ll be able to quickly and easily make cards that aren’t just pre- made templates but are exactly the way you want them. Designs can be personalised with unlimited pictures and text.

SERIF CRAFTARTIST SCRAPBOOKS

SRP: £19.99 Distributor: EntaTech

They say: Easily create beautiful scrapbooks. There are loads of high quality embellishments and materials included to make sure your designs are absolutely stunning. Designs can be personalised with unlimited pictures and text plus there are craft tools and a built-in photo editor to help deliver high quality results.

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Sector guide: Creative and self-improvement software

From learning a new language, passing a driving test, manipulating images or promoting the next generation of DJs, there?s plenty on offer in the software market. Andrew Wooden takes a look at what?s new in self improvement and creative software?