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Clip Art Software Review:    The Big Box of Art 615,000

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Big Box of Art Clip Art SoftwareTop Pick. A good home publishing clip art package can be difficult to find. This software program is a joy to use. With over 615,000 images to choose from, the software features GraphicsDesk to allow users to search and then export images to their own documents. 

This image collection includes a pleasing variety of types of graphics, all royalty-free, including vector clip art, raster images, Photo-Objects (these are objects that have been cut from their original photographic backgrounds), photographs (both color and black-and-white), animated gifs, textured backgrounds, web graphics, and more.

Particularly impressive are the program's search engine and interface. This is the easiest to use program of this genre that we have reviewed. After performing a search (by keyword, image type, and category), search results appear, complete with thumbnails of the images. Users can browse through the results, and opt to view a larger preview or export an image after responding to the prompt to place the appropriate CD in the drive (there are 27 CDs in total). Of course, disc-swapping with such a large collection of CDs can be cumbersome. Hemera offers a three-month trial subscription for accessing the program's image collection online, which would mean no fiddling with discs, at least for a while. After the trial period, the subscription will start costing money.

The images in the collection are very easy to export. Double-clicking on an image brings up an Export Wizard that guides users through the process. When possible, images can be resized or flipped, and a background color selected, before exporting. Alternately, images can be copied and then pasted into your own image composer software, or dragged and dropped into other applications.

This collection is well-organized. Each image has a number of keywords associated with it, and our experience with the program suggests that they are logical and straightforward. The collection includes graphics and animations designed for web use. These are accessed through the user's web browser.

Users have the option to install PhotoFont Maker, an application that allows them to fill fonts with photographic-quality textures. The results are intriguing -- we had a good time playing around with the textures.

A Personal Collections option is very handy. Users can save images to special folders, and then later perform searches within these folders.

Bonus applications are included in the package: Greeting Card Creator and T-Shirt Creator. Both of these provide users with a number of templates for their crafts. Additionally, CD Designs Creator can be downloaded for free on the web, or, for registered users, can be ordered by mail. 

What is missing is a printed directory of images in the collection. However, thumbnails of the images are available for browsing on the computer screen. 

This program is the Windows version (Win 95/98/ME/NT 4.0/2000/XP), and is Windows XP-certified. An edition with fewer images is available (The Big Box of Art 350,000). This program is economical and features the same easy-to-use interface.

The Big Box of Art is also available for the Macintosh (The Big Box of Art 215,000).

**For more information, user reviews, or to buy, see:

All "Big Box of Art" Software
at Amazon.com.

 
All "Big Box of Art" Software

 
Pros:
  • Especially user-friendly clip art program.
  • Well-organized image collection.
  • Excellent search engine.
  • Nice variety and range of graphics, grouped by category and graphics types.
  • Good-quality images.
  • Beginners will find this program very easy to use and understand, while the collection is also appropriate for experienced users.

 

Cons:
  • No hard copy image directory.

 

 

For Windows By: Hemera Ages 9-up Published: 2002
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Rating:

A

To Buy this CD-ROM:

See All "Big Box of Art" Software at Amazon.com

 

Reviewed May 2002/Updated 2004                                                  Comments? Email us.
 

 


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