I'm looking for a simple, ~$100 application as an alternative to MS Publisher.
Yea I know - I hate Publisher too, but this is for my mother who has only recently switched to Macs and has very limited computer knowledge. She uses Publisher a lot for her grade 2-3 students she teaches.
How about Pages, included in iWork '05? Can it do what Publisher does with the same ease?
iMac G5 20" | 1.8 Ghz | 1.5 GB RAM | Slot-Load SuperDrive | Airport Extreme | Mac OS X 10.4.2 |
eMac G4 | 800 Mhz | 1 gig RAM | NEC Internal Dual Layer Burner | Mac OS X 10.4.2 |
iBook G3 | 800 Mhz | 640 RAM | Airport | Mac OS X 10.3.9 | Good-looking user
The thing about Pages is that it is template driven. If you stick to the templates, your in great shape.
I've never used Publisher, but if it is anything like most page layout applications, you are given quite a bit of freedom to place things where you want on the page. This isn't the case in Pages.
Anything is going to have something of a learning curve, that really can't be avoided.
Assuming she bought a consumer based Mac model, she has AppleWorks on her system. The drawing part of AppleWorks can be used for page layout type of stuff. So it is there and it is free.
There is also MacPublisher Pro, which is a lot like PageMaker back in the version 4 days. It is about $20.
I recommend Stone Design's Create to my clients in her general position. This is not only a powerful page layout application, but also an illustration and web design application. As such, it is more expensive (about $150) but you also get free upgrades for life. There is a 30 day demo in which all the features are activated so you can see what the app can do.
As I said earlier though, AppleWorks should already be there on her system, so that would be a good place to start.