Click’N Design 3D
(OS X Compatible)
Company: Stomp, Inc.
Price: $19.95 (30 day free trial available)
CD Burners have been a mainstream essential for Macintosh users for over two years now, especially since Apple is now including them on every model they make. Users like myself are simply burn-crazy, but one problem always crops up for me…what to do with all of those CD’s? Besides marker, there has got to be a better way to label them. Enter Click’N Design 3D, which allows you to create labels for CD’s, other popular media, and jewel case liners/inserts. What’s more, it supports most of the popular label sheets, and it has a large clip art/photo library for spicing up your designs.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that Click’N Design 3D is the solution to your CD labeling problems. Each time that you open the application, you are forced to select a CD label and go through a Quick Start Wizard. The most surprising flaw in this approach is that Click’N Design 3D does not remember your last selection, nor can you set default or favorite selections!
The interface is quite quirky and hard to work with. Anyone familiar with Adobe Photoshop will have a hard time getting used to Click’N Design 3D’s tools. While Click’N Design 3D has a very large library of clip art and photographs, there is no intuitive way to browse them. The files themselves have non-descriptive names, and using the select image window with the preview option checked takes an extraordinary amount of time.
What About the 3D?
Click’N Design 3D’s saving grace is perhaps the 3D section. There simply is no easier way to create attractive, three-dimensional text on your Macintosh today.
Though the 3D text window has the same quirky interface as the program itself, it has a ton of features that make fighting the interface well worth it. You can add all types of effects and textures to the text, and using Bezier curve handles is surprisingly easy, though it requires a little bit of experience to use them.
The CD comes with a “Quick Start Guide for Macintosh,” which gives instructions on installing for both Mac OS 9 and X, and once you have installed, you can open up the 20-page Quick Start Guide.
Click’N Design 3D also features help through the Help Viewer in both OS 9 and OS X. Unfortunately, it is no replacement for a true manual, which with a program that has an unfamiliar interface such as Click’N Design 3D, a true manual is truly needed.
Obtaining help on Stomp, Inc.’s web site is also a bear. The web site, while well designed is clearly windows-oriented. On the Click’N Design 3D product page, the Mac Version button is nestled off into a plethora of buttons on the right side of the page. Needless to say, it took me more than a few minutes to figure out.
Click N’Design 3D requires a PowerPC or greater Macintosh, OS 8.6 or greater including Mac OS X, 32 MB of RAM (64 recommended), and 30 MB of hard disk space (320 MB for the clip art). You can download a 30 day free trial version at Stomp Inc.’s web site, that I’ll simply give you a direct link to: http://www.stompinc.com/cnd3d/cnd3d_mac_retail.phtml?stp.
Click’N Design 3D is obviously a piece of software that Stomp Inc. has invested a lot of time and money into, and for that, they should be commended. There are no stability problems in either OS 9 or OS X, and many companies cannot yet say that about their products, despite the fact that OS X has been out for over two years now.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Click’N Design 3D based on my own experience. As a graphic designer, I much prefer the control of QuarkXPress or Illustrator to Click’N Design 3D. The program to me seems too advanced for a beginning user, yet not advanced enough for a power user like myself. And it is simply not one of those programs that I want to sit down and learn.
My recommendation surrounding Click’N Design 3D is for you to go and download the trial version and give it a shot yourself. It is fully functional, and you will certainly get the up close and personal experience that I didÑhow you do with it is something that only you can decide. Click’N Design 3D’s rating is as high as it is only due to its great 3D text capabilities and it’s inexpensive cost. However, as I said before, my only recommendation is to try it yourself, because based on my experience, I cannot recommend this program to readers of MyMac.com.
MacMice Rating: 3 out of 5