Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 113 / OCTOBER 1989 / PAGE 114




A picture is worth a thousand words, the saying goes. If this is true, then Perspective Junior is the War and Peace of PC software. This presentation-graphics program includes features usually found only in packages costing several times its $149 retail price. And Perspective Junior sports a user interface so intuitive that you'll be creating and priming presentation-quality graphics within an hour of installing the program.

Installing Perspective Junior is a breeze. The installation program asks what type of display and printer you have, and then it configures itself accordingly. Perspective Junior supports the installation of multiple printers, allowing you to use, for example, a dot-matrix printer for draft copies and a laser printer for final printouts.

When you start Perspective Junior, a sample graph is displayed along with a listing of top-level options, which are selected using function keys. These include setting a graph type, changing the viewing angle for a graph, accessing the program's Data Manager, printing and storing files, and customizing the program to match your operational preferences. Top-level operations and their associated function keys are listed either across the top of your screen or down its left side, depending on the keyboard configuration you specified during installation.

Pressing the F5 function key, for example, calls up the program's Data Manager, which you use to enter the information you want incorporated into a graphic: data values, headings, legends, titles, and the like. The row/column formal of the Data Manager's data-entry table should be familiar territory for anyone who's ever worked with an electronic spreadsheet.

After entering values and/or text into the data-entry table, you specify which row/column cells should be applied to specific elements of your graphic. For example, you could tell Perspective Junior to use a text string entered in row 1, column 1 (R1C1) of your data table for the main title of the current graphic. Likewise, you might specify that the numeric values stored in a block of cells be used as the base data for this graph.

Add depth to your bar graphs with Perspective Junior.

In addition to manual data entry, Perspective Junior lets you import data from a number of popular PC programs directly into its Data Manager. Compatible file types include WKS or WK1 files (from Lotus 1-2-3), DIF files created with Microsoft Excel, Muhiplan SYLK files, and ASCII files.

Perspective Junior operations are dynamic: Any changes you make to a graphic's underlying data are immediately reflected in the graphic itself. This dynamic interaction greatly simplifies the process of creating and editing a Perspective Junior graphic. When you finish entering your initial information into the program's Data Manager, for example, pressing the Escape key returns you to the top-level options screen and replaces the original sample graph with one that reflects your data table's current contents. If you then return to the Data Manager, edit the data table's contents, and go back again to the top-level screen, Perspective Junior automatically revises the current graph to reflect these changes. Similarly, pressing the F1 function key to access the Graph Type option and select a different type of graph causes Perspective Junior to immediately redraw your screen using the new graph type. Refining a Perspective Junior graph or chart is such a simple procedure that there's a chance you'll go overboard: Try not to enhance a graphic to such a degree that form obscures content.

Once you've finished designing a chart or graph, the image can be sent to your system printer or plotter. The program includes two special print drivers that allow you to print Perspective Junior charts and graphs to disk as image files in cither GEM or TIFF formal for export into programs such as Ventura Publisher or Page-maker. A special Options Pak ($79), also available from Three D Graphics, includes additional plotter support and special drivers for convening your graphic images into 35mm slides.

Perspective Junior also allows you to organize multiple charts and graphs into a computerized slide show. Once created, a slide show can be looped to cycle through itself unattended, making it an ideal tool for automated sales presentations.

The program's manual walks you through each step required to design, create, revise, and print a chart or graph. It includes a separate chapter on the program's SlideShow Manager, as well as a comprehensive and well-organized index that lets you easily locate information on specific program features and operations.

Perspective Junior packs a lot of power into a $149 program. Even if you're only beginning to experiment with presentation graphics, you can't go wrong with Perspective Junior. It's a program that should meet your needs far beyond the experimentation stage.


IBM PC and compatibles with 512K, a hard disk, and CGA, EGA, or VGA graphics—$149

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