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signlab 6

Discussion in 'Signlab' started by geb, May 1, 2003.

  1. geb

    geb Very Active Member

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    Just curious of what the people who use signlab 6 think of it. I've seen other posts on different sites in the past where they have talked of bugs with this program. I use signlab 5 and am very happy, but do I go to 6? Thanks for any feedback on signlab 6.
     
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  2. Larry Crooms

    Larry Crooms New Member

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    I agree that ver 5 was pretty good. E6 has more "bells & whistles" to be sure. One thing I do not like is at the top left of the screen, when resizing, the dimensions switch from "percentages" to "inches" . You have to really watch what you are doing, or else you will have an image that is not the correct size. I also do not like the entire image gets a blue outline when selecting it. On the positive side, it is very powerful and can even "slice" any text or image, which is very useful.
    I also wish that Cadlink will include a ".jpg export feature" in the next revison.
     
  3. Bob Gilliland

    Bob Gilliland Member

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    Geb,

    Curious, do you perform straight vinyl work only, or are there some digital output jobs mixed in there as well? If not doing any digital work, I here most prefer to stay with 5. A possible downside of remaining with that version is support is now a paid basis. That may or may not be an issue. As for the bugs, yep, there has been some and there will continue to be some. Doesn’t make it right, but what graphic program is bug free?

    Larry,

    Regarding your comment about the “percentages” to “inches”, is this related to the “Size” smart bar area? If not, could you please elaborate a little more? If it is the smart bar, what would you like to see changed from a layout or functionality standpoint compared to its current state?

    The ability to remove the Blue outline can be found under Options>SignLab Setup>Selection Tool Settings. From the resulting Selection Settings dialog box, uncheck “Highlight selected objects”. From this same area you can control how “wide” the Blue selection line is if you want it to remain. Completely user controllable to satisfy those that do and don’t like the way it operates.

    And jpg is a supported export format for raster based images inside e6.1. I’m not familiar with the original e6 release, so it may in fact not be present within that package, but very much is with e6.1
     
  4. geb

    geb Very Active Member

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    I don't do any digital at this time, looking down the road. Thanks for the input on signlab6, I've heard arguments both ways, with more saying its pretty buggy. I'm playing around with Corel 9 when I can, but I do like what signlab 5 has to offer, and I've used it 5 years and get better every year. Thanks again.
     
  5. Larry Crooms

    Larry Crooms New Member

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    Signlab E6

     
  6. Larry Crooms

    Larry Crooms New Member

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    Jun 19, 2003
    Thanks for the tip, Bob. The "smart bar" as you noted is what I have trouble with from time to time. YOu have the "x/y postion" window at top left; next is "inches" window, then the "percentage" window. When one clicks on an object to resize, the "x/y position" window is removed, and the other two are moved to the left. I would like to see the windows stationery, regardless of resizing an object with the mouse.
    Maybe there is a way to change it that I don't know about.
    I am also using the E6rev7 to output to a print & cut device. After gettting the port setting right on Win98, it works very nicely. Still having problems getting a Dell WnXP to drive it. There is no "normal mode" port setting.
    I checked again, and the .jpg output is not there. Only through signtopia can one export a jpg, unless I'm missing something.
    All I have seen is .plt, eps, dxf, ai, and the like. It will only import the jpg.
    lc
     
  7. Bob Gilliland

    Bob Gilliland Member

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    Larry,

    I understand now, thanks for the reply. I’d encourage you to drop an email or letter to CADlink about anything relative to the program you dislike or don’t care for. They make the software for “us”, so they need to hear from “us” to know what we want and don’t want. Explaining why you dislike the way something operates goes much farther then just complaining about it, so keep that in mind if you do contact them. And it usually doesn’t hurt to throw a complement or two about something in there as well. Makes digesting some less then flattering remarks a bit more palatable sometimes. [​IMG]

    Rev 9 is the current build that is shipping and has some nice improvements (stability and performance wise). You may want to contact your dealer about acquiring it, or use the “web” update feature.

    Your port issue, is this for a ColorCAMM? What are your options when inside the BIOS? If there is a PS/2 mode listed, select it, as it should replicate what you refer to as “normal mode”. There are some others that will act “normal” as well, just don’t currently recall what they are called.

    The ability to export jpg (or any raster based file format for that matter) can be found at File>Export Image. The File>Export option will allow for vector based file formats only (like those you listed). This will require some additional work BEFORE attempting the export in the fact that you need to select the object(s) and “Render to Bitmap”. When doing this, you may want to enable “Keep Original” depending on what you/have not done with saving the original artwork file first. This is all done “automatically” when doing it via SignTopia.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. geb

    geb Very Active Member

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    Hi Bob, I've been reading the posts on the gerber edge, and had a couple questions knowing your a signlab user. I unfortunately have no knowledge of digital printing, so I hope these aren't stupid questions, but I see the edge is run by Omega software.? Do you design with this software or with signlab when outputting to the edge, or which is your prefered software for doing this? I've been looking at alot of the posts and in my opinion it seems like digital printing is a whole new challenge, quick difficult if you have no knowlege in this field. We've talked about getting an edge, just don't know if we can swing it and also if it's over our heads. If we did, I take it the Omega software comes with it. If that's the case, that is the software we would have available to us there(day job). Is this pretty user friendly? I probably should have sent this to the edge forum on this board, but wanted to ask about signlab's use with the edge. You have a good deal of knowledge on signlab, I'll be throwing a few more questions on signlab6 in the near future, hope to hear your opinions, thanks.

    George
     
  9. signmom

    signmom New Member

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    signlab E6

    We use Signlab E6 and find it to be a great program. It seems to have a few gliches, but for the most part we love it. Only thing different is when we select anything in the layout or the whole layout it is red not blue. We were also trying to find a way to change that color, since we do mostly traffic control we use a lot of red.
     
  10. geb

    geb Very Active Member

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    Hi signmom, nice to see you here. I haven't gotten the courage to
    go from 5 to 6 yet. But I do like version 5. Do you have the module that allows you to use chisel fonts, and if so, curious what you think of it? Maybe someone will be able to help you with the color change you talked about. Thanks for posting and hope to hear more from you.

    George
     
  11. Bob Gilliland

    Bob Gilliland Member

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    George,

    I apologize for the delayed response. I was an unwilling recipient of a cold that decided to take residence inside my body during the Thanksgiving holiday time period, then there was the USSC Sign World show in Atlantic City afterwards, and between the two, I had completely forgot about your reply. By the way, this is going to ramble on in some areas and may not answer everything you asked! Please ask again and I’ll try to stay focused.

    Not to worry, I have “little” knowledge of digital printing as well, it just appears that way at times. [​IMG] I started out at the same place most others do, the beginning. Everything that I “think I know”, I know by asking dumb questions, trail and error, and countless other life experiences. So ask away no matter how “stupid” or “insignificant” you may think the question is. Good chance others may be wondering the same and perhaps we all learn something together simply because the question was in fact, asked.

    As of today, to the best of my knowledge, Gerber’s Omega, now defunct Graphix Advantage and Mac Imprint product along with CADlink’s SignLab and Scanvec~Amiable’s FlexiSign have the ability to drive an Edge device. There may be another option in the not to distant future, however, it’s not currently available to the market place.

    As for “my” preferred software package for designing, that depends. Not trying to side step the question, but it really does depend on where I want to end up (and how much time I have to get there and/or how much I’m being paid to take the journey). Currently, I feel most comfortable and “at home” with Omega. It’s also, in my opinion, the most limiting on a designer and massive killer of productivity when revisions enter into the equation. SignLab offers many more options and greater flexibility from a design perspective within the product itself. Actual output production from within SL is a bit more laborious and stymied in my opinion, but that is being addressed with the next upgrade release and fully expect it to be a “leading” package in this regard. Then there is always Photoshop. PS is a “painting” or raster manipulation program and does not offer the ability to print directly to an Edge, but does allow for a lot of design functionality to happen. There are plenty of methods for getting Photoshop based designs into Omega or SignLab, some with positives results, others with less then desirable. Experience often dictates what package to use and when.

    If the current design or layout is a simple “pools rules” sign; probably Omega for the comfort and quickness I can operate within. If wanting a Sepia tone appearance with a mixture of bitmap and vector objects, probably SignLab due to the additional features and provisions it offers. If creating a brand new “mark” for a company, a very good chance all three will be utilized. I’d love to find the “ultimate” program to do it all. Perhaps the closest out there currently, in one package compared to a software “suite” is ACD Canavas (formally by Deneba). I have limited experience with the product, but it does pack a multiple disciplined punch (with no Edge output at this time however).

    I firmly believe that digital printing is the way forward for a high percentage of shops. For others reading, please note, that is “high percentage” and not expressed as “everyone”. Of the digital output options currently available, perhaps the most easiest to master is color thermal transfer. Especially true if you have experience with screen or offset printing. Unfortunately, if being honest and sincere, it is probably on the down side of the curve of life. It will be around for some time to come due to the unique benefits it offers over other digital output methods. Some day though, most of those benefits will be matched with ink based technology and the “thermal” slide will advance that much farther downward and that much quicker.

    Thermal is, for the most part, easy. Yes, there are color issues and profiles to be concerned with, but when directly compared to ink, it’s very elementary. One of the strengths of color thermal is the ability to print absolute spot colors, not process renditions of such colors. When dealing with a spot color, it either “is” or it “is not”. Very much like screen printing with solid inks, it either is this color or it is not. With inkjet based output, there are many, many more variables that need to be accounted for and those variables need to be chased on a somewhat regular basis. In this context, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but when compared to the “ease” of spot color thermal, it’s a monster of an issue and not to be taken lightly. I’m lazy by nature, perhaps that’s why I like thermal so much. [​IMG]

    As much as I love color thermal transfer, it is on the higher end of per square foot costs compared to other alternatives available today, in a broad sense. Output cost is important, however, I don’t pay it, my clients do. All the more reason, if you take the plunge into thermal, to sell service, solutions, and to the strengths of the machine and not just a commodity output.

    As for Omega coming with the Edge, no, not always a given. Yes, there is usually a greater financial benefit experienced if acquiring the software at the same time as the machine, however, they are very much two separate items. Depending on your preferred vendor and the products they represent, you may be able to get Flexi or SignLab in the deal as easily as Omega. There are more then a few folks that would like to have an Edge but refused to do so as long as Gerber software was the only product available to drive it. Now that that is changing, more and more dealers are offering “deals” that include alterative software options to Omega.

    As for Omega being “easy to use”; that’s in the eyes of the user I suppose. “I” think its somewhat “simple” and “limiting” in today’s software environment. Someone else may think its feature rich while the person next to them believes it’s difficult to interface and work within. Which one of us correct and who is wrong? It is all subjective! My best piece advice is to see if your preferred software will drive the device. If it does, then you just need to learn specifics to the device as you should already be familiar with the design tools. If not married to a design package, then do what you have done here; ask for opinions. Go a step farther and request demos if available. If another software package is selected, remember there are two hurdles to overcome; learning the software and learning the device.

    I would also encourage you to investigate outsourcing initially. Could be that your particular market area wouldn’t support your owning of a device. By subbing out the work, you can benefit (understandably, probably not at as much of $ if you actually “owned” the device) and build a market before undertaking payments and/or operating responsibilities. No sense in taking on payments or emptying the bank account if the market will not support the device. This may also give you exposure to some of those other software packages and help with your decision in that regard to boot (small side benefit).

    Take it all in, filter it, analyze it, then spend some money! Be happy to follow up or clarify anything stated here. Best of luck no matter what direction you go. [​IMG]
     
  12. Bob Gilliland

    Bob Gilliland Member

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    Signmom,

    Currently, I have Blue displaying for the “highlight” when an object(s) is selected. I went poking around some settings and files to see “if” and “where” to change this, however, at this point I have “zip” to offer. I haven’t given up, so stay tuned. Maybe something will be posted next week. [​IMG]
     
  13. Roy Frisby

    Roy Frisby New Member

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    I use Signlab e6 and for the most part am well pleased.
    I recently downloaded rev 13 and there is alot of improvement
    over rev 7 that I was running. They still haven't resolved the
    spooler issue that will only let you send one job at a time
    to the spooler program. In the earlier versions of Spooler,
    those with 3.5, 4.95 etc., you could stack several jobs into
    spooler and the jobs would be cut automatically in the order
    that they were spooled. With the newer versions, if more than
    one job is sent to spooler, all you will get is alot of garbage cuts.
     
  14. geb

    geb Very Active Member

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    Thanks for the responses Bob & Roy. Bob, glad to see your the director of content development. Good luck, your experience and knowledge will be valuable to everyone here.:thankyou:

    George
     
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