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October 13th, 1999

[9:00 AM] Ragtime Plays A Suite Melody For Your Office

ComGrafix, Inc., has release RagTime 5.0. Ragtime is a "suite" of office applications, like word processing, spreadsheets, and draw programs, but each part of the suite exists on the same document. For those fans of Apple's defunct OpenDoc technology, conceptually, RagTime is similar to an OpenDoc container with the relevant parts inside. According to ComGrafix:

RagTime is the "Swiss Army Knife" of office software. It is the only business publishing application that allows users to create spreadsheets, annual reports; generate catalogues and price lists; perform calculations, and display them in graphical form using one program. Over 250,000 users worldwide rely on RagTime for professional business publishing.

RagTime's key features include seamless integration of spreadsheet data with page layout templates (no importing or cut and pasting). Intelligent templates help simplify repetitive tasks and share information company-wide. Mail merge features allow users to personalize documents for each individual recipient.

RagTime is also a fully loaded DTP toolbox allowing for free positioning of all elements on a page including rotation of objects, freeform text flows, color selection with optional CMYK support and compatibility with standard picture formats such as EPSF, TIFF, JPEG and more.

RagTime features pinpoint page positioning including paragraph and font style sheets that can read Excel tables. It has more than 200 calculation and evaluation functions. When the user changes numbers or calculations, pages automatically update themselves. Layouts calculate discount schedules or update conditions according to customer categories. 3-D spreadsheets include options for 16,000 rows, columns and planes. A full range of typographic options is
also available.

A Graphs gallery includes wide selection of style sheets; 2-D and 3-D view point and light point graphs; line, pie and XYZ (scatter) graphs, bubble and polar charts and combinations.

Sophisticated text handling includes flow within and around free forms, baseline grids and variable units of measure, non-printing test for comments, small caps, kerning capabilities and more. An optional CD-ROM includes hyphenation and spell checkers for 12 additional languages.

RagTime offers direct scanning via Photoshop Plugins or TWAIN. Pictures can be cropped, scaled, rotated or distorted.

RagTime is listed for US$695. You can find more information at the ComGrafix web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: OpenDoc is perhaps the neatest technology ever to be abandoned by Apple. Part of RagTime's functionality recaptures the connectedness and sprit of OpenDoc, while providing a functional alternative to Office.

ComGrafix Inc.

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