Easy Card is a simple, straight-forward application to quickly create greeting cards.
The publisher points out the average U.S. household purchases 35 greeting cards per
year from stores. At $5 per, that totals $175. Easy Card is a low-cost alternative,
which also allows you to customize your cards. Easy Card allows you to use your digital
photos and it works well with iPhoto. My wife and I created several sample cards
quickly and easily.
- Any Mac with OS 10.2
or higher -OR-
- Any PC running Windows
$30 (48-day trial version
available for download)
The software downloads as a disk image (1.6 MB); double-clicking the image then installs
the package onto your hard drive. That's all there is to it.
Creating your own customized greetings is easy with Easy Card. You don't have to
be artistically inclined to use this software and create beautiful cards. Script
Software offers a variety of down-loadable templates of pre-designed cards and pictures.
Prewritten messages are also available. For the artistically inclined, you can use
your own graphics and text, and/or revise the ones that come with the software. After
creating a card, you can print, address, or e-mail your newly created professional
looking card to anyone you choose.
Easy Card, the welcome screen informs you of upcoming events. A standard set of events
(e.g., U.S. holidays, reminders, etc.) are provided with the software. You can also
customize this list, adding or subtracting your personal events. This feature of
the software serves as a great reminder to create and send your cards at various
times during the year, for the next week and up to six months in advance.
Easy Card window
The four buttons along the left side represent: print, open previously created cards,
check on-line for pre-existing templates, and a history of cards you've emailed out.
Assuming you want to create a new card, you start with a blank white page. You can
customize the background by adding different shapes or pictures, which can be shaded,
colored, etc.. You can also add effects to the background objects, adding transparency,
rotating or inverting the object, and more. Text can also be added to the background
in a variety of styles and effects. For example, a Valentines Day card might have
multiple red hearts on a pink background.
Easy Card Effects for Background, Images, and Text
You will also want
to specify the size and layout for the card, and for this you click on the "Setup"
button (or choose "Card Setup" from the File menu). For Size, you can specify
to use the size called out in Page Setup (typically 8.5" x 11"), specific
sizes of Red River paper, or a custom size. Under Layout, you can specify how many
folds (double, single, or none), and where the fold should be.
Easy Card Setup
Once the background is established, an image can then be imported from your iPhoto
library, downloaded from Script Software's on-line library, or any other digital
image you have stored on your computer. In our example, we imported a digital photo
to serve as the main theme for the card. A variety of effects can also be applied
(same as for the background).
Your message is then added to complete the card. Text can be created in multiple
styles, including 3-D speech captions and thought bubbles. If you can't think of
any clever text, Script Software provides some pre-written messages for your consideration.
Easy Card - Card Editor
By default, each card
opens with a background, blank image, and blank text. The "Add" (+) button
allows you to add additional layers to the card, such as shapes, more images and
more text. The "shapes" feature lets you add tokens such as stars, flowers,
hearts, etc., to add an element of "spice" to your project. Additional
images let you create a collage, and additional text layers lets you have combination
of fonts and styles, as well as text that is horizontal mized with vertical.
The default card setup is such that the printed cards fold over and down, providing
four editable sections: a front page, inside left and right pages, and a back page.
For each section, you can provide a different set of layers for text, shapes and
images. When the layout is changed, the section size and descriptions change accordingly.
Card Sections for double fold, left size fold
|The front of one of our
sample cards is shown below:
||The inside left for sample
card was blank. The inside right for our sample card follows:
||Finally, the back page
allows you to add your own card logo or signature, if desired. Our sample is shown
Easy Card also provides support for Red River Paper's high-quality card stock, including
post cards, so you are not limited to using only paper sizes that your printer offers.
Envelopes can also be printed from Easy Card. For printing, there is a Preference
section for "Printer Calibration" that allows you to adjust X and Y offsets
to help ensure that the cards are aligned properly for the card stock being used.
Easy Card Printer Calibration
Cards can also be
sent electronically, as an e-mail picture or via any Bluetooth-enabled device. When
using the email option, it uses the email account settings you specify under Preferences
and emails the card directly from within Easy Card. However, the actual file that
gets emailed is a JPEG of only the front page.
Mac OS X advantages:
- Apple Mail support
- Greeting cards can be sent from within Apple Mail.
- Send your greeting
card to your cell phone - With a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone you can send your card
directly to someone's MMS-capable cell phone.
- Address your envelopes
without having to enter the address - Easy Card works with Apple Address Book to
make it easier to enter addresses on your envelopes.
- Support for iPhoto
- browse and choose from your iPhoto library with full support for albums.
- iSight support -
Easy Card works with iSight, so you can easily add photos to your project.
The interface was not as Mac Savvy as I would have liked. There were very few keyboard
shortcuts, with most of the options contained in drop-down boxes or buttons. Oddly,
not even the Delete key was functional (to delete an object, you had to use the "Remove"
button. Highlighting and editing in Easy Card was not as easy to accomplish as it
is in other Mac applications. For example, when you paste in more than one graphic,
there are no options to move one graphic behind another one (same with text and shapes
There are also some interface quarks that need to be cleaned up. Pressing cancel while loading a template
appears to confuse the program. After the cancel, loading another template directly
after causes the progress bar to jump around sporadically, and the template that
is loaded is the prior template that was supposively canceled. Before I had any cards
saved, Easy Card showed a blank card in my list of cards, and after deleting that
card, a window displayed referring to a ".DS_Store" file, and I was unable
to quit from Easy Card after that point (requiring a force quit).
Quarky behavior against a .DS_Store file
Some parts of the interface
simply did not appear to be working. For example, after I deleted a graphic that
I didn't mean to delete, I wanted to undo the action. Even though the Undo option
shows as enabled in the menu, it did not undo anything. Likewise, there was a menu
option for opening recent, but no matter how many cards I opened or saved, the open
recent list was always empty. Lastly, when you go to check for a new version of Easy
Card, the window says that it's checking for a new version of "iWatermark"
(a different Script Software product).
As everyone knows,
buying printed cards is expensive. Easy Card 3 is an application designed to create
your own personal greeting cards for any occasion. Creating a card is relatively
simple, although working with the editor was somewhat clunky. You can create your
own background, import pictures, and add your messages in a variety of styles. If
you are short on ideas, you can choose from a multitude of templates to get you started.
A set of templates is included with the installation and many more are available
from the publisher's website. Once your card is complete, it can be printed and mailed
traditionally, or you can utilize more instantaneous delivery methods such as electronic
mail and Bluetooth-enabled wireless devices. My wife and I have been creating cards
for years, and we found Easy Card to be one of the best and easiest greeting card
- Straightforward to
- Integration with
OS X apps iPhoto, iSight and Address Book
- Printing was fast
- Electronic delivery
- Some interface quarks
- Not all menu functions
appear to work
- Email option does
not email entire card, only front page
- Strange bug associated
with ".DS_Store" file
4 out of 5 Mice