This latest version should be available soon, however, I not aware of anyone outside of the beta program that has it, let alone any resellers that are actually selling it.
Just for the record….
“Most” of the new features within the core of the SL package are, for the most part, geared towards digital output. However, there is a new application and interface from the production end of things called Print and Cut Manager that can very much be of benefit to not only digital print output, but plotter jobs as well.
I’m asking this as an open ended question to not only you, but anyone that is using SL for mostly cut only jobs; what additional features or changes would you like to see in the current product?
I use version 5, little scared to load version 6. The features I would like to see, maybe they are available on ver. 6 are : Unlimited undos, or redo's. Usually when changing designs or color options, I've noticed I have limited undos, unlike what is available in Corel Draw. I noticed a difference there. Also, when exporting, I would like to see more options available as far as export filters. Presently if I want to load a picture here, I have to save as ai file, import into Corel, then export as a jpeg. It would be nice to have the filters available such as Corel has for exporting. Why not have the same file extensions available to export, as they do for importing, as I notice there are several more. If I remember others while using the program, I will post, hope other users do also, thanks Bob.
There are some interface options that allow you to control how many “Undo’s” are available. It is expressed in terms of system RAM, so the more resources you can afford to dedicate here, the more Undo’s you will experience. I’ll also add that there is an Undo Navigator, so you are not forced into a linear approach in regards to Undo’s.
“Exporting” is, for the most part, geared towards vector formats. If the desire is for a bitmap format (such as jpg), one must “Render to Bitmap” first, then “Export Image”. I don’t know of a way to do a direct “export” per say of a raster image unless using some of the online services CADlink offers (and then it is just automating the procedure for the most part I believe). There are more then a few folks that would like this to be a bit more streamlined like in others apps, but, it is not the way it currently works. The complete functionality in this area “may” also be limited depending what package level or modules are installed. Let me know if you would like some pointed instruction in this regard.
Just as a FYI, there is a slight difference between e6 and e6.1. A lot of people feel that e6.1 is only a “thermal” release. While the Thermal Module was in fact released in conjunction and is only supported with e6.1 and above, e6.1 did have some features enhancements and many, many bug issues addressed (didn’t fix all of them). I was not a SL 5 user and have very limited knowledge of that version, so I’m not sure what things may have been “dropped” or drastically changed from 5 to 6 or 6.1 that would effect your work flow. I’m aware of some the features and tools that were added, but not sure of anything removed.
Keeping adding to this post or start another as you come across issues or concerns. I’ll do my best to answer what I can and request others to assist or clarify when I can’t.
I am a beta user of 7 and one of the long awaited features is exporting to jpg and bmp. Directly done from the file menu.
I would say upgrading from e6 would have to be thought out some if one didn't need the printing aspect, but so many good features are available from 5 to 7 that I think it would be worth it.
One thing for sure, Print and Cut manager is far better that the previous rip. Lots of control, printing over network, etc.
Bob, refering to your question about any changes I would like to see, one thing I was wondering as I'm playing with the vinyl palettes, what about fills for the sign blanks from some of the major paint companies such as Chromatic, Ronan, Mathews to name a few? Maybe with all the vinyl colors available with e6 this is obsolete, but I often use a vinyl color for the chromatic bulletin colors I use, never really matching them exactly, thought it'd be nice to have the exact color of the paint on the sign blank.
The ability to “easily” change the sign blank color is something I and a few others have requested. As of now, we are limited to under a dozen colors. Not realistic in today’s environment.
If you haven’t looked at a small blurb Fred has under the “content” section here at Signs101, you may want to take a minute or two to check it out. It’s called Non-Standard Background Colors inside SignLab and can be read simply by following the link. Again, it’s possible, just not “nice and easy” like other interface based options are. Maybe this will be changed for a future service release or full blown upgrade feature.
Another option, make your own “paint manufacture” palette, create a box the same size as your sign blank, the fill the box from your custome paint palette. A few extra steps and not as nice as having some actual interface options, but another possible work around in the mean time.
Please drop CADlink an email (in addition to posting here and talking with others) with your suggestion and comments. They are very receptive when the dialog is sincere and thought out. Since these guys don't have to use the software to make a living, they don't always think along the same lines as those that do. When "we" experiance some of these situations, "they" are eager to listen.