DeltaGraph Pro: Relax, take a bubble graph
Author: Steven Darington
Date: August, 1993
Keywords: pro deltapoint software graphing application utility review chart charting presentation
Text: DeltaGraph Pro is a color business charting, graphics and presentation package featuring 40 different chart types, including; 2-D, Text, and 3-D charts, a slide-show presentation module that includes QuickTime support, custom colors, gradient fills, and chart-template libraries. The manual is very well written and easy to understand and use. A thorough, context-sensitive, online ''Help'' system gives immediate access to information about all elements of the program. Even a spell-checker is included. The program comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. All System 7 features are supported, including publish-and-subscribe, balloon help, Apple Events, and TrueType. The program also includes a built-in link to Excel.
The minimum configuration required to run DeltaGraph Pro is: 2MB RAM on a MacPlus w/hard drive, running System 6.0.2. To utilize DeltaGraph Pro's 3-D charting capabilities, a 68020 or 68030 processor is recommended. A math co-processor will further enhance performance, though it's certainly not required, as the speed with which the program calculates and draws charts is very acceptable. The Installer and supporting files come on four 800k disks. In disk-to-disk copying for backup purposes, the Finder produced an unusable Disk 1; remedied by using a third-party disk-copy application. The Installer provides two options; ''Easy Install'' and ''Customize.'' ''Easy'' requires about 6.5MB of hard disk space to install all the files. ''Customize'' allows installation of only those files intended to be used; the amount of hard disk space used depending on the options chosen. All virus detection applications must be disabled prior to installing DeltaGraph Pro. Installation was on a Mac LC (68020, no coprocessor) with 4MB RAM running System 6.0.7. In slightly less than five minutes DeltaGraph Pro was completely installed using the Easy Install option. A special font called DeltaSymbol is included in TrueType, non-TrueType, and PostScript formats. The installer puts the three files into the System folder. If using Adobe Type Manager (ATM) with System 7, the non-TrueType fonts must be installed to avoid a conflict with ATM. If using a System prior to System 7, the screen font must be manually installed with the Font/DA Mover, version 3.8 or higher (if you open the DeltaSymbol suitcase and see no fonts, the Font/DA Mover is an earlier version). The screen font can also be used with a font utility program such as Suitcase II or MasterJuggler. In a ''Notebook'' window, numerical and text data is entered in the familiar rows-and-columns format of a spreadsheet for creating numeric charts, or text data can be entered in a hierarchical format for creating bullet or organizational charts. A document can have any combination of Data and/or Text pages in a Notebook to the maximum allowed by available RAM, though only one Data or Text page can be displayed at a time. When data is selected and plotted in the Notebook window, a chart is displayed in a ''Chart'' window -- up to 100 separate Chart windows are allowed in a document. Every element of a chart can be easily edited and manipulated. Column charts can be plotted with a variety of shapes, including pyramids and cylinders, and color can be added to any chart element. The program provides gradient-fill support and a complete set of drawing tools, including a B*zier tool. Backgrounds for Chart windows can be created and applied automatically to as many Chart windows as desired. If the need arises to change the background, it needs only to be changed once, then all the Chart windows using that background are changed automatically. To save the effort of repeated alteration, a custom template of any Chart, Draw, Text, or Imported Graphic object can be stored (with or without data) in a ''Custom Library'' -- up to 64 such templates to a library. The Custom Library is also a convenient method to transfer data to a different file. An unlimited number of Custom libraries can be opened from within a document. A special ''Standard Library'' is automatically opened when the program is launched, and any Custom Library can be thus named. Libraries can also be placed in the ''AutoLibrary Folder'', within the same folder as the application, to load automatically when DeltaGraph Pro is launched. Charts can be compiled into a ''Slide Show'': you specify which chart windows are wanted as slides; organize them in the desired sequence; apply visual and/or audio transitions between slides; then run. An unlimited number of slide shows can be created in each document, but only one can be open at a time. Charts, graphics drawn from within the program, imported EPSF or PICT graphics, or QuickTime movies can be included in a slide show. A stand-alone version of a slide show can be saved, allowing it to be run on any Mac, whether or not DeltaGraph Pro is installed. The stand-alone version can be altered, printed, or elements exported -- almost anything except editing the Chart window is supported. Charts can be exported in EPSF, PICT, Illustrator 1.1, or Scrapbook format. The program provides for printing charts and slides to QuickDraw and PostScript output devices, and can print files directly to disk in a PostScript file for later output. The included Formula Builder -- with 24 built-in functions that can be used with formulas -- allows calculations on selected columns of data. DeltaGraph Pro's Internal Command Language allows automatic chart creation from another application or text string. Using an application that can generate a text string and send it to the Clipboard, ''Command Scripts'' can be created that automatically import data, create charts, and copy them to the Clipboard for transfer back to the original application: a much simpler process than it sounds, demonstrated in an included HyperCard stack. If you're looking for a fast, easy-to-use business tool for graphing and presenting data and want more capability than your basic spreadsheet provides, DeltaGraph Pro may be just what you need.
Available from: DeltaPoint, Inc., 2 Harris Court, Suite B-1, Monterey, CA 93940 (408) 648-4000List Price: $295, Street Price: $199
Copyright © august, 1993 by Steven Darington