What's New in Neon Wizard 6.5
Neon Wizard 6.5 has been enhanced from top to bottom to be more capable and more efficient. New features have been added and existing features have been improved to give you more design and production power. The core neon layout tools have been updated with new options, the neon editing tools have been refined and streamlined, and the Plot Manager has been redesigned. The import and export filters have been updated, and there is a new emphasis on data integrity to ensure smoother operation with neon features.
What's New in Version 6.5?
Here is a list of the improvements since 6.0:
- Neon Preview now works with groups, allowing your entire layout to be previewed
- PDF import and export support
- Optional LED Wizard module
- Improved AI/EPS importing
- Import any Adobe Type1 and OpenType fonts
- High Quality Anti-Aliased Rendering mode
- Anchor points feature, which lets you choose from 9 anchor points about which numeric settings apply, such as the x,y position or the rotation angle.
- Move to Layer command, which makes it a snap to move objects between layers in very large and complex layouts.
- The Text Notes feature is enhanced with titles and fields on the left side.
- You can now use the alpha keys (A instead of Ctrl+A) when customizing the keyboard accelerators.
Neon Design Tools
The venerable Auto Tube Layout feature, the heart of channel letter layouts, now has an Auto Tube Spacing capability for double tube layouts, and Auto Tube Count for larger letters. There is also a new Property Bar that contains all of the options and lets you see a Preview before committing to the layout. Neon Preview has been totally redesigned to give a much more realistic neon glow and a number of options to get it just right, including centerline thickness, glow on the background, color of the tube and the background, and a quality setting. Neon Summary is a great new reporting tool that gives you a summarized table of all letters and their tube lengths. Tube End Gap lets you set the default distance (as a percentage of the stroke width) between the end of a tube and the edge of a channel letter.
Fonts and Text
We have continued to add new capabilities to our world-class text editing features. The new Styles feature lets you save all the text properties of a given job, such as font, size, color, etc., so that you can easily recall them next time you have that job. The Font Wizard enables you to match the font of scanned text so that you can type in a high quality Sign Wizard font instead of vectorizing the text. And of course, the new Text Property Bar shows all of the relevant information about your text at all times, without cluttering up the screen. Text Notes lets you add relevant information about the job like the little sticky notes on your desk. Finally, there are Full Color Animated Previews for all text transformations
A number of new design tools have been added, and several others have been improved, giving you more tools to do design work in Neon Wizard. The Nested Grouping capability means that you can have groups within groups in a heirarachy for much greater design flexibility. You can see everything in your layout in the improved Layers Palette, where you can arrange, edit, and view information about the various objects of your layout. The History Window, along with Undo and Redo, shows all of your actions and lets you go back and forth through them as you design. The new Distribute tool, and improvements to Step and Repeat, Guidelines, Shapes, and the Border Tool will keep you feeling like an artist.
Effects and Distortions
Neon Wizard has several new and improved effects for greater design capabilities. Text on a Path enables you to define a complex path for the text and adjust the letter spacing according to the path. Outline now has an option for a second outline, and Weld has a new option called Common Weld. The Soft Shadow has been completely redesigned and is a great feature for printing job proofs and previews. You can also now save your favorite Warp templates for future use. Neon Wizard does a lot more than just create neon layouts!
Vector Graphics Tools
Since many designs are imported or scanned into Neon Wizard, and given the wide array of originating programs, formats, and quality of original artwork, we have created a feature called Optimize Vectors (which has replaced Smooth Vectors), to clean up the quality of these designs. In addition, we have updated the Import/Export filters so that you can more easily move your layouts between programs as necessary. Vector Editing has been improved with a new Property Bar, Sharp Corner Tool, and improved Bezier curve digitizing and editing.
Image Manipulation Tools
To further enhance the ability to create realistic previews of neon signs, we have added some additional capabilities for handling images in Neon Wizard. The new Image Property Bar contains basic image manipulation options such as Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation adjustments, as well as Cropping, Flipping, and Rotating images. You can also import and export in a variety of bitmap formats. More advanced options can be added with the higher levels of Sign Wizard 6.5.
A major part of Neon Wizard's productivity benefits come from the superior design of the program. Functions are quick and easy to use, with Real Time Animations, Previews, Property Bars, and Online Help. Most features have a graphical design option with a numeric display as well. The new user interface also includes a series of palettes on the right side of the screen that display the Layers, History, Job Info, and Color palettes. Of course, the workspace can be completely customized to suit your needs.
Plotting/Cutting and Printing
The Plot Manager has been given a re-design for quicker access to common functions, such as Rotate, Mirror, and Step and Repeat. Furthermore, you now have the ability to plot using the Windows Printer Driver architecture, meaning that all of your plotters are available on your whole network just like printers. Speaking of printers, the Print dialog box has been improved with a better Print Preview and more options for making proof prints of your neon jobs. Neon Wizard 6 also adds the Channel Letter Return Patterns feature, which was only available previously as a separate module.