Aldus is shipping ChartMaker, an applet that provides sophisticated charting capabilities at a list price of $149. ChartMaker works via OLE 1.0, Publish and Subscribe, or the clipboard to add charts to documents created in other programs (you can't print directly from ChartMaker). Features highlighted in Aldus's press release include: 84 chart types (including 3-D charts with a z axis that you can rotate, tilt, and scale), an eye dropper tool to transfer color, custom gradients and fills, the ability to add text or graphics to the chart background, and chart templates. ChartMaker is clearly a product of the times - it requires System 7, a 68020 or better Macintosh, 8 MB of hard disk space, and at least a 2 MB RAM allocation; Aldus recommends a 16 MHz 68030 Macintosh and a 4 MB allocation to ChartMaker.
Aldus also plans to ship additional "Aldus Accessory Products," in both Windows and Mac versions, which - like ChartMaker - will enhance other applications by offering tools for a particular task. ChartMaker is currently available for the Mac; the PC version should be out "later this year." It will be interesting to see if this approach to a collection of applets pays off for Aldus, since many industry leaders and pundits have stated that such applets are the wave of our collective desktop applications future. [TJE]
Aldus Corporation -- 800/628-2320 -- 206/622-5500