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Graphics

The graphics layer is the only part of ClarisWorks that can be described as truly disappointing. Although it supports color fills and lines, it’s otherwise a generic draw program. Other than the text and spreadsheet frames, it has only straight line (with or without arrows), rectangle, oblong, circle, arc, polygon, irregular polygon, and fill tools. The oblong tool does have a nice corner smoothing algorithm, as does the irregular polygon. The graphics document layer has the sophistication of the original MacDraw.

It’s a mystery to me why the company that publishes MacPaint couldn’t come up with just a few painting tools. ClarisWorks has no painting capabilities, despite the misleading use of clip art in the tutorials and manuals. Given that draw/paint and word processing are the most heavily used modules in most works environments, it’s a serious design mistake. If you rely on paint-level graphics, you’ll have to buy another program to supplement ClarisWorks. However, the draw graphics should suffice for many student compositions or general lab reports.

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