WITH ClarisImpact, an integrated business graphics application for Macintosh from Claris, creating high quality presentations should no longer be a difficult and time-consuming process for managers, executives, and administrative staff without formal training in graphics. The program establishes a new category of business productivity software by integrating the cumbersome three-step process of creating, editing and communicating business graphics for powerful business communications. Loading ClarisImpact, you are given three document types: drawings, reports and presentations to create or open. The documents differ mainly in the document format and the kind of output they support. To illustrate, drawing documents have a graphics grid to aid you position your objects accurately. Besides, report documents are word processor-based with consecutive pages complete with title page, header, footer and footnotes. Presentations, on the other hand, show your data on consecutive pages or views with a common background, and are used for producing slide or overhead presentations, or delivering on-screen slide shows. In each of these documents, you are given a wide range of powerful presentation tools which combine simple word processing functions, drawing tools and a variety of built-in models. The term 'model' here means any of the business graphics that users can make with the model tools on the tool panel. Models actually are graphics that can be easily modified to give stunning graphics to their documents. Models, in addition, retain all information on sizing and distribution, connections, style attributes and data source whether users is in a drawing, report or presentation. With models, you can effectively produce professional quality organisation charts, time lines, outlines, flow charts, data charts, calendars and tables by using predefined or customised style options. To add more graphical power to communication, you drag some of the more than 3,000 pieces of editable, object-based clip-art pictures in customisable drag-and-drop libraries to anywhere in your report or presentation. You can modify, re-size and apply special effects such as rotating and flipping to all the pictures. You can also group and ungroup those pictures. Just like ClarisDraw, a new drawing application from Claris for Macintosh and Windows, ClarisImpact is built on the new Claris Graphics Engine (CGE) code base that is the strategic foundation for future graphics products. The CGE offers built-in intelligence to assist non-specialists, seamless cross-platform and cross-product transparency, and unsurpassed levels of performance. Its integrated word processing and presentation capabilities do allow users to combine those 'dazzling' graphics into final presentations, printed reports or slide shows without resorting to multiple applications. For example, as you start to create slides by either entering text directly or pulling in graphic and numeric material from somewhere else, you can tap a single icon to review the results as a full-screen presentation. If you have installed QuickTime and use System 6.0.7 or later, you can add QuickTime movies in your ClarisImpact documents for on-screen animation, and use special effects, such as fading and looping from one slide to the next. ClarisImpact comes with a full set of clearly stated publications, including the Getting Started, User's Guide, and Quick Reference card. Such things will introduce you to the basics of the application and the techniques of how to use it through step-by-step tutorials, and in-depth information filled with detailed explanations. If you have System 7, you can even take advantage of Balloon Help, a supplement to ClarisImpact Help which provides you with on-screen instructions and reference information while you are working with ClarisImpact. Besides, ClarisImpact documents share functions and features with other Claris products, such as ClarisWorks, or MacWrite. For instance, ClarisImpact Tables and Claris Works Spreadsheets share the same set of calculation functions. The program requires an Apple Macintosh Plus or any later Macintosh model with a hard disk and two megabytes of memory for System 6.0.7 or later, or four MB for System 7.x. It is great for administrative assistants, students, and senior managers who have no time for training, or learning program commands to create fascinating business graphics in their reports or presentations. Those who are still using spreadsheets, charting programs, word processors and presentation applications to communicate business information with the use of graphics may be excited to learn the release of ClarisImpact as it can bring all the things into one package. When compared with most high-end programs, ClarisImpact is easy to use, and in the long run would be a lot faster than using those applications, like Aldus FreeHand, designed especially for the professional graphics specialists. It is also ideal for cranking out a quick presentation with things like graphs, time lines, charts and bulleted copy; and it is, indeed, a new, innovative product that does what we have used various products to do in the past. Last, but not least, it significantly simplifies the creation of top-quality business graphics, gives all the things users need to create sound graphics presentations and remains good value for money. The package is now available at Mac Service Centre for $3,110 (list price).