DavkaWriter Dimensions is a great program for personal users, but it is a must- have program for synagogues and schools. This program will provide your school or synagogue with the texts that are most commonly used and this will surely save your institution hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run.
Upon opening up the box and popping the CD into the computer, the installation was pretty clear-cut. The first prompt you will get is to tell the program whether you have DavkaWriter Platinum or DavkaWriter 2001. (It is important that you choose the right version of DavkaWriter. The program requires this because the files need to be installed in the correct folder for it to work properly.) Once that selection is made you are able to proceed further.
You eventually will come to a window that will let you choose one of three ways to install the program. The first option is to run a complete installation. This installation will install all of the texts, fonts, etc. – in other words, everything. The second option allows you to install all of the texts without the extra fonts. The third option is to run a custom installation wherein you can choose which texts you would like to install. The last option is a good option if you are low on disk space and if you only need some of the texts.
If you have the space and don’t mind the extra fonts, the complete installation is the way to go. Why? Simple. So that you won’t need to scramble for the disk when you need to install a text you didn’t install during the custom installation. Not having to go tearing through your house, turning it upside down, later on, to locate that disk, only to find that is scratched and you can’t even use it, is worth the extra time during installation!
The texts that come with Davka Writer dimensions are as follows:
1. English Text of Tanach. This will come in handy if the clientele you are dealing with have a hard time with Hebrew.
2. Shabbos Zemiros – Hebrew text of Zemiros with nikkud. If you make a simcha on Shabbos and don’t have enough benchers, this will come in handy. What I liked about this is that there is a section in the Zemiros that have a lot of well-known songs that are sung today.
3. Pesach Hagaddah is good for communal sedarim. Not only does the Hagaddah have the Hebrew Text, it also includes an English translation by Rabbi Zev Shostak.
4. A Machzor for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur with the Ashkenazi and Sephard (polin) formats will allow you to provide your holiday guests in your synagogues with a machzor, in case extra machzorim is not within the synagogue’s budget.
5. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch – Hebrew text with nikkud; Hebrew-Aramaic text of Gemara with Rashi – these texts will help you create references for your lectures in the synagogue or when you teach your students in school. The program allows you to print this out, saving you from having to make copies of pages from seforim (which sometimes might infringe on copyright laws).
As a bonus, the program comes with three new fonts from the Guttman Font collection.
All these things sound great. However, most people get very concerned when dealing with an accompaniment program. Their greatest fear is that the program will not be fully integrated with the program it is supposed to be integrated into or an accompaniment to. However, with DavkaWriter Dimension, this fear is not even an issue. The texts can be edited, copied, pasted, and even stylized. The texts you want to print can most definitely be manipulated to your liking. In fact, in DavkaWriter Platinum, the texts are in the text library along with the other texts you had previously.
The requirements for this program are a PC that runs windows 98 or later and most important of all DavkaWriter 2001 or higher – DavkaWriter Platinum is preferred. (If you don?t have Davka Writer 2001 or higher, good luck when trying to get this program to work.)
The software can be purchased online at www.davka.com and/or at your better local Jewish bookstore.