Posts Tagged 'freeware'

Enhance Photos With 7 Free Online Tools

From Gizmodo –

Whether you’re sharing photos on Instagram or working on an art project, the quality of the final image matters. Even if you don’t have something like Photoshop installed, you can get your pictures looking their best with the help of some free, simple-to-use web apps—and we’ve picked out seven of the best for your needs right here.

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Pic View – FreeFile Review

Pic View is “a simple picture viewer and manipulator”, from Alternate Tools, not to be confused with PicView, which is an iPhone app. Alternate Pic View performs basic photo editing functions with a few additional tools thrown in. It is Windows only and a portable version is available.

The Good – The interface is clean and easy to navigate. All of the image adjustments (color, brightness, contrast, etc.) work well, as do the image filters. It includes simple shape and text tools. It can batch convert images into 13 different formats, run a slideshow of a folder of images, and generate a QR code.
The Bad – This is a limited program. The image adjustments are basic. Very little can be done to customize the interface.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I find this program too limited for my workflow, so I can’t recommend it. However, I found the QR Code Generator to be an interesting addition, which is available from Alternate Tools as a stand alone application.

Download the QR Code Generator HERE

Download Pic View HERE

Read more reviews at DanKostecki.com.

Annotation With iPhotoDraw – FreeFile Review

iPhotoDraw is a free program for making annotations on images. The images can be existing images on your pc or screen captures from iPhotoDraw’s own screen capture function. The interface is attractive and well organized. iPhotoDraw is for Windows only.

The Good – Some might consider iPhotoDraw a one trick pony, but it feels very full-featured. For annotations, a good selection of simple shapes and lines are available, and can be adjusted in numerous ways. Drop shadows and outer glows can be added. The built-in screen capture is handy. Simple image adjustments are also included under the ‘Image’ menu.

The Bad – The only thing that I found confusing was saving. If you want to save a screen capture, just use ‘Save As’ – no problem. However, after making annotations, ‘Save As’ will only save the background image, not the annotations. To save the image with the annotations you must use ‘Export’. Not a problem, once you understand the process.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

Everyone occasionally needs to make a screen grab and add annotations to it. iPhotoDraw is the ideal solution to create a good looking screen capture with a minimum of fuss. This free program is definitely a keeper.

Download iPhotoDraw HERE

Read more FreeFiles at DanKostecki.com

 

Gravit Designer – FreeFile Review

Gravit Designer is a vector graphics editor – great for making illustrations. Gravit Designer is an online app as well as a desktop program. The desktop version is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and ChromeOS. Mobile versions are in the works. I took a look at the online version and the Windows portable version, which requires no installation. The online and desktop programs are identical.

The Good – All of the essential tools are present. If you are familiar with Illustrator, you will know what to do. If not, take some time to explore the tools. Links to tutorial videos on YouTube are available on the left side ‘Tutorials’ tab. A large collection of shapes and premade illustrations are available on the left side ‘Libraries’ tab. The interface is well organized. The default purple theme can be changed to dark or light themes. Illustrations can be exported as pdf, svg, png, or jpg.

The Bad – The online app had issues rendering the workspace in Firefox, my browser of choice. I tested 3 other browsers, and found rendering issues in Microsoft Edge, but Chrome and Vivaldi had no problems. If you want to try the online app, use Chrome. Gravit Designer is not compatible with Illustrator files. There are few user adjustments or settings.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

Is Gravit Designer a replacement for Illustrator? No. However, it is all most people need to create illustrations. For the casual illustrator, it’s ideal. I recommend using the desktop program to avoid the browser issues altogether.

Download Gravit Designer HERE

Get the eBook FreeFile Reviews at Amazon

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

DocPad – FreeFile Review

Text editors are supposed to do one thing – edit plain text, but DocPad is a text editor that includes many useful tools, such as Spellcheck, Calendar, and a Macro Recorder. The default user interface is a colorful, slightly dated Windows Xp look. The interface has an incredible number of user adjustable options; however, simply changing the skin to one of the less colorful options (Understated or Old School) helps greatly. DocPad is Windows only.

The Good – So many useful tools are included, it’s difficult to decide which ones deserve a mention. My favorites are Spellcheck and Character Map. There are also Search & Replace, a simple Calendar, a Calculator, one-click access to Change Text Case, and a Statistics panel. The program also offers access to many Windows tools through the ‘Interface’ menu. Most of the tools and options are available via right-click as well as on the toolbar and menu. User adjustments are available for most aspects of the interface. 100 levels of undo.

The Bad – I found no real issues with DocPad. Minor annoyances include the default interface needing an update from the dated Xp look. The Spellcheck requires an additional download and installation (definitely well worth it). Being a text editor, it opens and outputs only plain text.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I really like DocPad. It has replaced Notepad on my PC, but I’m still trying to get used to my text editor not being a stripped down, one-trick pony. If you’re a Notepad user, DocPad will be a great upgrade.

Download DocPad HERE

Get the eBook FreeFile Reviews at Amazon

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

 

FreeFile Reviews Ebook Just Released

I’ve collected all of the FreeFile Reviews into an ebook. It contains over 50 reviews, dating back to 2009. Nearly half of them have just recently been updated.

It is available at Amazon.

For only $ 0.99, or free, if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Get your copy HERE.

Control Panel Replacement – FreeFile Review

neupanel-logo1

nuePanel is an application that attempts to organize many of the settings available in Windows. The sheer number of tools, Control Panel apps, and settings in Windows make that a daunting task, but neuPanel does a very good job of cutting through the clutter.

The Good – It appears that every possible Windows setting is available. The interface is simple, with rows of buttons in the main window and tabs across the top. The buttons are in alphabetical order, which speeds up finding things. ‘God Mode’ is available as ‘Control Panel (God Mode)’ under the ‘Troubleshooting’ tab.

The Bad – A few of the command buttons don’t work (they report ‘cannot find the file specified’). Finding what you want can still take a little time, due to the quantity of buttons available.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I’ve found neuPanel to be a timesaver. It provides one location to find the setting you need. This gets more valuable as Microsoft hides more and more settings. Most Windows users should find neuPanel useful.

Download neuPanel HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com


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