Posts Tagged 'graphics editor'

Photo Pos Pro – FreeFile Review

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Photo Pos Pro is yet another photo editor. It has everything that is expected in a free photo editor and is only available for Windows. A paid version with a selection of more advanced tools is also offered.

— The good – Photo Pos Pro comes with plenty of tools and filters. It has all of the standard adjustments nomally available in most photo editors and many more. I like the right side palette, with the history, layers, and color palettes always visible.

— The bad – The user interface needs work. Very little customization by the user is possible. Every button and toolbar is visible by default, which creates a rather busy workspace. Unneeded tools can be hidden, but they are labeled cryptically (e.g. “CommandBarStripElement1”) in the ‘Customize’ context menu. Ugh! I don’t like the blue highlighting, used throughout the workspace, and I found no way to change it. Care needs to taken when downloading the program, as the latest version (3.0.5) can only be downloaded from Download.com, where unwanted programs are often included with downloads. I was able to download Photo Pos Pro without any ‘extras’. As with all free photo editors, the selection tools leave much to be desired. Tools not available in the free version, are not grayed-out, but instead lead to a web page where the Premium version can be purchased for $25. Ugh!

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

Photo Pos Pro has me confused. I want to recommend it because it is possibly one of the most complete free photo editors, however, too many things made me say “ugh!”. In the end, I give it a thumbs-down.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com.

IrfanView – FreeFile Review

FFR-2015IrfanView-headerIf I were to describe IrfanView in a few words, I would classify it as a graphics viewer/editor, but it is much more than that. Among it’s most notable features is screen capture, icon creation, and batch editing. Plug-ins greatly expand it’s functionality with things such as video player, CD/DVD burning, and slideshow creation.

IrfanView is most effective when used as your system graphics viewer. This is the program that will open to view any graphics file that you click on. Why is this awesome? IrfanView is fast. It supports a ton of formats. It is a first class, simple photo editor. Click on a JPG (or any supported format) and it opens instantly in a photo editor – ready to edit. This function is easy to enable during installation; select the “Images only” button on the ‘associate extensions’ page.

The photo editing controls are rather basic, but give give excellent results. A basic drawing function is included. Program menus and options are extensive and may confuse the new user, but seasoned users will appreciate all of the options. IrfanView is only available for Windows.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

I give IrfanView my highest recommendation. I love its speed and basic photo editing functions. In 1999, I first used it to create an icon, and soon learned that it made an excellent system graphics viewer. I have been using it daily for 16 years and consider it an essential part of Windows. Go get it today.
Download IrfanView HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com.

FastStone Image Viewer – FreeFile Review

FFR-WP-logofaststoneFastStone Image Viewer does what is expected (browse for images, edit and convert them) plus some things not expected. Standout tools include a screen capture tool, batch rename and convert, a slideshow builder, and a very nice clone/heal brush. It is Windows only. A portable version, that needs no installation, is available.

FastStone Image Viewer offers two distinctly different user interfaces. One is a traditional windowed layout. The other one is Full Screen, which displays images full screen, with menus and toolbars available as pop-outs that only appear when your mouse is moved to the edges of the screen. I found the Full Screen mode too distracting and switched to the windowed interface. Switching back and forth is easy through toolbar buttons or Settings menu. I was most impressed with the image editing tools. There are all the standard image and color adjustments as well as curves and levels. My favorite tool is the clone/heal brush, which works very well in removing blemishes from photos. Surprisingly few filters are included. A simple set of drawing tools is available (the text tool is found there). Each adjustment appears in its own window and includes a very handy button to temporarily show the image before any adjustments were made. All major graphic formats are supported. Slideshows with music and transitions can be created and saved as .exe.

– – – –  The Bottom Line – – – –

I was very impressed with the image editing tools. Someone needing to make quick, simple edits will be pleased with this program. Everything works well. I give it two thumbs up.

Download FastStone Image Viewer HERE.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

FreeFile Review – PC Image Editor

PC Image Editor is a simple image editor available for Windows only. This type of program is designed to perform a few simple adjustments quickly. What separates this editor from dozens of other free graphic editors is its interface, which is modeled after Adobe Lightroom, with the most-used tools arranged in tabs on the right side.

The standard color adjustments (Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, etc.) are on the Adjustments tab along with buttons for Auto Levels, Auto Contrast and Invert. All of these adjustments work as expected, except for the Colorize controls, which will add color to an image, but will not remove it. The Filters tab contains 10 filters which work well enough; I would like there to be more. There is really little reason for the last two tabs. The Effects tab contains the normal transform controls and two controls that are better suited for the Filters tab. The Resize tab is self-explanatory.

Positives include opening and saving in most common image formats, the tools work well, and the program is easy to use. I liked the small preview that pops up whenever a tool was used.

Negatives include too few filters and effects. The program’s lack of any selection tools or text tools is understandable, but the lack of a crop tool is a major shortcoming.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

I was prepared to recommend PC Image Editor until I realized that it lacks a crop tool. Adding more filters and effects and, most importantly, a crop tool, will make this program a winner. Until that happens, I feel the program is too limited for most people. If you want to give it a try – PC Image Editor can be downloaded HERE.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

FreeFile Review – The Gimp 2.8

The Gimp has long been considered the best free graphics editor. In the past, when trying the program, I was turned off by the interface that consisted of several floating windows. This issue has been addressed in the new version 2.8 with the Single-Window Mode, which can be enabled in the ‘Windows’ menu. This constrains the program to a single main window as is the norm with most programs. This new interface is pleasant and slightly cluttered. Another welcome change is the Text Editing, which now is done on canvas (in-line). Previously, text was edited in a separate window. The Gimp is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

My enthusiasm for the program quickly evaporated when I tried to get some work done with it. Much of this program is not intuitive; I spent more time reading less-than-helpful help files and the more useful forums than actually testing the program. If you are experienced with other photo editors, The Gimp will be very frustrating. Simple functions, such as ‘deselect’ are not where one would expect them. Other things, such as ‘Adjustment Layers’, are absent. There are seven selection tools, but not a plain ‘Select’ tool. The ‘Heal Tool’ performs as a ‘Clone Stamp Tool’. It seems that non-standard things have been done just to be different.

Positives include a good selection of tools, most of which have plenty of options. It comes with a nice selection of filters. The new Single-Window interface is a welcome change. The Gimp performed well and was stable.
– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

This is a powerful program with a steep learning curve, and you must be willing to put in a lot of work to master it. I can’t recommend The Gimp for most users, but if you are looking for a challenge, The Gimp may fill the bill.

Download The Gimp HERE

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