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FreeFile Review – PixBuilder Studio

I just recently became aware of PixBuilder Studio. This free image editor is similar to Paint.Net, which I reviewed earlier this year – both are quite capable, but with a few differences.

Installation offers the options of a full install or a portable install (very nice). I chose the portable install on Windows 7 and had no issues. PixBuilder Studio is for Windows only. The user interface is very clean and modern and it can be customized to one’s tastes.

Most of PixBuilder Studio’s image adjustments (brightness, contrast, color controls, etc.) are found under the Colors menu on the toolbar. All of these controls perform quite well as do the limited drawing tools. I was surprised to find a Healing Brush Tool, but I found its performance subpar. The Clone Stamp Tool performs much better. Text is edited in a seperate window – my preference is for inline editing – however, in this case, the text editing is well done. My favorite feature is the Zoom Panel. It offers the easiest way to zoom in and out of the workspace that I have seen. This feature should be included in all image editors. Another surprise is the icon editor that is built into the program. Finally, the program performs quickly and reliably.

The only big negative that I found was the few filters and effects included with PixBuilder Studio. It is possible to install Photoshop filters, but few users will go through the involved process to enable them. Hopefully, this will be resolved in a future version.

– – The Bottom Line – –

I was pleasantly surprised by this well done piece of software. Anyone needing a basic photo editor will be very satisfied with PixBuilder Studio. The icon editing functions really make PixBuilder Studio stand out from the crowd. Try it for yourself.

Download PixBuilder Studio HERE

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FreeFile Review – has long been called the best free replacement for Photoshop. That is quite a claim and I checked to see if it lives up to the claim.

The program has an attractive, clean interface that will be very familiar to anyone with photo editing experience. It seems quite sparse when compared with Photoshop – fewer tools on the toolbar and fewer floating pallets are available. This simplicity may be a good thing for the casual user, but frustrating to the more experienced user. The program can open and save the major graphics formats, with the exception of Photoshop’s PSD format.

What I liked about –

Text – The way text is handled is simple and intuitive – very nice. However, kerning and leading is not adjustable and style adjustments are few. It supports layers and unlimited undo. It has a decent selection of filters and more can be added through plug-ins. The overall simplicity of the program is attractive.

Misses include limited selection tools, as well as limited options and adjustments on all tools. is for Windows only.

– – The Bottom Line – –

Is a replacement for Photoshop? No. Photoshop is capable of much more than is capable of. However, for someone with less demanding needs or a thin wallet, is an excellent option. It is free, so give it a shot.

Download HERE or HERE

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