You want to make your digital photos look their best, but you don't want to pay for the software that can make it happen?
Here are the issues you need to look for when deciding: How easily does the photo editor let you transfer pictures from your digital camera to your computer? Organizing your photos is another forte of these free applications, though of couse, you can't expect the high-powered, slick organization tools of an Adobe Lightroom. Though it's actually free only if you've bought a Mac recently, iPhoto is one of the best consumer photo-editing options around. The online-only players here—Photoshop Express and Flickr (with its included Aviary photo editor)—add an extra step if you want to start organizing galleries and editing pictures: You have to upload them to the service first.
Another benefit of online services is their integration with other sites you're likely to have pictures on. For those small movies you take with your point-and-shooter, Flickr lets you include video in your galleries, while a free Picasa account not only does that, but now offers rudimentary movie editing. All of these products make it easy for you to order professional prints from a national or local photo processor; many of them let you pick up your snaps at the local drug chain. Together, Flickr and Aviary supply the functionality of the other players in this list—Flickr the online sharing and Aviary the editing. The new version of Picasa keeps what's good about the old and adds some killer new capabilities, such as retouching, face recognition, and movie editing. Not for the faint-of-heart, GIMP is like a free version of Photoshop, though it lacks Photoshop's polish and many of the Adobe product's advanced tools.
The latest version maintains iPhoto's basic-yet-slick editing tools (including a blemish remover and flexible sharpness and noise-reduction filters).
Improved editing tools, a unique people-tagging feature, and the ability to upload to Flickr and other services are welcome features. Fotoflexer tries to combine web-based simplicity with layering and lots more visuals effects, but it's too complicated to be entry-level friendly, and not deep enough to please users familiar with pro-level tools. Pixlr Editor, from Autodesk, is a browser-based photo editor that includes a surprising number of Photoshop capabilities—layers, filters, gradients, and more—its interface even bears a striking resemblance to Photoshop's. Michael got his start in computing as a lad, when he wrote a BASIC program for a Radio Shack TRS-80 that randomly flashed different colors on the CRT while playing different-pitched tones. Microsoft will push the Windows 10 Platform forward with this forthcoming Anniversary Update. At its Build conference, Microsoft announced the availability of its augmented-reality headset to developers. They're not the only choices for designers, but Adobe's applications are among the best, and no other company can offer such a comprehensive range. Get the best tech deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable tech news and more! TechRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 may have gathered all the attention, but its baby brother Photoshop Elements has been quietly growing up. If you can't afford to purchase software, you can still find free software to create and edit images.
When you want to add artistic effects or drawings to your website or printed material, try Serif's free drawing and graphics software. An easy to use Java program that allows you to digitize data points off of scanned plots, scaled drawings, or orthographic photographs. Adobe Premiere Elements 13 vs Cyberlink PowerDirector 13 Ultra comparison review: What's the best video-editing software? Plenty of free video apps allow you to quickly shoot and edit short video clips for uploading to your favourite social media sites, but for longer projects ita€™s worth investing in a proper video-editing software. Plenty of free video apps allow you to quickly shoot and edit short video clips for uploading to your favourite social media sites. Both Premiere Elements and PowerDirector have now reached the grand old age of version 13, but it’s PowerDirector that seems to have more new ideas at the moment.
In addition to its existing selection of transition effects, PowerDirector now includes a Transition Designer that allows you to import an image and use it as a kind of mask through which one video clip can fade into another. Both Premiere Elements and PowerDirector provide two different editing modes that are designed to cater for beginners and more experienced users. More experienced users can opt for the Full Feature Editor, which provides access to the program’s multi-track timeline and its full range of editing tools. When it comes to transitions, PowerDirector and Premiere Elements both provide a good set of basic cuts, fades and wipes. Video effects are more important, as you’ll often need colour adjustment tools to enhance the appearance of your video clips, as well as more eye-catching special effects that help to create drama and atmosphere.
Premiere Elements allows you to pile multiple effects onto your video clips, and then displays controls for all those effects on screen beside the main playback window.
The video clips you work with will generally contain audio as well, so a good video-editing program also needs to provide at least basic controls for working with audio. If the audio track is poor quality then you can delete it altogether, and both programs provide special tracks in the timeline where you can record your own voice-overs or insert a separate music soundtrack. Premiere Elements includes a useful selection of sound effects that you can add to your clips, and also a number of ready-made music clips that you can use for your soundtracks.
Good-looking titles can add a professional touch to your video projects, and both programs provide a good set of tools for adding text for titles and credits. PowerDirector doesn’t give you quite so much help in the form of templates and predefined animations for your titles.
But, in addition to the Title Designer, PowerDirector also includes an option specifically designed for creating sub-titles. There’s very little to choose between these two programs when it comes to the variety and power of their editing tools. Therea€™s very little to choose between these two programs when it comes to the variety and power of their editing tools. ArcSoft Perfect365 is a free image software that helps you to make cosmetic changes in an image automatically. This free photo editing software can bring cosmetic changes to your images with just a single click.
This free image retouching tool is very easy to use and comes with an attractive user interface. When Apple released Final Cut Pro X last year, many veterans were up in arms as it wasn't just an update to the program they'd come to know, love and rely on, it was a complete departure from what they were used to. Breathe easy: There's an abundance of free products—both installed software and Web-based—that can do a surprising amount of photo editing and even enhancement without costing you a penny. How effective and simple are its tools for editing your photos so that they'll look their best? When you connect the USB cable or insert the card into a media slot, these programs will start up, let you batch-name and upload all the new images—and even digital movies, since pretty much every point-and-shooter now includes video-recording capability. But with the free programs, you can group pictures based on folders created for each import session and virtual albums of pictures selected from these, and you can organize them by date or tags. The technology is included in Apple, iPhoto, Picasa, and Windows Photo Gallery, each implementing it a little differently.
Red-eye eliminating tools have become de rigueur, and they're now more effective and simpler than ever.
Uploading from a local gallery to your Web gallery is simpler, and you can keep local and Web galleries in sync, no matter which side you change—Web or program.
With Photoshop Express, you don't get help when you plug your camera into your PC; instead you have to transfer them to a local folder, then upload them, and only then can you start editing, organizing, and sharing.
Photoshop Express can work with photos from your Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, and even Picasa accounts.
If you'd rather print yourself, most offer a variety of preset standard sizes, along with proof-sheets or wallet photo sheets.


Flickr treats your photos as a "stream," so everything you store on the service appears in temporal order. The installed software works seamlessly with the online galleries, and the two can even be synced automatically.
It offers an elegant, easy way to import, organize, improve, and produce quality output from your digital photos.
Its excellent panorama-stitching tool and surprisingly good online photo galleries on SkyDrive are other plusses for the recently name-shortened Windows Photo Gallery. A native New Yorker, he has at various times headed up PC Magazine’s coverage of Web development, enterprise software, and display technologies.
You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details without your permission. Integration with Picasa's free Hello instant picture-sharing software lets you share .
Okay, I will start with Fonts (I actually hate that word, I learned the old way with Typefaces being the family and fonts being how they are used . Our graphics editing software comparison allows you to sort according to price, compatible operating . The GNU Image Manipulation Program is a powerful and free piece of software that can handle all basic image editing tasks and much more .
Krut Computer Recorder is a free software for capturing screens, videos and recording streaming audios that pass on your PC.
It uses darker tones to make your images stand out more, and this gives it more visual consistency with Lightroom and, for that matter, Photoshop Elements.
Here we compare Adobe Premiere Elements 13 and CyberLink PowerDirector 13 Ultra to see what's the best video-editing software.
If you have two or more people with cameras shooting the same event from different angles then the video clips they record will obviously contain different images.
We like the new Guided Edits that show you how to place moving video within your titles, and to use masks to highlight specific areas within a video clip, but these Guided Edits are essentially simpler ways of presenting existing tools.
When you launch PowerDirector you are asked if you want to use the Easy Editor or the Full Feature Editor. Our only complaint here is that there’s a huge leap between these two editing modes, and less experienced users may struggle when they try to move from the Easy Editor into the more advanced editing mode.
If you want Premiere Elements to do all the work you can select the Video Story option that we mentioned earlier and just let it compile your movie for you. Click on the Guided tab and you’ll see a list of Guided Edits that provide step-by-step help with many common editing tools and techniques.
Both programs allow you to apply effects by dragging the effect from a menu and then dropping it directly onto a clip in the timeline. Premiere gives you lots of help by providing a range of templates for projects such as birthday videos or sports events. However, it does include a Title Designer module that provides very fine control over text properties such as character spacing, shading and reflection effects.
There’s a special track for sub-titles in the main timeline, so you can type in the text and then quickly move the sub-title to the required point on the timeline, or enter the time code if you know exactly when you want the sub-titles to appear. If you want to try a new look without adding any makeup to your face, you can try Perfect 365. You will get to see some before and after images after opening this free image editing tool. Of course, you can't expect all the power and finesse of Adobe Photoshop CC, but you'll still be able to make your pictures to look good, along with easy and inviting way to share them with friends and family. One of the programs, Picasa 3.9, makes working with scanners, webcams, and screen captures simpler, too. Picasa and Photo Gallery's tags work both in the installed software and in the online galleries. Picasa will even automatically find every eye in a picture and fix them all with the click of a button.
Though it doesn't offer its own online galleries like Windows Photo Gallery and Picasa do, iPhoto easily shares to Flickr and Facebook, and comments on the latter even show up in the application. Picasa doesn't give you the most free storage, but its 1GB was more than sufficient for the nearly 1,700 photos and videos I uploaded from a 7.1-megapixel camera, because files are compressed on upload.
That said, the online editors are surprisingly powerful: Both have red-eye correction, straightening, and special effects. But online software doesn't have a monopoly on Web hooks: most can upload directly to third-party sites such as Flickr, and some offer plug-in features that developers can use to extend this capability to any other photo-hosting sites.
The movie feature in Picasa doubles as a slideshow creator, with the ability to add transitions and musical backgrounds to your presentations. For the full details on each personal photo-editing and-sharing solution, follow the links below to read our in-depth reviews.
The Aviary editing component of the service (also available as the excellent Aviary iPhone app) offers a simple, clear interface for performing all the standard photo fixes—lighting, cropping, color, red-eye correction, and more. Michael cowrote one of the first overviews of Web Services (pretty much the progenitor of Web 2.0) for a general audience. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Music and Classics from Trinity College, Hartford, and a Master's in teaching Latin from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on Corel Draw, Illustrator, or Photoshop, check out . This digitizing software tool converts an image file showing a graph or map, into numbers.
You can choose one of four different brightness values in the Preferences if you're not happy with the default. As you might expect, these two rivals share many features in common, but they present many of these features in different ways, so here’s our analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of both programs.
However, they will all still share the same audio track, so the new Audio Sync tool can analyse the audio within multiple clips and use it to align your clips at the correct points in the timeline. The same applies to the new Video Story feature, which presents you with a storyboard divided into chapters so that you can quickly compile a batch of clips into a complete movie. There’s a quick-start guide that introduces the basics of editing, along with guides for using transitions, titles and special effects. Many of these templates include predefined animation effects, such as scrolling credits for the end of a movie, and all you have to do is type your text into the template.
The Title Designer also provides keyframe animation controls so that you can move and resize text, or make it fade in and out.
Premiere Elements will appeal more to less experienced users as its Guided Edits do a great job of introducing important editing tools and techniques. This freeware can detect faces automatically and allows you to make cosmetic changes in those images.
If you have any question or comment, feel free to share your thoughts on the article in the comments section! Those who fell into the latter category started to shop around, and Adobe was only too pleased to welcome new clients to their platform. They'll all also attempt to find all pictures of the same person, though this only works well after you've identified enough photos of the individual.
Most of the products here—including iPhoto, Photoshop Express, Windows Photo Gallery, and Picasa—even go the extra step and offer a retouching tool that can smooth out skin problems in your portraits.
The galleries inside the iPhoto program are slick, with thumbnails that preview all the pictures when you drag the mouse across them, and good-looking slideshows. Flickr has recently increased its free account storage to a massive 1-terabyte, which you're unlikely to fill any time soon.
Naturally, though, the Web-based interfaces lack the immediacy you'll get with a local app.
Before that he worked on PC Magazine’s Solutions section, which in those days covered programming techniques as well as tips on using popular office software.


Automatic fixes in Organiser are take-it-or-leave-it single button effectsGone is the dark, grey-on-grey look of previous versions; in comes a bright, fresh livery with much more readable text, clear tool icons, and a far fresher and more appealing look overall. Photo editing, vector drawing, dtp, web graphics, Flash animation - this tool does it all .
And staying on a purely functional level, a new Background Save and Auto-recovery option should provide a level of protection against crashes, while the introduction of Adobe's Mercury Graphics Engine is designed to speed up processor-intensive tools like Liquify, Puppet Warp and Transform.
This makes it much quicker and easier to cut from one camera to another and to create collages with footage from multiple cameras. However, PowerDirector lives up to its name, with some impressive features, such as its new Audio Sync option and sub-titling tools, that may well win over more experienced users. You can digitally retouch your photos using this freeware like you see the portraits printed in magazines and newspapers. With the release of the latest version, part of their major CS6 update, Adobe is working very hard to make sure their clientele stays put.Redesigned interfaceThe first thing you'll notice is that the entire interface has been redesigned. In Picasa, you can even create a "face slideshow," transitioning through photos centered on a loved one's visage. Windows Photo Gallery adds an excellent panorama stitcher, courtesy of the company's PhotoSynth technology. Windows Live shares to the usual Flickr and Facebook, but its own SkyDrive photo galleries, with 7GB free, are surprisingly well designed and feature-rich. This comprises Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver and Fireworks (but for some reason not Contribute, the web content editor).
The new features include much more sophisticated cropping options, content-aware Move and Patch tools, a very interesting Blur Gallery, 'adaptive' wideangle lens adjustments, skintone-aware selections, improved auto adjustments and, surprisingly, some useful video editing tools.Photoshop CS6 can now make selections based on skintones, and the new, 'intelligent' auto adjustments are drawn from thousands of hand-edited images When you crop your photos you can now use a range of overlays, such as the Golden Ratio, Rule ofF Thirds or a simple grid to help you decide on the composition. Once you are done retouching your image, you can save it on your PC or share it with your friends on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter directly from this freeware.
Everything is centred around the editing process with very large Source and Program monitors at the top, and huge thumbnails in the browser section.
You can save crop presets which include image size and resolution and, most signficantly, crops are now non-destructive. Although they now take up a lot more room, they're also extremely useful as you can see at a glance which clip you'd like to work with next. Most of the applications share a common user interface, which has been completely redesigned. You can come back later, in other words, and re-do them if you change your mind.The Crop tool now shows a series of different compositional overlays such as the Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio Adobe's also extended its clever content-aware technology to include the Move and Patch tools.
Adobe has definitely taken a cue from iMovie and Final Cut Pro X: move your cursor over a clip to skim through your footage. Instead of toolbars and palettes (or panels, as Adobe calls them) floating around your screen, they're all contained within a window, the Application Frame.
It's almost always worth opening selected images in the Editor to get to grips with them properly.An entirely separate application, files are transferred from the Organiser to the Editor to work on them, and this is a fairly straightforward process. In theory, you can now move objects around and have Photoshop fill the gaps that are left behind.. Even tasks that are offered directly by the Organiser, such as creating calendars and photo books, are in fact processed by the Editor.Refine Edge creates perfect cutouts, with far greater ease than ever beforeEditorThis is where the main body of Photoshop Elements 11 resides. We suspect this may be the way of the future; it feels weird at first, but it's easier to manage. It's divided into three different working sections, each of which caters to a different level of user: Quick, Guided and Expert. The Mercury playback engine is actually very impressive and played everything back in real time, even clips with many effects applied to them.The new Warp Stalibiser effect helps smooth out any light jitters from hand-held camera workThere are some new editing tools available, like double-clicking on an edit point which brings up a trim view where you can alter both sides of the edit at the same time.
Useful toolsThe Application Bar at the top is harder to defend, awkwardly combining options that are duplicated elsewhere, and we're uneasy about Adobe introducing its own user interface elements into Mac OS X. Although the three modes are capable of acting independently of each other, you can move smoothly between them - and this pays huge benefits, particularly when moving from Guided to Expert mode.Modify cutouts with the Selection brush.
Increasingly, there's a crossover between stills photography and video, particularly for professional photographers. You can even insert a default transition between your clips from there, and all this is done from the Program Monitor.Warp speedYou'll find a few new video effects as well, like Warp Stabiliser, which has the double purpose of stabilising your shots (as long as your jitters aren't too extreme) and compensating for rolling shutter.
Parameters are at the bottom of the screenIn all three modes, the Options bar that shows tool settings has moved from the top to the bottom of the screen, and it shows all the parameters in a clear, understandable way.
Photoshop CS6 can trim and combine video clips, insert transitions and even add titles, and all within the familiar Photoshop environment.
Together with the tool panel and the side panel, this does of course take up a lot of screen space, but they can all be slid out of the way, and there's even a floating panel mode for those who prefer it.Operations such as aligning layers are now easier, thanks to bolder, clearer panelsQuick modeIn this stripped-down view, there are only a handful of tools - selection, redeye, tooth brightening, text and healing. The Smart Fix, Exposure, Colour and other buttons that were one-click effects in the Organiser now pop open to reveal a 3 x 3 grid of variations, each showing the target image. ACR 7 (yes, it's annoying that the version numbers are out of step) has a new processing engine and improved tone-mapping, leading to a redesign of the tonal controls and better results when recovering shadows and highlights in RAW files. It's also been designed with the future in mind by introducing support to some of the latest formats.
There are other simple controls as well - so the Colour adjustment, for instance, can target Saturation, Hue or Vibrance, as well as having an Auto button.In Quick mode, adjustments are simple, but with a wide degree of user controlWhile the panels have been pared down, the menus still offer the full Photoshop Elements 11 experience, with access to all the filters, adjustments and techniques.
ACR also brings a greater range of controls to the Adjustment Brush, adding localised white balance, noise reduction and moire corrections.Adobe Camera Raw 7 has a new tone-mapping engine, better shadow and highlight recovery and extra Adjustment Brush options The improvements here are exactly the same as those in Lightroom 4, which is no surprise as that too is built around Adobe Camera Raw 7. It's good in the sense that there's consistency between the two products, though it also creates an overlap that could make it harder to figure out which of the two programs you need.
Design Premium does include the Extended version of Photoshop you can pay about £450 less for Design Standard if you can live without this and the web apps. The Lens Blur filter has a striking range of controls for photographically authentic blursIt's almost foolproof, demonstrating that nearly anyone can create spectacular effects with ease; and there's enough potential for customisation here to enable many types of image to be processed in the way that suits them. This is what you need to bear in mind if your interests are primarily photographic, Lightroom 4's editing tools are now so sophisticated that you may not often need Photoshop at all. Steep pricesOverall, Creative Suite seems expensive for the small studio or freelance designer, and the upgrade pricing is steep. Guided mode is a terrific learning experience, because it shows the power of Photoshop Elements 11 without frightening the horses.When creating an effect in Guided mode, simple controls take you through each stepExpert modeThe biggest surprise comes when you create an effect in Guided mode, and then switch to Expert. And if you do, you might find Elements 10 perfectly adequate for the layers, montages and other effects that Lightroom can't do, rather than paying ten times more for Photoshop CS6. You'll find that the image you've been working on is now presented as a series of layers, masks, adjustments and filters, exactly as if you'd created all the effects directly in Expert mode in the first place. Nonetheless, you're getting a feature-packed set of pro apps, and while it may not be an essential, Creative Suite 4 is the obvious choice for anyone who's serious about design.
As well as a powerful Lens Blur effect, there are new Comic, Graphic Novel and Pen and Ink filters, all of which create variously hand-drawn looks.
But they do so with a tremendous sense of realism, and frankly are far better than anything Photoshop itself can produce. A real pleasure to work with, these are hugely entertaining filters.You'll certainly benefit from Photoshop Elements 11's new Refine Edge dialogue, which has now been fully updated to provide sophisticated cutout tools - not just smoothing edges, but isolating tricky areas such as hair from difficult backgrounds. The Comic filter creates striking drawn effects that you can fully customiseVerdict It's also far easier to add presets in this release than it was in Photoshop Elements 10 and others, and it's the first Elements version to support Actions, the automation system that enables you to execute complex series of effects with a keystroke.
Except that you can't create them - you can only use Actions that have been built in Photoshop (and not all effects work). Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is a mature, thoughtful program that has eschewed flashy new features in favour of a genuinely more approachable interface. That said, the Refine Edge tool in itself is enough to warrant the upgrade; the extra filters are the icing on the cake.



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