PhotoScape 3.3 Review

PhotoScape (Freeware: Windows Only)

(Sidenote: if you are looking for freeware photo editing software and you run Mac OS X or Linux, skip this article and check out Gimp.)

First and foremost, PhotoScape is a free and feature-rich alternative to paid photo-editing programs and it’s been downloaded over 6 million times (according to CNET) with an average review of 4 stars and it is highly recommended for beginners.  Those who are tried-and-true Photoshop fans may not love the interface but it’s worth a shot — it is free but it is not a heavy-duty editing app.

Functionality and User Friendliness:

Photoscape's Circular Navigator

Photoscape's Circular Navigator

One of the most noticeable things about PhotoScape is just how different its layout is from Photoshop.  Rather than the rectangular toolbars that you can open and close on command, you’ll find a circular navigator and tabs at the top of the screen.  Clicking through the tabs presents most, if not all, of the tools you’ll need. As for tools, you have plenty to choose from, including:

•    RAW Image support.
•    Standard features (red eye removal, contrast/lightness editing, etc).
•    Batch editing/batch printing.
•    Screen capture (a handy enough add-on).

What PhotoScape lacks in functionality, it makes up for in ease-of-use.  You won’t find layer support, nor will you be able to do any of the fancy things you can do with other programs but you can turn your not so-so snaps into frame-worthy shots with its retouching tools.  Some users have mentioned its lack of a Leveling/Straightening tool.  And, for a graphic editing software, it has clunky looking “old-school” icons circa Windows 1998.

Creating an animated GIF on Photoscape.

Creating an animated GIF on Photoscape.

PhotoScape also supports animated GIF files (anigifs), which is pretty surprising for freeware.  It takes a little getting used to but PhotoScape has a pretty respectable “Help” menu that will allow you to learn how to use most of its tools adequately.

PhotoScape 3.3 is only available for Windows.  For comparable Mac-compatible programs, check out GIMP  (Here’s a review on it).

Bottom Line:

Probably not the best choice for very precise editing but great for quick fixes.  It’s easy to learn (intuitive, almost) and free.  Definitely worth a download to supplement your photo-editing tools.  Also look at GIMP and PhotoFiltre.

Final Mentions:

There’s not too much to be said about PhotoScape other than the fact that it is free and easy to use.  It lacks any “awesome features” — at least that I could see but if you’ve found something worthwhile, please write to me (or comment) and I’ll be sure to mention it!

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 1:33 am and is filed under Web Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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