It’s a common misconception that you need Photoshop to get really good looking photos. The truth is that there are many excellent image editors out there on the Internet that allow you to make changes to your photos which are as good as anything Photoshop could do. PC Image Editor is one such app, free for personal use (£17 for business use), which allows you to make changes to your images. See all software reviews.
Installation is extremely easy and extremely fast, with no hidden spyware surprises trying to sneak in, such as toolbars. When starting it up for the first time, you will be told that the software is free for personal use, while commercial users need to purchase a license. This becomes one of the main irritants of the entire software app – every time you open up the app to use it for free, that same nag screen is going to keep coming up because you haven’t entered a license code yet. I really hope the developer provides some way in a future release for free users to disable that screen as it gets really annoying after a while. Take a look at Group test: what's the best photo-editing software?
Once you’ve zapped the nag screen, click “open” and navigate to the image you want to make adjustments to. Then on the right hand side, you will see all of the tools open to you. For example, you can resize the photo to either a size that you specify or one of the predefined sizes that the app offers. You can also rotate to various angles, zoom, sharpen, as well as change the color and contrast.
There are also numerous effects on offer which takes a page out of Photoshop's book. PC Image Editor offers a wide range of filters and effects such as blurring, twirling (turning the picture into a round shape) and changing the angle of the picture. If you would like to achieve a unique effect to the picture, then the filters include embossing, halftone (which pretty much turns the color picture black and white), and changing the RGB values of the colors.
Every change is made in real time so you can see how each step of the affects the image. If you realize you’re making a right dog’s dinner of the image, you can click the “undo” button to roll back the last change you made. Once everything is to your satisfaction, you can save or print the new image . Formats which you can save in include all the usual suspects such as JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP and TIFF.
There is also the option to scan an image directly into PC Image Editor using a scanner, but every time I clicked on the “scan” button, PC Image Editor crashed and closed. I don’t know if this is a Windows 8 issue or an issue with PC Image Editor. So it may work for you. Let us know in the comments below if this is a problem you encounter.
These days, with ready access to image editors, there is no excuse for bad photos. If you find that your images need a bit of jazzing up,PC Image Editor offers a basic selection of editing tools that provide the most-used features of more expensive applications. Although it’s not the best image editing program ever, it’s worth a try if you need a few basic tweaks.