Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
H&M Software StudioLine Photo 2.10
With strong editing tools, a thumbnail preview pane, sharing and online uploading and an integrated link so files can be sent direct to an online print shop, this is an excellent program.
Price$ None (AUD)
Titularly speaking, it's reminiscent of both a cheap 'n' cheerful clothes store and an Eighties hair product - but these aren't StudioLine's only plus points.
For starters, you can name image files and folders as you wish, and add information such as when and where a shot was taken, so tracking down that snap of Aunt Dora with her long-lost sister becomes a doddle. In fact, the Descriptor dialog panel can be jam-packed with detail.
The effective editing tools are backed up with huge thumbnail previews. Double-click on a picture and a screen splitter appears in the image viewer that lets you see before and after effects.
We sharpened a fuzzy snap of a duck taken using too much zoom and watched the transformation occur as we dragged the Sharpen slider bar. Impressive. When you've applied an edit to an image, StudioLine tags its thumbnail with an icon indicating the tool last applied and the strength used. There's also a drop-down history pane listing the other changes.
In fact, StudioLine provides exceptionally useful and in-context information via pop-up help panes at every stage so there's little need to root around Help menus. The tools are easy to locate and apply and you can customise the onscreen setup by docking and undocking tools that you commonly or rarely use. Once it's got an image in its archive, StudioLine automatically saves edited files separately from the original so you don't need to worry about accidentally overwriting it - a nifty provision making for easy recovery of unwittingly ruined files.
StudioLine has more than basic editing features, with tools such as history/action tracking. This ensures your end-product is as detailed as the original.
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