Powerful Web Image Editing – Software Review – Evaluation
Ulead PhotoImpact 6 Web Studio Pro
* Requirements: Win 95/98/NT 4.0/2000, 32MB RAM, 240MB hard disk space
* List Price: $99 Manufacturer: Ulead Systems Inc., 800-85-ULEAD, www.ulead.com
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THESE DAYS, AN IMAGE EDITOR MUST NOT only create amazing graphics, but make transitions to the Web quick and seamless as well. Ulead’s PhotoImpact 6 does just that, combining a seemingly limitless supply of tools, effects, and animations with Web optimization and HTML features.
PhotoImpact’s EasyPalette quick-access toolbar displays hundreds of common drag-and-drop effects. EasyPalette arranges its contents by category in a hierarchy, so it’s a snap to add drop shadows, lighting effects, animations, and background colors with just a few clicks.
EasyPalette is a great starting point, yet it hardly scratches the program’s surface. PhotoImpact has dozens of 2D and 3D text effects built in, for instance, including text on a path. We found it easy to use the Component Designer to make Web objects such as banners and rollover buttons, attach the new objects to hyperlinks, change text and colors, and more. You can also add digital watermarks, paint with realistic textures such as charcoal and crayon, and optimize your graphics for faster Web display.
In fact, Photolmpact now lets you design entire Web pages; we used the program to create HTML pages containing graphics with transparent backgrounds, animated elements, and hyperlinked buttons and text. However, the program isn’t a complete Web authoring package, so it can’t manage a site full of linked and related pages.
PhotoImpact 6 is a powerful image editor, and its learning curve isn’t trivial; despite the EasyPalette, we found the interface too busy and common procedures painstakingly different than in more familiar applications like Adobe Photoshop. It’s well worth the effort to learn, however–there’s almost no graphics job that PhotoImpact can’t do.
Ulead PhotoImpact 6 Web Studio Pro Rating: 9
A Photoshop-class power; Web optimization tools; clever EasyPalette
B Few wizards; busy interface; no Web site management
HOME OFFICE COMPUTING rates products on a scale of 1 to 10–with few 9’s or 10’s–based on value, performance, innovation (medals go to rare standouts in these areas), ease of use, and suitability for home offices. The A and B symbols indicate pros and cons.
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