PhotoImpact is a complete suite for image editing, that you can use to create and share photos, calendars, collages, photo projects, and others. This type of tool is generally used by web developers and 2D artists.
Structured interface and comprehensive Help
The GUI is quite well-organized and friendly to all types of users, including those with little or no previous experience with computers. It encloses a menu bar, several buttons and some panes to help you manage layers, view history, add frames and view your ongoing project.
However, if you need any help in navigating through this tool, you should know that the SmartGuide offers an extensive how-to help for users of any experience level.
Some basic editing tools to tinker with
At program startup, you can get photos, browse them, open ExpressFix or Full Edit, as well as create a new photo project, calendar, collage, or DVD menu.
ExpressFix comes with a simplified workspace, large buttons and the most commonly used functions for basic photo editing, such as SmartCurves (automatically brings out details in dark areas, without overexposing highlights), auto white balance control (correct images by making them look natural in any type of light), noise reduction, MonoChrome, focus, and skin beautifying.
Access the Gallery and Library, and use the Golden Ratio Crop
In the Gallery section you can use image enhancements (photo and special effects, photo frames, style, brushes, stamps, particles, animations, buttons, etc.), text or path effects (material attributes, text styles, wrapping etc.), and tasks (image editing tasks, web and others).
In order to access some elements from Libraries, you have to download and install the content packs. This will enable you to play with images, masks, shapes, outlines, text, paths, templates, DVD menus, photo projects, and calendars.
Furthermore, PhotoImpact offers two easy ways to recompose pictures for more impact, through the Rule of Thirds Crop or the Golden Ratio Crop. Other features include selectively removing unwanted elements from multiple shots of the same scene, a touch-up tool, as well as the possibility to dodge, burn or remove scratches.
Performance and conclusion
This utility uses a moderate amount of CPU and memory resources and therefore might not work so well on old computers. Its general response time is pretty good, the interface is intuitive and we did not come across any errors, crashes or hangs in our tests.
In conclusion, PhotoImpact is an efficient and well-rounded piece of software, dedicated mostly to experienced users, yet thanks to its extensive documentation, becomes accessible to beginners too.