Sometimes you want a light photo editor that spruces up your pics without all the bells and whistles (or the price) of Adobe Photoshop, but still offers more than MS Paint. Or you’re short for time and just need to edit many photos at once. For those times, Photoscape is a great choice and is an overall great tool to have at your disposal for relatively light photo editing. It has all the basic editing tools you might need. In what follows, we’ll take a look at Photoscape’s main offerings and how they can enhance your photos.
When you first run the program, you might be overwhelmed by the 13-item wheel that greets you. However, this program is simpler than it looks – and you can also change the wheel to a more traditional grid arrangement of icons in settings. The tools themselves ditched the traditional menu and toolbar design standard used by most applications, and instead have all the tools at the bottom or on the right side of the window.
Almost every tool has a file navigator to the left of the screen, while most of your work will be done on the rest of the screen. If you’re not switching between files frequently, the navigator can be hidden away by clicking the button on its edge.
Even though it doesn’t have the most user-friendly interface, PhotoScape is easy to learn, even for inexperienced users. Plus, the various settings and filters are easy to play with and undo. The editor has just enough features to allow you to modify you photo in whichever way you want, but not as many as to become overwhelming. You can easily explore the various effects and see which best fits your photo.
Another welcome default setting is that PhotoScape automatically saves the original versions of the photos you edit and saves the in a dedicated ‘Originals’ folder. That way, if you accidentally save changes you didn’t want, you can always revert to the first version and restart.
While Photoscape’s most handy offering is definitely its photo editor, it also has some pleasant surprises, such as an animated GIF maker, an image splitter (Instagram grids, anyone?), an image viewer, and some other useful tools you can use to edit, combine, and convert images, and even capture your screen.
With Photoscape, it’s easy to quickly retouch a photo so you can post it on your social media. Not only does the program open almost instantly, but the various effects take very little time to process. Furthermore, its batch editing function makes it even snappier to edit a large number of photos, such as an album from a certain event or shoot.
The interface makes it a bit hard to find what you’re looking for at first, but once you get used to it you’ll find what you’re looking for quickly. There aren’t too many layers to the menus, and the tools are categorized well.
The editor’s interface is a bit unusual, but it does its job. Like most of the other bundled tools, instead of having a toolbar at the top of the screen, PhotoScape’s Editor has all its settings at the bottom, below the edited picture. Some modifications are applied by clicking on the effect category and clicking on them, while with others you have the option to customize in a separate dialog box.
The filters (or ‘Film Effects’, as PhotoScape calls them) have an intensity setting, which comes in handy for when you want to apply a subtle filter to a photo, or when you want to apply multiple filters without distorting the original too much.
Right below the photo, in the Home tab, there are some handy shortcuts to frames, filters such as Sepia, Grayscale, B&W Threshold, and Invert Colors, as well as rotation and mirroring tools. It also has zoom tools, background pattern options, and an exif info button. The Object tab contains various drawing and shape tools, the Crop tab allows regular cropping, as well as rounded crops, while the Tools tab includes miscellaneous effects such as red eye correction, mole removal, clone stamp, and an effect brush.
The batch editor
The batch editor is a simple, yet very useful concept. It offers pretty much the same tools in the regular editor, except it allows you to modify multiple photos at once. The interface is also different, because the tools are on the right side of the window, instead of the bottom.
The page editor and the combine tool
These tools are quite similar in function. The combine tool allows you to stitch photos together in horizontal, vertical or checkered patterns, while the page editor is a more traditional collage creator. The page editor has an extensive series of preset layouts that allow you to arrange your photos in pretty much any way you like.
The animated GIF creator
In an age where memes are the peak of relatability on the internet, such a tool is invaluable to a social media manager. This program is similar to the batch creator, except that once you drop a series of photos in the workspace, the editor starts cycling though the, giving you a preview of the GIF. From here, you can adjust the timing of each frame, select transitions, and even preview your GIF in a browser to see how it will perform in real-life usage.
PhotoScape might not be a Photoshop killer, but chances are if you’re doing very advanced work, you’re probably already using Adobe’s software. PhotoScape is a very versatile tool, and let’s not forget, it’s completely free. Furthermore, it won’t take up all of your computer’s resources to run, but on the contrary – it’s incredibly light given how much it can do. Even if this review has not convinced you fully, you should download PhotoScape and give it a try. Chances are you’ll be a believer in no time.