Easy-to-use image manipulator

Try your hand at tweaking images with this app if you're not a design professional, and you'll soon sharpen those digital photos and homemade graphics with confidence. The tools are straightforward and easy to comprehend.

You don't have to try learning a complex program like PhotoShop if you just want to sharpen photos and other images for scrapbooks, simple brochures, and newsletters. This app puts the essential tools in the hands of novices and other users who are intimidated by the learning curve required by professional-level programs.

NuGenImageWorks launches a large, easy-to-navigate interface with two essential screens: the first displays the original image you want to manipulate; the second shows the image with your changes in real time. Novices may have trouble understanding some of the tool names initially if they aren't familiar with basic lighting and photographic concepts, but seeing changes occur on the fly as they apply the tools will quickly put them on the way to mastering this app's features. This ease of use is particularly valuable since the online Help feature offers little practical info.

The program performed quite well in our tests. We appreciated the inclusion of the Undo and Redo buttons along the main toolbar, for which many novices will be thankful. We also liked the thumbnail browser at the top of the interface window, which was handy for selecting images to work with. The tool selection, while not approaching the sophistication of a professional design program, was just right for playing with images for noncommercial purposes. Novices will appreciate NuGenImageWorks' simplicity and its price, which is far below that of professional design packages. The trial limit is short, but it will be adequate for most users looking for a simple tool to manipulate images.

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