A lot to take in

Don't be overwhelmed by this photo-editing program's cluttered interface, as it turns out be a worthy image tool.

Billed as "an all-in-one application for organizing, editing, sharing, and presenting photo collections," Ashampoo Photo Commander makes some big promises. Ultimately it delivers, but this isn't a program for the casual user.

The interface struggles to present the various (and numerous) options. It's overwhelming at first, and with so much going on, the black background makes it a little difficult to read. "How-to" pop up windows were a welcome sight, and they helped us get our bearings. Presentation issues aside, the program really proved its stuff in action. Photos are easily imported and scanned into the program. There are tons of options for adding effects and manipulating photo images, and even with a generous 40-day trial period, you won't be able to explore them all fully. We were impressed that when a specific image is selected, it appears with pixel, color depth, dpi, and memory information also displayed. We were able to easily turn image galleries into slide shows and burn them onto a CD. You can even add new images to your collection with the program's screen capture tool, an extra we appreciated.

Along with the wizard-like how-to guides, the program also offers a comprehensive Help file. Even with the extensive user guidance, the interface will likely make novice users shy away. For more experienced users willing to spend time mastering the busy interface, the program offers a very effective set of photo management tools.

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