Frame up

This new player on the photoware scene is not ready for prime time.

Photowall is one of the many shareware photo enhancement packages available for download. You can use it to add various frames to your photos and use them to create desktop wallpaper treatments that can be saved and exported. The interface resembles a music player, with large concentric buttons for rotating the frame and the image within it. Sliders marked "Stretch" change the size of the frame and image, respectively.

The software's trial version comes with severe limitations, such as only one photo frame, a rather startling heart-shaped affair that makes it difficult to position most photos clearly and large enough without obscuring part of the image. The capability to rotate the image and frame independently is kind of cool, though. Basically, it doesn't do anything that most other freeware or shareware photo collage, scrapbook, or wallpaper utilities do much more of, and much better.

One of the quirkiest aspects of Photowall is the documentation, or, at least, the English version, since its maker, Eusoftware, is a Chinese company that is evidently making a move into the Western software publishing market. The company's English-language Web site has a strange, often unintentionally hilarious syntax, a strangeness that carries over into its products, in which simple functions are often labeled with elaborate descriptions. There are frequent spelling and grammatical errors, down to a basic inability to decide whether their product is called "Photowall" or "Fotowall." It leaves folders and files behind when you uninstall it. Add the fact that you have to buy it to even give it a good tryout, and we can't recommend Photowall.

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