Big fix 4 pix

Edit photos and much more with this intuitive graphics program.

Focus Photoeditor emphasizes digital photography but does just about everything other graphics packages can do, with a few twists of its own. It has automatic features for quick photo fixes, but it's also easy to use it to draw, paint, and create custom graphics. It includes an advanced image browser and a Web album wizard, too.

Focus Photoeditor's menu bar features clearly labeled functions that are logically and intuitively grouped, which makes them easy to find and understand. There's the usual File, Edit, and Help menus, but most controls are labeled descriptively, such as Color, Noise/Sharpness, Exposure, and Tasks. The layout is typical of full-featured photo editors, with tabs, layers, icon-based toolbars, and sliders. The similarity is more than skin deep, since Photoeditor is compatible with many Adobe Photoshop features, including its Filters Host Application. One of Photoeditor's differences we like is the Layers function's separate tabs for image and text layers. We tried the selection, color, and drawing tools with both a mouse and a Wacom pen, both of which gave excellent control, though pen compatibility isn't perfect; for instance, hovering over a tool with the pen doesn't bring up the tool's label, which it does with the mouse.

Focus Photoeditor is shareware that is free to try for 30 days, though the trial version puts a watermark on images. It's listed as working in Windows versions 95 to Vista, but we tested it in Windows 7 and it worked fine. It's a highly capable and intuitive photo editor, and we recommend it.

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