Graphics made simple

Try this simple but capable graphics app for easy image editing.

Panasoft's Image Generator is a graphics application that's simple enough for beginners to handle while still offering enough extras, such as 3D capabilities, custom templates, selectable transparency, and Web site editing, to please experienced users. Its unique raster image transformation technology makes it easy not only to create high-resolution images but also generate cartoons, shapes, and other effects. While it's pared down compared with some other graphics apps, it packs the usual photo correction capabilities, drawing tools, and other features common to the type.

The program's interface resembles similar applications, favoring Microsoft Paint more than Adobe's Photoshop, but with some well-thought-out touches, such as the icon-based toolbar with pop-up dialog controls. We were really pleased by the Palette tool's color spectrum display on the toolbar, a great idea that really simplifies color sampling. There's a Photoshop-style floating toolbar with a good range of drawing tools, including tip width and parameter controls. The Raster brush functions are pretty cool, letting you add shapes singly or by dragging "trails." All tools seemed perfectly compatible with our Wacom pad. A fully indexed Help file is included as a separate file in the download but opens directly from the interface, and there's ample Web-based assistance too.

Image Generator is free to try for 35 days; it's listed for Vista but worked like a champ in Windows 7. We've tried lots of graphics packages with all sorts of capabilities and limitations. Image Generator is easy enough for novices yet packs enough features for more advanced users, and we recommend it for each.

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