A good digital photo editor like H&M's Studioline Photo Basic can help digital camera owners manage their ever-growing collections of snapshots. You can use it to import images to your PC from devices like cameras and scanners in all popular file formats. Its central image database makes it easy to manage images and add keywords, descriptions, and EXIF data. It bundles photo editing tools like red-eye and color correction with extras like slideshow and Web gallery features. Best of all, it's free.
We chose the download manager, which didn't install the program's manual until we accessed the Help file to view its tutorials, over the optional, single 61 MB file. The tutorials, ample online help, and optional tool tips make this feature-laden program quite easy to navigate. An intro dialog simplifies operations for beginners yet can be switched off by seasoned users. Clicking on the control buttons calls up a series of dialogs that actually explain each function. We tried the program's two main features, the Image Archive and the Page Editor, each of which functions within the developer's attractive take on the typical three-pane Windows interface: navigation sidebar, main display, and an optional right-hand Menu and Toolbars pane.
Studioline Photo Basic is freeware, yet it offers most of the functionality and features of expensive top-line graphics packages. Its dialog-based controls and ample assistance make it easy enough for beginners to use, yet it packs enough features to satisfy professionals. It works in Vista and Windows 7 and has a 30-day trial, but registration is free and enables updates.