Photobook printer has potential, needs work

Have your photos printed and bound professionally using this free tool.

Photo and Print Designer, aka P&P Designer, is an easy-to-use photo suite for composing and printing photo books and calendars. It works with any common digital image, but it's optimized for printing and viewing digital snapshots. You can create personalized albums to save and view on your PC, share with others, and print out on your own printer. The software's biggest selling point is its optional printing service: you can go online and, for a price, have your books or albums professionally printed and bound and mailed to you or a recipient--as long as the address is in Malaysia.

P&P's glossy interface walks users through the various steps of creating photo projects, with buttons labeled Photo Books and Calendars, the tool's two project types. We've stressed P&P's simplicity, and it is indeed as easy to use as any tool of its type, with clearly labeled controls such as Create New, Open, Import, and Export. That's key to giving users the ability to take their own photos and images and compose them in albums and books suitable for professional printing, something that can be done with other tools, if you have the time and skills. Users looking for menus full of image-correction tools, lossless rotators, and gamma sliders should look elsewhere; P&P Designer has none of that, opting instead for automatic image processing via Kodak Solutions. The Photo Book and Calendar wizards offer lots of options, such as books for baby girls, baby boys, anniversaries, and so on, and they walked us through every step of our choices.

We didn't opt to have our projects printed but certainly found it an interesting option, particularly as a way to make highly personalized gifts. However, there are major obstacles: the software only shows prices in Malaysian ringgits, with no way we could find to change the currency display; and it provides only two delivery options: East Malaysia and West Malaysia. That doesn't play in Peoria, or anywhere else, for that matter. P&P put a wet foot in the world market, but their tool certainly has potential, once they get their act together.

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