Mediocre merging

Don't expect an easy time with this unintuitive program.

Our least favorite type of program is the kind that takes what should be a simple task and needlessly complicates it. Unfortunately, that seems to be the entire point of Merge. This program takes the process of merging two images--something that can be done easily in countless other programs--and makes it a confusing, frustrating, nonsensical mess.

The program's interface is both unintuitive and extremely unattractive. A dockable toolbar on the right side of the interface contains a series of unlabeled buttons and collapsible menus that represent the program's features. We had an easy enough time selecting the two images that we wanted to merge, but everything from there was a process of trial and error. The program comes with a rather thorough Help file and a quick-start tutorial, but the way these documents are written makes them hard to understand. It's unfortunate that the program is as user-unfriendly as it is, because it actually has a decent set of features; images can be scaled and flipped individually, and there are special effects and controls for brightness and contrast. But even very simple tasks are harder than they need to be. Think you're going to move an image by clicking on it and dragging it? Not so fast--you're actually going to have to right-click on it, draw a line to where you want it, and then let go. Such strange behaviors make Merge annoying to use, especially when there are plenty of alternatives out there that actually make sense.

Merge installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program with reservations; there's nothing functionally wrong with it, but there's nothing about it that we particularly like.

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