Edit images quickly with PixelSwapper

Transform images in less time than it takes to load that big app with this light, fast freeware.

In graphics software, sometimes less is more, and what you really need is a simple, fast, lightweight tool that can do the most common jobs quickly and neatly. Zeta Centauri's PixelSwapper is just such an app. With basic commands like Rotate, Resize, Crop, and Grayscale, it can manipulate your images in less time than it takes to learn which menu to use on those feature-packed Photoshop clones. PixelSwapper can also convert images between several image formats.

PixelSwapper has one of the simplest user interfaces we've seen for any kind of tool, let alone a graphics editor -- even one that's been pared down to the essentials, like this app. When it opens, PixelSwapper's user interface isn't much bigger than a media player, and apart from a menu bar, it displays only six buttons, each one controlling a basic function: Crop, Mirror, Rescale, Resize, Revert, and Rotate. The Transform menu repeats these commands but adds more options: Mirror Horizontal and Vertical, for example, and Rescale Larger and Smaller. But you can still transform images using the full set of commands from the button bar by right-clicking or left-clicking. So you can still mirror an image horizontally or vertically without going to the Transform menu. The Help menu explains these commands as well as summarizing the program's features, including a list of the file types it loads and saves.

We started by loading an image file using the File menu, though you can drag and drop images into PixelSwapper, too. The interface expanded to fit the image. We pressed Crop, and a pop-up told us to select an area to crop by clicking and dragging the cursor. That's easy enough; and quickly done, too. We pressed Revert to undo the change -- another success. Pressing Rescale rescaled our image. Though pressing the control consecutively rescaled our image progressively, pressing Revert didn't undo the last step but took us back to the original image. Clicking Resize produced a small tool that displayed the Old Size in width and height; we merely had to enter new pixel values in the New Size fields to resize the image.

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