[Windows] Apply dozens of filters to photos and images with PhotoFiltre, a full-featured and portable image editor

PhotoFiltre for WindowsIf you have a knack for photo and image editing, then you’ll definitely need a reliable image editing software. You cannot just settle for something with very limited tools and options. It would also be great if you can find a program that offers a wide variety of photo filters. It’s just that majority of today’s top-notch photo editing programs can be very costly and aren’t really suitable for beginners. It’s a good thing that there are a bunch of good alternatives out there that are suitable for those who don’t want to spend some cash. Speaking of which, you might want to check out this free image retouching program for Windows called PhotoFiltre.

What Is It and What Does It Do

Main Functionality

PhotoFiltre is a free image retouching program for Windows. With the help of this program, you can edit your images and apply all sorts of filters to your photos. Compared to other image editing programs, this software features a simple and intuitive user interface so it won’t take long before you can get fully accustomed to its tools and options. Furthermore, PhotoFiltre is portable so you can easily store it inside your USB flash drive. You don’t need to install it on your computer. Just keep in mind that this software is free for private use only. If you want to use it for commercial purposes, then you’ll need to purchase its licensed version.

Pros

  • Neat, responsive and easy to use
  • Features a wide range of filters – it has filters for adjusting brightness, contrast, hue and saturation, gamma correction, etc. You can also make use of its artistic filters (ex. posterize, grayscale, sepia, comics strip, colored pencil, India ink, Sprayed stroke, watercolor, palette knife and a whole lot more…)
  • Features two types of vectorial selections – the first type is for automatic shapes while the second type is for lasso and polygon
  • Has a full suite of tools for image editing – paintbrush, advanced paintbrush, eraser, color palette, pipette tool, magic wand, spray, fill, clone stamp, blur, smudge, rotate, crop, transform, gradient overlay, patterns, zoom, add text and a whole lot more
  • Supports a wide range of image formats such as BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, RLE, Targa, TIFF and .pfi – the latter is the native format for PhotoFiltre
  • Supports batch processing, transparency and layers
  • Has a built-in image explorer, supports hotkeys, can view images in full screen and slideshow
  • Portable, no installation required

Cons

  • Slow processing time for high-res images
  • Limited sets of standard paint brushes
  • Lacks the option for grouping layers

Discussion

PhotoFiltre Image EditorPhotoFiltre has its good points and bad points. Anyways, you cannot really expect it to be as good as Photoshop but it’s great for beginners and intermediate users. What’s great about this software is that it features a simple and intuitive interface. Its tools are easy to recognize plus it is very responsive and stable. Aside from this, this software is also portable. Just store it inside your USB flash drive and load it on any computer.

To use this software, the first thing that you need to do is to download its ZIP package (see link below). After which, you need to extract its application folder. For a quicker access, you can save its application folder to your desktop. The name of the extracted folder will be “PhotoFiltre7-en”. Once done, just open its folder and click on its executable file (the file with the .exe extension) to launch the application. You’ll then see an empty workspace. After that, it’s up to you if you want to create a new image from scratch or you can use the software’s built-in image explorer to load a photo. Since PhotoFiltre is made up of a lot of tools and options, it could take a while before you get fully accustomed to its UI.

What I like about PhotoFiltre is that it offers a wide selection of filters. It also flaunts its standard adjustment filters so you can easily adjust your photo’s brightness, contrast, hue and saturation, etc. It also highlights its artistic filters. You can choose comics strip, colored pencil, rough pastels, watercolor, palette knife and a whole lot more. Apart from this, this image editing program also supports transparency and layers. It also supports a wide range of image formats such as BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, RLE, Targa and TIFF. You can also save your image in its native .pfi format.

While majority of this software’s features are highly commendable, I did notice that its takes time for it to process the filters and effects applied to high-res photos. So do expect that you’ll have to wait a lot especially if you’re working on very large files. It’s also a bit of a downer that this software has a limited set of standard paint brushes and you cannot even adjust the diameter of the brush. This software also lacks the option for grouping layers.

Conclusion and Download Link

PhotoFiltre is ideal for the traveling techie — users who wish to have a reliable image editing tool that they can use on any computer. Its portability is one of its best features of the program plus it packs a wide selection of photo filters and has all the features one would want in a mid-range image editor. I don’t like the fact that it takes a lot of time for it to apply filters on high-res images, but that isn’t a deal-breaker in my opinion. Overall, PhotoFiltre is definitely worth checking out — especially for users who don’t want to spend money on those costly image editing programs.

Also be sure to check out dotTech’s review of best free image editors for Windows.

Price: Free for noncommercial use, $43.25 for commercial use

Version reviewed: 7.1.2

Supported OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8

Download size: 5.3MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? Yes

PhotoFiltre homepage

[Thanks everyone that suggested PhotoFiltre!]

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12 comments

  1. JMJ

    I just had a “duh” moment re JPEG file sizes: Of course, the lossy JPEG format will increase file size upon opening and re-saving. This is NOT peculiar to PhotoFiltre but inherent in the format.

    @BearPup – In general, I agree with you: If the tool works, why replace it? I have wood chisels that started out 6 – 7 inches long and are now cherished nubs of 2 – 3 inches. However, *in principle* and not being simple tools, modern software that is being actively developed (as is PhotoFiltre) is inherently better than legacy software which is not: Bugs are being removed, new features are being implemented and any newly discovered security concerns are being addressed.

    ASIDE: Until this moment, I did not know that XARA had been purchased by Magix… in 2007 !!!

  2. Jeffinprov

    Nice software! I seem to have accumulated quite a number of photo editing and graphic programs; each has its own utility for different sorts of projects. This one surprised me with with its general flexibility and straightforward design. (And a wave of the paw to BearPup and the cute chow puppy thumbnail!)

  3. BearPup

    [@JMJ] They may be out of date, but they still work like a charm. Updates aren’t always what they claim to be. Since these programs do everything that I need…then again, I still have software on my machine that would run under Win 98 – as long as they do what I want / work, why should I care how old?.

  4. JMJ

    Just downloaded PhotoFiltre Studio 30-day shareware (the paid version of the app written up here) and it looks very promising: Loads lightning fast with a small footprint (27 MB); clean, familiar (ala Photoshop) interface; continuous development. Will have to play with it a while…

    @BearPup – I experienced the same dramatic (~50%) increase in file-size with unaltered JPEGs but not with BMPs or PNGs that remained exactly the same.

    The apps you mention (e.g., Xtreme Photo Graphic Designer, PLiska Image Resizer) have not been updated since 2008, as far as I see. Quite a long while compared to this current app, no? FWIW, for quick viewing, single/batch resizing/renaming and very minor editing , I like IrfanView.

  5. BearPup

    @Kent: One other graphic app you should try is the freeware version of Photo Designer 7 from Magix (www.magix.com). Though I have the paid version (Xtreme Photo Graphic Designer) the freeware app lacks little in the way of function. Its become my go to app for photography. I use Photoshop only to achieve a specific effect I can’t get elsewhere.

  6. BearPup

    Just tried PF7 out, and it does have a lot of nice features, especially for a freebie. One caveat about the program is the file size of saved files: they’re large. Two examples: a photo native at 44.11Kb was saved as a file with no added filters applied, its final size was over 39Kb. A second example again took a finished photo and simply opened it and then selected Save As (no changes made). It went from 32Kb to a larger 36Kb.

    Though file reduction software is available (I use and recommend the freeware program PLiska Image Resizer), its an extra step for those who need small file sizes, such as when emailing photos or uploading files to the web.

    And so Photo Filter 7 goes from installed to uninstalled. Thanks for the review anyway!