Windows software of the day [August 12, 2012]

Today’s Software

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About Windows Software of the Day

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to dotTech to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for August 12, 2012

PhotoDemon

The latest photo from the Curiosity rover

Looking for a powerful, macro-based image processing application that will let you get basic editing done with nary a care in the world? PhotoDemon, 12 years in the making, is an extremely easy to use image processor built “with input from professional designers – not just software engineers”, allowing you to edit like you mean it.

PhotoDemon isn’t about painting on your images, nor is it about alpha transparencies or 16-million color images. It’s about applying effects and filters to entire images, and applying these to batches of photos. You can apply “artistic” effects to it, such as sketching and comic booking, as well as touch-up effects like rank, edge, denoise, noise, and a variety of miscellaneous effects.

If you’re looking for a lightning-speed batch image processor, PhotoDemon is the program for you. If you’re interested in app development, it also has some interesting history that’s worth reading.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v4.3

Supported OS: Windows 

Download size: 1.5MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: No installation required!

PhotoDemon homepage

[via Carmen Design]

SlowView

“A blast out of 2003!” –Locutus
“My favorite Windows 95-compatible photo browser!” –Locutus

Looking for a good, sturdy photo viewer and browser? SlowView has been around since 2003, and it still shows no signs of going anywhere. The basis for Ashampoo’s Photo Commander, SlowView features extremely basic photo editing, and very easy photo browsing.

SlowView is based on a dual-view, three-pane system. In the default view, it’s a simple photo viewer. To open photos, you need to use the File>Open menu option. When you double click it or hit the Enter key, it magically transforms into a full-fledged browsing interface, with three panes for optimum photo viewing. In the main pane, you’ve got a large copy of the current image, and in the two other panes, you’ve got a hierarchical folder browser and a preview of all photos in the folder.

If you’re looking for a photo editor, SlowView will disappoint, but it still has minor features available. With SlowView, you can rotate and mirror your photos, which is nice for anyone who likes to take portrait photos on their camera. You can also invert or grayscale the current image, or view only one channel at a time. There are also blur, pixelate, sharpen, and buttonize effects available.

SlowView is a nice, ancient photo browser that has really withstood the test of time. In just four months’ time, it will be a decade old, and still functioning properly. If you’re looking for an incredibly reliable, easy-to-use photo browser, SlowView is worth a look.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0

Supported OS: Windows 95+

Download size: 863KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/42

Portability: Requires installation

SlowView homepage

[Thanks Frank!]

FastStone Image Viewer

With FastStone Image Viewer, you won’t notice any similarities between this screenshot and the previous one!

You’re interested in SlowView, but want something more modern and thoughtfully designed. FastStone Image Viewer is the program for you: it features a wider range of format support, as well as much improved editing support

FastStone, which was actually covered here on dotTech a few months ago, supports the same basic browsing features that SlowView has. Where its features depart from those similar to SlowView are in its editing support: it can do everything SlowView can, plus do color adjustments, annotations, drop shadows, healing and cloning, tagging, histogram-viewing, and much more.

Overall, FastStone Image Viewer is a lot like SlowView, but much more comprehensive. It could really be called a modern version of SlowView, with additional basic editing features and a slightly nicer user interface.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v4.6

Supported OS: Windows unknown

Download size: 5.7MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: Portable version available!

FastStone Image Viewer homepage

[Thanks, Guido!]

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

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7 comments

  1. Jeanjean

    Thanks Locutus.
    Unlike Mr. Dave, I keep XnView because FastStone Image Viewer doesn’t do a few things… batch processing & the ability to handle Powerpoint files for example.
    If you don’t need these functions… FIV is a very good alternative.

  2. Steve

    I have used FastStone Image Viewer for more than three years. How much do I like it? I sent a donation, $20 I think, because it is perfect for my needs. The viewing and the editing functions are simple and excellent. I also bought FastStone’s separate screen capture tool for more than 5 years, of which I am a fan and have purchased additional licenses for several of my colleagues at work. Anyway, I don’t think it will disappoint you. I have not seen SlowView before, might check it out someday but not needed presently.

  3. Mr.Dave

    Thanks, Locutus – I grabbed two out of three today and they look very helpful! I’ve been a fan of XnView for well over ten years now (it’ also free) but I’ll give Faststone a try. It does a few things missing in XnView. PhotoDemon also contains some image manipulation tools I haven’t seen anywhere else. Good finds!