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Pixopedia 2014 0.1.3

A quirky image editor, draw and paint tool

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 28 March 2014
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Downloads To Date: 367
Developer: SigmaPi Design
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Pixopedia 2014 0.1.2
A quirky image editor, draw and paint tool

Pixopedia 2014 is an exceptionally powerful - but entirely free - image editor, drawing and painting tool.

The program doesn't create a particularly good first impression. Small flat buttons present various cryptic icons, there's no bundled help (you have to download a separate PDF, which is incomplete and outdated), no menus, and - you'll soon realise - no real interest in following Windows conventions.

Learn a few shortcuts, though, and life becomes much easier. Press [F1], for instance, and a menu appears for the currently-selected left toolbar option. By default this displays no less than 26 "Drawing Modes": Normal, Scaled, Erase, XOR, MinMax and many more. Clicking any of these displays its related options, and you can just click and drag on the screen to see its effect.

Exploring the left-hand toolbar (with the menu displayed) reveals many other interesting tools. You can "paint" with various clipart objects (bushes, flowers, butterflies, marbles, beads and more); apply 20 very configurable "warp modes" (Explode, Waves, Splash, Twirl); twist and shift colours; set various symmetrical drawing modes, and apply a host of useful filters.

Clicking the "Image Tools" button on the right gives access to a more basic set of image manipulations and tweaks: flip, mirror, rotate, resize, and various automatic enhancement tools.

Basic? Maybe, but the Plugins button and you'll find Pixopedia supports Photoshop-compatible filter plugins (*.8BF). And not only that, but it comes with 20 (mostly very good) examples from providers like Richard Rosenman, Mehdi, Redfield, Flaming Pear and Dragonfly.

And the feature list goes on with various selection modes, a range of shape drawing options, a configurable text tool, and what just might be the most configurable set of brushes we've ever seen in any free tool (or most commercial ones).

Verdict:

Pixopedia's interface is often annoying and obscure, even after you've read the manual (click the Help icon and follow the link). The best approach is concentrate on one part of the program, where your efforts will be quickly repaid. The image warping tools and bundled Photoshop plugins are probably enough to justify installing Pixopedia, all on their own.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 (v11.0.6)

Free Full Commercial Software

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 is a compact, simple, but surprisingly feature-packed disc burning suite.

The program makes it easy to create simple data discs and audio CDs, for instance: just drag and drop your files onto the list area and you'll be burning the finished disc in a couple of clicks.

That's just the start, though. Burning Studio 2013 can also create data discs with customised, interactive multi-page menus, perfect if you'd like a more professional way to share and present the disc contents.

A built-in backup tool allows you to create backups which may be encrypted, compressed, and span several CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

And there are modules to create VCD or SVCD video projects; burn video DVDs or Blu-ray discs from prepared folders; create, browse or burn disc images (ISO, CUE/ BIN and Ashdisc formats are supported); copy discs, erase them, design and print disc covers, labels and booklets, and more.

The focus throughout is on ease of use, though, and so Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013 remains very straightforward, whatever you're doing. Most disc projects are created via the same simple interface, and for the most part all you have to do is drag and drop the necessary files. But experts will find more advanced options are only a click away, and if you need to then you can set ISO and UDF version, enable Joliet, make a disc bootable and more.

Note the download here will take you to the Downloadcrew Software Store where you can download Burning Studio 2013.

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