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Picosmos Tools is a quirky image editing suite

23 February 2016, Mike Williams

Picosmos ToolsPicosmos Tools is a versatile image management suite which includes a viewer, editor, batch processor, capture tool, simple publishing tools and more.

The program stands out immediately with its Windows Start Screen-type launcher, colorful “live tiles” giving you speedy access to each module.

“Effect” is a highlight. Open your target image, browse the filter and effect thumbnails on the sidebar, and you’ll find a host of ways to tweak and transform your images.

The individual effects aren’t very customisable, but there are some surprisingly advanced features – seven selection tools, anyone? – as well as a library of clipart and photo frames to dress the image.

“Editor” is a more advanced tool, which opens just about anything (RAW, PSD, TIFF, WEBP), has more effects and filters, all the usual transform tools, and full layer support.

Picosmos Tools

Find the tool you need on this Modern UI-style launcher

There’s not a lot of depth here. We went browsing the Adjust > Brightness/ Contrast options, and there are no stretch or equalise options, no curve tweaks, no real levels control – just individual Brightness and Contrast sliders.

Other features are equally basic, but if your needs are simple this might not matter too much. And extras like the selection tools, and the ability to apply effects with a brush, give you some control over the results you see.

“Browse” is a reasonable thumbnail browser. The interface is flashy, with animations everywhere, but it more-or-less worked as we expected, and there’s a lot of wallpaper-setting, slideshow-viewing and general image management features to explore.

“Batch” is the batch processing side of the image viewer. Supported options include Color (tweak brightness/ contrast/ hue/ saturation, though oddly not RGB), Optimise (resize, save as JPG, change quality setting), Organise (copy or move to a new folder based on date or resolution), Resize/ Convert, Rename, Grey, Rotate, and a simple Watermark tool which crashed when we tried it.

We weren’t impressed by the Convert or Split modules, which organise images into grids or display a picture with a basic tile effect. Maybe there’s a reason for their existence, but if so, we missed it.

“Screen Capture” is marginally more useful, enabling anyone to grab an area of the screen, annotate and share it in a few seconds. But it’s still basic, with just a single freehand rectangle capture type, and no competition for a real screenshot tool.

“Page Design” is considerably better, a sort-of DTP-lite (very lite) module which helps you present your images on a custom poster, cover and more.

At its simplest, all you have to do is choose one of the photo collage-like “Scene” designs, add your own photos and it’s ready to go. There’s not a lot of low-level adjustments available, but what you get is fun and easy to use.

On balance, Picosmos Tools isn’t for the experienced user. Most features just don’t have the power or depth they’ll need. But there’s plenty to explore for everyone else, and some of the more unusual modules – particularly “Page Design” – might justify the download all on their own.

Picosmos Tools is a freeware application for Windows XP and later.

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