Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, October 7, 2002


Sponsored Links

PhotoPlus 5
= must have
Software Tool (Win)

Serif is a company that has a rich set of graphics software tools to offer to its customers. Among them, PhotoPlus is the professional image editing tool that provides many of the facilities and functions available only to higher and more expensive professional tools like Adobe Photoshop.

PhotoPlus now available in version 8, is indeed a powerful image editor and it provides many advanced facilities and image editing tools.

Serif, in a wise online marketing move has made its PhotoPlus version5 available to its potential customers for FREE. While this is a three years old version of the present software, it nonetheless provides most of the key core functionalities of the PhotoPlus available today, and way more than ANY OTHER FREE image editor you may find today available for download.

I have in fact adopted PhotoPlus 5 as one of my selected image editors for a set of courses I deliver on digital image editing for international organization and academic institutions. My customers are typically non-technical people, in need to utilize digital images for presentations, for the Web, for reports and other research work. They are all keen in finding out which tools and techniques can allow them to save the $ 350-400 needed for Adobe Photoshop, especially when they are not graphic artists or computer graphics nerds but communication officers with limited budget and time.

PhotoPlus 5 is indeed a straightforward and well designed application, and its learning curve is quite shallow. The main toolbar is extremely simplified and essential and it takes no time to familiarize yourself with it.

PhotoPlus 5 comes with a set of powerful advanced functionalities that will make the envy of any paying customer of PaintShop Pro, Picture Publisher, and possibly Photoshop. Among these I noted:

a) Layers with transparency. These are just like Photoshop layers and can help immensely in creating compositions, photomontages and in working with masks and different selections.

b) Advanced selection tools. PhotoPlus 5 offers polyline, freehand, circle/ellipse and rectangle selection tools, as well as a set of ready made selection shapes including stars, diamond and other basic geometric shapes which can be further tweaked during the selection process. Last but not least PhotoPlus 5 sports a true Photoshop-like magic wand, with a "tolerance" setting control, providing the ability to image editors to select parts of an image through a colour-based selection approach (the magic wand allows the editor to click on a coloured area, and the tool will select as much of the area having the same colour pixel values - the "tolerance" control determines how "rigid" or "loose" PhotoPlus 5 should be in selecting adjacent pixels having slightly different colour values).

c) Multiple document image windows can be opened at the same time.

d) A functional called "........." allows to perform image adjustment functions in a very intuitive fashion by selecting better quality thumbnails among a matrix of dynamic options.
This is the equivalent of Photoshop "Variations" function. Very useful.

e) Reads and exports to all major graphic file formats including: gif, jpg, tif, tga, png, bmp, wmf, pcx and more. It complies with Unisys gif royalties requirement by asking a $ 1 fee to all users who wish to download this free tool and have a full set of licensed filters. As a matter of fact, while all extra export graphic file filters are provided in one download, the GIF/TIF export filter is a separate download that requires final users to pay the $ 1 fee required by the GIF/Unisys licensing fee.

PhotoPlus 5 is a nice and easy to learn image editing application.

Right after I have started using it I was offered by the company the opportunity to buy version 6 at only USD $ 5.95. While version has been already superseded I found the offer unique and intelligent from a marketing point of view, and would therefore further recommend Serif products due to their extreme value for the money.

CONS: PhotoPlus 5 is not a perfect program, but for what it costs the bugs and limitations that are still present in the program should not limit the final user from obtaining a lot of good work out of this tool.

The Toolbar and palettes containing layers, brushes, colour selectors and other vital tools may not appear promptly upon launching the program. If they do not even after invoking them from the "View" menu, one should turn off all of the items in the"View" menu and then turn them back on one at a time. This will fix the problem.

PhotoPlus 5 comes equipped also with a 100+ pages manual, distributed in PDF format.

On a negative note, I have not received any feedback to a positive email inquiry I have submitted to Natasha Allachina (Marketing) and copied to other Sales, Marketing and Customer Support departments at Serif Inc.

I was only reporting my inability to take advantage of one of their offers, as the toll-free number they required to contact, is not accessible from countries outside the US.

Download free PhotoPlus 5 at:

Readers' Comments    
2005-08-14 08:15:21


I love PhotoPlus, I have a website with montages makes with PhotoPlus

I very fond of PhotoPlus!!!!!!!!
I'm from Brazil


posted by Robin Good on Monday, October 7 2002, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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