Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, October 7, 2002


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ThumbsPlus is a very powerful digital image browser, thumbnail-creator and editor. Now in version 5.x, ThumbPlus is a well designed and functionality-rich tool that should be in the hand of any serious digital image editor.

ThumbPlus interface is very intuitively designed by utilizing a uniquely identifiable toolbar made up of easy-to-recognize photo-object icons selected from the celebrated PhotoDisc royalty-free image collection. By itself and because of its unique colourful selection of large and visually pleasing icons this is probably the most characterizing item of the program and one by which an user feels an immediate "familiarity" and "affinity" with this application.

ThumbsPlus chore functionality is one of scanning hard and network disks, CD-ROMs and DVD and any other source of images connected to your PC and to create a fast-to-read archive of thumbnails to be used when browsing those visual files.

ThumbsPlus needs therefore to "scan" and "index" local and network drives to automatically identify images and to convert them on the fly to usable thumbnails. While this process is done transparently by the software, the user can fully appreciate its benefits when first accessing again ThumbPlus after such an operation. ThumbsPlus displays images in multiple modes and it does not have the delays associated with other popular image browsing and editing software like ACDsee or others.

ThumbsPlus offers a powerful and rich array of filters and image enhancing functions that allow the final user to do a lot of work without needing to leave this tool for a more specialized one. ThumbsPlus has many facilities to adjust any digital image. Ranging from controls of hue, saturation, lightness and gamma, they extend to the ability to edit colour palettes, replace colours and apply filters only to image selections.

ThumbsPlus offers all of the typical image editing functions offered by other tools in the digital image editing category, resembling more a true image editor than a simple thumbnail creator and digital image organizer.

Each time a thumbnail image is double-clicked in ThumbsPlus browsing modality a new ThumbsPlus window is open in which a new, editing and processing menu and toolbar become available to allow the editing of that specific image.

The only evident limitation in this otherwise very rich application is the availability of more quality selection tools. As of now the end-user can only select through a basic rectangle tool, or through a freehand modality which is of very limited use.

ThumbsPlus is capable of saving images in all most important graphic file formats and it offers in fact access to over 13 of them and including: TIF, BMP, WMF, GIF, JPG, JPG2000, PCX, TGA, PNG, RAW, CMP. On each one end-users can control options, quality and compression settings when finally saving.

ThumbsPlus can work with several images open at the same time and it does not overly tax or burden computer system resources.

A powerful and well designed batch processing facility allows even unsophisticated users to the power of automatic processing of large groups of images. Through this facility the user can in fact "collect" or "record" together an unlimited number of actions that need to be applied to a set of images. These may include cropping, image adjustment, changing resolution and saving to a different graphic file format. Invaluable.

Among key unique features, rare to find in any other application in this class are the ability to:

a) Save selections (!)
b) Save colour palettes
c) Add anti-aliased text to any image
d) Integrate colour management functionalities to improve color consistency across different computer peripherals and output media
e) Resize digital images utilizing the same range of Photoshop algorithms going from Nearest neighbour, to Bilinear and Bicubic sampling.
f) Cropping and trimming functions are very extensive and sophisticated. they offer tons of options and have been prepared to be useful for people needing to trim and crop digital images before final output to photographic film or colour desktop printing.
g) Edit IPCT/NAA image information
h) Count unique colours present in an image
i) Rotating an image to any degree and through line examples
l) All menus and toolbar components can be customized, moved or selectively be turned on or off.

ThumbsPlus is also connected to two online services:
1) PrintRoom
2) PictureTrail
Images can be uploaded directly from ThumbsPlus to the above two services for storage and/or further processing.

Download an evaluation version of ThumbsPlus 5.x at:

The evaluation version is good for 30 days. After that your kindly reminded to register and purchase the software ("...Please remember that using unlicensed trial software past the evaluation period is unethical and illegal."). Apparently ThumbsPlus limits functionalities in the application by allowing the creation of only two Galleries for images until you register the product.

Registration cost is: USD $ 79.95 plus shipping.

Highly recommended.

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

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