If you work with images, you probably have a lot of editing tools on your computer which cover a wide range of functions. Going back and forth between these programs and loading and re-loading the same image takes up time and energy. So what if you could do away with all of those programs, and instead have all editing functions under one roof? That is what Ashampoo Photo Converter 2 ($15, 40-day free trial) tries to accomplish.
One thing to say up-front is that this is not Photoshop-grade software. Far from it. If you want to remove an unsightly spot on the end of someone's nose, then this is the wrong software for you. Instead Photo Converter 2 tries to cover all the basic nitty-gritty editing functions such as resizing, adding a watermark, rotating, flipping, changing the colors (brightness, contrast, etc) and converting to another image format.
You can perform these functions on either a single file or a batch of files, and specify whether you want the original unedited files deleted or kept. Ashampoo uses the tired cliché of "a Swiss Army Knife" to describe Photo Converter 2 and it does a pretty good job of matching up to that image. I just wish the phrase "Swiss Army Knife" would be permanently retired when it came to developers trying to describe their work.
When installing, the software will attempt to install a browser toolbar and change your homepage and default search engine. To avoid this, choose the custom installation option. When installed, you also need to click configuration>Service Channel and uncheck "recommendations from the Ashampoo team". Otherwise, every time you close the software, you are going to get a nag screen trying to sell you something else.
One of the good things about aShampoo has to be the batch editing. For example, you can choose a folder full of images and once chosen, Ashampoo will load all of the images contained in that folder. From there, you can make one choice which will be instantly applied to all the images. This is especially great if you have holiday photos which need resized to the same height and width.
After spending some time trying out all of the different functions and putting it through its paces, I have found no problems with any of the functions. They all work fine and produce outstanding results. The only thing I would complain about is that the preview window showing the image is very small, so when you are carefully tweaking animage, it is hard to see exactly if things are looking the way you want them to. Making the window a bit bigger would make this software a lot better.
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