Good program for editing and organizing pictures
Windows Vista / Windows 2003 / Windows XP / Windows 2000
Photo Manager is a program designed to manage large collections of images and make them searchable. The latest version of Photo Manager is available only as a commercial product although there are some previous versions that can still be downloaded free. The program has a few different sections, including a file browser, a database manager and a photo editor. Although the program can perform many different tasks, it is primarily focused on managing a sizable photo collection.
The main screen and interface for Photo Manager is relatively cluttered. It uses small fonts. The program tries to fit a large amount of information on the screen. This makes it difficult to focus on the actual photos. One of the good aspects is that the smaller fonts and images make it simple to browse through multiple directories that could each hold hundreds of images. Browsing is done with a directory tree view on the left and a view of the image thumbnails in the center pane. The pane on the right is reserved for managing different image properties. Photo Manager is not limited to browsing the local hard drive. It can integrate images from several different sources, including network drives and removable thumb drives.
The most unique feature of Photo Manager is the ability to tag different images with various types of metadata. A user can add a text description of an image. Keywords can be attached as well. There is a rating system so that it is easier to identify the best photos later. Each picture can be assigned to a broad predefined category such as landscapes, people or vegetation. Users can then click on the database search function to scan through all the images quickly using any one of the metadata tags that was previously defined. This makes it possible to easily bring up all the pictures that show a particular person or place.
Another part of Photo Manager is an editing package. The editor is brought up by right-clicking on an image. The editor has a few advanced features. It shows a histogram of the photograph. It includes a number of sliders to control colors, contrast and levels. There are auto adjust features to quickly make photographs look professional. The editor includes different algorithms for resizing large photos without degrading the quality and colors. Some filters are also included, mainly to remove noise and smooth or blur pictures. The editing features are somewhat underwhelming and limited, especially for anyone familiar with more compete editing packages.
The interface in Photo Manager takes a little getting used to. It does not have the easy layout of other programs. Additionally, the interface is a little slow and inconsistent. It has a black background and does not always respond quickly to keystrokes. The same problem occurs when dealing with photos. The program is a little slow to generate thumbnails or move between directories. Photo Manager is a good program for managing large image collections, but it is not perfect.