Are these programs fun to work with? I mage editors can’t be treated like other software, where we dock points for a cluttered interface. This is because each of these tools are chock-full of features and presenting them is always going to be challenge. You will find menu bars, tabs, sidebars, and buttons, or some combination of them, littered in the interface for each of the tools featured in this Roundup.
It’d be unfair to these tools for us to declare any one style or appearance as superior to the others, because each of these tools boast of vast user communities, which suggests that there are ample number of users who favour their user interface.
Suffice to say, you’re unlikely to get very far with any of these tools unless you spend some time with the documentation familiarising yourself with the interface. Darktable 10/10 The columns on the left and right of the
darktable interface provide context specific information and settings.
For instance, if you’re in the darktable tab, which is the default, all your imported images are listed in the middle of the window, and the left column is where you can import more images, create collections of images, and so on. The right column lists a number of operations you can perform on the images, such as add tags. You can also select an image, and give them a star rating or assign a colour to them at the bottom. The stars and colours can also be used to search and filter images. If you want to edit images, click the darkroom tab on the top right of the screen, and the columns will then change, accordingly.
Note, however, that darktable isn’t nondestructive and will overwrite your existing pictures when you edit them. DigiKam 10/10 Directories are imported as albums into
DigiKam. When you add new photographs, or create sub-folders into the parent directory, DigiKam will automatically import these additions into the respective album.
The interface features menubar and a strip of buttons at the top. You’ll notice two thin strips of buttons at the left and right. Click the Albums button on the left to access all your albums, and the Labels or Tags buttons to create and access the global labels and tabs respectively. The strip of vertical buttons on the right provides information specific to the selected image, such as Properties and Metadata. You can edit images by selecting them and clicking the Image Editor button.
The menu bar at the top features the different self-explanatory heads for postprocessing such as Color, Enhance and Decorate. You can overwrite existing images, or save changes to a new image.
Fotoxx 7/10 Unlike the other tools on test here, Fotoxx doesn’t feature a menu bar or buttons at the top. Instead, its interface has a strip of buttons in a sidebar on the left. The second-last button is Tools. You must click it, select Index and then identify the directory that holds all your images, and
Fotoxx will index all of them. Once the indexing is done, you should then click Tools>User Settings and choose the Startup Display option.
This isn’t the most intuitive design, but clicking a button presents a menu, and hovering the mouse over each of the buttons offers helpful tooltips describing the different elements within each button.
The buttons on the strip will change to make it possible for you to transform pictures when you select a photograph. However, the strip isn’t scrollable and so you must always keep Fotoxx maximised to access all the buttons. Lightzone 9/10 The interface features a file manager in the left sidebar, which you can use to select the directory that holds your photographs.
The picture tiles are then displayed in the middle of the window. For each selected picture, LightZone displays the available metadata in the sidebar on the right. Select a photo and click the Edit button to begin the post-processing.
You will find a number of Styles such as Toning enhancement, Skin glow and Infrared on the left sidebar. The button on the right can be used to toggle between different effects. Like the others, LightZone also maintains a history of all the effects and changes you make to your pictures. Click the History tab on the right of the window for a list of all the steps your pictures have undergone.
The menu bar at the top also lists the different Styles and editing Tools, such as noise reduction, red-eye and blur. Photivo 6/10 The Photivo interface is the least intuitive of all the tools featured in this month’s
Roundup. To begin with, you can’t import directories because the tool will only work with one picture at a time. Furthermore, to open a file you must click the tiny button to the left of the Open file text. It’s the same for Open settings file and so forth. |As a rule, clickable elements on the interface either all have a > next to them, or they change colour or otherwise are visibly highlighted on mouseover. If you don’t notice these changes, your mouse isn’t hovering over a clickable element.
Photivo has a vertical strip of tabs on the left of the window and a sidebar and a number of buttons running along the bottom of the window. Puzzlingly still, the buttons at the bottom are context sensitive, and may change depending on what tab you’ve selected from the strip on the left.