The Bottom Line
- Good value for the money; small learning curve; ideal for beginners and casual home users.
- Common Tasks panel eases navigation and guided tasks help beginners get started quickly.
- Many pre-designed projects for albums, cards, labels, stickers, calendars, and so on.
- A 60-day "Starter Edition" trial version is available for download.
- Runs on older versions of Windows--For Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP.
- Limited flexibility; not suitable for advanced photo manipulation.
- Editing tools are not as refined as competitors offerings and can be cumbersome to work with.
- Library lacks a free-form search tool. You can only browse by date, labels, and folders.
- No function for comparing photos side-by-side.
- Not all resellers include a printed manual. Avoid "Mini Box" packaging if you want a manual.
- Photo Library for browsing and organizing photos and video clips with labels, captions, ratings, and flags.
- Photo Editor with a task-based layout and an emphasis on simplicity and creative projects.
- Guided tasks help you touch up your photos and add effects, then use them in creative projects.
- Mini-Lab for batch processing several pictures at a time (rotate, resize, and auto fix contrast, exposure, and color).
- Creative tools include distortion brush, text effects, animation, lines & shapes, freehand painting, frames & edges.
- Includes more than 200 effects filters, and supports additional Photoshop-compatible plugins.
- 3000 project templates for cards, stickers, calendars, labels, frames, letterhead, crafts & more.
- Includes Photo Story 3 for creating photo slide show movies.
- Panorama stitching tool can align and combine multiple photos for a seamless panorama.
- For Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP. A 60-day "Starter Edition" trial version is available for download.
Guide Review - Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 / Anniversary Edition
Microsoft's Digital Image software is best suited to users who want simplified tools for image organization and enhancement, as well as a nice variety of professional-looking designs which can be personalized and produced without a lot of fuss. The software comes with step-by-step wizards and tutorials to get you started quickly, and offers thousands of design templates for creating projects for home, business, and the kids. For serious photo manipulation, the tools are a bit too limited and cumbersome to work with, but it won't disappoint those looking for a simple way to touch up photos, experiment with creative effects, and create fun designs.
New and notable features in Digital Image Suite 2006 include:
- Hierarchical keywords and labels in the Library
- Hover thumbnails - hold your mouse over a thumbnail for a larger view and photo details.
- Organize your video clips along with photos in the Library.
- Black and White Effects - explore tonal variations and experiment with channel mixing.
- Intuitive crop tool - analyzes photo content and suggests best composition.
- Built in CD and DVD burning to create a disc for sharing.
- Backup reminders and archive wizard help protect your photos from data loss.