Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection

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 Photos & Graphics
 

Best Free CAD Program for Windows

Google Sketchup -- Download | Review

"Affords the novice designer a veritable dream come true of innovative tools and pre-programmed add-ons. It allows you to create surfaces from lines, and extrude 3D solids from surfaces. If you are willing to learn insatiably complex software, CAD (or Computer Aided Drafting and Design) lets you see your imaginings materialize."

 

Best Free Digital Image Editor for Windows

Product ScreenshotPaint.net -- Review

Paint.net is a very good choice for mid-level photo retouching because of its excellent design and attractive interface. It also has options and tools comparable to commercial software, but it requires you to install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or newer."

Related: See here or here for related online apps and services.

What's it for? - Basic editors allow you to quickly make small adjustments to the overall lighting, colors, and tones of your images (along with other tools: cropping, sharpening, red eye correction). But editors like Paint.net offer more advanced tools (layers, captions, shapes, selective adjustments, artistic effects, etc.). Read the review for editors like GIMP that are comparable to professional programs.

 

Best Free Digital Image Viewer for Windows

Product ScreenshotZoner Photo Studio Free -- Download | Review

"With an intuitive and customizable interface, it's perfect for the needs of average users. It can seem a bit professional and daunting with many menus, tabs, and icons. But it comes with comprehensive help and numerous tooltips.

It has the ability to temporarily rotate pics and straighten them by drawing a horizontal line. It supports geotagging, reads many formats, generates thumbnails in a blink, stitches panoramas, makes 3D pictures, and much more."

High Quality Image Viewer Alternatives:

  • XnView: "It's probably the most versatile of all viewers because it can read nearly 400 types of graphic files and convert any of these to more than 50 formats."

  • IrfanView: "This is a first-class product, an amazingly capable application and quite fast at displaying images. It offers plenty of functions for editing, converting, batch processing, slideshow exporting, etc."

What's it for? - Apart from the basic viewing and browsing functions, digital image viewers offer loads of features like editing, filtering, batch processing, organizing, publishing, etc.

 

Best Free High Dynamic Range (HDR) Software for Windows

Product ScreenshotLuminance HDR -- Download | Review

"Luminance HDR is the best option if you want to experiment. Nine different tone-mapping algorithms, that means - if you want 'that' particular HDR look - there's a fair chance you'll achieve it with Luminance HDR. More realistic? Sure. A little like a drawing? Sure. Maybe surrealistic? It's all here."

What's it for? - HDR photography combines several photos of the same scene, taken at different exposure settings, into one photo. The result is a correctly exposed and more dimensional single photo.

 

Best Free Paint Program for Windows

Project DogWaffle -- Download | Review

"Any one of these in the review will definitely satisfy the inner artist in you. My requirements include graphic tablet support and the feel of natural paint on a digital canvas, but support for animation or booklet pages is a plus."

 

Best Free Photo Organizer for Windows

FastStone -- Download | Review

"Organize photos and videos, import photos from cameras, send photos to many devices, and make quick edits (sufficient for what amateur photographers need)."

 

Best Free Photo Slideshow Software for Windows

Photo Story -- Download | Review

"Both rich in features and easy enough for most average users to create a slideshow of photos. Turn multiple images into a standard video file and make your still photos come to life with animated transitions, colorful text, background music or voice narration."

 

Best Free Screen Capture Utility for Windows

Product ScreenshotScreenshot Captor -- Download | Review

"It supports multiple screens, full screen, window, rectangular area, and fixed area captures from either hot keys or from the programs menu. The cursor can be included or excluded. It's the only capture facility that can take a self-portrait. The software can acquire images from a scanner."

What's it for? - As an alternative to the utilities that come with windows, free screen capture products often cover many useful features and functions: capture full or selected areas, auto detect windows, snap scrolling windows, allow delayed captures, etc.

 

 
 

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Comments

My WOT icon still green when I visit the website. That's very unfortunate.. looks like a good program but I can't find any review of AOMEI Backupper from reputable website yet.

Oh I see.. I only see the WOT icon at the end of the link (I'm using WOT extension in Chrome), never actually roll over on it to see the details :)

Sometimes the WOT ratings can be manipulated maliciously by say rival vendors or fanboys of other products but this practice is not as widespread as the "knockers" of WOT would have you believe, and anyone so affected can have it rectified via dialogue with Web Of Trust. That said, we were inundated with Aomei spam here at one point which is no doubt where many of the adverse ratings stem from. MC - Site Manager.

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