Many times you have images or photos and you want to do some quick work on them – like crop the image or edit the color, resize, etc. Over the years, there were many tools I found useful to do these.
- Adobe Photoshop Elements – This lite version of Adobe Photoshop is the best tool in the market and it cost only US$99
- Irfanview Photo viewer – This is a popular free image viewer, support virtually all image formats. Also supports basic image cropping, few effects and allows batch processing for resizing, format change and more. Highly recommended!
- Image Resizer – This is part of Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP, which are free add-ons you get from Microsoft.com website. This one allows you to resize one or many image files with a right-click.
- Paint.NET (new site) – If you are frustrated with the Windows MS Paint application, then this is the one for you. It is a free graphics and photo manipulation software based on Microsoft .NET Framework. This one has lot of commercial quality features including Layers, History, Plugins and more. Best part is it comes with full source code, which can be worth a read if you are working on Windows Smartclient applications. There is a video here from MSDN about how they build this application.
- Picasa – This free software from Google is good if you only want a software to effectively manage photos and share them. The beauty of this one is that it is simple and looks awesome.
I haven’t added in the above list Microsoft Acrylic because it is in beta and not released. Acrylic is based on Creature House Expression, a product Microsoft acquired in 2003 from a HongKong company. The current CTP release of Acrylic supports export of XAML, which is a new markup language used in Windows Presentation Framework (Avalon) of Windows Vista.
As a side note, I noticed Paint.net uses couple of third-party software. Following a link from one of them, I came across this company Skybound who seem to be making available for reasonable price good .NET Winforms components for functionalities like Windows XP Themes, Rebars and Auto complete. Check them out.