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Download

 
 
Download your trial version of PhotoLine for Windows or Mac OS X. The trial version can be used for 30 days for free without heavy limitations.


 
 

Tutorial

 
 
Learn about the amazing effects you can achieve with PhotoLine. Read our online tutorial. It also contains a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). An offline version is available here.
 

 

Download Tutorial

 
 

Manual

 

The PDF manuals are ZIP encoded.

Manual in English

Features

32/64 bit application

Image Processing

  • 16 bit per channel, support of CMYK and Lab

  • Color management with ICC profiles

  • Lossless imaging

  • Process digital photos

  • Retouch, correct, ...

Browse

  • IPTC and EXIF data handling

  • Rotate images lossless

  • Rename images and create catalogues

  • Create HTML galleries

  • Add and edit keywords

  • Powerful search capabilities

DTP/Layout/Text

  • "Real" PDF Import and Export (not just a big image)

  • Multipage documents

  • Calendar and barcode creation

  • Rich text functions

Internet/Animations

  • Create Flash and GIF animations

  • Web Export

  • Tile images, create buttons and image maps

Many more

  • Batch conversion

  • Create slideshows

  • Record actions

  • Print multipage documents, flyers and labels

  • USB-Stick support

  • Multiprocessor support

 

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PhotoLine, a nice alternative to Photoshop, is a full featured raster graphics editor for Windows and Mac OS X aimed at the advanced amateur or professional user. Its features include 16 bits of color depth, full color management, support of RGB, CMYK and Lab color models, layer support, and non-destructive image manipulation.

Besides that, it is also a vector graphics editor and can also be used for desktop publishing. It can import and export all common raster graphics formats including camera raw image formats, as well as Photoshop PSD files, PDF files and Adobe Flash animations.

  • integrates raster graphics editor, vector graphics editor and basic desktop publishing in one program
  • full color management, including Monitor proofing
  • RGB, CMYK, Lab and grayscalecolor models; color models and ICC profiles can be chosen on a layer by layer basis
  • 8, 16 and 32 bits of colour depth per channel
  • full layer support, including blending modes and grouping
  • non-destructive workflow by adjustment layers, multiple layer masks per layer, and layer styles
  • non-destructive scaling, rotating and perspective correction
  • most filters available as adjustment layers
  • many filters, brushes and adjustment layers can be used in Lab and HIS color modes (HIS is a variant of HSL), independently of the color model of the underlying image layer
  • vector layers and text layers including spell checking and character and paragraph styles and text flow inside or around objects.
  • multi page documents, including text flow between pages
  • supports Photoshop plugins and PSP tubes[1]
  • support for pressure-sensitive graphics tablets
  • import and export of Photoshop PSD files, PDF files, animated GIFs, Adobe Flash animations, SVG vector graphics, and many others
  • camera raw image format support based upon dcraw
  • macro (action) recording and batch processing
  • supports 64 bit processors and multiprocessing
  • small download and program size, launches very quickly, can be run off an USB stick or similar device

 

 

Industry Response

Recently Adobe announced that most of their creative software titles such as Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, Dreawmweaver, and so forth will no longer be sold via perpetual licenses. Instead, these titles will only be available as subscription ďrentals,Ē meaning that essentially access to your work will require paying Adobe a fee each month.

As a creative professional and hobbyist (why are these terms always used as an either/or situation? Canít we be both?), I am not alone in viewing this model as untenable. The tools I use to create my work contribute to my creative process. However, the process and steps used are my IP, not Adobeís. So the thought of having to pay Adobe a monthly fee simply to access my IP is a non-starter for me.

 

So it is with that in mind, that I decided to start looking for alternative solutions to the tools I use. This is the first post in what will be a series covering this topic. I am starting with Photoshop because it is central to my work process and creative process.

The first application is called PhotoLine.  This is a cross platform app (Win/Mac), 32 and 64 bit. When I first visited the website, my initial impression was that this package is probably a simple photo manipulation tool.  However, donít be put off by the lack of marketing focus, regardless of how it looks, PhotoLine does have a serious pro focus.  It does not have everything that Photoshop CS Extended hasÖ yet.  But it does have a lot in it, such as this to start:

 

The image processing part of PhotoLine contains all standard features like painting, copying, filtering, color gradients and fill functions. In order to eliminate interfering background in pictures PhotoLine offers various lasso functions, a flexible mask handling and a magic wand function.

Layers are an important feature for professional usage. The number of layers is only limited by the available memory.
The number of undo and redo steps can be set in a range from 0 to 500.

Not mentioned above is the fact that it handles 16 bit images. It continues:

In PhotoLine you can create, load, edit and save CMYK pictures.
The filter section contains a large quantity of features: sharpen, unsharp masking, soften, outline, video for correcting interlaced pictures, relief, glow, shadow, Ö
Morphing and distortion functionality is already integrated.
If that is not enough, PhotoLine is extendable through plug-in modules in the 8BF format.

  BTW, plug-ins are a big concern, so I tested my CS6 plugins (NIK, Magic Bullet, Akvis, Digimarc, etc.) in PhotoLine, and they all work.  Some users on the PhotoLine forums report that their plugins donít work, so check yours in the free demo to make sure. Photoline has a preference setting where you can specify the location of your Photoshop plugins, making it easy to integrate.

PhotoLine supports numerous import file formats like PLD, PDF, TIF, BMP, GIF, JPEG, CMX, PCD, PCX, PNG, PSD, EPS, PICT, TGA, IMG, ICO, ANI, XBM, IFF, ESM, CGM, PIC, CVG, GEM, WMF. On Windows you can also import pictures via the Aldus import interface. There are many import filters for this interface like PS, PDF, CDR and WPG. In all formats layers and transparency are preserved if possible.

Yes indeed, it does import PSD files.  I have not had a chance to use this extensively, but the few tests I ran worked perfectly.  This is very important because I have oodles of files saved in PSD.

PhotoLine has special functions for saving web graphics. It can create, import, edit, show and save transparent and animated GIF files. To save valuable web space and bandwidth GIFs can be saved highly optimized and interlaced. Saving of progressive JPEGs is supported, too.

There are a number of functions for working with images to HTML.  I have not had a chance to test them, but it looks promising, and is another of those essential Photoshop items that I need.

Due to the various import and export drivers and its integrated batch function PhotoLine is well suited as a file format converter. In combination with the action recorder the batch function is a very powerful tool. For example with one mouse click it is possible to read all pictures from a directory, reduce them to 256 colors for usage in the web and save the pictures to a different directory.

Pressure sensitive graphic tablets are supported, too.

Yes it works with my Wacom tablet.  So far so good.

It has other features such as vector creation and editing, adjustment layers, Multi-Touch (on OSX only AFAICT), a Healing Brush, a Remove Brush (which is similar to the Content-Aware functions in Photoshop), and it comes with an extensive user manual. The program appears to be well supported and is up to version 17, so it has maturity.

As for Camera Raw functionality, PhotoLine does have support for it, but I have not had a chance to test it.  Nevertheless, I have several options for Camera Raw (such as Aperture), so Iím not worried about it vis-a-vis replacing Photoshop.

The UI is one that is best described as function over form. It isnít that the UI looks bad, but coming from Photoshop CS6, one might find it to be a bit prosaic and dated. Nevertheless, donít let this fool you. Photoline definitely has a lot going for it, and personally I would rather have function over form in terms of priorities.

What is noticeably absent for the Photoshop CS extended user is that there are no 3d texturing tools (at least that I could find).  This isnít a deal breaker though because there are plenty of options for that sort of work. All in all, for me PhotoLine is a worthy challenger to Photoshop.  As I work more with it, I will update this post with findings.  If I missed anything, please feel free to comment on it.

Rating: Excellent alternative to Photoshop

 
 
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