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WinLab Reviews
DeBabelizer Pro
Take the 'Babble' Out of Image Editing

-- by Lori L. Bloomer

Working with visual media is like being a polyglot. A digital artist needs to habla JPEG, sprechen sie GIF and parlez Photoshop-and so should an artist's tools. DeBabelizer Pro is an image editing tool that's also a fluent linguist.

Translation to and from more than 60 file formats is available. Web artists will find the predesigned scripts particularly useful for making images from their creations. We opened a series of Photoshop images and used the Batch Automation tool to create a Super Palette for the images and reduce them from 24-bit color to the newly mapped 8-bit palette (which is a smaller file to download). If reworking a site seems tedious, try the program's HTML parsing capability, which allows DeBabelizer to extract images from any HTML document and place them into a batch list for manipulation.

Another script under Batch Automation allows you to save your new creations with options based on the file format. Saving a GIF, for example, gave us the option of changing the background color and rendering any indexed color transparent, and also allowed us to set the time between frames in a GIF animation. The images reduced were not only tightly compacted, but the GIFs looked just as snazzy as they did in the original format.

However, you're not limited to the built-in scripts. Image-processing scripts can be designed easily using the WatchMe recorder, which registers your actions into a processing script you can then edit. All actions in your visual script window can be rearranged by dragging and dropping commands.

DeBabelizer has long been a favorite of Macintosh artists; Equilibrium has rewritten it from the ground up so that the program now combines great graphics tools with Windows-centric functionality. Web designers and graphic artists will love this Rosetta Stone of image manipulation.

DeBabelizer Pro
Price: $595
Platforms: 95, NT
Pros: Professional graphic artists will appreciate its support for over 60 file formats and scripting ability; Web designers will benefit from image-reduction features and HTML parsing
Cons: Chews up memory and money
Strongest rival: None at this time
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Windows Magazine, May 1997, page 170.

[ Go to May 1997 Table of Contents ]