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What makes today's PCs stand out most from their predecessors? One word: multimedia. Gone are the days of the monochrome monitor and command prompts. You can use your PC as a paint canvas, recording studio, movie viewer or photo album. These shareware programs will bring your PC to life.
Paint Shop Pro 4.12
If you want a solid image-editing app but Photoshop seems like overkill, consider this shareware classic. Paint Shop Pro 4.12 supports more than 30 image formats and has more features than you'll ever need.
Paint Shop Pro stands out because of its flexibility. Its painting tools include pen, pencil, chalk, airbrush, crayon, smudge and emboss. You can manipulate images by flipping, mirroring, cropping, resizing or rotating. Use one of the 25 included image-processing filters or customize your own. Still want more? It has several special effects and masking capabilities, as well as a magic wand for easy selection. Paint Shop Pro also fully supports TWAIN-compliant scanners, so you can digitize your photos.$69, Jasc, Download PSP412.ZIP, 2.9MB.
ACDSee32 is the fastest image viewer around. It supports 11 image file types, including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, TGA and TIFF, and includes scroll, zoom and slide-show features. Tailor ACDSee to suit your needs with its extensive customization options. $20, ACD Systems, Download ACDC3221.EXE, 566KB.
Cool Edit 96
Running Cool Edit is like having a full-blown recording studio inside your computer. It lets you manipulate audio files using reverberation, noise reduction, echo and delay, flanging and filtering tools. It even has a built-in CD player. If you make a mistake, don't fret: Cool Edit 96 includes a multilevel Undo feature that lets you backtrack and fix your errors. $50, Syntrillium Software, Download C96SETUP.EXE, 1.96MB.
GIF Animator 1.5
Looking for a neat way to enhance your Web page? Try some animated GIFs. With its simple-to-use interface, Gif Animator lets you create an animation from a set of GIF files. Make your home page's graphics glow, pulsate and move, or piece together a sequence of cells to create an animated comic book. $29.95, Ulead Systems, Download GA15T.EXE, 2.03MB.
Lview Pro 2.0
With its slick interface, this image-file editor loads, saves and converts image files in JPEG, JFIF, GIF, TIFF, Targa, BMP, PCX and PPM formats. LView Pro offers TWAIN support for scanning images. Its Multiple Open feature allows you to execute a batch conversion, create an index of selected images or run a slide show. $40, Leonardo Loureiro, Download LVSETUP.EXE, 1.28MB.
VuePrint Pro 5.1c
VuePrint Pro can open any movie, image or sound file. The program also doubles as a screen saver that runs a slide show of your movies or images. VuePrint comes in 16-bit and 32-bit versions (16-bit Edition and Pro/32 Edition) in 11 languages. $40, Hamrick Software, Download vpri32.zip (formerly VUEPRO51.EXE), 421KB.
Windows Magazine, September 1997, page 200.
[ Go to September 1997 Table of Contents ]