Pixel – also known as Pixel Degrees – is a versatile image editing tool with support for most known image file formats. It provides you with all the tools you need to correct, enhance, and embellish your digital photographs, together with some useful extra functionality, such as a GIF editor to create animated GIFs. It comes with more than 100 effects and filters, all neatly organized in its intuitive and clear interface.
It is this interface one of the distinctive features that makes this utility somehow unique. When you open the program for the first time and face that blank gray-and-black huge space, the first question that comes to mind is “where are all the tiny icons, complex menus, and numerous panels that most image editors boast about?” The first impression is that of a simple image editor with no more than just the basic color correction, cropping, and rotation tools. Actually, Pixel does have those, together with a hundred more features to play with – they are just neatly folded up and hidden behind a few tiny menu labels. Once you find them, though, they display as big buttons along oversized ribbons, making them so much easier to work with.
The Effects box, for instance, opens a wide ribbon at the top of the interface with generously-sized images showing previews of what the active photo would look like if you would apply any of those effects or filters to it. This extremely clever way of showing you what the program’s filters can do for you images, is not only a highly useful feature, but also a time saving solution. You do not even need to know the name of the effect or filter – just take a look at what it does and apply it to your images if you happen to like it. What you see in each preview reflects the program’s default values for that specific filter or effect, but in most cases you are also given the possibility of customizing the results.
Together with the long list of effects, filters, selection tools, drawing tools, and functions (including rotate, crop, flip, resize, etc.), there is an extra utility that is worth mentioning – the GIF maker. You can use this utility as a simple “video to GIF” converter, but it is much more than that. It allows you to create animated GIF files, edit each of the frames, customize the delay between slides, add transitions, add a “continuous” effect, etc.
This is a free tool, and therefore it has its limitations. In order to promote an existing, more complete shareware version, developers decided to include all the Pro features in this free version and disable them. This may well be a good marketing strategy, I do not know – what I do know is that all those pointless limitations are annoying.