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PhotoDeluxe 1.1 and 2.0 Compared

(Continued; previous page)

Figure 5 shows what happens in 2.0 when you click on Get Photo. Under Intro is a large screen showing what the other options mean. This can be helpful at first, but it takes up a lot of screen space, and I think it will get tiring quickly. (This won't be as much of a problem when switching to the advanced level.) Clicking on the other tabs does produce a less intrusive screen. But my impression is that in trying to lead the user through activities (PhotoDeluxe is, after all, a junior version of Photoshop probably intended for the more novice user) too much has been added in 2.0 as compared to 1.1. I found exploring the Guided Activities in 1.1 to be easier and more natural than taking the similar route in 2.0.

Figure 5: what happens when you Get Photo in version 2.0. Note how much screen space is consumed by the instructions.

Figure 6 shows a picture imported into 1.1, using its advanced level. Figure 7 is the same using version 2.0. In addition, in 2.0 I had to go to the View menu to make both the layers and selection windows visible. These I have dragged over to the left, covering Hold Photo. I found I could not reduce the width of the layer window in 2.0 so that it would not intrude into the working picture space. (The picture windows can be enlarged and moved around, even on top of some other screen elements, to obtain more space for them, but they seem to jump back into place when changes are made.) My impression is that 2.0's presentation is more cluttered than 1.1's, leaving less room to actually work on the pictures, and without providing any compensating advantages. In addition, the layer window in 2.0 is less graphically illuminating than 1.1's is: it is flat, while in 1.1 it is 3-dimensional. That, its color, and the page and trash icons at its bottom, the meaning of which to me are less obvious than words in 1.1, strengthens the impression of an import from Windows (where version 3.0 of PhotoDeluxe is already available). See Figure 8 for a clearer comparison (which is better in color) of the two versions of the layers presentation.

Figure 6: version 1.1, in Advanced mode.

Figure 7: in contrast, version 2, in Advanced mode (but only after some tweaking).

Figure 8: a comparison of the layers settings in Photodeluxe 1.1 (top) and 2.0 (bottom).


PhotoDeluxe 2.0 has more sample photos and clip art included with it than does 1.1. It also has more and more powerful effects filters, easier to use in some cases. More project templates are included. But I was surprised that 1.1 includes pictures and effects that are not included in 2.0. And I found the user interface, including that for my scanner, to be inferior to that in 1.1. Because of its increased power compared to 1.1, I am glad to have 2.0, but I wish its interface were better.


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Revised November 10, 1998 Lawrence I. Charters
Washington Apple Pi
URL: http://www.wap.org/journal/