Share

Picosmos Tools is a hugely ambitious suite of image handling functions, covering viewing, editing, batch processing, simple design tools, screen capture, and more.

The program opens with a Windows Start Screen-type interface, colorful "live tiles" giving you easy access to each module.

We opened the viewer, and found a capable thumbnail browser. The interface is flashy, with animations everywhere, and some of the translations don't quite hit the mark (would you be sure what "penetrate folder" meant?), but it more or less works as you'd expect, and there are more pleasant surprises than disappointments.

The editor does its best to be novice-friendly, a lengthy panel of filters enabling users to apply many different effects and corrections with a couple of clicks.

There's more power, for those who need it: multiple selection tools, effects you can apply with a brush, full layer support. But this is no Photoshop. If you're hoping to adjust brightness or contrast, you won't find any curve correction tools, no equalise or stretch options, no Levels control - there are just single "Brightness" and "Contrast" sliders.

We couldn't even find a RGB tweaker - there's just a Hue/ Saturation dialog.

The Effects tool is arguably better, because it concentrates more on point-and-click simplicity, yet still has more than enough power to be useful. For example, the list of effects includes Lens Flare, Selective Focus, Gaussian Blur, Zoom Blur and a pile of distortions, and there's also a stack of clipart to explore and various photo frames to complete the look.

The Batch Processor was similarly good, but not great. It's the same core interface as the viewer, so you select what you need and choose the processing actions you'd like to perform: colour tweaks (brightness/ contrast/ hue/ saturation), optimise for size (resize, save as JPG, change quality setting), Organise (copy or move to a new folder based on date or resolution), Rename, Grey, Rotate, and a simple Watermark tool which crashed when we tried it.

Page Design helps you combine pictures in a collage-type design, maybe with custom templates, backgrounds or clipart.

You also get a Combine module to organise images in a grid, while a Split tool breaks one image into blocks. Neither impressed us much, but maybe you'll find some use for them.

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

Picosmos Tools isn't as powerful as its lengthy feature list suggests. The editor looks glossy, but has some surprising limitations; the batch processor can't begin to compete with the leading freeware; other modules could disappear entirely and we'd find it very hard to care.

For all that, there are useful core tools here. A capable thumbnail viewer helps find the pictures you need, you can apply a host of filters and effects in a click or two, there's a convenient screen capture tool. If you need any of that, give it a try.