IPhotoDraw is a well-designed portable tool for annotating images.

You can add captions, arrows, lines, spline curves, bubbles, dimension lines, watermarks (including watermarking a batch of images in one operation) and more.

Whatever the object, you're able to set fonts, styles, shadows, glows, fill colour/ gradient/ image, line thickness, opacity and more.

Objects can be grouped/ ungrouped, sized, aligned, spaced, and positioned above or below each other.

If you're adding a lot of annotations then this can become complicated, but iPhotoDraw does its best to help. You're able to save snapshots of your current editing state - image + objects + the current settings of every tool - for easy restoration later. And unusually, iPhotoDraw never actually touches your original images, storing its annotations in a separate file (you export the finished image as a BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF or TIF file).

While it's not intended to be an image editor, iPhotoDraw has a few basic editing options: flip, rotate, brightness/ contrast and hue/ saturation adjustments.

A useful "Extended Toolbox" feature can add a custom shape to the iPhotoDraw toolbox. If you regularly use a couple of callouts in a certain style, for instance, set them up accordingly, add them to the toolbox, and they'll be instantly accessible in future.

There are some surprise bonus features, too, ranging from a simple screen capture tool to the ability to upload a finished image via FTP.

Note that this is the portable version of iPhotoDraw.

What's new in 2.0?

- Flexible arrow heads for lines
- Number and letter stamp tool
- Batch image conversion
- Transform shapes
- Capture window (with screen capture)
- Global hotkeys for screen capture
- More options for screen capture (capture to file, with watermark etc.)
- Import/export application settings
- Send image to external applications
- More shapes, e.g. elbow lines
- Check software updates

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

IPhotoDraw has a little room for improvement. You can't just double-click an object and start typing text; you have to select the Text Properties box first. We'd also like wider file format support (it's just the bare essential BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF and TIF right now), and the local Help file would be much more useful if it had a Search tab.

These are tiny details compared to everything the program gets right, though: its wide choice of annotations, their configurability, overall ease of use, piles of bonus features and the fact that it's entirely free. If you need more annotation features than your current image editor provides, iPhotoDraw is a must-try.