Windows Live Photo Gallery Pros and Cons
Windows Live Photo Gallery requires Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008. Windows Live Photo Gallery also supports a wide range of plugins, such as plugins that allow you to publish your photos directly to Facebook, YouTube, Picasa Web, Pixelpipe and other websites. Since the Windows Scanner and Camera Wizard have been eliminated in Windows Vista, using Windows Live Photo Gallery is one of the best ways to download pictures from your digital camera in Windows Vista. Simply click "File," then "Import from a camera or scanner." Name each folder with a name that describes the pictures it contains.
You can double-click a picture or select the picture and click "Fix" to open the Windows Live Photo Gallery image editor. Editing tools include "Auto Adjust," "Adjust Exposure," "Adjust Color," Straighten Photo," "Crop Photo," "Adjust Detail," "Fix Red Eye" and "Black and White Effects." When you go to save your picture in the "File" menu, no "Save" or "Save As" options are provided. Instead, the picture is saved automatically when you click "Back to Gallery."
The problem is that Windows Live Photo Gallery saves your changes using the original file name, destroying the original image. This happens even if you select "Make a Copy" from the "File" menu. The changes you make are applied both to the original and the copy, negating the value of making a copy in the first place. There is an "Undo" tool that appears at the bottom of the page once you make a change. If you go back to the gallery, you can return to the edit screen and click "Revert" to restore the original image.
Like Picasa, Windows Live Photo Gallery help directs you to an online help database. You can access this feature by clicking the question mark at the upper right of the screen. The help files are extremely simplistic and don't provide even basic information on important functions such as saving your file.