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The user interface is very intuitive, though I did have some minor problems in a couple of areas. The biggest problem I had was with assigning images to categories. Once I had assigned an image to a category (i.e. family, pets, landscapes, etc.), it disappeared from the viewing area. This made it difficult to assign images to multiple categories. You have to assign an image to all of the categories it belongs in at once. After all of the images were assigned to categories, there was no way to see all of the images again without scrolling down the directory list and choosing the proper directory again. This was a real nuisance as the categories were part of the directory list and were at the top of the list. My image directory was way down the list, forcing me to scroll down. This was very frustrating and time-consuming.
Now let’s take a look at how the interface is laid out on screen. When you first open the program, you get something that looks a lot like the regular Windows File Explorer. On the left is an area that contains your favorites at the top and below that is a list of categories and the directories on your hard drive. At the bottom of the left side is a preview window that will show the selected image. The middle and right-hand side of the screen is devoted to a list of the images in the selected directory. The list can be set to show details or thumbnail views of the images. At the top of the screen are the normal menu and quick access icons.
If you double-click an image in the list view, you are presented with a view of the image that is almost full screen. There are only a menu and some small icons at the top. I should stop here and mention that CompuPic Standard is not multi-monitor aware. This view and the help windows open on the default monitor, even if you have the list view on a second monitor. Anyway, from this large view, you can quickly move from image to image using the mouse wheel. From here, you can zoom in on, edit, or crop the image, as well as adjust the exposure, fix red eye, or even delete or rename the image. This is probably the best part of the whole program, as you can quickly move through your images, processing them using the keyboard hot keys, the menus, or the icons at the top of the screen. While this is a very fast and intuitive way of processing your images, I was disappointed in the lack of tools (no tools for fixing blemishes, for example) and I didn’t like the way the auto exposure worked. I really like this concept, but I wish they would add more tools and give you more control.
CompuPic Standard has lots of options for printing and viewing your images, and these tasks were easily accomplished, though I didn’t go into them too much. Why? Because I don’t have any need for slideshows and printing is very subjective, depending a whole lot on the printer you are using. It did seem limited in the ways you can print. For example, I couldn't find a way to print multiple images on a page.
There were also several things you could do involving emailing and sharing under the Internet menu item. There was even a web page generator for creating thumbnail galleries, but it wouldn’t work. CompuPic Standard kept telling me the target disk was full even though I saw no way of selecting a target disk, and my hard drive had of 20 GB of free space.
When all is said and done, the user interface is very easy to use and the tools are laid out logically and are easy to find. I found the interface very intuitive and easy to use, though I did find myself wishing for more functionality in the tools and an interface that is more like other Windows applications.
In some areas the tools seemed incomplete, and in at least once case, the tool just would not work.