PhotoMix from fCoder Group, Inc. is extremely easy to use digital scrapbooking software, due in large part to lack of features. If it had more features—such as the ability to import from a scanner, more photo editing tools, and more clipart, borders and backgrounds, PhotoMix would have earned a higher ranking.
PhotoMix’s strong suit is that it’s so easy to use, especially once you’ve gone through the Getting Started tutorial. The program’s main screen and tools are well designed and intuitive. Also, most feature icons have brief descriptions that appear if you hold your mouse pointer over them. We feel PhotoMix should be easy for a novice to master.
Though PhotoMix can make use of most file formats, it can’t import pictures directly from a scanner. Instead, you must capture the image from a scanner, save it to your computer as a digital picture, then open the file in the program. With most current scrapbooking software suites offering direct scanner and digital camera import, this seems a very dated inconvenience.
PhotoMix offers most of the basic photo editing tools we feel scrapbooking software should offer, but the program lacks a few vital tools, namely—image cropping and red eye removal.
PhotoMix lets you send finished layouts to friends and relatives by email, and fCoder also provides a website photo gallery where you can upload finished projects for others to see. You can save your finished layouts in multiple formats, including JPEG, GIF and BMP. You can also pack several images together and send them as a ZIP file.
Managing many of the tools, settings and even running the program itself can prove a bit difficult. PhotoMix offers limited file saving methods, meaning that while you can save a scrapbook as a single layout, you must separate completed projects by subject (i.e. by name or by year), create individual folders, then save the files in the correct folders. This tends to complicate organization even further.
fCoder Group Inc. equips PhotoMix with a brief, but well designed Getting Started tutorial. The program also offers a limited index search and a help section. Most of the text in the help section was useful and easy to understand, but we had a problem with the help instructions for the collage feature; the instructions were confusing and may have been from an earlier version of PhotoMix. PhotoMix also provides additional telephone and email assistance.
PhotoMix by fCoder Group Inc. is a good fit for someone who wants digital scrapbooking software that trades simplicity for feature power and variety. For those who want to take their scrapbooking to the next level, our other top rated programs are much more likely to give the boost you need.