As a blogger, I have to use a number of design tools to help me with my work. A screen capture and an image editor is a must when writing reviews of software and services. Some additional design tools are needed when editing templates. Recently I discovered a gem of a software – PicPick Tools. This software is a free all-in-one solution for graphic designers, software developers, bloggers and anyone who need to work with images. Usually, programs that does a lot of things suffer from lack of usability because either they are too complex or have a bad design or tries to do too many things yet none of them works right. PicPick Tools is different.
PicPick’s intuitive interface makes it ideal for beginners and the plethora of tools make it excellent for a pro user. Every single tool on PicPick is accessible from the system tray through a menu – no need to dig through window after window to get to them. Everything is clear as daylight.
PicPick’s image editor provides you with all the basic image editing tools you require like cropping, changing orientation, changing hues, creating shapes, applying filters, blurring, adding text and other image effects. The image editor is a good replacement for Paint.NET program that I have been using.
PicPick’s screen capture tools are the best I’ve seen so far. You can capture the full screen, the active window or a selected portion of the screen which can be either rectangular or free-hand drawn. There are keyboard hotkeys for each type. The captured screen can be opened directly in the image editor for editing, copied to the clipboard or automatically saved to the hard disk without bothering you. Unlike most screen capture tools, PicPick has the ability to capture the mouse as well.
The color picker tool allows you to pick colors from anywhere on the screen. Again, this tool provides more flexibility than other color picking tools by allowing users to copy the picked color as HTML, RGB, C++ (0x000000 type) or Delphi ($00000000) format. The most impressive feature of the color picker is the color history. How many times have you picked the same color again and again because there is no option to save it? Now forget about repeated color pickings.
The next set of tools helps you take measurements of screen objects. This comprises of a Ruler using which you can take horizontal and vertical measurements, a Crosshair to get the position of any pixel on the screen, and a Protractor to measure angles between two lines. Now this is something new. I haven’t seen any software implementing a protractor before. I don’t know where I will use it, but someday it will come handy.
The last tool in PicPick is the Whiteboard. The Whiteboard allows you to write on the screen with the mouse and then capture it as a screenshot. Suppose you wish to take a screenshot of a program and then add some markings on it like an arrow, you would have to take a screenshot and then edit it. But by doing it directly on Whiteboard, you eliminate one extra step. The pen width and color can be adjusted, however, you can only scribble as the pen is the only tool available on the Whiteboard – no text or shapes.
PicPick Tools is simply brilliant. This single application has replaced 4 of my most used programs. I have to give credit to the developers for bringing out such a fine program. Despite all the tools crammed into this little software, it’s memory footprint is surprisingly low at around 18 MB. PicPick is portable too. I seriously recommend this program to all blogger and designers.