Its been a while since I have done a post on this site, i’m sorry. The pile of stuff to do is getting so tall I may have to raise the ceiling. Anyway, today’s app is all about modifying images, specifically screen shots. It’s called Voila and is the app for people who need to edit and modify screen shots of applications to send to their co-workers or friends. It is designed so you don’t need to open up an image editing application to edit a screen shot. A good time save and way to streamline any development process in which you have to show screen shots of applications.
This application has a very simple work flow. You first start by capturing your screen shot. The tools provided include the ability to take pictures of the full screen, a selection (which doesn’t have to be a square), and object such as a window or tool bar. You can also capture an image of a website or iSight using the tools provided, finally if you have an image ready you can drop it into the application.
Once you have your image ready you can begin editing. It’s not a Photoshop type application with hundreds of different tools. It has basic pencil and paint tools to allow you to outline and express your ideas. There is also sprays, text effects, shapes, arrows and callouts. There is also a very funky tool called a stamp, this is where you can stamp an “OK” onto an image pretty neat.
The tools are mostly used to outline ideas and make them known. They are not designed to be used a full editing suite. For example you could be working on an application, find a problem with it. Within Viola you could take an image, and annotate what is wrong with and then send it to who ever is in charge. A quick way of making sure your problems are known.
As well as basic tools there are also some “effects” which allow you to do some more complex tasks. This includes modifying the edges of an image, skewing an image to make it look more 3D, adding colour filters. As well as this you can also adjust the colours and crop the image. The effects section has more complex tools and allows you to complete more advance tasks.
Once you have fiddled with your image you can now send it to other applications. This includes sending it to iPhoto, emailing to to a friend. You can also publish the image to Flickr or and FTP server. As you would expect there is also an option to print the image you are working on.
This application’s work flow is very well defined. You capture your image, edit whats on your screen, and then forward it to how ever needs it. Very simple, very efficient. There is also other, smaller features, to help you manage all of your images. There is the option to set up collections, in essence folders, to store your images. Another hand feature is the menu bar option, this is a quick way to capture images in the application you are using, rather than going into Viola and using the tools from there.
Overall the application is a pleasure to use, it works well and the tools are very fast. However there is one major problem that I found right away, the short cuts to take images (Command + Shift + 3 for example) were incorrect. They were the wrong way around. This was really confusing at first, however a quick look in the preference pane sorted with small problem. Other than that there wasn’t really anything wrong with the app. I can see this application becoming slowly better as it is developed.
The purchase price of $39.95 is a little steep, for the image editing features include I would have expected a slightly lower price range. However you probably will end up using this application a lot, so you will get value for moneys worth.
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Mac OS X 10.5
Good workflow, easy to use, simple
Little expensive, could have more image editing features