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Photo Impression by ArcSoft is a mid-priced photo editing software with adequate editing tools, dated clip art, a quick slide show function and email. It’s simple, fast and intuitive, but there are higher ranked products to achieve better results. Unfortunately, there were a lot of things that were missing from Photo Impression, which did nothing but knock it down several positions in the rankings.  If this program was a little more complex, we wouldn't have a hard time putting it higher in our rankings.  The problem here is a testament to the delicate balance a lot of software manufacturers have to deal with all the time.  They want to make easy to use programs that are also useful.  It's difficult to determine whether they should go more for ease of use than usefulness or the other way around.  Photo Impression fails in its attempt to find this balance.

Photo Impression is very easy to use with a simple interface. Tabs make locating all tasks easy, and the task screens are uncluttered. At Photo Impression, it’s one task at a time.

Images can be opened from a folder, camera/scanner, removable media or an ArcSoft Album. PhotoImpression 6.5 Gold has the tools to fix the most common problems in photos. Use Easy-Fix Wizard to straighten, crop, fix red eye, add brightness and contrast, sharpen, adjust the color or make the subject stand out.

The Photo Editing Tools feature duplicates some of the auto-mode tools, but offers retouching and cloning. Results appear coarse. Here, layers are simply built-in objects, text or multiple photos that you can click on and move around. Transparency is not supported in PhotoImpression.

Text is added and edited in a text box. Here, you can change the size, color and font and make it either bold or italic. Insert a drop shadow, apply a texture or color gradient to the text to add some depth to the text. Every text style has to be a separate object, however and you can't have a different text treatment in the middle of a sentence.

PhotoImpression really only has two ways of sharing your photos: email and limited printing. To increase PhotoImpression’s printing options, you can link to ArcSoft Photo Greeting card, ArcSoft PhotoPrinter and ArcSoft CD & DVD LabelMaker, but you’ll have to purchase the software.

We all have computers that are cluttered with digital media. A lot of us have so much on one computer that's it's hard to keep track of everything. PhotoImpression steps in and helps organize everything for you automatically. View your files by date with the Calendar Browser.

Here are some additional organizing features:

  • The Import History Browser: organizes files based on when they were copied to your computer.
  • The Folder Browser gives you a Windows-like view.
  • The Stack feature lets you stack your photos into virtual piles.
  • You can view your photos as thumbnails, full-screen and in between.
  • If you're still having a hard time finding your photos, you can search for photos by keywords and tags and based on what the image looks like.

The help for PhotoImpression is lacking. There is a User's Manual and built-in help, which is more a glossary of feature terms than a searchable tip index. There are no step-by-step instructions or screenshots. Online find a searchable FAQ page for all ArcSoft products. If you need additional technical support, you can contact ArcSoft through an online form.

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Photo Impression Summary:
6.4/10

Though PhotoImpression 6.5 Gold is a mid-priced program with an easy to use interface, there are too many functions that require purchasing additional software.  Better values are available in this category among the top-ranked programs.  You're going to get decent photo editing software if you decide to go with Photo Impression, but in the end, this program is going to do nothing but disappoint.

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Photo Impression 6.5 Gold

Pros
This program is incredibly easy to use and helps keep your photos organized.

Cons
This program has limited editing capabilities and no social media sharing options.

The Verdict
: 6.4/10

If you don't need advanced editing tools or sharing options, then this is your program.