The pricey, resource-demanding image editors such as Adobe Photoshop which are undoubtedly excellent at doing their job, but might be too much either for your pocket or for your computer can be successfully replaced by a free alternative, especially if you’re not a professional.
Hornil StylePix is a image editing application, that strives to deliver many of the features present in professional applications for free, while demanding very little system resources.
Hornil StylePix offers Default, Reinstall or Simple and Custom install modes. The Custom mode is not too far away from the Default one as the user only has the options of choosing the program’s install folder, desktop shortcut, Start Menu folder and quick launch.
Once all the settings have been performed, the installation only lasts a couple of seconds. The install folder of Hornil StylePix is under 11 MB in size and the program’s modest requirements reflect it. This lightweight image editor’s minimum requirements are easy to meet even by older rigs: 133 MHz CPU; 128 MB of RAM; 10 MB free hard disk space; 800×600 display and one of the following Windows versions: XP, Vista, 7, Server 2003 or Server 2008. Moreover, for those that appreciate the idea of being able to carry an image editor onto a removable storage device there’s even a portable version of Hornil Stylepix.
While similar with the classic GUI adopted by most image editing applications, Hornil StylePix’s layout also offers a tree folder view for quickly browsing to the images you’re looking for. All of the program’s toolbars can be collapsed, closed and accessed via a context menu that appears when right-clicking on any toolbar area. As a result, you can easily keep only the tools that you’re interested in and save your custom layout. Of course, you can have multiple saved layouts that serve different purposes and easily switch between them.
Layer support and the multitude of filters offer not just automatic/custom image adjustment tools, but also creative filters such as blur, sharpen, pixelate, noise, sketch and others. There’s also a rich collection of blending options that can be used in so many ways to create artistic effects.
Hornil StylePix includes a decent set of brushes, selection tools, batch processing options, multiple views such as histogram and thumbnail and pretty much anything else you’d expect from a non-professional image editor. It’s also fairly easy to learn and the comprehensive help file assists new users into quickly getting used to the program.
– Quick and adware-free installation.
– Very small program optimized for low resource consumption.
– Practical, intuitive interface customizable in both looks and functionality.
– Editable text tool.
– Supports many popular image formats such as png, jpg, gif, bmp, tif and tga.
– Layer and grouping support.
– Multilevel undo and redo is supported and the action list displays all changes performed to an image and allows the user to revert back to an earlier state of the image.
– Comprehensive online user manual and quick start guide.
– Layer masks are only available in Hornil StylePix Pro.
– While the brush tool has numerous presets, it’s only available in round shape.
Hornil StylePix lacks some fancy tools found only in costly, professional image editing applications, but there’s not much else you can dislike about it. For a free program, Hornil StylePix does have an impressive array of features, a fully customizable interface, an exhaustive documentation and a portable version. Moreover, it’s optimized for low resource consumption so it’s a great choice for older computers and netbooks.