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Of all the programs in this comparison, CPI Inc.'s Image-In Professional Pack, Version 3.2 needs an update the most. The program is basically unchanged since we last compared image editing and creation applications. It continues to provide a strong set of selection tools, a full complement of painting and drawing tools (plus extras), and a nice array of image filters. In addition to Image-In's optional vector and optical character recognition (OCR) modules, the program provides a surprisingly strong set of color correction and prepress tools.
But many of the features that once distinguished Image-In, such as its support for pressure-sensitive tablets and its vector drawing tools, are no longer unique. What's more, Image-In hasn't yet adopted the ease-of-use features pioneered by others. For example, there are no thumbnail images for viewing real-time updates of filter effects, no scratch pads for testing brush changes, and no browser options for finding and opening files. Image-In is the only program in this comparison that doesn't allow you to duplicate an image so that you can zoom in for close work while viewing the effect on the entire image.
As long as Image-In lacks the ease-of-use features offered by the competition, it will face an uphill battle for market share. This will also be true if CPI continues to price the product at the high end.
PERFORMANCE: INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION
Installing Image-In is relatively easy, although there is still a lot of room for improvement. For example, although the setup routine allows you to select a different drive for installation, it does not provide any means for you to check on available disk space. When you begin your installation, you will have to search for your registration card to find the serial number. In addition, if you're going to be using a scanner, you have to do more than the usual disk swapping to complete the installation.
The bundled FotoTune LE utility, a light version of Agfa's Color Management Calibration utility, must be installed separately from the main program. It, too, allows you to install on any specified drive but does not inform you of available space.
With Image-In, you're limited to deciding whether the toolbar, palette, and status line should be displayed and to specifying what unit of measurement the program should use. You can also indicate whether …