You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, March 08, 2010

TOS Review Graphics Toolbox

Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can't believe the amazing and super cool products I get to review as part of the The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. We all received a copy of Graphics Toolbox, an incredible graphic program written for regular people.

This is such a versatile program. It's easier to learn than traditional graphic programs and more powerful than programs like MS Publisher or Adobe Photoshop. This makes it a wonderful mid-line product for those who need a 'real' graphic program but don't need (or want) to shell out the big dollars for a professional program.

That said, I had to call in the beautiful and talented daughter of one of my friends to help me with this program. Kelly is a video production major with an interest in graphic art so she knows a thing or two, or three, or four about these things. Please note that my need for remedial assistance is *not* a reflection of Graphics Toolbox, but rather a reflection on my technical ineptitude.

Kelly's thoughts are that this is a great product for people such as your student who is interested in graphic art, bloggers who would like to customize their blog, small businesses who would like to create business cards, website graphics and other advertising media, and those who like to do electronic scrapbooking.

She was very impressed with the price (only $149) considering the many and powerful features of the program. Her graphics program was over $400 (that's with her hefty student discount).

Some plusses she found are that the icons are representative of their function so it's easy to find your way through the menu. Another great feature she really appreciated is that you can right click on an icon and up pops an explanation of what that button does. Other graphics programs require you to go into the Help menu and search for the button's function. She also found the User's Manual to be clear and very user friendly.

The only drawback Kelly could think of is that this isn't an 'industry standard' program so if your student wanted to grow up to be a graphic artist, he would need to learn a new program.

Graphics Toolbox has created a number of tutorials to walk you step by step through several different projects. Again, Kelly found these to be extremely helpful, especially when she was able to have two computers side by side. She watched the tutorial on one computer and performed the functions on the other.

So below is a picture I was able to create - all by myself - as our nod to the Winter Olympics.

The Minimum System Requirements for Graphics Toolbox are:
* Microsoft® Windows® NT, 2000, XP or Vista 32-bit
* 512MB of RAM
* 80 MB of free hard-disk space

You can buy Graphics Toolbox for only $149. If you participate in either of the two homeschool co-ops my family is part of, you can enjoy a 20% discount until March 19, 2010. Contact me for more details.

Not sure you're ready to purchase it? Try their 30 day free trial. This is a great product, and you have nothing lose by trying the free trial so head over and check it out.

*I received this product for free so that I may use it and provide my opinion of it. No other compensation was received.

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