PhotoDemon

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webfork
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Re: PhotoDemon

#31 Post by webfork » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:53 am

Happy to see a very positive review for one of my favorite programs over on Ghacks: https://www.ghacks.net/2020/08/27/photo ... r-windows/

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Re: PhotoDemon

#32 Post by GerryB » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:52 am

PhotoDemon 8.2 has just been released, and the author is already working on 9.0, which is bound to have lots of enhancements!

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Re: PhotoDemon

#33 Post by Special » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:15 am

Really trying to like this, but constantly having to fight with it to get my old workflow to adjust, lacks so much customization like hotkey changing, panning with the middle click, changing what's on those toolbars, color of the background, etc. It's quick to load I'll give it that, but still sluggish while using it.

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Re: PhotoDemon

#34 Post by GerryB » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:46 am

Special wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:15 am
Really trying to like this, but constantly having to fight with it to get my old workflow to adjust, lacks so much customization like hotkey changing, panning with the middle click, changing what's on those toolbars, color of the background, etc. It's quick to load I'll give it that, but still sluggish while using it.
To each his own. I guess it depends on how much time one has to get a task done. In my case I'm retired and use the program for editing my personal photo collection, creating or modifying Windows icons, etc., none of which is urgent. At any rate, I get around in PhotoDemon pretty quickly now that I'm used to the admittedly minimalistic GUI (no main toolbar and no right-click context menu). A bit of experimentation has given me a basic understanding of the various editing functions, though I'm certainly no expert.

As for toolbars, sometimes they can be dispensed with. For example, I use a text editor that has no toolbar whatsoever, but is full of useful features available from the main and context menus (TED Notepad).

If PhotoDemon had the things you need, it probably wouldn't run on my little outdated Win7 netbook, which I bought in 2011. Its memory and CPU speed could prove inadequate. It really chokes on video conferences in Zoom, for example, and too long a session in Google street view makes the browser unresponsive.

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Re: PhotoDemon

#35 Post by Midas » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:11 am

GerryB wrote:If PhotoDemon had the things you need, it probably wouldn't run on my little outdated Win7 netbook, which I bought in 2011.

Good point. Also note the following quote from the changelog, for it's quite rare to see this level of concern towards an OS most others consider dead.

I apologize that 8.0 shipped with poor stability on Windows XP. Supporting Windows 10 (and its myriad configurations) consumes a great deal of time, so PhotoDemon’s ongoing XP support relies heavily on user-submitted bug reports. If you are an XP user, please consider running PhotoDemon’s nightly builds so you can help me catch XP-specific bugs earlier in my development cycle.

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Re: PhotoDemon

#36 Post by __philippe » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:29 pm

Also see developer's recent germane and judicious entry (2020-09-11 16:28) in Photodemon comments section.
Perhaps we should invite him to continue the discussion in this forum topic ?

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Re: PhotoDemon

#37 Post by Midas » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:05 am

__philippe wrote:Also see developer's recent germane and judicious entry (2020-09-11 16:28) in Photodemon comments section.

Perhaps we should invite him to continue the discussion in this forum topic ?

Said comment is at https://www.portablefreeware.com/index. ... mment31208.

BTW, PhotoDemon is already a user of TPFC forums -- he has intervened in the current topic before...

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Re: PhotoDemon

#38 Post by PhotoDemon » Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:51 pm

PhotoDemon's developer here! I'm grateful a user told me about this discussion, because I'd completely forgotten to check this thread in the... nearly six years since I was last here. :oops:

First, a quick thank you to the Portable Freeware team for keeping PhotoDemon's listing up-to-date. You are amazing and small developers like me are indebted to you. Thank you also to everyone who's shared feedback and kind words over the years. This is such a pleasant community, which is a rare find in 2020!

@Special - I just wanted to let you know that current nightly builds include fixes for two of the workflow complaints you shared, specifically middle-click to pan the image and changing the color of the canvas background (check the Tools > Options > Interface panel for that new setting). Thank you for suggesting these fixes.

Workflow details like these can be trivial for developers to add, but we need users to tell us about their workflows in the first place! There are roughly 85 billion photo editing apps out there (my rough estimate :roll: ). No one has time to study them all, so developers rely on users to tell us when we've broken their UX patterns. I'm just fortunate that a user told me about this thread, because I can only imagine how many amazing ideas are floating out there on the web, in forums and comment sections where I will never find them...

On that note, can I ask for follow-up on your observation that "[PhotoDemon] lacks so much customization like... changing what's on those toolbars". What kind of toolbar customization would you like to see? Can you recommend other software for me to study, ones that do this well? Thank you for any details you can share!

One last quick note on the "customizable hotkeys" request - I've received this suggestion before, and I'm all in favor of it. (Most developers are!) But it's incredibly complicated to do "properly". Here's why:

1) PhotoDemon has hundreds of potential operations, and each needs some tweaking to work with hotkeys. For example, adjustments and effects shouldn't be triggered if an image isn't loaded. "Crop to selection" shouldn't trigger if a selection isn't active. "Exit the app" shouldn't be triggered if there are unsaved changes. Each hotkey needs intricate state-tracking coverage to ensure it doesn't introduce bugs, and given the matrix of possible actions in a program like PhotoDemon, the testing grid is... horrifying.
2) I have to support many versions of Windows, each with their own quirks. (Let alone 3rd-party software that interferes with hotkey tracking, which is a whole other can of worms.)
3) I can't ship a feature like this without it working across all locales, including those with keyboards that differ significantly from traditional US-English ones. Multi-region support makes this more complicated than it would otherwise be.
4) This is a relatively niche feature, as only a tiny percentage of users engage hotkeys beyond "Ctrl+C" and "Ctrl+V". (This is true for nearly all software, alas - hotkeys are very much a chicken-and-egg problem, because no one uses hotkeys, so developers rarely add good support for hotkeys, so no one uses hotkeys, etc.)
5) I have (literally) hundreds of items on my to-do list, and this is one of the least enjoyable ones to work on because it's an extraordinary amount of very tedious work. Not a great excuse, I know, but when you're not getting paid to work on something, it's difficult enough to find time and motivation for features you love, let alone ones you dread...

OK, so that wasn't a "quick note" at all. Apologies for the lengthy explanation, but maybe it helps explain why small programs like mine rarely provide good support for hotkey customization. (And despite my endless complaining, I am actively working on this feature. Each time a user mentions it, it moves further up my to-do list - so again, please share your feedback with developers! We prioritize the things we hear about!)

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Re: PhotoDemon

#39 Post by Special » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:23 pm

@Special - I just wanted to let you know that current nightly builds include fixes for two of the workflow complaints you shared, specifically middle-click to pan the image and changing the color of the canvas background (check the Tools > Options > Interface panel for that new setting). Thank you for suggesting these fixes.
Awesome news, this was such a huge QoL thing I wasn't able to adjust without, the panning is pretty self explanatory, and the background colors are because more often then not I work with "dark" images and need to see their corners/edges better and on a light/grey backdrop it's hard to see what I'm looking for.
Workflow details like these can be trivial for developers to add, but we need users to tell us about their workflows in the first place! There are roughly 85 billion photo editing apps out there (my rough estimate :roll: ). No one has time to study them all, so developers rely on users to tell us when we've broken their UX patterns. I'm just fortunate that a user told me about this thread, because I can only imagine how many amazing ideas are floating out there on the web, in forums and comment sections where I will never find them...

On that note, can I ask for follow-up on your observation that "[PhotoDemon] lacks so much customization like... changing what's on those toolbars". What kind of toolbar customization would you like to see? Can you recommend other software for me to study, ones that do this well? Thank you for any details you can share!
Only 85 billion photo editing programs? I figure there'd be more... And be careful what you ask here, I might just go hog wild and ask the world of you! I really love PhotoDemon, really what's not to love? Portable, great humble dev open to suggestions, feature packed already and only getting better, etc. but there are so many small QoL things missing, hope they can be implemented sooner rather then later, unfortunately thought I don't have a lot of time right now to go over the literally 100 of things I could ask... But I'll follow up here what I can to not leave you hanging!

So I like minimal everything, what I mean is PhotoDemon has many buttons on its toolbar that jsut taking up space on the screen that I do not personally use and it just wastes actual screen space for the image (which is the most important part), I'll compare Paint.NET to PhotoDemon;

Paint.NET - https://i.imgur.com/3UTsV7D.png
PhotoDemon - https://i.imgur.com/QV3NR8I.png

While similar, PD has that huge right sidebar I cannot remove or make smaller (it seems to be all or nothing) which is pointless to me most of the time, whereas with P.NET you can toggle "parts", what you need when needed, ie. layers, also the small left toolbar is detachable and movable as well which is nice to move around when needed, I would also trim what's on PhotoDemon's toolbar personally as to keep things more "minimal", things under "file" are just super redundant since if you look up, there is a dropdown menu called "File" only a few pixels away, things like the undo/redo buttons I also never use because of hotkeys like ctrl+z, etc. then it's missing more common features imo like the cropping tool.

I would suggest looking at Paint.NET (it's somewhat portable, I'll PM you my build of it, should work as long as you have .NET installed...) and heavily copy how it does things, especially the zooming and panning because I find how PD does it to be clunky still, etc.

Again, when I have more time I'll go over more things I like about Paint.NET that I wish PhotoDemon could have/do. Some big issues I have off the top of my head are;

- Lack of a "History" panel. (this one's huge and a must!)
- Many focusing issues, what I mean by this here is that in PD, if I go ctrl+r to resize an image I cannot just start typing 500 tab 500, enter. I have to select the proper field with a mouse click, many instances like this (and it drives me crazy).
- When "saving as" an image there is no "estimate file size" which I like how P.NET does.
- PD really need to just save the image to where you opened the image by default, and just ask if you want to overwrite or not, etc. I've had many times where I saved an image, then went having to look for it afterwards only to find it now in "C:\Users\Name\Pictures" (I have never used this folder ever...)
- I've had to fight with PhotoDemon just to try and crop simple images because when very zoomed in on a corner to get that single pixel line cropped, the highlight box does not "snap" to the pixel.

...And now I literally have to jet outta here... lol, crap. sorry I couldn't finsih!
One last quick note on the "customizable hotkeys" request - I've received this suggestion before, and I'm all in favor of it. (Most developers are!) But it's incredibly complicated to do "properly". Here's why:

Words...

OK, so that wasn't a "quick note" at all. Apologies for the lengthy explanation, but maybe it helps explain why small programs like mine rarely provide good support for hotkey customization. (And despite my endless complaining, I am actively working on this feature. Each time a user mentions it, it moves further up my to-do list - so again, please share your feedback with developers! We prioritize the things we hear about!)
Yeah no doubt, I don't underestimate the huge task this is going to be, image editing programs like these are probably the most "operation" packed kind of software there are (maybe Audacity has you beat though :P), so I know hotkey mapping is no doubt a nightmare for you. (Also "PDF-XChange Editor" handles its many many hotkey customization very well, copy them! lol.)

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Re: PhotoDemon

#40 Post by Midas » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:15 am

+1 in support of Paint.NET overall UI concept. :thumbsup:

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Re: PhotoDemon

#41 Post by GerryB » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:36 am

Some remarks about those hotkeys: I tend to set a lot of custom hotkeys, too, but there have been many times when I've assigned one which has already been assigned globally by me to start some other app. Naturally my global hotkey will always override the one I've tried to set within an individual app. Eventually I run out of usable combinations, or ones that are easy to type or remember.

A keyboard shortcut that's built into XYplorer comes to mind: To create a new image file from the clipboard I have to hit Ctrl+Alt+Shift+V. This is only useful if my fingers can do all that at once, otherwise I'm more likely to perform the operation through the main menu or the context menu.

PhotoDemon's developer makes a good point about the difficulties presented in localizing the program. I once had to translate some software documentation from German into English, but it took me some time to figure out where the "Strg" key was, which turned out to be the Ctrl key -- Strg stands for Steuerung (control).

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Re: PhotoDemon

#42 Post by PhotoDemon » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:48 pm

Thank you *so much* for the follow-up, @Special. It takes a ton of time to write out detailed feedback like that, and I am extremely grateful for it. There's a lot I can fix relatively quickly, and some other items that I can add to my "long-term" radar. (Also, I'm more than happy to add you as a contributor to the next release as a "thank you" for all this time you've spent helping. Just let me know what name and/or URL you want me to use - via PM is fine too!)

I am actually a frequent Paint.NET user (and even an occasional contributor, usually bug-reports or code patches to popular plugins). It's a mainstay on my developer PC, and a frequent source of study - especially its forums, which are a goldmine for user feedback. I don't think I'm the only developer who occasionally peruses the Paint.NET forums for user complaints, just so I can learn some new things to do/not do in my own software... :wink:

If you prefer Paint.NET's layout, PhotoDemon's main toolbox can easily be made to look just like it. The left-hand panel in PhotoDemon is resizable (click-drag the border to resize). You'll see the resize arrow appear when you hover the toolbox border.

You can also collapse button groups you don't need by clicking their title. (Those titlebars change color when hovered, and display the "hand" icon indicating an interaction is possible - this is a recurring theme in PD.) Even more customization options are available in the Window > Toolbox menu, such as shrinking toolbox button size or eliminating tool grouping completely.

Here's an animated PNG to demonstrate how to mimic Paint.NET's layout. (Some forum software mangles APNG images... you may need to click the image to start the animation, idk):
photodemon_toolbox.png
PhotoDemon's right toolbox is also resizable (again, click-drag the border to enlarge or shrink it), and some panels can also be *vertically* resized by click-dragging their titlebars. You can also collapse unwanted panels entirely, just like the left toolbox.

I hope these interactions provide a way to better approximate your preferred editing environment, Paint.NET or otherwise! For the next release, I'll rethink PD's "default" screen layout; it's under constant revision to try and achieve a good balance of e.g. Photoshop's complexity vs Paint.NET's simplicity.

I'm currently focused on pushing out one more stability update for PhotoDemon's 8.x line, then I'll embark on major feature additions in a new 9.x line. I've added dedicated on-canvas crop and zoom tools to the to-do list (both are achievable already via selection tools and mousewheel, respectively - but I can understand the convenience of providing dedicated tools), along with a history panel (which is already available via Edit > Undo History, but I'll mirror it to the right-side panel). And of course, there's the eternal nightmare of custom hotkeys... the less said about that, the better! I will definitely check out "PDF-Xchange Editor", thanks for the ref.

Geez I am long-winded, but I'm gonna make two more quick excuses:

> Many focusing issues, what I mean by this here is that in PD, if I go ctrl+r to resize an image I cannot just start typing 500 tab 500, enter. I have to select the proper field with a mouse click, many instances like this (and it drives me crazy).


PhotoDemon always sets initial keyboard focus to the OK button of a dialog. This was a request from pro users because it's common to apply e.g. a preferred Adjustment Curve to images, so being able to open the Curves dialog and hit SPACE or ENTER to instantly apply your previous settings is a time-saver.

PD supports tab-key navigation on all dialogs, so if you hit TAB twice on any dialog, it will move the focus from OK to Cancel to the first interactive UI element for that window. I can look at revisiting this (or maybe adding a preference to default to the first interactive element instead), but this is why PD's dialogs set default keyboard focus to the OK button.

> PD really need to just save the image to where you opened the image by default, and just ask if you want to overwrite or not, etc. I've had many times where I saved an image, then went having to look for it afterwards only to find it now in "C:\Users\Name\Pictures" (I have never used this folder ever...)

So PhotoDemon definitely remembers your last-used folders, but it remembers separate "last-used" folders for the OPEN and SAVE AS commands. This is again a pro user request, because it's common to load a series images from one folder (e.g. "/Original") and after editing, save your modified versions to a new folder (e.g. "/Edited"), and it's a huge pain if SAVE AS always defaults to the "/Original" folder because that's where each image was loaded from.

Also, the first time you run PhotoDemon, both OPEN and SAVE AS will default to the current user's Pictures folder (because it has to default *somewhere*), but after you save any image, that folder will immeditaely become the new default folder for Save As targets.

Because of your feedback, I now think I should revisit this behavior. Instead, I need to default to "Save As" commands using *the current image's folder*, which is likely preferable for casual users, while also providing a preference for pro users to revert to PD's original behavior. I'm grateful you brought this up because I honestly hadn't revisited this behavior in years! Thank you!

(Thank you to everyone else who replied to the thread, too. I don't mean to ignore you - I just gotta spend some time fixing PD now instead of writing out lengthy excuses for its existing behavior. :lol: )

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Re: PhotoDemon

#43 Post by freakazoid » Mon Sep 28, 2020 2:52 pm

I used PhotoDemon over the weekend and I'm still used to a few Photoshop keyboard shortcuts that are missing in PhotoDemon.

Namely the zoom ones:

Zoom in - CTRL + +
Zoom out - CTRL + -

The others would be nice-to-have, but are already mapped to other actions:
Fit image on screen - CTRL + 0 (PD uses this for Recent item 0)
Actual pixels - CTRL + 1 (PD uses this for Recent item 1)
Close window - CTRL + w (PD uses this for White Balance)
New layer - CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + n

Anyway to implement the zoom keyboard shortcuts (and perhaps customizable keyboard shortcuts in a future release)?
is it stealth? ;)

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Re: PhotoDemon

#44 Post by PhotoDemon » Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:02 am

@freakazoid - thank you for putting together a list of mismatched hotkeys! I've just uploaded a new nightly build that fixes the hotkeys you listed, as well as a few others that I noticed were missing/inconsistent with Photoshop. Scroll down to the "nightly" section to get it:

https://photodemon.org/download/

I've also started fixing some of the other suggestions posted above - thank you again to previous posters!
perhaps customizable keyboard shortcuts in a future release
This is discussed at length above, but the short answer is "yes, I hope so, but it's very complicated so it may take awhile." :)

To @freakazoid and anyone who posts in this thread - you are always welcome to send me a PM with your name and/or optional URL, so I can add you to PhotoDemon's contributor list. I am very grateful for your help. (@GerryB was recently added; as mentioned above, he was a *huge* help in getting proper Windows ICO support added to the project.)

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Re: PhotoDemon

#45 Post by GerryB » Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:51 am

@PhotoDemon: I just tested your latest nightly build, and am delighted to see the new Save As option, the result of a request by another user. I've used several other apps that try to save a file I'm working on to a folder I had used in a previous session. It's so much more convenient to use the current folder without having to navigate back to it, especially if I'm saving an altered version of the file and want both files easily accessed by my image viewer.

For example, I sometimes save a monochrome version of a color image in addition to the original, especially if the original was poorly scanned from an old family photo. Due to the subject matter, they both need to be in the same folder.

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