Latest in Frame

Image credit:

Image Framer creates digital frames for all your holiday pictures

Mel Martin

Actually, you can create great looking frames for all your digital images, not just your holiday snapshots. I've spent part of the day playing with ImageFramer 3 from Apparent Software, a Mac utility that allows you to create frames and mats to give you just about any style you can imagine. If you don't want to choose from the more than 400 that come with the program, you can create your own using patterns you make in a photo editor like Photoshop. Or you can modify any of the frames that are already in the library.

There are some really thoughtful features, like allowing you to change the color of the workspace you you can visualize what the image would look like hanging on a wall. You can also create shadow effects that make the frame look like a physical object interacting with directional light.

I tested the pro version, which sells for US $69.95. It's not priced for the casual user. but it is very powerful. I was able to create a variety of compelling frames and mats without ever having to consult the help file. Once your frame is created you can save it out as a JPG, TIF, or PNG file.

I use Flickr and MobileMe for posting and sharing galleries of images, but the presentation can be rather bland. (Of course my photos are great. Just ask me.) With ImageFramer 3 you can really give your images some support by letting them sit inside some compelling frames and mats. The hi-res frames also show supplier catalog numbers so you could easily find a physical frame that matches what you've done digitally.

There are sliders for changing sizes and widths of frames, but there is no numerical read out of the parameters being chosen. I'd like to see that so you can get things exact.It would be especially helpful in re-sizing mats.

The software also comes in a lite version, which omits the frame editor, watermarking, and the right to use the frames for commercial purposes. Even the lite version has more than 400 frames, so it should be satisfying to use by the casual user. It sells for $29.95

The many features of this program are a bit much for a short review, but if you are interested I'd suggest you check out the information on the Apparent Software website, and take a look at the video demo. I've placed some sample frames I used during my testing, but they are only a very small peek into the large library of mat and frame designs and colors. Image framer requires Leopard or Snow Leopard.

From around the web