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A Practical and Easy-to-Use Collage Maker for Your Mac

 

Digital photography is one of the most used methods of capturing special moments in people's lives and effortlessly transforming them into long-lasting images. Thanks to PicCollage, you can put together all these moments and create stunning collages.

PicCollage is a powerful collage maker that enables you to use your favorite digital photos and design, create, print and share memorable mixture of pictures with just a few mouse clicks.
To download and install PicCollage, you need a Mac computer running OS X 10.6 or later and a 64-bit processor. After downloading the lightweight DMG disk image, you just have to mount it and drag and drop PicCollage to your Mac's Applications folder. The installation process is simple, quick and it requires just 47 MB of hard disk space.

PicCollage's interface offers instant, easy access to all the features and tools you might need to rapidly create a collage. You can start by choosing one of the many built-in and customizable templates, neatly organized into seven different types of layouts. The app also enables you to manually modify the collage layout by adding or removing frames, organizing them according to your own needs.

The first time you run PicCollage, you will be able to select a layout and a template from a large, comprehensive library. As mentioned earlier, there are seven categories of layouts, as follows: Free, Grid, Classic, Focus, Shape, Stitch and Irregular. Thanks to the wide variety of layouts and templates, you can create your collage just the way you want it.

PicCollage comes with two separate side panels, one located on the right and the other one located on the left side. At the bottom of the left panel, there is a toolbar designed to help you add and remove the pictures you want to use in your collection. Even though it allows you to add multiple photos at the same time, PicCollage cannot load the content of a folder. Thus, you have to manually open the folder and select the desired images. The right panel offers access to various tools for shaping and customizing the layout, but we will come back to that later on.


To start filling the collage with photos, you can drag-n-drop them into the empty frames or use the "Fill Randomly" feature. You can also click on the "Shuffle Layout" and "Shuffle Photos" buttons, located in the top toolbar, to randomly change the layout or the loaded images. What is more, you can focus on your photo mix by hiding both panels.

Each template can be easily edited and modified according to your needs and all changes can be done through the right sliding panel. You can insert or remove frames, adjust the space between them, soften the corners and change the margin's size. Another feature that we found useful, the Border and Shadow slide menus, allowed us to personalize the collage by adding colored borders and applying shadow effects.

You can also use an image, pattern, color, gradient or transparent background to bring the pictures to life and obtain a more dramatic effect. In addition, PicCollage comes with numerous patterns and also allows you to change the colors and the angle used in the gradient background.

If you wish to personalize your mixture of pictures even further, you can also add text boxes into which you can write your message in various fonts, sizes, types and colors. The text box is fully resizable and can be placed anywhere within the collage's margins.

As we tested PicCollage and tried various personalization and customization features, we realized that the application suffers from a total lack of image effects, photo editing tools and sharing features. This is a big "minus," especially in the age of social sharing websites like Instagram, Facebook, Flickr and Google+.

When you are happy with the result, you can set the size of the output image, select the desired image format and export the collage to a location of your choice. PicCollage offers an impressive list of image sizes that can fulfill the needs of most users.


During our testing period, PicCollage performed very well, without crashing or freezing, regardless of the size of the loaded pictures. It only took a couple of seconds to load the images and fill the empty frames. The creation process is smooth, responsive and very intuitive, with all the buttons and tools in the right place at the right time. Moreover, the Full Screen mode allowed us to focus on our work without being distracted by other applications.

We were even more impressed by how PicCollage used the available resources. The CPU load was somewhere between 20 and 30 percent while the RAM usage fluctuated between 150 and 300 MB, depending on the size and quality of the used pictures. The recorded values might change according to your Mac's system configuration and the photos you are using in the creation process.

The Good

PicCollage is a user-friendly and flexible application that can be used by both novice and advanced users to create professional looking collages in just a couple of minutes. The wide variety of layouts and templates, along with the extensive collection of customization tools, are designed to fill the needs of all users, including more demanding ones.

The Bad

It is hard to find something bad about such a simple and easy-to-use application. However, it would be nice if PicCollage included social networking sharing features in futurehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/lb_icon1.png versions. 

The long list of personalization and customization features could also be expanded by adding photo, frame and collage effects that can help the user create even more creative and eye-catching collages.

Another disadvantage is the fact that PicCollage cannot load the pictures from a folder or add them based on their tags or metadata. This feature could save you a lot of time, especially if you like using the colored labels offered by Mac OS X.

The Truth

PicCollage is a lightweight and smooth-running collage maker that helps you turn your favorite pictures into personalized collages that you can hang on your wall. The long list of layouts, templates and features make it the ideal application for both amateur and professional users.
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