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Instant Gallery 1.7 review

Verdict:

Review Date: 2 Feb 2007

Price when reviewed: (about £10)

Reviewed By: Giles Turnbull

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

There are dozens of gallery-making applications that offer a little bit more style and customisation than you find in iPhoto, and Instant Gallery is one of the nicer ones of the bunch.

It looks very restrained and minimalist, but packs in a lot of features and some flair for making elegant, modern gallery pages in a snap.

On first opening, you're presented with a window into which to drag some pictures - or a folder full of them - into. Instant Gallery lives up to its name by instantly making a gallery for them, using the default style. You could publish your gallery immediately, or tweak it.

Here's where the hidden power of Instant Gallery is revealed. The Options palette contains three tabs to control basic elements of your gallery's presentation. Thumbnails can be tiny or huge; they can have special visual effects added, such as drop shadows and reflections; and if you want to protect your images, it's easy to add custom watermarks to them, too.

Adding titles, descriptions and keywords means calling up the Edit Details sheet for each and every photo, which can be time consuming. It's worth doing, though, if you wish to make use of the built-in search function, which works on the finished exported web pages without the need for complicated server scripts or databases. Galleries that you expect to update often will also benefit from the Photocast feature, which you can switch on just by filling in a few boxes.

One welcome new feature in version 1.7 is a Gallery Manager. Give each gallery a name, and it will be saved in a location of your choosing. When you open Instant Gallery, you can then edit existing galleries, instead of dragging in photos for a new one.

Instant Gallery does exactly what it claims. Throw some images in, and you've got a web-friendly gallery straight away. A great deal of thought has gone into building it, and at ten quid, it's a bargain.

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