FormatPixel, is it worth it?

February 9th, 2007 at 12:00 am

FormatPixel is yet another web-based application that allows users to create pages of presentations. It offers basically the same features and has no noticeable innovations. The working environment seems to be bigger but features are not really that new. One can create great quality layouts and designs, from magazines to comics, brochures to catalogues. You can add shapes, images and texts. How good your general output will be depends on the quality of images you will upload and your own creativity.

In order to use the online service, you need to sign up first. The website charges for their services but there is an account, the Vanilla account, which is free. However, you can only create one project if you are a Vanilla account holder and can only limit the file storage size of your output to 512k. Some of FormatPixel's features include a spread planner which allows you to arrange, add and delete pages; layering objects on a page by designating it either in front of and/or behind another; has an image gallery where you could upload your own images; can change the font face, color and style of texts entries; can import JPG, GIF, PNG, and FLV Video files; can crop images, add blending modes, color filters and an adjustable blur effect; and the online app is capable of creating shapes adding color and blending effects on them.

I really liked the bigger working environment here in FormatPixel unlike in other web-based apps like Empressr for example or even Zoho Show. The WYSIWYG layout editor really made it convenient to drop in uploaded photos, text, shapes, and edit them on the virtual work board. But, it seems that FormatPixel is geared more towards creating glossies rather than slide shows and presentations. For instance, FormatPixel offers no function or options in creating and manipulating arrows which are very important tools in making presentations. Zoho Show and Thumbstacks are capable in their own way of using arrows plus they have a better selection of symbols and shapes. It seems FormatPixel will have to rely on image uploads for specific needs such as customized shapes and images.

You would also need a faster PC when you work with FormatPixel, but that is the basic requirement anyways whenever you work with web-based applications, faster PC and faster internet connections equals quicker online working environment. Still uploading photos take time, fortunately (or is it unfortunately?), FormatPixel only allows 100k file photos or less per upload.

Moreover, and like any other web-based application the allure of FormatPixel lies on the fact that you can create and access your presentation anywhere, as long as you are connected to the Web.