(Pocket-lint) - Ulead has released the latest version of its consumer image editing software, PhotoImpact 12, with a number of new features designed to make operation even simpler.

The key addition to the programmed is the new ExpressFix mode, which is a simplified interface that provides commonly-used photo features as guided and fully-automatic tools. Users can edit images and compare their changes with the original on a large before and after preview screen. Noise reduction and the SmartCurves tone adjustment are available as one-step processes in this mode.

A SmartGuide “How-to” panel has also been incorporated to guide new users through a range of Photo, Web, and Video and DVD editing options.

Although the software is designed for consumer use, it does incorporate a number of features for high-end users, including RAW file conversion and editing high-colour depth with support for selected tools and objects, and a new White Balance correction tool to achieve natural-looking images.

Web, DVD, and Video Graphics have also been enhanced. Component Designer now includes video title graphics and DVD navigation buttons, and new to PhotoImpact 12 are Web blog and DVD menu templates.

The package includes PhotoImpact, Photo Explorer 8.6, Alum 12, COOL 360 for panoramic images, and Animator 5.05 for £45 for download, £50 for the box. Upgrades from older versions are also available.

Writing by Amber Maitland.