Microsoft PhotoDraw

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Microsoft PhotoDraw
Basic data

developer Microsoft
Current  version Will not be further developed
(last: Microsoft PhotoDraw 2000 Version 2, 2000)
operating system Microsoft Windows
category Graphics software
License Proprietary
German speaking Yes

Microsoft PhotoDraw is an image editing program for vector and raster graphics from Microsoft. PhotoDraw, as a plug-in for Microsoft Office 97, filled a gap in graphics processing for Office users. It complements the Photo Editor , a simple image editing program for photos and similar pixel graphics. PhotoDraw 2000 appeared in 2000, an independently developed stand-alone program whose sophisticated functions should compete with applications such as Micrografx Designer or Corel Draw . However, it did not have any significant success and was discontinued after the release of the second version.

Development and problems with target group definition

In 1998, Draw 98 was released for download as a plug- in for the first time , which was supposed to supplement Microsoft Office 97 with additional image processing functions for vector graphics. The target group were the Office users who wanted to edit existing vector graphics from Word , Excel and PowerPoint with simple means. Image creation and format changes are not possible with it.

Based on Picture It! , a stand-alone program for private users and part of the Microsoft Works Suite , a graphics program was developed independently of the previous Draw plug-in, which as a stand-alone program (with clipart and font collections on two CDs) was supposed to open up new target groups beyond private users. It is part of Office 2000, but only in the Premium and Developer Editions. The second program version is part of Office 2000 SR-1 (Premium / Developer). As a single version, it contains all the clipart and font collections on three CDs that were previously only supplied with Microsoft Publisher on this scale . PhotoDraw has from Picture It! the file extension ".MIX" (Microsoft Image Extension) was adopted, but the files between these two programs are not compatible.

Since Microsoft marketed the program as part of the Office suite, but the functions of the program were intended more for business applications, there were target group conflicts in marketing that prevented a clear user profile of the program.

  • For Office users, the program is overloaded with unnecessary functions and appears confusing when used only occasionally
  • For private users, the program is a kind of "premium version" of Picture It! uninteresting, as the processing of pixel graphics is usually in the foreground
  • Technical users either need specialized applications such as B. Visio or CAD software. For specialized purposes (e.g. programs in the construction area), semi-professional programs such as Corel Draw or Micrografx Designer allow more potential through the individualization of templates and script control.
  • The program is not professional enough for graphic artists, especially since it lacks prepress, special color profiles and some other functions. It can not compete with Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand .

Features of PhotoDraw 2000

PhotoDraw was presented as a professional vector and raster graphics program in competition with Adobe Illustrator , CorelDRAW , which is also reflected in the large library of clip arts and the well thought-out collection of additional fonts.

The proprietary PhotoDraw file format ".Mix" can be imported from Microsoft Office 2000 and 2003, as well as from Adobe Illustrator. PhotoDraw can also open and save in various file formats, including PNG. The early versions of Office 2007 (before February) have compatibility issues. In particular, when exchanging files with PowerPoint, full compatibility is only given via the EMF (Enhanced Metafile) file format.

Follow-up programs

Microsoft has fundamentally revised its concept for program selection and discontinued both PhotoDraw and Picture It . The successor program Microsoft Digital Image with full support for Photoshop plugins could not establish itself either. The last version came onto the market until May 2007 as Digital Image Suite 2006 , the photo on the retail version with its hot air balloons is reminiscent of the Corel Draw logo . Import filters for these programs can now be found in the Windows picture and fax viewer (part of Windows XP ); the Office Picture Manager provides Office users with a conversion program for vector graphics (in addition to simple photo enhancement). Further components of these programs were initially incorporated into the Vista Windows Live Photo Gallery and other concepts relating to Vista. There is no longer a successor to PhotoDraw itself.