The developer calls this program a "photo embellishment tool," and that seems to be an accurate description.
Framing Studio offers a wide variety of virtual frames, including sophisticated vignettes, wacky drawings, and photorealistic picture frames. You can apply effects such as gray tone, mosaic, and noise, and even perform simple image editing like fixing the color balance, cropping or resizing the image, or rotating it.
The interface is very clean and easy to use, but a bit misleading. A Steps column that appears on the left side of the screen contains icons for Effects, Save, and more. However, these icons do not lead you to all of the functions. For example, there are more options available from the Effects drop-down menu in the menu bar, and the image editing functions are available only from the Images menu (for which there is no icon).
You can save your creations in JPEG, bitmap, GIF, and PNG formats, but can print them only if you pay the $24 registration fee.
Note: The updated software, version 2, has the same interface as the original version that I reviewed back in 1997. However, it is now compatible with Vista and Windows 7 in addition to XP.