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Acme Photo ScreenSaver Maker

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Acme Photo ScreenSaver Maker

Sure, screen savers may not be technically necessary, since most computer displays these days aren't subject to burn-in. But they're still entertaining, and this easy-to-use program lets you create your own.

The program's interface is straightforward. Intuitive icons line the top of the window, and roll-over tips explain every element. I was able to create a seven-picture screen saver with professional-looking transitions, music, captions, and dynamic headlines without resorting to the Help system even once. Practically every feature has numerous options. For example, you choose among eight mask styles and a wide variety of background options (including solid colors, gradients, or even photos). Acme says its program offers 42 transition effects, and while I didn't count them all, that number seems reasonable.

The self-installing .exe screen saver that I created installed smoothly on my test XP machine; Acme says the screen savers run on Vista as well. The images, transitions, captions, and music all performed as expected. You can add copyright information, logos, and even add a splash screen.

I also exported my masterpiece as an AVI file. The result played in Windows Media Player as a slide show, with no mask or transition effects. The images displayed with text and headline captions, plus one of the MP3 songs that I'd selected. Once the images played, the show was over. While the AVI option isn't terribly useful as a screen saver, you could use it to create easy-to-play slide shows for friends and family.

Acme recommends running its software and resulting screen savers on displays with resolutions of 800 by 600 or 1024 by 768; the notebook that I used is 1280 by 800, and I noticed nothing amiss.

Despite some rough edges in the interface (you can't click and drag pictures to change their display order, for example) and odd English in some of the explanations, Acme Photo ScreenSaver Maker does exactly what it says it does--and does it for free if you don't mind being limited to seven images. Paying the $40 license fee removes the size limit and lets you create shareware versions of your masterpieces for profit as well as fun. Anyone who is interested in trying their hand at creating screen savers should give this software a try.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Acme Photo ScreenSaver Maker

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