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DeBabelizer Pro 5 for Mac OS X

Graphic Processing And Conversion Utility By Kevin Schmitt
Boy, who'da thunk that it would have taken Equilibrium four-plus years to wake up from its Windows-first (and seemingly Windows-only) honeymoon and finally release a new version of DeBabelizer for the Mac? Hard to believe, but since DeBabelizer 3 was released in 1998, Mac users have received nary a whiff of where the once Mac-exclusive image processing powerhouse ran off to. Well, DeBabelizer is back for the Mac and better than ever. It's been given a Carbon injection to run natively on Mac OS X, had the "Pro" moniker added to its name and brought up to version parity with its Windows counterpart, even if Equilibrium had to take the rather Netscapian measure of completely skipping a version number in order to do so.

What it is
If you're not already familiar with DeBabelizer, let me assume infomercial mode here for a minute, because DeBabelizer wears enough hats to almost be considered a distant cousin of one of Ron Popeil's miracle creations. Instead of slicing, dicing, and making julienne fries, DeBabelizer's three big uses are processing images and video, creating and manipulating palettes, and automating your workflow. I'm probably understating things a tad, but just about every one of DeBabelizer's hundreds of features can be placed into one of those three core functions.

I'll break these down a little more as we move ahead, but at this point, you may be saying to yourself, "Well, I've got Photoshop, and it can do that kind of stuff too, so why would I need a program like DeBabelizer?"


Glad you asked.

True, programs like Photoshop have made great strides in recent releases with their ability to script and batch process multiple image jobs, but handling large numbers of images isn't really at the core of what those programs are built to do. Whereas Photoshop is designed for image editing, DeBabelizer excels at heavy-duty image processing. Perhaps a subtle difference, but an important one in realizing that there really isn't a whole lot of overlap between the two. Add in the fact that DeBabelizer does palette operations Photoshop can't even begin to dream of, and even encroaches into the realm of being a full-fledged QuickTime compression program, and you can see where the lines are drawn.

What it does
Let's pick some highlights out of what I referred to earlier as the three core functions of Debabelizer, so you can get a sense of the kinds of things it can do:

Image/Video Processing
The first thing you'll notice is that DeBabelizer is a veritable Swiss Army Knife when it comes to the image formats it understands. (For a full list, click here.) No matter what WPG, XWD, or TIM file you happen to have lying around or a client might send your way, rest assured you'll more than likely be able to open it and turn it into something useful. DeBabelizer is also very thorough in providing all kinds of information about your images. You're never more than one click (and sometimes, only one glance) away from accessing image properties such as size, width, height, color space, image type and creator, frame number, etc., whether you're in the Open dialog box (Fig. 1) or have a bunch of active images already open within DeBabelizer (Fig. 2).


Fig. 1: Bunches o' image info can be gleaned right from the Open dialog.


Fig. 2: Even more image info is available once the image is open.


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Related Keywords:DeBabelizer Pro 5 for Mac OS X Graphic Processing And Conversion Utility Boy, whoda thunk that it would have taken Equilibrium four-plus years to wake up from its Windows-first (and seemingly Windows-only) honeymoon and finally release a new version of DeBabelizer for the Mac? Hard to believe, but since DeBabelizer 3 was released in 1998, Mac users have received nary a whiff of where the once Mac-exclusive image processing powerhouse ran off to. Well, DeBabelizer is back for the Mac and better than ever. Its been given a Carbon injection to run natively on Mac OS X, had the "Pro" moniker added to its name and brought up to version parity with its Windows counterpart, even if Equilibrium had to take the rather Netscapian measure of completely skipping a version number in order to do so.

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