Image editing solutions based on Mac OS X's inherent image-handling abilities do exist that can help plug the gap while users await a MacTel native version of Photoshop.

Macworld UK yesterday reported the latest release of the free ImageTricks 2.0 software, which integrates numerous image editing features that levy the built-in power of Mac OS X Tiger's Core Image filters.

A second application - LiveQuartz Image Editor - has also been updated, to version 1.6. This also uses Core Image. The latest release widens its support for image file formats, it now supports Raw files, Photoshop (flatten image) files, TGA, SGI, OpenEXR, ICNS, ICO, Win cursors, FlashPix, MacPaint, QuickTime Import Format, Radiance and XWindow bitmaps.

JPEG compression controls have been ushered in within the "Save As" dialog box, and there is also a choice between TIFF formats. The release brings memory and performance optimisations, many bug fixes and Spanish localisation.

LiveQuartz is built around layers and filters. Images dropped to its window are converted into a new layer, which can have several filters applied in real time. It has brush, a duplication and an eraser tools, as well as support for text. CoreImage filters appear in LiveQuartz sorted by categories in a popup menu with their preview. The software is donation-ware - users are encouraged to donate if they use the product.