One of the best attributes of Aperture is its interface—Apple has, as usual, made design a priority. This time, it even made the icons across the top of the screen a little cuter. But what sets Aperture apart is the way it makes your pictures the visual centerpiece.
Unlike Lightroom (and many other editors, for that matter), the interface isn’t divided into separate modes—you don’t switch, for example, from Organizer mode to Edit mode. That means your screen and your preview don’t have to change every time you want to do something different. Aperture isn’t built around a linear workflow either, so you can quickly jump around from one task to the next.
On the left, there are three tabs for Library, Metadata, and Adjustments. Switch among those to organize or do some fixing. Choose from the Browser view to see a grid of thumbnails, the Viewer to see your images at maximum size, or the Split view to see a filmstrip at the bottom and your image on top.
In the latest version, Aperture’s full-screen mode has been improved. If you switch to it while in the Browser view, you’ll be able to sort your images with a minimum of surrounding clutter. If you go full-screen while in Split View or Viewer, your image takes up the entire display, and you can opt to access all your adjustments in a floating toolbar.
And now, if you hold down the Shift key while making a fix, everything but the slider you’re using fades from view. This is a great way to see how your picture will look after the adjustment.