Sometimes the most obvious things are often overlooked. One such thing is the (now) TOTALLY FREE Google Nik Collection, a wonderful post production software package which includes the following applications:
The applications are meant to run within any or all of the following software packages, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Express only, as plugins. What they don't tell you is that they can actually run as standalone applications without the need for the intermediary software suites.
Follow the steps below and you can use all of the applications within 'Google Nik Collection' STANDALONE from your desktop. Put simply, no Lightroom, no Photoshop and no Photoshop Express needs be installed or running.
If you have not already downloaded the collection, you can do so HERE. Once done just simply install the software. If you do not have any of the Adobe software mentioned above you will come to a install screen asking to add a "Host Application', just ignore this and click Install.
After installation, navigate to the install directory shown below to find the Google/Nik Collection folder containing each of the individual applications, Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Dfine, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro and Viveza.
Open each of the Program folders you wish to use right click on the application icon and select Send to Desktop (create shortcut). You will now have each of the application icons on your desktop ready to run.
SO there you have it simple and easy to do. A simpler method for some quick editing, I tend to use 'SIlver Efex Pro 2' standalone often and this method has worked well on my netbook when in the field for a quick edit for uploading. Hope this helps make things a bit easier.