from Fotofoxx manual.
Edit functions normally apply to the entire image, but it is possible to edit part of an image (an "area") and leave the rest unchanged. If an image area has been selected, then the Retouch and Art edit functions will work only within this area. Other functions ignore a selected area. An area may be selected before starting an edit function, or while an edit function is active. The selected area is immediately active, prior edits are retained, and future edits will apply only within the area. If another edit function is started, the selected area remains active, so it is possible to carry out a series of edits on one area.
"Layers" in Photoshop and Gimp are "areas" in Fotoxx. Instead of selecting something from the image, making a separate layer from the selection, performing edit functions on the layer and finally merging the layers, you select something in the image and perform edit functions on the selection, with WYSIWYG feedback during the edit. Areas can also be saved, pasted into other images, and edited there.