There are many free photo editing software options available for someone looking to do basic or sophisticated image work. Adobe Photoshop is the reigning king in this space, however not everyone wants to pay for their editing software, especially when there are free options available. Below are several alternative options that are a little lighter on the wallet, many of which have the same capabilities as the expensive “paid for” software packages.
- Gimp – Gimp packs as many features as Photoshop itself and supports multiple operating systems, such as Windows and Linux. The interface can be customized by the user but still can be hard to get accustomed to if the user has experience with more traditional photo editing platforms. Regardless, it’s free and contains a ton of features.
- Paint – is a great free photo editing tool that contains a wide variety of features. Even though it does not contain the same amount of editing abilities as Adobe’s Photoshop or GIMP, it contains the important ones. If you aren’t doing any professional photo work, this is a great package to utilize.
- Pixlr Editor – A webapp that offers many photo editing features such as layering, effects, resizing, cropping, etc. The fact that it runs in your browser alone makes it a great resource if you are somewhere without your editing software and need to make some quick changes.
- PhotoScape – Contains a wealth of features such as animated GIF creation and photo splitting and merging. Although great for a beginner, even an experienced photo editor should be able to get great results.
- Fotor – this software is more of a photo enhancer then a photo editor; however it contains some nice features and gives the ability to really make photos look vibrant. It contains a batch processing tool that allows you to upload many photos at once; making mass edits easier and quicker.
There are many more open source photo editing software options available, ranging in a wide variety of capabilities and complexities. These are just a few of the quality programs that can be had for free. Although all aren’t easy to use, a lot of them are intuitive in nature and can provide great alternatives to costly photo editing software.
Whether you are a professional graphic designer or photographer, or just an amateur looking to do some basic photo creation and editing, one should be able to achieve a lot given the current free programs available. Try several at a time and see which meet your needs. You may find that you like a particular software for cropping and merging, while you may prefer completely different software for color manipulation. The good news is that since these options are free, you can have multiple software programs installed at no cost to you.
If you are new to photo editing, it makes sense to hone your skills on open source software before paying anything to upgrade your capabilities. You need to crawl before you can walk, and many of the open source options will have you running in no time.