Free Photo Editing Software
Are there any cheaper alternatives to Adobe Photoshop CS2’s steep price?
There are a handful of products in the under-$100 price range, with products available from Adobe, Corel, and even Microsoft. But, there are also a variety of programs available in an even lower price range–free! Freeware programs (where the owner has released the program for download without payment) and open-source programs (where the programmer has released the code to the program for others to expand upon) are both available on the Internet for anyone who wants to take the time to look for them.
At the top of the list of free image editors is the GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP. Originally designed for Unix, GIMP is free shareware and is open source–which means programmers can add features without having to wait for a parent company to upgrade the program. GIMP has a variety of filters, effects, tools and abilities, and some reviewers compare it favorably to Photoshop CS2. Installation is a bit of work, since there are two install files. And unlike other downloadable shareware or freeware programs, there are no spyware or adware programs bundled with the Gimp.
Google’s Picasa program rates highly. However, Picasa is focused more towards organizing images as opposed to editing them, so it’s nowhere near the power of a Photoshop or a GIMP. However, it still has a selection of image tools, like color correction and red eye repair.
There are other open-source or free image editing programs available. Paint.NET is an image editor written in C#. Pixia was originally designed for the anime (Japanese animation) community. And OpenCanvas was originally designed as a sketch program for drawing tablets–it will remember the sketch, stroke by stroke, and will even turn the sketch into an animation that shows how the item was drawn, line by line.