3 free photo editing Photoshop alternatives
I edit images frequently but I’m cheap and prefer to use free photo editing software as an alternative to Photoshop. I’m so cheap I don’t even want to spend $50 on Photoshop Elements. To save money I use these 3 free photo editing alternatives instead of Photoshop:
Gimp is a full fledged open source free photo editing program. That means it is developed and maintained by the users. It is also has the closest resemblance to Photoshop of the list. The base program is great and to make it even more like Photoshop you can install several free plugins that extend the it’s photo editing capabilities. However, because it’s open source there can be a few headaches here and there. You will find slight glitches, freeze-ups or errors from time to time but nothing that will make you throw it out the window. This is the only image editing software on the list that is downloaded and run as a program on your computer.
This photo editing app is actually a suite of cloud based photo editing applications and more. It’s program “Phoenix Editor” is comparable to Photoshop Elements. It is light weight without losing important photo editing elements. What makes Aviary extra special is the rest of the apps in the suite that allow you to:
- Take screen captures
- Create vector images (first cloud based vector editor)
- Markup images
- Create color swatches
- Create music loops
- Edit Audio
When you combine all these goodies it makes Aviary one powerful little suite of apps. The only thing that prevents this from being my entire suite of photo editing apps is it can’t open most Adobe files. It’s not that big of a deal unless you need to edit someone else’s .psd or .ai file, which probably isn’t often if you’re looking for free photo editing programs. Aviary is best used with Chrome although it does work well in Firefox too. Chrome extensions allow you to save files directly to your Google Docs from within Aviary.
Picnik is a light weight photo editing software. If you’re just looking to touch up some photos or give them pizazz try this app first. It has simple photo editing options that take you through a quick walk-through when you use them. For example, the red eye tool asks you if you are using it for people or pets. There is also a large selection of effects you can apply to your photos. If you want even more tools and effects you can upgrade to a premium account for a whopping $24.95 per year. Picnik was purchased by Google in 2010 so it has a lot of money and support behind it.
What free photo editing alternatives to Photoshop do you know of? I’d like to know so I can try more free photo editing programs.