Best freeware that is similar to Photoshop?

By cj20032005
Sep 12, 2008
  1. Hi,

    I need to find some kind of freeware that is similar to photoshop. I would like to have photoshop, but we all know how expensive it is. Please give me any suggestions. I would like to find something that has most of the features photoshop has.

  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    The Gimp is as close as it gets.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    Splitting the Price difference......

    It's certain not freeware, but Adobe's "Photoshop Elements" editing series are generally regarded as the best buy in photo editing software period. With Photoshop CS 3 being priced around &600.00, PSE is a steal at $100.00, that being the retail price. I have seen it as low as $50.00, (@BB, Black Friday, cash and carry).

    What separates PSE from other photo editors is that it carries over many of PS's "Adjustment layers". They've been the secrect behind Photoshop's success from the beginning, since they enable non-destructive editing. There are also many freeware plugins available for PSE that make it function more like Photoshop.

    Photoshop Elements could be freeware in some cases, but there is obviously a catch. The earlier versions come pre-packaged in various pieces of photograpnic hardware. Usually these are not the latest versions, but I have seen up to versions 3 & 4, which are both excellent.

    PSE7 has been released, so I hope that PSE5 will become included software fairly quickly.

    The full Photoshop Creative Suite versions are way overkill for most photographers anyway. They contain publishing functions, and provisions for recording a sequence of editing steps, called actions, and much, much, more. So, if you're not thinking of writing a book, or prepping photos for direct printing in magazines, PSE will do just fine.

    Any version of PSE from 3.0 up will manage a huge collection of images in its "Organizer" section. This includes "Tags", "Collections", "Stacks" and "Version Sets".

    PSE is most like to be found included in scanners and printers by Canon and Epson.

    I have seen and played with "Gimp" and LNCPapa is correct that it is the best available free image editor. But, IMHO, Photoshop Elements is well worth the money spent.
  4. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    Gimp is indeed the most powerful freeware that comes close to PS.

    But standard Gimp is rather peculiar in its use and requires spending some time to familiarize yourself with it.

    Fortunately, there is now Gimpshop, whose use resembles that of PS, so that transition from the latter is a lot easier. I further understand that PS plugins will also work with it.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760


    Would you elaborate, pease.
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