Five Free Worthy Replacements for Paid Image Editors

By Erik
Aug 29, 2014
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  1. free worthy replacements paid image editors

    Adobe Photoshop has long been the gold standard for image editing among professionals and photo enthusiasts. But for the average user who just wants to touch up the occasional photo, it can be hard to justify the cost and it probably does more way than you really need or care to do. 

    There are plenty of free alternatives out there but finding one with the perfect combination of features and ease of use can be an exercise in trail and error. We’ve rounded out what we believe are the best free image editors for Windows, throwing in a cloud-based option as well for good measure.

    Read the complete article.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2015
  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,106   +1,376

    A graphics editor is only as good as its list of third-party plug-ins, and thus public recognition.

    To my knowledge, only GIMP and Paint.NET can boast a comprehensive library of plugins continuously being developed for them. The rest of them - not so much.

    I have both of them, but mostly use Paint.NET, because it is the quickest and nicest to use.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  3. What about Krita? It's a vector-based graphics program that is just as powerful as Gimp. I don't use it as much, but it's a shame to always see Krita left out.

    KS "Kaz" Augustin
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    So I can safely assume nobody takes an interest in Corel Draw anymore.
  5. TekGun

    TekGun TS Booster Posts: 156   +17

    Corel Draw costs money though right? These are free alternatives.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I feel Paint.NET is easier to use than GIMP. However without knowing for sure GIMP seems to be more capable.
    Before I started using Paint.NET, an old version of Corel Draw was what I used. I believe it was version 7.
    Arris likes this.
  7. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +20

    I'm sure GIMP is very capable but it's just horrible to use. is better.
  8. What's with this hipster crap of "Windows apps" ???

    what's wrong with "Windows programs" or "Windows software"
  9. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    I love It is probably one of the easiest to use.

  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    Borland Object Oriented RES Editor and Jasco Paint Pro was the best ones in the 90's. Jasco Paint Pro was merged into Coral Draw which is bloated to me. I use Paint.Net and Gimp (only when I have too use Gimp on restoration projects) otherwise Paint.Net does the job right. Adobe Photoshop is very good but just get's so complex they forget to make it simple. There much better hardware SG back in 2000 era mostly for 3D CAD design still in use by Government AERO SPACE Companies.

    Anyway Paint.Net, but it's limited to restore old black & white photo's that are damaged in age. Gimp can make those old photo's come back to life. General stuff goes to Paint.Net.
  11. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Booster Posts: 154   +40

    I use with a huge amount of modded in effects. its really powerful I like it. Together with Fast Stone Image Viewer which also has a good amount of options some not present in come really in handy.

    But the best image editing software has to be: Fine Artist McZee
    Julio Franco likes this.
  12. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,024   +612

  13. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 853   +352

    I guess I'm too old to try something new. Been using photoshop since 5.5, but I may have to switch with photoshops idea of "cloud" based photoshop. I'll be d*mned if I'm going to pay a monthly fee, and have my software on the cloud. It's mine, I pay for it, I want it on MY computer. Sometimes, I don't have internet access, which means I can't use it, so what good is it?
    EClyde likes this.
  14. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Free alternative for Adobe Photoshop is Adobe Photoshop. You can download CS2 from the Adobe website.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,335   +1,937

    I'm surprised, I didn't even know it still existed, I thought it went out with the dinosaurs, I haven't heard from it or about it in years.
  16. at0mic_Mike

    at0mic_Mike TS Member Posts: 31

    I have several paid for paint programs, ie., draw, photoshop, painter. 99% of the time I use it's a lot easier to use and the forums are a great place to get ideas and add-ons
  17. ChromeShine

    ChromeShine TS Rookie Posts: 32

    Yes, those listed are pretty darn good. I use one called PhotoScape, which is now my favorite for photo editing and doing animated .gifs. One called PhotoFiltre is very good for paint - making logos and such.
  18. Several people also recommended PhotoLine. Although the website's design is not that great, from what I read and opinions of those that I know who used them (they have also used PhotoShop), it's actually really powerful too similarly to PhotoShop. However, it's not free but 59 Euro. There is also a bit of an issue with the documentation iirc since the main doc is mostly in German.

    If it's about free, I also would go for Gimp is just... annoying to use.
  19. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 616   +143

    Never liked GIMP. I couldn't figure it out easy wasn't for me either

    I use Corel Photoimpact 3. Have been using Photoimpact for a long time. Because whoever set up the interface made it so I could understand an use it to do what I wanted
  20. ChromeShine

    ChromeShine TS Rookie Posts: 32

  21. ChromeShine

    ChromeShine TS Rookie Posts: 32

    Try PhotoScape - free - works great. Windows and Mac versions.
  22. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 797   +217

    Jasc PaintShop Pro is still it's own product and wasn't merged with Corel Draw.
  23. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    It was originally published by Jasc Software. In October 2004, Corel purchased Jasc Software and the distribution rights to Paint Shop Pro. PSP functionality can be extended by Photoshop-compatible plugins. Since I can't post links you can search on this subject if you want..
  24. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 797   +217

    Yeah, I know Corel bought them but PaintShop Pro is still it's own product and has not been rolled into Corel Draw. I know it is still it's own product since I have been using it since before Corel bought them and am currently using X7.
  25. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,022   +51

    For editing photos and for resizing and optimizing for websites, I have not found anything easier or more effective than Faststone image viewer. I've used it from the first version to date.
    It has the most effective 'rotate' function I've seen, good for when photo's are taken just not quite level to horizon. Many editors cannot turn a jpg 1 degree, Faststone's will rotate 0.1 steps. My choice editor.
    Julio Franco likes this.

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