Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop
Most people know about Photoshop these days, but for many it is not practical to purchase it, especially if you not going to use it as part of your profession. Therefore, those of us who want to retouch photos or create simple graphics do not want to spend hundreds of pounds of software. However, there are many effective replacements which won’t cost you a penny, yet will still give you the results you want.
The first alternative program we are going to have a look at is called Gimp. This is a very popular one, and features all the main components of Photoshop. However, the interface can be a little confusing, and if you have used Photoshop before, the interface is significantly different. For that reason, it is not wise to use the Gimp if you think some day you may get Photoshop. Also to note is that Gimp features more filters and effects than the other alternative programs we will look at. One more advantage to this program is that it has over three times more tutorials on YouTube than its rival, Paint.Net. All in all though, it is a very a good alternative.
The second program we are going to look at is called Paint.Net. This program hasn’t been heard of as much, but is very similar, if not near identical (but not quite!) to Photoshop. It features all the main components of Photoshop, and the interface is very similar. This is a good program if you think you may end up using Photoshop full time sometime in the future. Another advantage to this program is it’s very active forum, which has lots of tutorials to see and help available fast. And, because it is so similar to Photoshop, it is possible to use follow some Photoshop tutorials (of which there are many!) in Paint.Net. All this makes Paint.Net another very good alternative to Photoshop. Also note that the Microsoft NET framework is required to use this, but it is Free!!
The third and final program we are going to look at is by an online company called Aviary, and the program is called Phoenix. The main difference between this one and the two other alternative programs is this is an online program. What does that mean? Well basically it means that you have a whole Photoshop Alternative accessible online. The main advantage to this is that after you have created your account you can use it anywhere that has Adobe Flash Player (free!) installed, which is virtually everywhere. This has all the main components, a few filters, and a few colour correction tools. However, being online means you are dependent on an internet connection, and because it is using flash means there is no use of right click, and there is significant lag (which means smooth drawings with the brush tool are a no no). Then again, having it all online means you can post you can save all your work online which can be accessed and continued anywhere. To conclude this alternative, if you are going to be moving about a lot, or will be editing lots of family photos that you may want to show other people, then this is a great choice.