Adobe Photoshop has become synonymous with image editing so much, it has become a verb. Honestly, how many times a day do you hear the words that something has been photoshopped? In an era of selfies and celebrities which are only known for being celebrities, a few times too many. But, regardless of that, Photoshop is the premiere tool if you are a photographer, illustrator, or if you simply like to manipulate digital images. The list of things it can do is extremely impressive, but we’ve decided to take a look at some of its alternatives, and see what they have to offer.
The most well-known alternative to Photoshop is GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The best thing about it is that it comes as freeware, but with some Photoshop-grade editing capabilities. Of course, Photoshop still has the edge, but GIMP is not far behind in terms of what it can do. It may have a feature or two less than PS, but it’s far from being a speck in its rearview mirror.
For those who are considering using GIMP for website photos, but are somewhat concerned if they are going to be able to wrap their heads around, don’t worry, because GIMP is not that difficult. Most of the things you do in PS, like filtering, masking, image stitching, using various brushes, you will be able to do here, as well. GIMP is available on all three major OS platforms: OS X, Windows and Linux distributions.
Pixlr is an image-editing software that is perfect for this day and age where everything that used to be on your desktop is migrating online. People rely more and more on cloud storage, instead of buying hard drives, or optical discs. Pixlr adopts the same approach, offering considerable image-editing power, without the need to install it. You just access it via your browser for free.
Photoshop users will feel right at home with it, because its interface borrows a lot from it. You can either point to the image on your computer, or online, and apply some of the most common tools, like dodging, burning, clone stamping, as well as various brushes and effects. As far as online-based image editors go, this one is the best.
For those who prefer the familiarity of Paint, but would like more features and tools, Paint.NET is a dream come true. In terms of features, it is not up there with GIMP or Photoshop, but it doesn’t need to be, since its purpose is different. Still, it does let you work with some advanced stuff, like layers, and you can expand its functionality with plug-ins, and support for more file types. On top of it all, it is probably the most user-friendly image-editing application you can come across.
Try some of these out yourself and have some fun.