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Michigan Photo Adventures Message Board › 10 Free PhotoShop Alternatives

10 Free PhotoShop Alternatives

John C
user 57196672
Westland, MI
Post #: 10
PhotoShop is a great program, no doubt, but it can be very pricey for a photographer on a budget.

Here is a story I found online that has 10 FREE Photoshop alternatives.

I cannot make any personal claim to any of these programs as I've never used any, but maybe some other MPA members have experience they can offer about the pros and/or cons.
user 61527232
Plymouth, MI
Post #: 2
Thanks for the link!
I'm familiar with Picasa, but none of the others.
I'll have to check them out.
user 11827945
Novi, MI
Post #: 1
Thanks for the list.
I've tried the GIMP software on the list (about a year ago), and it did have a decent amount of editing features, and uses layers like Photoshop. However, I've used Photoshop for many years, and so it's just easier for me to find the editing features I'm looking for with Photoshop.
Some may know that Photoshop was originally created as a PhD student's project at UofM.
Patrick H.
Canton, MI
Post #: 23
Not free, but a low cost ($15), mac only choice is Pixelmator. I do not use it a lot, but it has always worked when I needed it.
Ryan K.
Brighton, MI
Post #: 16
I sometimes use Paint.Net. Pinta, GIMP, and Pixelmator (not free). I'm not sure any one of them is a complete PS replacement, but Many do a good job for most things.

Pinta is modeled off of Paint.Net that's also available for OS X and Linux.
A former member
Post #: 95
Add Picmonkey to the list. Many of the editing features are free. There is an upgrade for the more fun editing features. If I remember correctly, a 1 yr subscription to have access to the upgrades is $30 for a year. I use the free features. It is user friendly; no tutorials needed! I downloaded GIMP, but I haven't taken the time to do the tutorials in order to learn how to use the program.
Sharp M.
Royal Oak, MI
Post #: 1
Since the days of DOS (back in 1989, 1990, ...), I have used JASC's Paint Shop Pro, PSP for short, (now Corel's Paint Shop Pro).
I'm currently on their X4 (or 14) version, but X5 has been out for quite a while.
The software is quite powerful, and I like it far better than PS, aside from the fact that it costs a small fraction of PS's price.

If you are on a very low budget, you can still find X4 on some major auction sites for a very cheap price.

I have tried GIMP in the past, but I hated the GUI (Graphics User Interface). I have not tried the GIMPShop version, though.

I use Paint.NET Portable occasionally, when all I want to do is something as simple as resizing an image, or add some text to it, etc.
It's a light-weight program, and good for doing something quick and simple.
However, it has some good editing capabilities, including layers, image effects, unlimited undo, and it features a simple, intuitive interface.

Inkscape is quite versatile, and it can compete with the major photo editing programs. I have used its portable version occasionally.
Incscape's self-description is:
"Inkscape is a vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. It supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more.".

Google Picasa is very basic imaging tool, and I hate programs (like Picasa) that as soon as they are installed they would immediately go spinning and searching every corner on your hard disc(s), and add every image of every format they support to their collection. So I am not in favor of Picasa's behavior.
Some people may find it a good beginner's simple and easy to use tool to upload pictures to their Picasa web albums.

In closing, I could never justify the outrageous price of some photo editors, and I'll continue to rely on my trustworthy PSP (which cost me less than $25, by the way, on some auction site).

I am not affiliated with any software company, including Corel, in any way, shape, or form, so now I can mention that PSP X5 can be downloaded from Corel directly, and can be tried for a period of time (30 days, as far as I know).
I hope this helps someone(s).

Mike D.
user 97348472
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 2
I've been using (well playing is a better term) with Corel's Paint Shop Pro for several years now. I just upgraded to X5 this past January and like it a lot. Easy to use and very powerful. I can't compare it to Photoshop, as I have never tried it. But this works for me so why would I?
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