There are dozens of free alternative programs to Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. We’ve chosen some of our favorites below. Whether you’re a novice or expert, these tools can be used to create stunning graphics or edit existing images and photos without having to spend hundreds of dollars on those professional programs. While your Operating System probably came with a lightweight utility for editing images, these programs give you a variety of tools to do just about anything your need.
Windows 7 comes with an updated version of Paint that is quite adequate for most people. But the following free graphics programs offer some advanced options Paint does not.
Gimp is a powerful free alternative to Adobe Photoshop that has been around for many years. It contains a full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc. As with Photoshop, work in layers and channels to create your masterpiece. Gimp is a free open source program for Windows and Mac and widely considered the best free Photoshop alternative.
If Photoshop and the cheesy Paint utility that comes with older versions of Windows had a baby, Paint.net would be born. Don’t let the name confuse you, it can be found at getpaint.net. Paint.net contains most of the tools you would expect to find in Photoshop, but has an easy to use interface. If you’re not looking for all of the bells and whistles a program like Gimp offers, Paint.net is a great choice for most graphical art enthusiasts.
Inkscape is a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It’s an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X. If you don’t feel like shelling out hundreds for Illustrator, Inkscape is a great free vector graphics editor for your Mac or PC Operating System.
iPhotoDraw makes it easy to add annotations to your images. Easily add text boxes, speech bubbles, arrows, shapes and text overlays to images. iPhotodraw is a good tool to edit your images without risking the originals. It supports most common image formats including JPG, PNG, TIFF and BMP. If you need a simple way to add text and images to existing images, iPhotoDraw is a great free program to handle that.
Image Editing Programs Concluded
If we were to recommend any of these for average, day-to-day use, we would recommend Paint.net. If you have some patience and are looking to create some more artistic images for commercial purposes, then Gimp is the program you want to have. Do you know of a great free image editor? If so let us know.