In this Digital Era, it isn’t a matter of surprise to know that most people have been conditioned to think about Adobe Photoshop whenever they hear about Photo Editing. This fully-fledged photo editing suite from Adobe Inc has been a sort of essential helping hand for many professionals, from photographers to designers and from models to politicians, despite the fact that most prefer not to spend some dollars in getting this premium tool. Apart from the money we have to spend, Photoshop may be heavy and resource-consuming in many situations, which gives us enough reasons to get a free photo editor.
If we are looking for such tools, we are at the right place, where we have a list of top 11 free photo editing tools, both online and offline-so that we can keep working, even we are not in front of our own PC. We have selected these tools based on several factors, such as simplicity of user interface, productivity-as in terms of features and other users’ opinion. We hope this article will be helpful for those who need a free at the same time effective photo editor.
We might be familiar with “Pixlr”, as an online photo editor; despite the online version, Pixlr is now available as an app for desktop and it is indeed a free, reliable photo editor available now. When compared to that of Photoshop, Pixlr is known for its easier installation and simple user interface. Taking some elements from the online version, it lets us apply features and do other stuff within a few clicks. Pixlr for Desktop is available as a free app, which requires a free subscription for availing effects and all; however, when we need advanced features such as masking, type as mask & Influence Panel, we may want to purchase the Pro version. Despite the simplicity, the working of Pixlr is quite sturdy we would say. By the way, it comes from Autodesk — developers of AutoCAD.
“GIMP” is the popular acronym of “GNU Image Manipulation Program”, which is an open-source initiative to bring easier photo editing experience in our devices. Some of the notable features of GIMP include the customizable interface it has — which lets us change the layout as per our taste and requirement —, single-click retouching techniques that will help us enhance photographs in no time, availability of really good GIMP Plugins, wide support for various additional devices as well as input & output file formats as well. Despite the customizability, UI of GIMP is quite professional, which we can understand from the screenshots in the official site of this open-source tool. It is not a matter of wonder that GIMP gives us an ultimate level of productivity when we are on Linux than on others. Altogether, GIMP impresses us! Also, we get perks of having open source community for clearing doubts and extended support.
Don’t mistake it for Microsoft Paint that comes with our Windows PC by default; on the other hand, “Paint.NET” is an innovative, free and professional tool to edit our photographs and other images, quite easily though. When we need something more than normal Paint but not that heavy like Photoshop, Paint.NET will be software for basic and professional users. We have used Paint.NET in low-configuration & high-configuration systems and the performance was superb. Talking of features, Paint.NET comes with layer-support; inbuilt special effects to enhance a photograph in no time, support for unlimited history that can help we find and fix our mistakes etc. Paint.NET has grabbed several awards as well, including one from PC World. By the way, Paint.NET weighs only a few MBs, which is damn low when compared to other premium ones.
“PhotoScape” blends a lot of usable features with a minimalistic user interface so that we won’t have to mess up with a lot of toolbars and all. Just as PhotoScape says on the official website, it can function as a viewer — for viewing our photos and creating slideshows —, an editor with basic photo editing capabilities, batch editing etc. When we open the PhotoScape, we can see the interface, with links to all its various roles. For instance, we can move onto the Viewer, Batch Editor, Animated GIF creator or RAW Converter in a single click. In the corresponding section, we can view or edit our images without any distracting elements. The Mac version of PhotoScape named PhotoScape X for Mac will give Mac users enhanced features like collage maker. PhotoScape is, considering all these, a minimalistic competitor to others in the list.
“Picasa” comes from Google — a name we can trust and have been trusting for all these years! Although Picasa is known as a tool to organize and view photographs in a simpler way other than as a typical photo editor. When compared to the normal Microsoft Image Viewer or other default one, Picasa works fine as an image viewer with mediocre features in editing aspect. What makes Picasa different from other tools is that all the effects we can apply are one-click though additional customization is available in most cases. For instance, we can bring the blur effect or cinemascope effect to our image, in the single click. In the latest version of Picasa, Google has implemented integrated sharing with Google Plus, accompanied by options to tag our friends and share images. Picasa has some cool effects too, by the way.
“Pic Monkey” is a widely-used online photo editor, which is known for the simpler user interface. The user interface of it is classified into four sections — each one for Editing, Touch Up, Design and Collage. All these can be done from home-page of Pic Monkey. We can either upload files from your computer or take from Facebook or some storage services out there. Talking about Pic Monkey editing interface, features range from basic editing to overlays and themes. We really loved the collection of effects and filters Pic Monkey offers. Also, if we are into the Touch-Up section, there are some really practical ones we may love, like the Spray Tan or Blemish Fix. Additional sections like of Collage and Design are also impressive.
“Fotor Photo Editor” welcomes us with a screen that asks us whether we want to edit a photo, design a card or get a collage ready. In three of these, we have to upload the file, which will be in the fully-fledged online editor of Fotor, in no time. What we loved most in the editor interface is the presence of 1-Tap Interface features, which let us edit our photographs in the single click; there are options to crop, rotate, re-size or fine-tune the image we have uploaded. In the effects section too, there is a lot to choose from, such as Classic, Vintage, Lens Flare etc. Although not as quick as of Pic Monkey, Fotor user interface took the little time to load. In addition, after uploading the file, we can use same images for different purposes.
“Be Funky” is a fully-fledged online photo editor and collage maker, which is available in an ultra-simple interface. It has support for getting a photo from our desktop, capturing from webcam or other sources like Facebook or Drop box. It’s a lot of features, arranged in various categories, such as Basic Editing, Touch Up, Effect, and Graphics etc. All these sections have been brought through an easier interface, in which we can select and apply the filter or effect in a few seconds only. The Graphics section was the one we loved most, for it consists of several graphical elements that can be inserted to the uploaded image in no time. Also, Be Funky interface for editing is really quick and simple to learn & there is also an Upgrade option available. Altogether, in our experience, Be Funky was simply superb.
Just like the case of Fotor, “Photo Cat” has three options when it comes to dealing with our images. Photo Cat lets us edit an image, retouch it using the pre-set filters available or create a collage using the various border templates and all. Nevertheless, It requires a lot of time to load and be functional, though uploading is an easy task. There are a lot of features available such as Editing of various filters and retouch options. Photo Cat is not that colorful but it has a standard amount of features, arranged in an easy-to-access interface. As we said, Collage section of Photo Cat consists of several shapes. Photo Cat is a viable option when we want to just edit an image, with no ornamental design.
“Sumo Paint” is not our typical online photo editor. On the other hand, it brings a fully-fledged Photoshop-like editing interface into our web browser screen. We can have multiple windows as we would like it. In short, we really loved the way Sumo Paint has set up things. Altogether, anyone will just love the common interface of Sumo Paint and it takes only a few seconds to load. It is also available as a pro version for 4 USD a month which unlocks some more exciting features.
“Photo Shader” has had a presence in the Windows Store since the days of Windows Phone 7.5. The update extends the availability of Windows 10 PC and Mobile devices. The redesigned user interface makes it easy to perform quick edits to our images. The editing tools are accessible through a series of buttons that scroll across the screen. Just tap a button to access a particular editing tool set. These sets include tools for color balance, sharpness, noise reduction, cropping, brightness/contrast, saturation and more. Photo Shader has support for choosing the file location and naming the edited image file. Photo Shader is a great option for those looking for a way to quickly edit our images.
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The list is quite good, I have used some of it. I recently shifted from photoshop to photoviewerpro and I am using Win10. So far I am loving the app, it’s very user-friendly. Easy to understand.