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The Best Free Software for Editing Your Photos in 2018

The Best Free Software for Editing Your Photos in 2018 on SoftandFiles Blog

The odds are there's a good load of memorable photos, piled somewhere there on your PC, smartphone or camera memory. Perchance they mostly look decent, maybe even eye-pleasing. But do they look eyegasmic?

Are you sure you're squeezing the maximum out of the pics you snapped? Quite often people do not reveal the full potential of the photos they make. All because they don't have a right photo-editor at the moment.

If you're looking for:

  • A free Photoshop substitute that can turn your photos into a work of art.
  • A simple tool with filters, resizing and cropping.
  • An app with a "quick tweak" functionality and instant Instagram upload.

Then this guide will be of definite use to you.

1. GIMP: Photoshop's №1 free competitor

GIMP (a.k.a. the GNU Image Manipulation Program) has been around since 1995 and up to this date, it remains a completely free-to-use software, which is supported by a group of enthusiasts. Its free-of-charge status is surprising since GIMP is acknowledged as the most powerful, free photo-editing tool. What's even better its functionality list is growing everyday!

The instruments include:

  • Filters.
  • Layers, masks and channels.
  • Color gradients.
  • Visual noise reduction.
  • Selections and paths.
  • Automation and scripts.
  • Generic Graphics Library.
  • Resizing and cropping.
  • Animation.

GIMP's interface is quite similar to that of Photoshop that's why if you have any experience with PH, you won't get lost. Although it's not the only Photoshop similarity: GIMP freely supports a lot of PH plug-ins, thus tremendously extending your creative palette.

It's worthy to mention that it's not the easiest software to master. The abundance of options & functions will be somewhat staggering at first. Luckily, GIMP has a massive user-community and therefore an impressive number of tutorials - they will lend you a helping hand in case you get stuck with something.

Price: Free.
Image formats supported: JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PDF, PS/EPS and others.
OS compatibility: Windows, MacOS, Linux.
Download: https://www.gimp.org

2. Paint.NET: A reliable workhorse

Paint.NET originally designed as a student project proved to be a respectable alternative for Microsoft's classic Paint. Both in terms of interface and functionality, Paint.NET is rather humble and austere. But don't be deluded by the simplicity - it's not primitive at all.

Paint.NET has an array of quite useful functions, suitable for work with images:

  • Various filters.
  • Clone Stamp.
  • Layering and levels.
  • Unlimited history + Undo option.
  • Native plug-ins.
  • Brightness/saturation adjusting.
  • "Red-eye" reduction.
  • 3D rotation/zooming.
  • Gradients.
  • Text editing.

Paint.NET, although incapable of competing with Photoshop or GIMP, remains quite a solid and intuitive tool for photo editing.

Price: Free.
Image formats supported: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, TGA, DDS, TIFF.
OS Compatibility: Windows.
Download: https://www.getpaint.net

3. Photo Pos Pro: For experts & rookies

Photo Pos Pro is another powerful image editing software that could have stolen the limelight form Photoshop or Gimp. If it wasn't for some uncomfortable limitations.

The application has a rich functionality list:

  • Frame/collage presets.
  • Background replacement.
  • Text editing.
  • Layers/masks.
  • Gradients.
  • Photo enhancement tools.
  • Effects and filters.
  • Red-eye reduction.
  • Customizable brushes.

Moreover, there are two interface layouts:

  • Beginner's mode - dramatically simplifies GUI, making it less frightful. Advanced options are disabled.
  • Expert's mode - looks a bit messy and cluttered, but allows to do some fine image editing.

Unfortunately, restrictions spoil a promising product a bit. First, FPOS is the only format in which you can save layered images. Second Photo Pos Pro is a semi-free software and its free version allows you to save photos at 1,024 X 2,014 resolution only, which is of course insufficient.

Price: Free/Premium $34.90.
Image formats supported: FPOS (layered), JPEG, TIFF, GIF (non-layered).
OS Compatibility: Windows.
Download: http://www.photopos.com/PPP3_BS/Default.aspx

4. PhotoScape: Instant result

PhotoScape has a plethora of useful and easy-to-apply features.

Its functionality list may boast of:

  • Various filters.
  • Retouching.
  • Face search.
  • Screen capture.
  • Animation.
  • Resizing/cropping.
  • Photo slicing.
  • Undo/Undo All function.
  • Ruled paper printing.
  • Skin mole treatment.
  • RAW-images converting.
  • Color selection.
  • Collage/mural option.

Yes, the assortment of features is pretty impressive. But there's always some serious, even fatal shortcoming. And in PhotoScape's case, it's the interface.

The application's interface obeys its own irrational logic and seems somewhat half-baked and chaotic. Effects and tools are grouped in specific and bizarre configurations, therefore it'll take you some time to master the PhotoScape's GUI. As for the rest, it's famous for its "smart" effects that enable you to edit, beautify and perfect the photos momentarily.

Price: Free.
Image formats supported: JPEG, PMG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, RAW.
OS Compatibility: Windows, MacOS.
Download: http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php

5. Fotor: Easy & fast

Fotor is a very simple application that enables you to enhance the visual quality of your photos. But it's not your go-to if you need something like precise and miniscule portrait retouching.

Fotor can supply you with:

  • Tilt-shift tool.
  • Red-eye removal.
  • Banner making.
  • Text editing.
  • RAW-images converting.
  • One-click filters.
  • Collages.
  • Stickers.
  • Color regulation.
  • Blur, distance, angle adjusting.
  • Basic portrait retouching.
  • Touch up.
  • Batch processing tool.

The latter feature allows you to filter a colossal amount of photos at one time. Tilt-shift tool elegantly eliminates the consequences of shaky hands or an unstable tripod. As for Touch Up - it primarily beautifies the selfies.

There are two versions of Fotor: free and Fotor Pro. The free version has a couple of ads, but they are tolerable. Especially when you get such a smart and quick tool in return.

Price: Free + ads.
Image formats supported: JPEG, PNG, RAW, TIFF, BMP, and others.
OS Compatibility: Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS.
Download: https://www.fotor.com/windows/index.html

Hailey Miles

UX designer, an expert in the beauty of apps.

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