Adobe-Photoshop - can you afford the fully package?
While Photoshop is far and away the industry standard, it is also very expensive. Adobe has introduced the cheaper Photoshop Elements for people who don’t want to shell out for the full package, but its functionality is limited. While they’re not generally suitable for very high-end work, there are a few Photoshop alternatives that you might be interested in.
The most popular free (open source) program for replacing Photoshop is known as the GIMP – not the most politically-correct of names, but then it was never really intended for the mass market. Originally a Linux application, it has been ported to Windows. While it performs most of Photoshop’s functions effectively, the interface is awkward at best.
To solve this problem, some people set about taking the GIMP and adjusting its interface to make it into a virtual Photoshop clone. The result is called Gimpshop, and works quite well – if you’re looking for a free Photoshop, this is pretty much your best option.
Apart from that, you could try Paint.net. Originally intended as a replacement for Paint, the simple drawing program that comes with Windows, Paint.net has quite quickly turned into something more on the scale of Photoshop. Developed by university students from the ground up, it is a project to watch, and runs much faster than Photoshop does with an arguably more intuitive interface.
Of course, if you’re just after a simple program for converting file formats, rotating pictures and removing red eye, then all of this is complete overkill – even something like Paint Shop Pro is really too advanced for these simple tasks. Instead, you should be looking at programs like Microsoft’s Digital Image, IfranView and Google’s Picasa. At heart, these are simple photo management programs with only the functions that you’re likely to need for digital photo adjustment, avoiding all the distractions that high-end tools like Photoshop can bring.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of Adobe Photoshop resources
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