Adobe Photoshop is an excellent photo manipulation tool. With it, businesses can create professional looking marketing materials quite easily. The biggest issue with Photoshop is the price. A person looking to buy it can spend more then $600 for newer versions. This is not feasible for many small business owners, plus they probably don’t require all of the features that a $600 photo-editing program comes with. Thankfully, there are many alternatives to Photoshop that are affordable or free.
These alternatives are not quite as powerful as Photoshop but they offer enough of the elements to be useful to the small business owner. This is a list of three that make photo-manipulation easy, without straining the wallet.
GIMP, which stands for GNU image manipulation program, is the choice of many a cost-conscious designer. That’s because this free program contains the most important features of Photoshop. The GIMP website even offers a version of the program—cleverly named GIMPShop—that features a screen layout that’s a virtual twin of Photoshop’s.
Remember that old MSPaint program that came with your Windows program? Paint.NET is the successor to this, and it is a surprisingly powerful—and free—photo editor. Paint.NET comes with its own special effects, a limitless undo (a nice feature for those designers who are far from perfect), and an online forum full of users who aren’t shy about sharing their favorite tips and methods for using this program. The only negative of Paint.NET? It only works with Windows-based systems.
Picnik has become a popular free photo editor for many reasons. First, it works on the Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Secondly, users don’t need to download any files to their computers to use the program. The program is also known for its speed. It’s simple and easy to learn the fundamentals of cropping, resizing, and rotating photos. It’s easy, too, to add special effects and turn blurry, dark images into clear, light ones.
Business owners needn’t let Photoshop’s high price keep them from inserting professionally edited photos into their marketing materials. With just a little bit of online hunting, even the most frugal of business owners will find an ideal alternative.
||About Fernando Sosa
Fernando Sosa is a technology consultant, project management professional, and software developer who helps small businesses and nonprofit organizations make the most of their information technology resources.