The Agilist Network

Tales and Tips from Agile Software Projects

Best Free Imaging Software Program – Ever!

Posted by kenhoward on November 17, 2008

Ok, maybe I’m overstating – “best” is subjective, and everyone’s software needs are different. If you work with graphics, images, or photos, you probably have the need to do editing or touch up work. At work, I frequently edit graphics for use in presentations. At home, I have been scanning hundreds of old photos that need to be cleaned up.
I used to use Photoshop Elements, which was great, but the version I bought stopped working when I upgraded to Vista. I have also had the chance to play with the full version of Photoshop in the past – it’s a wonderful tool, but I can’t spend the hundreds of dollars it costs.

Picasa is a terrific tool for very light editing – cropping, rotating, color correction, and red-eye and blemish removal. However, it lacks comprehensive color and light correction tools, and has limited support for filters. It also lacks my favorite Photoshop tool, the clone stamp.

Then I found the best Photoshop’ish tool available, and it’s completely free of charge – It’s called GIMP, which stands for the “GNU Image Manipulation Program”. It has all the features I used in Photoshop, and is completely spyware free. You can find it here.

Even better, if you need to take GIMP with you to use at work or on somebody else’s computer, it’s also available in a portable version. Just install it on your thumb drive and run it from there without having to install it on the PC. The portable version is available here.
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