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The best things in life... a selection of free graphics software
I don't have Photoshop installed at work, so I decided to have a little hunt around for some free image editing software. There are quite a few out there actually, the one most people will tell you about is The Gimp ( I'm not a fan of their interface though, so I decided to look further.

Here's three that I found to be surprisingly useful:

1. Photofiltre: (

[Image: scr_photofiltre.jpg]

This one has to be one of my favourites - it has a very intuitive interface, and everything is laid out where you'd expect it to be. Of the three I mention here, I found that this one had the best resizing ability - the resulting images it produced were always smoother somehow. Good selection capability as well, and the only drawback I would imagine for hardcore PS users would be the lack of support for layers.

There's also a selection of downloadable plugins from their site, which compliment their set of features nicely.

2. Serif Photoplus 6 (

[Image: screenshot.jpg]

Serif appears to have released an older version of their commercial software as free software, which is great news. The commercial Photoplus is up to version 10, but the free version still looks pretty attractive, if you ask me. The interface is very, very much reminiscent of Paint Shop Pro, with lots of features which would be handy for web designers, such as image splitting, image map construction, and animation. Out of the three packages mentioned here, I think this one definitely looks the most professional and has the greatest feature set. With layers support as well, what more could you ask for?

3. Paint.NET (

[Image: pants.jpg]

Paint.NET appears to have evolved from a Computer Science project, and certainly has the hallmarks of geekdom. It's full featured, and there are a lot of tools and effects hidden away in the menus. As the name suggests, it seems to have a very powerful set of painting features, and best of all, it supports layers. The interface is unique in that it uses transparency for the floating tool windows, so that parts of the image obscured by the tool palettes can still be seen partially. You either like it or you don't, and I happen to fall in the latter category -- but to each his own.

Don't forget to check out GIMP as well, if you're really looking for a free or open source solution to your graphics needs.

Anyway, just thought I'd share some of my experiences with these programs - hopefully some of which you haven't heard about yet. All in all, I was very impressed on all fronts in terms of the functionality provided - and for the price, you just can't go wrong. Hope that helps! Big Grin
I Tried Gimp for quite a while, I found it clunky and hard to use.

Serif is a good product and I used it long before I shelled out for Photoshop.

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The best things in life... a selection of free graphics software00