Editing photos online has been a choice for many individuals that are looking to spice up a drab or unexciting photo. With the wonderful aid of the internet, editing photos could not be any easier. Simply type in “online photo editor” and a slew of software selections will pop up. A wide array of image editing softwares out there offer pristine performance while not costing a single cent. Typically, these free photoshop alternatives will not be as sophisticated as their paid predecessors, however, it is quite possible to see similar quality after becoming familiarized on the platform. When the topic of photo editing software comes up, immediately one visualizes Adobe photoshop. While it is true that this company has built up a massive reputation for itself, people tend to be discouraged at its high price point and look for cheaper or free alternatives. This results in either downloading the program illegally and finding a key generator or scouting for the best alternative. I am here to help you find that alternative by illustrating what is available and allowing you to make a decision that is based on your own specific needs. Before I go into detail. each of these options are for both Mac and PC, allowing all the readers to benefit from this article. As previously mentioned I am going to focus on the best free photo edititing softwares that in my honest opinion, serve as a great photoshop alternative and its paid predecessors. Without further ado, let’s get right into the content.

GIMP screenshot
Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GIMP_Icon.svg


Website: gimp.org


GIMP is quite possibly the most well-known free editor out there, it provides a whole host of features that the paid softwares offers at the cost of a complex learning curve. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. Its purpose is to provide a free photo editing software that is capable of creating expert quality edits with features like: advanced photo retouching that is akin to the quality of Photoshop, a large quantity image renderer, image format converter and many others that keep it in the ranks. GIMP is the go-to editor for many individuals who are looking to avoid the costly Photoshop path. GIMP also comes fully loaded with features that can be found in the other expensive editors like painting, drawing, selection tools, layers and channel support, selection masks, color adjustments, paths, etc. GIMP is always seeking to improve their software and are committed to bringing their community only the best. If anyone is looking for a great Photoshop alternative GIMP may be the answer, although, the program may have some hiccups along the way due to its free nature. After spending some time with the program one can see identical Photoshop results.

pixlr screenshot
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trosserpics/4128099861/sizes/z/


Website: pixlr.com


Pixlr is a flash-based app from Autodesk, Inc. which operates from the users browser, it offers a wide range of functionality all while being made available for free and without having to create an account. Out of the box Pixlr is very simple and does not throw anything sophisticated jargon or features at the user, it is designed for simplicity and for anyone to open it up and go. Due to its free nature, Pixlr is not to be mistaken for anything lousy, it operates as a competitive rival in the race for the best online image editor. For individuals who are looking for expert editing capabilities this software does a great job of meeting their needs. Images are easily cropped, adjusted and even lassoes which is comparable to the higher end softwares, and the magic wand tool operates as it does with its other paid programs. Even with high quality editing functionality Pixlr makes it simple for even the novice editor and is simple for anyone to adapt.


Website: splashup.com


Splashup is an online photo editor that provides a platform where its users can take advantage of this free software and take control over their images using common tools as brushes, cropping, eraser, color palette and a text tool. Immediately after opening the program it becomes clear that this is not a complex editor and keeps the bells and whistles at home. This is simply a basic editor that allows for image tuning and  not image reconstruction. It makes an average picture look more professional by enhancing the quality. Due to the simplicity of the software, this makes it easy for anyone to jump in and go, this is great for individuals who are looking for a great easy to use program. Splashup features a plain black and white canvas and does not go out of its way to bring any shock factor to the table. Since Splashup is simple to use this has also been its greatest downfall as mentioned by its users.


Website: inkscape.com


Inkscape stocks a fresh and attractive interface to its users and provides a wide array of common ‘shop’ like tools in a clear and easily accessible way. In the right hands Inkscape can produce amazing content that can be used in creating high quality and complex graphics. Many refer to Inkscape as a great alternative to Photoshop’s Illustrator, minus a few components given the free aspect to the software. An interesting note about Inkscape is its grand selection of tools that are available and that are very useful in comparison to other free softwares, Inkscape offers tools such as: Gradient, Tweak Objectives, Béziers Curves, Filters and Extensions and lastly the ability to create 3D boxes. These tools at first may sound confusing and unconventional. However, with some experimentation and creativity Inkscape really shines when these tools are used appropriately and the results can be truly staggering. When Inkscape is compared with Illustrator it becomes evident that this program is a powerhouse  when these programs are compared side by side.. For those who are looking for a fantastic free online image editor Inkscape could be the answer. 

picasa logo
Credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/Picasa_Logo.svg/500px-Picasa_Logo.svg.png


Website: picasa.google.ca


Picasa is a Google product and operates as a free online editor but falls a little short in its delivery. Picasa has undergone a considerable makeover since its initial release date, typically Google turns out amazing products but with their image editor it appears to be more tailored to the beginner user and lacks sophistication for people with more advanced editing skills. Picasa is great for beginners, and maybe that is the best it is used for, hopefully in the future Picasa will become more advanced and offer its users a more comprehensive platform and a larger storage area that is greater than 1GB considering other popular Google products offer 10x the amount of space. Bottom line is this, if an individual is just starting out Picasa is a solid platform and operates as a terrific introduction into the world of digital editing.