Adobe Photoshop and Its Free Alternatives

Engaging visuals are important for your web content. Surveys have shown that images on websites have a higher chance of being clicked and articles with images are likely to be shared. Furthermore, over 60% of the world population grasps ideas through visuals. Creating witty or stunning images for your web content is one of the ways you can attract people to visit your website and stay there to read what you have to say. This is why the ability to create graphic content is an essential skill in today’s competitive online market. An image editing tool that many professional graphic designers use is Adobe Photoshop.

What is Adobe Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop is an image editing tool developed and distributed by Adobe Systems for Windows and OS X. It was created over 20 years ago in 1988 by the Knoll brothers, Thomas and John. It is a raster graphic tool that supports important graphic features such as masks, multiple color format options, text rendering, vector and 3D graphics creation, video and many more. The resulting graphic file can be saved as .PSD or .PSB as well as other formats such as .JPG, .JPEG, .PNG, and .GIF, to name a few. Written in C++, Adobe Photoshop is still being developed to include new features to enable users create creatively stunning graphics, 3D models and videos.

Today, Adobe Systems develops and distributes several Photoshop software solutions, collectively named as The Adobe Photoshop Family. These other software solutions are Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Express, Photoshop Lightroom, and Photoshop Touch.

Advantages of Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop comes with various sets of tools. When this article was written, Adobe has released several Adobe versions that include the CS family: CS, CS2, CS3, to the CS6 and the two CC series: CC and CC 2014. Here are several advantages of using Adobe Photoshop, compared to using other image editing tools.

  • Adobe Photoshop offers plenty of features. Although the interface can be a bit intimidating for new users, many of the features are easy to use as it opens in specific dialog boxes. After all, you may not need all the tools available. However, it is better to have a large set of tools so you can pick the ones you want to use, instead of having a limited set of tools which limit your creativity.
  • Adobe Photoshop files can be transferred to other Adobe products easily. You can create a vector graphic in Adobe Illustrator, insert photos using Photoshop, and turn the files into a video file in Adobe Premiere easily. You don’t need to install a converter program or experience image quality loss due to compression, which happens if you use some other image editing tools.
  • You can find articles and free video tutorials about Adobe Photoshop on the internet, thanks to the popularity of the program which creates a cult following among designers. With some other programs you might have to enroll for a class just to know how to use the available features.

Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Systems typically offers its outdated Photoshop versions to the public for free. However, you need to wait for years for them to release the Photoshop version you want to use now. For the new versions you have to pay a one-time license fee or you can purchase a monthly membership license starting from $19.99/month for a single Creative Cloud app for individual user. For those who want to make simple changes in their images or photos, there are several free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop that you might want to try.

  1. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). GIMP is an open-source program available in several versions designed for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. It is by far an image editing program that resembles the look and feel of Photoshop albeit the limited features–at no cost.
  2. Microsoft Paint or Paint.net. Both are designed and distributed by Microsoft. It is free and Windows buyer has it included in their OS package. However, it works quite well with photos although users who need to create artistic graphics might not want to expect too much from this free tool.
  3. Pixlr. Pixlr is available for free download using your computer or smartphone. It comes with over 600 effects but you might find it great for photo editing only. It can be difficult to make adjustments the way we can do with Adobe Photoshop. But for quick retouch and photo editing, this one provides to be useful.

So that’s a bit about Adobe Photoshop, its advantages and free alternatives available out there. On MirajeStudios’ website we have several basic Adobe Photoshop video tutorials, aimed to help those who have never used Photoshop before. Check out our video tutorials, comment or leave us an e-mail and thanks for reading.

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