19 Free Graphic and Image Editors for Designers and Photographers

Graphic and image editors can help you create beautiful graphics and give your digital images amazing effects, but they can be expensive. What if all you wanted to do was create something simple and basic, would you pay hundreds of dollars just to do that? No, you would not.
In this article you will find a range of Free editors that can be used by graphic designers, photographers, animators, artists and even kids. Some have basic functionality, for the amateur or learner, others are very powerful and professional, suitable for the professional.

Artweaver

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Artweaver
Description : Artweaver is a basic Windows Freeware program to simulate natural brush tools, which is ideal for giving your creativity a free rein. It is available in both English and German.
OS : All Windows.

IrfanView

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : IrfanView.
Description : IrfanView is a fundamentally an image viewer, but has a good selection of editing tools that makes this well worth downloading. It is fast, small and compact with a list of supported file extensions that would make any similiar commercial software pale in comparison. It is freeware (for non-commercial use).
Main Features : Many supported file formats, Thumbnail/preview option ; Paint option ; Create a slide show ; Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Fullscreen ; Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters ; Batch conversion ; Multipage TIF editing ; Support for embedded color profiles in JPG/TIF ; Change color depth ; Cut/crop ; Effects (Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, Filter Factory, Filters Unlimited, etc.) ; Screen Capture ; Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs.
It is trying to be simple for beginners and powerful for professionals.
OS : All Windows.

Paint.NET

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Paint.NET.
Description : Paint.NET is a free image and photo editor, it features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.
It was originally intended as a free replacement for Microsoft Paint, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool, not quite as powerful as Photoshop or Gimp, but a damn good replacement.
It is trying to be simple for beginners and powerful for professionals.
OS : All Windows.

Picasa 3

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Picasa 3.
Description : This ever popular free application from Google, Picasa is basically an application for organizing and editing your digital photos. It offers basic photo editing functions, color enhancement, red eye reduction, cropping, slide shows, printing, optimize for e-mailing and printing (by reducing file size and setting up page layouts).
Picasa works hand in hand with Picasa Web Albums (PWA), a photo-sharing web application from Google. If you have a Google account you can store and share 1GB of photos for free.
OS : All Windows, Linux and MAC OSX.

Pixia

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Pixia.
Description : Pixia is a freeware bitmap graphics editor program originally developed for the Japanese Manga but has become very popular with all graphic designers.
This Japanese application, is also available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Polish, Korean and German. The program supports multiple layers, transparency effects, standard file formats and a number of RGB file formats including .PSD. The main file extension used by this program is .PXA.
OS : Windows Me, 2000, XP and Vista.

Project Dogwaffle

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Project Dogwaffle.
Description : Project Dogwaffle offers both freeware and commercial versions, the freeware version is fully functional, lacking only the advanced layer and scripting tools of the full version.
Project Dogwaffle (current version 1.2) is based on its commercial big brother, Project Dogwaffle 2.0. It’s a lighter, yet powerful tool for graphic designers and animators.
Its features include realistic paint effects, a frame-based animation tool, the standard paint tools common to most modern bitmap paint programs, an alpha channel for transparency effects and support for plugins.
OS : All Windows.

TwistedBrush Open Studio

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : TwistedBrush Open Studio.
Description : TwistedBrush Open Studio edition (the free edition) is a versatile and powerful brush engine, it has more than 5,000 brushes available, along with all the features that artists love to use: layers, realistic media, photo cloning, tracing, masks, particles, filters, script recording, scripts to AVI, drawing tablet support, brush shapes, patterns, textures, integrated scanner support, image brushes, drawing guides, reference image views, dirty brushes, scratch layer, dynamic palettes and a whole lot more.
TwistedBrush has been designed for all realms of digital art including natural media fine art, photo retouching, photo composition, photo cloning to turn your photos into the look of hand painted artwork, mandala art, patterns, manga, even 3D like painting with the incredible blob modeling tools.
OS : All Windows.

CinePaint

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : CinePaint.
Description : CinePaint is a professional open-source raster graphics editor. Contrary to belief, it is not a video editor, even though it has been designed for painting and retouching bitmap frames of movie film. It is a splinter of GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), making it very powerful, easy to use and learn.
OS : Linux, BSD, UNIX-like OSes, Mac OS X, and SGI IRIX.

GIMP – The GNU Image Manipulation Program

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : GIMP – The GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Description : GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free application, it is specifically a raster graphics editor used to process digital graphics and photographs. It is usually the direct free replacement for Photoshop and rightly so, there are very few limitations, its very powerful, and is probably easier to use than Photoshop. With its dedicated community you can find all the help, tutorials and plugins you would ever need. All this for free!
OS : Windows ALL, Mac OS X, and SkyOS.

KolourPaint

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : KolourPaint.
Description : KolourPaint is a free, raster graphics editor for the K Desktop Environment, similar to Microsoft’s Paint. It is a very basic graphic and image editor, built for the amateur designer and photographer.
OS : KDE, Xfce and GNOME.

Krita (KOffice Project)

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Krita (KOffice Project).
Description : Krita (Swedish for crayon) is a painting and image editing application for KOffice. Krita contains both ease-of-use and fun features like guided painting and high-end features like support for 16 bit images, CMYK, L*a*b and even OpenEXR HDR images.
OS : KDE.

The Usable Image Editor

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : The Usable Image Editor.
Description : Nathive is a free image editor, similar to The GIMP, but not as powerful. Its main focus is on usability, logic and providing a smooth learning curve for everyone. The project run in the Gnome desktop environment.
This project is in the alpha phase, so it is an incomplete work, unfit for the end user yet. The intention is to achieve a professional graphic editor progressively without giving up initial usability. If you want to know more about the project, please visit there homepage.
OS : Gnome.

Pixen 3

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Pixen 3.
Description : Pixen is an innovative graphics editor for the Mac. It’s designed from top to bottom for pixel artists—people who make low-resolution raster art like the sprites you see in old video games. But it’s great for artists of all arenas: Pixen is like a very powerful MSPaint or a simpler, more agile Photoshop. And best of all, it’s Free!
OS : MAC OSX.

Seashore

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Seashore.
Description : Seashore is an open source image editor for Mac OS X’s Cocoa framework. It features gradients, textures and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes. It supports multiple layers and alpha channel editing. It is based around the GIMP’s technology and uses the same native file format.
However, unlike the GIMP, Seashore only aims to serve the basic image editing needs of most computer users, not to provide a replacement for professional image editing products.
OS : MAC OSX.

Tile Studio

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Tile Studio.
Description : Tile Studio is a complete development utility for graphics of tile-based games. The application contains a bitmap editor for creating tiles and sprites and a map editor for designing level maps.
Tile Studio was originally designed to be used with the Game Library for the language Clean (a functional language, developped by the University of Nijmegen). But Tile Studio can be used together with ANY programming language, since the output is completely programmable! You can program Tile Studio to output your maps, animation sequences, bitmaps, palettes, etc. in any format and include the output directly into your source code.
OS : All Windows.

Inkscape

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Inkscape.
Description : Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor just as powerful (perhaps better?) to Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.
Inkscape does not have all the features of the leading vector editors, the latest versions provide for a large portion of basic vector graphics editing capabilities. It is not unknown for Inkscape to be used on different projects, it can be successfully used to create web graphics, technical diagrams, icons, creative art, logos and maps.
OS : All Windows and MAC OSX.

Tux Paint

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Tux Paint.
Description : Tux Paint is a free drawing program for children ages 3 to 12, it combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides children as they use the program.
Kids are presented with a blank canvas and a variety of drawing tools to help them be creative.
OS : All Windows, MAC OSX, Linux and BSD.

RENDERA

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : RENDERA.
Description : Rendera is a free graphics program suitable for artistic painting, photo-retouching, colorizing, and seamless tile design. It emulates common art tools and features an easy-to-learn, labeled interface. The edge-wrapping and interactive offset functions make it perfect for Web background tiles.
OS : All Windows.

Image Forge

Best Free Graphic and Image Editor

URL : Image Forge.
Description : ImageForge provides you with a set of powerful tools for painting and editing images, photos or other graphics.
Create and edit images, acquire pictures from your scanner, digital camera or other Twain-compliant device, apply special effect filters, produce your own photo albums and simple slide shows, and much more.
OS : All Windows.

Author: (646 Posts)

Paul Andrew is the editor and founder of Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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