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Friday, October 2, 2009

Free Photo Editing Software - Five Recommended Programs For Image Editing

By: Susan Schlenger


If you have read my article, Free Photo Editing Software - What Features Should I Look For, then you will have some ideas of tools that are available. Although there are many editing programs available, I have used quite a few. These below are ones that I would recommend. They are all free.



Paint.net



This software is pretty straight forward and easy to use. It also offers some advanced features, such as layers and curves. It's resizing screen showing your image only appears after you do a save. This is not bad, as long as you are aware of it.



Irfanview



Know mostly as an image viewer, Irfanview is an editor also. It has a multitude of features, such as batch resize and being able to change thumbnail sizes when viewing your images. It also offers a huge amount of image file types if you want to change the extension of a photo.



That being said, I find this program to be the most confusing to use. I do not use it regularly. I would assume that if I did, I would get used to it. It does, however, have a lot to offer.



FastStone Image Viewer



Again, great as an image viewer with some very useful features. I like that you can view both images, the original and a duplicate for editing, together. Once you have enlarged a photo to take up the full screen, various options are available by moving your mouse to the top, bottom, left or right parts of the screen.



For example, go to the top of the screen and a thumbnail strip of all of your images in that folder will appear. You can click on any image and it will then be the full screen photo. This is a useful tool, allowing you to work with a full screen image and easily see your other pics in the folder.



Web Resizer



This is actually a website. It's strong feature is how it resizes pictures, but you can also do some simple edits. It is very easy to use. It clearly shows what your image will look like by comparing different file sizes for the same picture. Upload a photo to work with it, and then download it to save it on your computer.



Picasa 3



Picasa 3 is photo editing software, but it also offers some other things. As an editor, it has a wide range of tools, divided into three categories. It's other features are that it is an image viewer and organizer. You can also send your digital photos to an online printer. If you choose to use Picasa Web Albums as an online photo sharing site (and for storage), you can sync it with Picasa 3 so that edits and changes made in Picas 3 will automatically be made in Picasa Web Albums.



You can download any of these free programs and try them out. Although none does everything, you will most likely find one that meets most of your needs.

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