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>> Lets see here... Adobe Photoshop CS3, Single user, full package Windows... What! $600. Okay what about Photoshop Element? Hundred bucks! Plus this new one doesn't even look that easy. I don't have that kind of cash, and I need to edit some photos now! What to do?
>> Hi, I'm Molly Wood from cnet.com and I was just playing you. You need a free Photoshop alternative and in this of Insider Secret, I'm going to give you three choices. Now, there's nothing wrong with Photoshop, except that its huge, bloated, super expensive, and more image editing power than most people need for simple edits that probably involve photos. And Photoshop Elements, its fine. But its getting kind of complicated and why pay eighty to a hundred dollars for fine when you could get fine or even good, for free. And no, I'm not talking about Paint. Well actually I am talking about paint. Paint.net Now this is open source image editing software that lets you do simple image edits like cropping, rotating, resizing, adjusting colors and even making collages. It also supports layers so you can use slightly more sophisticated editing than with the standard free app. Paint.net Pretty slick. Downsides. It doesn't work on a Mac and our download.com editor say the red eye fixing tool isn't the greatest. Also it is conveniently not located at paint.net so find it at download.com.
Now on to the next option which does work on a Mac. Web based image editing tools are all the rage right now. There's Picnic, Slash Up, Snip Shot... there's a lot of them. But the best and most powerful is probably Photoflexer. Now we like Photoflexer for its awesome integration with the social networks. You can actually suck in photos from your friends profiles and color their hair here with the service's most popular feature and then you can post them on to your own network. Very slick. Its also got this fun morph feature. And an extremely impressive smart resize feature that resizes photos or lets you cut elements out of a photo without any distortion. It also does layers and unlike Photoshop it offers some pretty slick How To videos on its website. Lessons are always appreciated. Okay, finally if you are looking for the most powerful possible software alternative to Photoshop, you're going to have to bring out the GIMP. The GIMP stands for the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Its open source and it offers the most power for your lack of buck that you can find. For example the GIMP comes with a huge selection of manipulation tools comparable to Photoshop. Its even got the magic wand smart selection tool that you've probably come to know and love if you're a Photoshop user. Its got a 150 effects and filters like blur, pixelize, noise, distort, and it has photo specific tools like distortion correction and red eye fixes and it has this customizable interface, and that is great because the GIMP is not easy to use. It is powerful and it is free, but unless you need all that image editing power, consider something a little more user friendly like paint.net or a web based option. Okay, now I know this doesn't even begin to cover all the basic photo editing tools that are out there, but if you're looking to really replace Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, these three choices should give you the flexibility and advanced tools you need. And that my friend leaves you no excuse for red eye.
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