rev. 18 January 2008

Image Editors

License: Open Source
Description: GIMP is an open-source Photoshop clone. It’s not perfect, but it’s also free, rather than $600. It’s a relatively small download, and will serve you well for basic image creation and manipulation needs. For a specific Windows client see here.
License: Open Source
Description: Inkscape is a vector graphic editor, similar to Adobe Illustrator. It is capable of creating the SVG file format, which is now gaining support in decent browsers (read: not IE). It is not the same thing as the GIMP, which is a pixel editor.
License: Freeware
Description: A small (768k), standalone (no installer) .NET program for simple editing and manipulation of pixel images. It’s no professional editing suite, but it’s fast, portable, and sports some really neat features like screen captures. A great tool for a pen drive, or just someone who only needs very basic image editing and no bloat.
License: Open Source
Description: Paint.NET began as an extension of Windows’ quintessential Paint program, written in .NET. It’s received Microsoft’s blessing, and the program is becoming very full-featured, possessing many of the capabilities of mature graphics suites like The GIMP.
License: Open Source
Description: Synfig is a 2D vector animation studio, somewhat similar to the animation capabilities of Macromedia’s Flash. It is a young, multi-platform program, and so might contain some bugs.
License: Freeware
Description: IcoFX is a free icon editor, used to create Windows .ico files, as well as being able to extract image files from existing icon sets. It now has support for Vista’s new icon format. Oh, and it’s free: did I mention that?

Image Managers/Viewers

License: Freeware
Description: Picasa, an image library tool that was acquired by Google and now offered for free, will create a database of all your photos and image, and you can then organize them however you like, including tags (how very Web 2.0!), as well as export them to galleries or whatever other services provide APIs. Linux’s F-Spot is a clone of this program.
License: Freeware
Description: XnView is a fast image viewer and converter, capable of handling an enormous number of formats. It is free for noncommercial home use.
License: Freeware
Description: IrfanView is another very quick image viewer with a variety of other functions, including slideshow creations, conversions, and even some rudimentary graphics tools. It is available free for noncommercial use.
FastStone Image Viewer
License: Freeware
Description: By popular demand, I’m including FastStone image viewer. The program itself is powerful, but I’ve never liked the interface because it uses fake-looking skins instead of native OS widgets. Regardless, FS comes in two flavors: the full program and a stripped-down viewer for those who don’t want the bloat.
§1433 · By · October 10, 2006 ·

4 Comments to “Image Utilities”

  1. richard says:

    you’ve missed out one of the best image freeware programs

    Faststone Image Viewer

    Small fast, batch conversions, slideshows, redeye, crop, etc…
    plus comes in a portable version as well.

  2. Bob says:

    Full marks for Faststone Image Viewer. Great interface, fast, a must-have.

  3. Mike says:

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve found PhotoFiltre to be quite useful. The free version doesn’t do layers and things that GIMP can do, but if you’re looking for basic image manipulation/modification, PhotoFiltre is another option. It’s got quite a number of features and is pretty easy to use.

  4. Mark Weber says:

    I’m not sure if you link a free software used directly online, but, anyway, I will give you a suggestion.

    In this section, you should list Picture to People. It’s here:

    I think it’s great for text and photo manipulation. I’m not a designer, but I have been done really nice images using it.

    And the more important: it has some effects I have never seen in other softwares.

    All the best,

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