The best photo-editing apps confirm that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” as they say. Over the years we’ve taken photographs with pro cameras, mobile phones, and computers. In the past people would hardly edit pictures, but retouching photos has become a regular thing in recent times. Some of the software used in editing photos comes at a cost, but if you cannot afford to buy the software, there are many apps that are free. In this article we will discuss five such apps: Paint.Net, Pixlr, GIMP, Image Tricks and Photoscape.
1. Paint.Net (Windows only)
Paint.Net has the feel of old photo editors that used to come with the Windows operating system but also packed with more features. It is easy for beginners as it has layers, unlimited history, and special effects. Editing with Paint.Net is very fast and easy, even on older systems, despite the fact that it lacks some advanced tools. It is free, but unfortunately for Mac users, it is exclusive to Windows.
2. Pixlr (Web)
The layout of Pixlr is quite identical to that of Photoshop, which makes it easy to use for people who are familiar to the latter. It is an online app and does not require you to download it before use. It is available for Windows, Mac and mobile platforms (Android and iOS). Pixlr’s format for saving images allows it to adjust or transfer between mobile and desktop. However, it does not have many export formats, such as JPEG, TIFF, BMP, or PNG.
3. GIMP (Cross-platform)
GIMP has been said to be the best and most well-known free photo editor there is; it has a lot of the features present in Photoshop and is easy to use. The app supports the use of plugins and has powerful tools that make it easy for non-professionals to use. However, GIMP does not contain some advanced layer styles usually seen in Photoshop. GIMP works across Windows, Mac, and Linux.
You can use GIMP for editing, drawing, conversion between formats and much more. One of its advantages over others is in its scripting language, Script-Fu, which is used to automate repetitive tasks.
You can also use Perl, Python, and Tcl through an external interpreter to do the scripting. As one of the best photo editing apps, GIMP can handle a lot of file formats such as EMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and GIF. It can also import PDF files and raw formats of various digital cameras.
4. Image Tricks (Mac)
Image Tricks is a free photo editor for Mac OS X and is quite easy to use. It allows you to experiment, as you can combine various effects on a picture. It is an ideal app for non-professionals to be creative. It contains a broad range of filters and masks.
5. Photoscape (Windows and Mac)
Although the Photoscape editor does not have a lot of advanced editing tools, the app is best used as a quick editor. It contains essential tools that allow you to apply filters, frame, crop, add text, draw, clone and so on. You can also use it to create GIFS that animate multiple photos when added. It works on Windows and Mac.
Photoscape is stuffed with a lot of features while retaining its ease of use. The app’s features include a raw converter, file renamer, batch processor, viewer, color picker, screen capture tool, and print layout tool.
Final Word on the Best Photo Editing Apps
All five apps listed above are free and would easily pass for the best photo-editing apps. Of all the apps, GIMP seems to be the one with more features and is suitable for both beginners and pros. GIMP is particularly suited to people who do not feel it is necessary to spend money on editing their pictures. What makes the app even better is the fact that it works across platforms, including Mac and Windows.