Free and Open Source Alternatives to Photoshop


For any web designer, Adobe Photoshop is a must on any wish list. Photoshop comes with a multitude of features that allow exceptional and professional photo editing. But the reason many designers do not use Photoshop is simply the price, which can be too expensive. Fortunately for designers, there are numerous open source and entirely free programs out there that do as much as Photoshop if not more.

Doodlekit is a fully hosted online free website builder and CMS (Content Management System) that helps you build a personal or business website. It’s perfect for anyone from first-timers to advanced web developers and web designers. Unlike other website creator tools, Doodlekit is all online. You don’t need to install any software on your computer, and you can use it from any computer, anywhere in the world that has internet access, at any time.


One Photoshop substitute is Gimp. GIMP is short for “GNU image manipulation program.” GIMP is one of the oldest and most popular alternatives to Photoshop.  GIMP does not have all of the features that Photoshop has but you will find the majority of features there. GIMP has a large community of support and it is also cross platform.

Cinepaint is almost designed specifically for video and it is often utilized to make animated feature films by major studios. Like Photoshop it has many capabilities and as a photo editor it can reach fidelity of up to 32 bit color.
Communities of web designers also use Krita as a Photoshop alternative. Krita is known for its easy learning curve and in 2006 won the Akademy Award for Best Application. Krita is a little less powerful than GIMP and Photoshop, but it also has many unique features.

Paint.NET has become the de-facto replacement for the popular MSPaint and has transformed into a fully featured open source image editor with large community of support. To run Paint.NET you will need Windows.

A design application that was designed specifically for the Mac is ChocoFlop. ChocoFlop is a pretty comprehensive design application. Thought this program will not always be free, at the moment it is in its beta version and is being offered for free download.

Pixia was originally designed in Japanese and was almost exclusively used for Japanese anime. Today, though, it has been re-designed for English and can be used as an editor in general. It does not have easiest learning curve out of all of the programs discussed but if you are serious about web design, it is worth a shot. Pixia is designed for application on Windows.

As a web designer, your pocket book may not always allow you to use the most ideal design programs, but with a little research and searching around, you will find that there are numerous alternatives to Photoshop that any web designer can use to make an excellent web site.


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