Adobe Photoshop is one of the most widely known, and respected, photo editing software available. Unfortunately it also costs quite a bit of money. You can purchase the basic Adobe Photoshop if you don’t need anything extra, but if you want to get into much more complex and professional photo editing features you will need to purchase the advanced Adobe programs.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 costs $99.99

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 costs $299.99

Adobe Photoshop CSS costs $699.00

Adobe Photoshop CSS Extended costs $999.00

As you can see the Adobe programs are a bit of money, and the more advanced you get, the more the price doubles. Thankfully most regular people only need a basic photo editing program with some basic functions. The other ones are for professionals, or those who are more experienced with the programs.

So you’re just a novice in the photo editing world? Well, you should definitely try free software first for a variety of reasons.

Using similar programs to Adobe you can get a feel of how well you will do with photo editing programs (advantages of online image editors) and you can accurately judge if you want to spend that much money on a paid software, or if a simple program will be sufficient.

On top of that, most of these free programs have almost all of the features that the basic Adobe offers, making them more bang for your buck! So where exactly do you get these programs? Well, you want to be sure to install a reliable program that has plenty of reviews and also tutorials. Below are some of the top free software programs that are similar to Adobe.

Top Five Free Programs similar to Adobe Basic

  1. PhotoScape – This program is fantastic and is jam packed with a lot of unique features that are quite simple to use. It ranked number one on our list due to the overall ease of use and features.
  2. GIMP – this is an open source image program that was coined the ‘free Photoshop’ a long time ago. It is available for Linux and Windows OS and has a lot of unique features as well, although it is a bit more difficult to use than its winning contender.
  3. Paint.NET – this program was developed at a university and is still maintained by some of the people that had attended there. It has plenty of fantastic features that appeal to users, especially the unlimited undo history.
  4. Serif PhotoPlus – This is offered by a company that is giving it away as a free edition. They’re obviously hoping to entice you to purchase the paid version, but the free one has plenty of features that keep people hooked.
  5. Pixia – last but not least we have this program that originated in Japan but has been convered to an English version. Unfortunately it can’t save .gif.

And one of my all time favorite Picnik is built on Adobe and offers a lot features free. An upgraded account for less than $30 / month will give you full access to all features of Picnik.

Each one of those programs are fantastic and well…FREE! The affordable price and comprehensive features in all of them make them perfect for beginner and novice photo editors.

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