Free Photo-Editing Software

Even though all photographers want their images to look good, not everyone wants to pay a hundred dollars or more for photo-editing software. But free photo-editing software exists and this article presents six free photo editors for the Windows and/or Mac operating systems. Also, since people have to import their images to the photo editor before they can work on them, all the software cited here helps photographers to organize their photos.

PicMonkey users can resize, add text, crop, adjust exposure, sharpen and do other edits to photos. PicMonkey requires no downloads or registration. Currently, it works only with Microsoft’s Windows operating system, but company executives say they are working on making it compatible with Android phones and with Apple’s Macs and mobile devices. Royale is a premium version of PicMonkey that users pay for if they want more features.

iPhoto software from Apple comes bundled with Macs. The iOS version of iPhoto comes with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and iPad mini so consumers can edit using their fingers and touch screens. The software does not work with PCs without thrid-party software.  Apple software presents excellent, easy-to-use photo-editing tools.

Photographers can edit RAW files with it too. People who have a camera that allows them to shoot in RAW can use the RAW files created to control almost every photo detail in the editing process. Shooting in RAW calls for more post-production work than shooting in JPEG, for example, but serious photographers think the effort is worthwhile.

However, since RAW specs vary by make and model of camera, there is no universal RAW-file-editing compatibility. Therefore, users must check with the manufacturer of the photo-editing software to see if it is compatible with their camera.


GIMP is a free, open-source software users can download to run on the Windows and Mac operating systems. It is also compatible with the Sun OpenSolaris and FreeBSD operating systems. GIMP is versatile and among the file extensions it is compatible with are JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PSD and PIX. The native file extension for GIMP is XCF.

A powerful editing tool, GIMP has a channel mixer and image layers as opposed to Adobe Photoshop’s adjustment layers, which permit more versatile editing. Once users learn the program, they can perform many types of edits. GIMP has many features for the advanced user. Photographers can work with RAW files after downloading a separate RAW converter

Windows Photo Gallery is a fine PC program that operates with Windows 7 and Windows 8. Fortunately, Photo Gallery allows users to make edits to a photo and save the original version too. And for people running XP and Vista, they may be able to find an earlier version of the program for download.

Picasa from Google lets users compare photos side-by-side when editing. It is easy to use and works with Mac operating systems 10.5 or newer if the Mac is Intel based and with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. It is not yet compatible with Windows 8.  Picasa can edit RAW files.

PhotoScape. This program works with all Windows operating systems. PhotoScape X is for Macs. PhotoScape also converts RAW files to JPEG.

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