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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    I'm looking for a free image editing program as I don't want to buy either Adobe Photoshop or Corel PaintShop Pro (or their lighter alternatives - Adobe Photoshop elements or Corel PaintShop Express). The price is very high for all programs, no matter the company behind them. I've heard about these two free programs - Paint.net and Irfanview - and was wondering if anybody here actually works with one of them and can give his opinion, and also if one of them is recommended.

    My main uses are cropping, making pics brighter or darker and resizing.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I don't blame you, the learning curve for the Adobe Photoshop & Corel PaintShop Pro is quite high just for simple modding.
    Try these...

    Windows Live Photo gallery & paint.net in windows 7 or Vista does the [simple] job nicely for free.
    Windows Live Photo gallery & paint.net on my Windows XP Laptop.
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Paint.net is excellent for a freebie, you might also want to check out Faststone Image viewer which lets you edit in full screen with nice popup menus to each side of the screen so its as close to working with dual monitors (one for picture one for edit controls) on one screen.

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    Don't forget GIMP!

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    I agree with Paul that GIMP is worth thinking about, but it sounds as though it would be more complicated than you want to have to learn how to use it. So here's another suggestion - Picasa. It's free. It does a great job of organising photos, and it has good basic facilities to do things like crop, straighten, re-size, correct red-eye, adjust brightness, contrast, etc.*

    Ian


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by P T View Post
    Don't forget GIMP!

    cheers, Paul
    Paul - I've heard that Gimp is buggy, has a very non-intuitive UI and is very confusing to use in general.

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    I recommend getting both Paint.net & Irfanview, they both have strengths in different areas. Irfanview works great for organizing and quick and simple resizing and adjustments. Irfanview has a lot of plug-ins but I believe that Paint.net has a little more flexibility and capability in editing and other 'higher' level functions. The two together give you a lot of free capability, and neither are difficult to learn.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Gimp is a very good program, very potent and effective, but it's interface is among the worst I have ever seen.
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  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Thank you all for your replies.

    What about UI? who has the better, simpler UI?

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    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfe777 View Post
    Thank you all for your replies.

    What about UI? who has the better, simpler UI?
    I still think that for the purposes you mentioned at the beginning, Picasa does what you want, and is straightforward to use. Personally, I find IrfanView very useful for some things, but I don't find the user interface that obvious. It is some time now since I tried Paint.net, but my memory of it is that it is quite user-friendly.


    But really, only you can answer that question. Which one do you find easiest to work with?*

    Ian

  11. #11
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    The GIMP is excellent, and personally I find the UI more intuitive than Photoshop. Where the GIMP falls short is that it does not support 16 files. But for you that may not be a big deal.

    Take a look also at Serif PhotoPlus. They have a free version, and a $10 version. These are of course are not their current versions, but they are pretty decent for most general photo editing and are easy to use.
    Free Serif PhotoPlus
    Chuck

  12. #12
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    Gimp is a very good program, very potent and effective, but it's interface is among the worst I have ever seen.
    I replied to this post, with a screen shot of how I have GIMP looking, which I hoped showed that the interface could be made to look quite good, but the reply seems to have disappeared now, though I am not sure why.

    Ian



  13. #13
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    There are a couple more programs that come to mind - XnView and FastStone Image Viewer. Anyone here knows about them or has worked with them?

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    I mentioned FastStone in my post #3. It's excellent, my number one used program, love the UI, the viewer and thumbnail integration, the compatibility with a wide range of formats, the quality of the resize filter, the batch processing, the full screen editing layout. There's nothing I don't like about FastStone except it doesn't open on last folder if the last folder is a network location. XnView does open on last folder no matter what but its interface is a bit more clunky, equal to Irfanview I would say but overall not as capable but I tend to use if more than Irfanview because it also integrates the viewer with the thumbnail browser better.

    Still they are all three free and if you include Picasa, I'm sure you find one of them fits very well, maybe even a combination of 2 or more, because each may be strong in different areas and be useful for different tasks.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Tarbox View Post
    I mentioned FastStone in my post #3. It's excellent, my number one used program, love the UI, the viewer and thumbnail integration, the compatibility with a wide range of formats, the quality of the resize filter, the batch processing, the full screen editing layout. There's nothing I don't like about FastStone except it doesn't open on last folder if the last folder is a network location. XnView does open on last folder no matter what but its interface is a bit more clunky, equal to Irfanview I would say but overall not as capable but I tend to use if more than Irfanview because it also integrates the viewer with the thumbnail browser better.

    Still they are all three free and if you include Picasa, I'm sure you find one of them fits very well, maybe even a combination of 2 or more, because each may be strong in different areas and be useful for different tasks.
    Byron - One of the things I take into account before installing new software is if there is a good support forum in case I need help with it, and I've noticed that FastStone doesn't have any (even Google doesn't find one). Maybe you know of such a forum?

    Also, I understand that FastStone has a some kind of browser which organize your files and pics. Could really mess things up so that you won't even find your own files...

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