I’m usually a considered by most to be just a “programmer”, but occasionally the need comes up for someone to edit or create an image for a project. I might not be a designer, but I still need similar tools to accomplish this, but can’t justify the cost of Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator.
Here are some great (if not better) alternatives that are FREE and available on a variety of operating systems, not just Windows and Apple Macintosh.
GIMP – is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching, image composition, and image construction.
- GIF, JPEG, PNG, XPM, TIFF, TGA, MPEG, PS, PDF, PCX, BMP and many others.
It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
Inkscape – is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets it apart is it’s native use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard.
- opening only SVG and SVGZ (gzipped SVG) formats.
- save as SVG, SVGZ, Postscript/EPS/EPSi, Adobe Illustrator (*.ai), LaTeX (*.tex), and POVRay (*.pov).
- import most raster formats (JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.) as bitmap images, but it can only export PNG bitmaps.
- With the help of extensions, Inkscape can open/save as PDF, EPS, AI, Dia, Sketch and some others.
Together this suite can tackle most work that previously required costly software that isn’t available on many Operating Systems.