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How to create graphics with free software

Updated on September 27, 2012

Image software and editors like Adobe Photoshop are, well, pretty expensive, running upwards of $100 sometimes. They do work well, but what are your other FREE options?

Have you ever heard of GIMP? It stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, and many people refer to it as the "free Photoshop" because many of its features are similar to the more expensive program. There may be a few glitches, but overall, it's a pretty dependable program.

Thankfully, there are a lot of options. I've used Picasa before, which is a pretty basic editor that lets you find photos on your computer and edit and apply effects to them (although I don't remember if it's always been from Google!). You can then share them and print them.

DrawPlus 4 is a free program that lets you make logos and other sorts of corporate graphics. The related PhotoPlus lets you edit photos, too. These programs are both Serif programs, which offer free versions of their software.

Pixia is a great option for beginners, but those with experience will like this as well. It's a painting and editing program with a lot of features similar to those of Photoshop as well, including layers, masks, adjustments, brushes, and more! It's also available in a variety of language, from Japanese (the original version) to German, Hungarian to Chinese!

Paint.NET gets rave reviews for the variety of tools and options available through the program... and for being free. It's the one that was developed by a Washington State senior design student, and is being maintained and updated by alumni. It's primarily for Windows versions.

The last one I'll talk about is VCW Vicman's Photo Editor. The name is a little different, but it's a great program for image creation and editing, mostly for the web. It has tools like gradient, text, color replacement, special effects, and more, and while the free version is supposed to get you to buy the "real" one, this version is still good too.

Free Photo Organizer/Editor from Google - PICASA


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    • moneytoplist profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice you have mentioned Gimp. It is very good software, especially the latest version which comes with improved GUI.

    • profile image

      Jeff Carroll 

      9 years ago

    • profile image

      Paypal Download Manager 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for posting free graphic tools.

    • IdeaMorphist profile image


      10 years ago from Chicagoland

      Sounds like some great substitutions. I am going to try some of these out tonight :)

    • rvsource profile image


      12 years ago

      I just downloaded Pixia for free but I can't figure out how to use it!

      I watched a tutorial and read one too, but the screen on the tutorial looks nothing like what I have . I don't understand, can anyone help me?


    • jgkgopi profile image


      12 years ago

    • xrated profile image


      13 years ago

      Hi ! It is good that you published this. Free Softwares for graphics is something that most people look for. This should be of great help to them.

    • Wahine profile image


      13 years ago from California

      Pixia is pretty good software - plus you can't beat the price!

      Nice hub, thanks!

    • ProCW profile image


      13 years ago from South Carolina

      Excellent hub! :) Thumbs up!


    • Latisha1 profile image

      Latisha Powell 

      13 years ago

      Thank you for this great information.

    • Juliet Christie profile image

      Juliet Christie Murray 

      13 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

      This is greate information I am going to check them out as soon as possible. Hub pages is a great place you learn so much. thank you.

    • glycodoc profile image


      13 years ago

      Wow - thanks for the information. Have never used any form of graphics program - will be fun to try one.

    • organized living profile image

      Adrian Walker 

      13 years ago from Magnolia, AR

      I use gimp to make banners and dividers for websites and link exchanges. It's very easy to use I just figured it out as I went along. I havn't tried it for anything more complicated. I will check out some of the other resources. Thank you

    • tulwave profile image


      13 years ago from Orlando,Fl

      really usefull info. I'm going to download a program and play around. thanks


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