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Free image editing software reviews

Last updated: 05 February 2014

Even the best photographers sometimes need to touch up their pictures. But if you're a hobbyist, there's no need to spend big bucks (or any bucks) on high-end software. We test and review free image editors to help you find the best one for your needs. Our buying guide explains what to look for in a free image editor.

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We compare 10 of the most popular free image editors to find the best choice of virtual photo lab. Our tests finds the software that:

  • is easiest to use
  • has basic and advanced editing functionality
  • has a gentle learning curve
  • has a good, up-to-date help and support network.

Our interactive comparison tool also helps you find which programs include useful features such as RAW support, cropping, red-eye reduction, retouching, clone tools, layering and batch editing.

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Batch editing
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Can you apply edits to more than one image at a time?

Cropping

Test results

Advanced editing score
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Covers retouch/effect brush tool, special effects/filters, cloning tool, layer handling and border designs (picture frames).

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Basic editing score
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Covers the most common editing functions – cropping, resizing, red-eye reduction, auto-adjust image settings (colour correction, balance, contrast), image rotation, batch editing, image straightening and conversion to grayscale/B&W.

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Ease of learning score
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Takes into account the ease of becoming familiar with the program. Covers file formats, plus navigating to and selecting pictures for editing.

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Features

Cloning tool
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Used to duplicate and blend a portion of the image.

Red eye reduction

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Basic editing score
  • Advanced editing score
  • Usability score
  • Ease of learning score
  • Help information score
  • Input score
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Type
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Handles RAW images
  • Cropping
  • Resizing
  • Red eye reduction
  • Convert to greyscale (b/w)
  • Image straightening tool
  • Retouch brush tool
  • Cloning tool
  • Layer handling
  • Batch editing
  • Thumbnails view
  • Catalog
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