Best Free Photo Editing Software

Gimp and  Canva are my favourite image editors and composition tools. Canva is an online tool and Gimp is a downloadable program for Windows, which runs well on my Windows 10 desktop machine.

Sign up on Canva and download and run Gimp, get used to them, you will find them soooooooo useful. I guarantee you will be using them both on a daily basis.

For years I used PaintShop Pro 7. It had many useful features , served me well and carried out all my daily needs. BUT some tasks were  not possible.

  1. Resizing : making images a different size was a pain, it can only be done by inserting a % increase or decrease. With Gimp and Photoshop and Corel Draw resizing is easy, drag and drop. 
  2. Masking : When you want a transparent background and only part of an image showing, PSP isn’t easy to use. With Gimp , many presets are available and a simple CTRL – i   will invert the selection ,  ready to delete 
  3. Transformation: with GIMP putting text on a wall so the perspective looks right is easy

Here is a very simple tutorial using GIMP to make this picture element in a circle. Typically this would be used to put an authors picture in an article like my dog-training blog 

or I will use the Round images in customer reviews  for a product

Ms Smith thought the new piper 434 cordless vacuum  cleaner was absolutely fab, cleaned all 3 rooms in one charge 

Mrs K from Fulford said The whole range of Piper Vacuum cleaners were priced well below the market leaders but the performance was brilliant.

Mr Fulford from Rotherhythe thought the top model was overpriced but the mid range model did the best job of cleaning by far and so quick as the battery did not fade after 20 mins like the cheaper models

GIMP ROUND PICTURE TUTORIAL

This tutorial uses the latest Gimp version 2.10.22

Open your picture in the Gimp editor

 

Over on the right, in the layers, right click the layer and “add alpha channel” 

On the left panel, select the “ellipse tool” , then  ensure the foreground colour is white, background is black

Set up the Ellipse parameters like this: 

Pull the ellipse from the centre out, then move the selection to give the image position that you want. 

Now invert the selection ( crawling dots outline ) and press delete. You will now have a round image with transparent background.  Export the image as a .png file and insert in your page

Look out for my tutorial on perspective transformation next…

Canva.com

Canva is one of the Most Used Online Image Editors

Go to canva.com

If you sign up and log in, all your designs are saved, which makes progress faster once you have templates available to build on. 

The “create a design” button top-right will start you off on the right foot, you simply choose the type of design, from the enormous list ( just type in the first few characters, eg Pin…   for Pinterest )  and you’re presented with a base of the right size and aspect ratio.

This is the main header image for one of my site articles on SEO. 

It was designed in Canva, all the elements, the crowd drawing, the man on the soapbox, the cloud shape, background color, and big arrow were all either uploaded to Canva or available for free on the platform. 

Assembly of your final image couldn’t be simpler. Everything is drag and drop. You can position, resize and rotate each element, bring them to the foreground or background and every level between.

It is so easy to change colors, text colors, fonts, backgrounds, overlays, boxes and other shaped elements, that no instructions are needed, although I can recommend a  YouTube channel (below).

There is an upgrade, features like one-touch background removal are then available, but for the majority, Canva’s free platform is more than enough to be really creative.

I can thoroughly recommend the Learn With Seb YouTube channel if you want to be more productive with Canva.