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Software Reviews - Best and Worst Free Digital Image Software Applications

Digital Image Applications That Deliver and Some That Fail


When your company's budget is tight, you cannot afford to skimp on marketing - and almost all forms of marketing require some sort of graphic design. You can save money by not purchasing your own software and using free, online digital image and photo manipulation services and applications.

1. Sumo Paint

Sumo Paint offers high-end, free image and photo editing tools.
Sumo Paint
Sumo Paint is an online, feature-rich, free paint tool and photo manipulation application. But Sumo Paint is not just a tool; it boasts an impressive online art community of over a 4 million unique users from 200 countries. The primary purpose of the community is "to create, share, remix, explore, comment, rate and fave the artwork of its members."

If you cannot afford PhotoShop (or find it overwhelming) or some other high-end purchased application like Adobe Creative Suites, I strongly recommend you consider trying Sumo Paint. It is powerful, affordable (free), and easy to master.

WIB Rating: 5 Stars.

2. Aviary Image Editor

Aviary is a robust free online digital editor. Solid features, but not so easy to use for beginners.
Aviary's mission statement is to "Make the world's creation accessible." Although their mission is a little vague, their free image editing application is surprisingly robust for tools you can access completely for free.

Aviary is a free, online digital editing software application to manipulate photos and images, or create your own.

This tool is best suited for people who already have some knowledge of digital image manipulation. If you are a novice or cannot afford to purchase high-end software - the tools are great and worth mastering but expect a fairly intense learning curve.

WIB Rating: 3.5 Stars.

3. Pixlr

Pixlr is an online photo editing tool. Fast, simple and enough features to make this a great find for low- to moderate-level photo editing. You can create a new image, upload an image, or grab one directly from a URL location.

If you are already familiar with Photoshop, you will find the Pixlr Editor menu options familiar both in layout and in how they work. But to use them, you need to have some basic understanding of how image edit tools (i.e., fill, crop, blur, smudge, etc.) work.

WIB Rating: 3 Stars.

4. Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Logo
My experience with Adobe products is that their features are better than their explanations on how to use them. With Adobe's Photoshop Express, the reverse is true: their explanations are better than their features.

If you are expecting an application that is even close in terms of the features, layout, and look of the desktop application of Photoshop, forget it.

WIB Rating: 2 Stars.

5. Picnik

Picnik is a free, online image editing tool that delivers very little.
Picnik.com is a free, online image editing tool. The free features are primitive and lacking overall, but it is easy use and has a couple of useful tools (i.e., image enlarge and straightening.)

If you are a tax-exempt, nonprofit business that is also part of the NetHope Network, you can apply to get Picnik's premium services for free (normally about $24.95 per year.)

I recommend this as a nice, fun tool for kids, but the free version is not powerful enough to meet the needs of the average business professional.

WIB Rating: 2 Stars.

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