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The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives You Need To Know

The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives You Need To Know

Although Adobe Photoshop is a wonderful program, it can be overkill for everyday image editing. Let’s look at the ten best Photoshop alternatives. We’ve chosen some Web apps, as well as apps for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows.

PicMonkey (Web, free)

PicMonkey image editor

    PicMonkey hides its power behind a simple and intuitive interface. It’s equally at home creating collages for scrapbooking, as it is enhancing glamor photos or creating images for your blog.

    To get started, just drag an image onto the app’s home page. Creating collages is a breeze: just upload your own images and drag them into place. If you wish, you can start off with a blank slate and design anyway you choose.

    Although PicMonkey is free, a small monthly charge for the premium version gives you a lot of extras.

    Canva (Web, free)

    Canva Web app

      Canva is a new app, and it goes beyond simple image editing. Its claim is that it can “make design simple for anyone.” To that end, the app is stuffed with thousands of wonderful design elements, including stock photographs, layouts, and fonts.

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      Many of these elements are free. You’ll pay a minimal fee for others, but far less than you’d pay for an image from a stock photo website. Of course, you can use your own images, also. With the ease of Canva, you can create a birthday card, business card, or blog image in seconds.

      Currently, this app is in beta. To use it, you will need to apply for an invitation, or get an invitation from a friend who’s currently using Canva.

      Pixlr Editor (Web, free)

      Pixlr image editing

        If you’re familiar with Photoshop, you’ll find Pixlr easy and intuitive. Unfortunately, if you’re new to image editing, you’re on your own. Finding tutorials or help files for Pixlr is next to impossible.

        Although beginners will struggle with this program, experienced image editors will like Pixlr. It offers many features and fast image editing. One of my favorites is the one-click photo enhancements, which is included in the Pixlr Express app.

        GIMP (Free, OS X, Windows, Linux)

        The GIMP Image editor

          The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a totally free, cross-platform image editor. It’s a great Photoshop alternative, with Photoshop’s look and feel. One inconvenience is that GIMP can’t handle RAW files on its own. Fortunately, you can download converters, like UFRaw, to use with Gimp as a plugin.

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          In fact, Gimp has a huge library of plugins that can create layer and photo effects, and much more.

          Anyone who’s familiar with Photoshop can get up to speed with GIMP quickly. If you’re completely new to image editing, you’ll appreciate the GIMP tutorials which are handily divided into categories, from beginner to expert.

          Acorn (OS X, $49.99)

          Acorn Mac OS X

            Need a Mac image editor which is fast and fun to use? You’ll appreciate the Mac-only Acorn. Recently out in version 4, Acorn’s tools, such as instant alpha, custom brushes, and PSD (Photoshop format) import and export, make it a good alternative to Photoshop for easy image creation and editing. You can work through Acorn’s comprehensive tutorials, if you’re a beginner. Even if you’re an image editing pro, you can still find a tutorial to help you with more complicated tasks.

            Although Acorn isn’t a complete replacement for Photoshop, it can work directly with RAW files, so you may find the app has everything you need.

            Pixelmator (OS X, $29.99)

            Pixelmator OS X

              Pixelmator (Mac only) may not be a direct competitor to Photoshop but, in its latest version, it takes advantage of the new multi-monitor support and compressed memory features in OS X Mavericks. These features, combined with its low price, and ease of use, make Pixelmator appealing to anyone who needs a Photoshop alternative.

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              Both new and experience users will appreciate Pixelmator’s many tutorials, which include dozens of third-party tutorials from enthusiastic Pixelmator mavens.

              Paint.NET (Windows, free)

              Paint.NET image editor

                If you’re on Windows, and need a good Photoshop alternative, give Paint.NET a try. Originally created as a replacement for Microsoft Paint, the Windows’ built-in image editor, Paint.NET has developed into a superb and easy to use image editor.

                While it doesn’t offer all of the GIMP’s heavy-duty editing tools, Paint.NET’s easier to learn. Even if you’re completely inexperienced with image editing, you’ll be able to get results with this program immediately.

                Serif PhotoPlus X6 (Windows $89.99)

                Serif Photo Plus

                  Serif PhotoPlus has been around for years, and has many loyal users. If you’re looking for a Photoshop alternative, Serif PhotoPlus is well worth considering, especially if you’re new to image editing. There’s excellent support for both new and experienced users. Not only are there written tutorials, there are helpful videos as well. There’s also an active user forum which means that you can get answers and image editing tips, quickly.

                  The app’s latest release offers enhanced selection tools and updates to its RAW Studio utility, to simplify your work with RAW images.

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                  Corel PaintShop Pro X6 (Windows, $69.99)

                  Paintshop Pro

                    PaintShop Pro has been around for decades and, as with Serif PhotoPlus, if you’re new to image editing, you’ll appreciate the great education and support this program offers. New goodies in this latest version include Auto Selection, which helps you to make composite images quickly, and Smart Selection Brush, which expands your selections at a click.

                    If you regularly batch-processing hundreds of images, you should consider this app, because it can record scripts which automate repetitive tasks. You will also appreciate the hundreds of filters and plugins available for this app.

                    Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 (OS X, Windows $69.99)

                    Photoshop Elements

                      Adobe Photoshop Elements isn’t Photoshop, but many people will find that this app has everything they need for image management and editing. Yes, it’s a stripped down version of Photoshop, but it’s also a powerful image editor in its own right. If you want an editor to manage your own photos, or a good editor to create images for social media, Elements is your perfect choice.

                      You’ll appreciate Elements’ layer support, because Adjustment and Blend layers can quickly take an image from ho-hum to spectacular. Anyone who’s new to image editing will appreciate Elements’ Guided mode, which does as its name suggests: it shows you how to perform editing tasks, which are new to you, without leaving the app.

                      As you can see from our list, there are many Photoshop alternatives. Experiment to see which ones you can integrate into your own workflows. You may find, as I do, that using a combination of several of the above apps lets you do all your image editing without ever opening Photoshop.

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                      Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                      10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

                      10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

                      Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

                      Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

                      As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

                      In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

                      Projects and Tasks Management

                      1. Monday dot com

                        Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

                        The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

                        The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

                        The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

                        Check out the software here!

                        2. Asana

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                          The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

                          The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

                          Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

                          Check out the software here!

                          3. Trello

                            Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                            Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                            Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                            Check out the software here!

                            4. Jira

                              The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                              The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                              The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                              Check out the software here!

                              5. Evernote Business

                                Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                                The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                                Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                                Check out the software here!

                                Communication

                                6. Slack

                                  Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                                  Check out the software here!

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                                  7. Spike

                                    Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                                    Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                                    Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                                    Check out the software here!

                                    Creation

                                    8. Office 365

                                      Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                                      Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                                      You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                                      Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                                      Check out the software here!

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                                      9. Grammarly

                                        Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                                        Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                                        Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                                        Check out the software here!

                                        Team Analytics

                                        10. ActivTrak

                                          ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                                          The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                                          Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                                          Check out the software here!

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                                          More Productivity Tools

                                          Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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