When it comes to optimizing your images ensuring you have the very best desktop image tool can go a long way in making this happen. Whether you’re a professional photographer or someone who loves taking snaps an image tool can help you to organize, edit, and enhance your digital photos. It can be time-consuming trawling through the web trying to find the image tool that suits you, which is why we have created this blog post to help you out. In this post, we take a look at our top 5 desktop image tools and let you know why we think they’re so great.
What should I look out for in a desktop image tool?
When selecting a desktop image tool it is important to think about what you will be using it for and how frequently you will be needing to use it. If you simply wish to alter a batch of pictures that you want to upload to your social media then a free image tool that you can download from the web may be perfect. However, if you are looking for a desktop tool that offers more advanced editing options then investing in some desktop software is likely to be the best option going forward. In this next section, we will take a look at a mixture of paid-for and free image tools to suit all requirements.
Top 5 Desktop Image Tools (2020)
1. GIMP (free)
Don’t let the name put you off! GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a sophisticated free alternative to Photoshop which works with Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. GIMP is regarded as the best free image tool by many due to the multitude of options and thanks to the fact it has been developed by those that use it as it is open-source software. It comes with some excellent features including the ability to cover over mistakes, make changes to the perspective of images and has layer and mask tools to help alter the transparency in the image.
You will find that this free image tool can do a lot of the same tricks as Photoshop but it will take you longer to work out how to do it. However, with some patience and a community of GIMP enthusiasts behind you it won’t be long before you’re images are looking fantastic.
2. Adobe Photoshop (paid-for)
It won’t come as a surprise to see Photoshop on this list. The saying ‘the original is the best’ rings true here as Photoshop continues to deliver a premium package when it comes to editing your images. The latest version of this desktop tool was created in 2019 and can be used on multiple platforms from your iPad to your desktop. You can transform your images using Photoshop which allows you to really get creative and create compositions which are only limited by the realms of your imagination.
With Photoshop you can correct and manipulate your photos to suit your requirements and, with the option for 3D design also, the sky really is the limit! When considering taking your photos to the next level, or are looking to work professionally within this media it is a good idea to invest in this quality program if your budget permits.
3. Fotor (free + subscription option)
Fotor is a free web-based photo editor that comes with the option to take out a paid subscription should you wish to unlock some of the more sophisticated editing options. If you’re just getting started with photo editing and simply want to adjust the color of your photos or the curves and levels of your images. One of the real benefits of Fotor is that it allows you to edit images in a batch, so if you need to quickly adjust some shady holiday snaps you can do this easily.
Unfortunately, there are restrictions on image resolution with a free account and if you want to use frame effects you will find that there is a Fotor watermark to contend with. However, this is a great image tool for beginners with the option to advance your projects with a subscription once you get used to the program.
4. Photos Pos Pro (free)
Many image editing tools have a complicated interface with many tools that you frequently don’t end up using as you’re baffled as to what they are. If this sounds familiar, then check out Photos Pos Pro which is a free web tool that has a user-friendly simple interface. Laid out logically, there is also the option to select the ‘novice’ layout which makes the program even easier to navigate.
Photos Pos Pro offers the option for layering and masks, as well as allowing you to adjust curves and levels as you wish. This is a great option if you are wanting to enhance your photos to share online on social media, blog sites or if you’re selling products on sites such as eBay. This program is only compatible for use with Windows computers.
5. Darktable (free)
If you can’t afford the luxury of Adobe Lightroom, or perhaps you’re not sure if it is worth the investment at this time, then check out a free alternative known as Darktable. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux this is an image tool to suit all computers and you won’t be faced with any pressure to upgrade or come across excellent features that you can’t use as you don’t have a paid subscription. This photo editor is completely free.
It replicates the layout of Adobe Lightroom and, while not as sophisticated, for a free alternative, it certainly has some excellent features. Your images can be uploaded and stored in a database and, from there, you can develop and enhance your photos using features such as GPU accelerated image processing, professional color management, and enhanced tools for filtering and sorting your images. Darktable is also non-destructive to your images, meaning that no matter how much you edit, your original photo is never modified should you wish to go back to it.