The place for nonprofits, charities, and libraries

What photo manipulation tools have you tried?

What photo manipulation tools have you tried?

  • What's your favorite photo manipulation program to use? Do you prefer online solutions like Picassa or do you prefer software like Adobe? Share your thoughts on the best tools out there.

    Becky Wiegand is the Webinar Program Manager at
    @bajeckabean on Twitter

  • I see that this is a question raised by a Techsoup staffer to generate discussion. I also found by searching the Software forum for graphics that there is a lot of good answers to this question already on the forum.


    Free case management software for food pantries/emergency services 501(c)(3) organizations. See:

  • The GIMP! Does my most common tasks for photo manipulation relatively easily and costs nothing. I also like Picasa from Google.

    Chris Shipley
    Nutmeg Consulting

  • There's also a brand new article posted on TechSoup yesterday that covers this very topic. How timely, eh??

    Check it out here.

    Becky Wiegand is the Webinar Program Manager at
    @bajeckabean on Twitter

  • I use Flickr to store and share images, and I find that the free Picnik software integrated with Flickr is easy to use and suitable for most purposes (resizing, cropping, contrast adjustment, etc).

  • I have dropped Adobe PhotoShop Elements, and now just use Picasa 3, which does nearly everything, and is far more stable than Adobe.  I've found increasing problems with Adobe products in the last few years, and my experience with their support was they were getting  worse. 

    Too many instances where Photoshop Element lost the images, and can't retrieve them.  It's has gotten big & bloated, very much like Microsoft.  

    Jerry Sweitzer

    Jerry Sweitzer
  • I like to use Photoshop.

    Using this software does involve a learning curve, but it's extremely powerful.  Of course there are other good alternatives you can use instead, like GIMP that was mentioned earlier.


    Yann Toledano, Digital Marketing Strategist
    Host, Web Building Forum,
    Twitter: @webmanyann

  • I stick with Photoshop. I have to admit that I have not investigated too many other options merely because PS does what I want, I have used it since version 2, and since I need the other tools in the suite, it is always available to me.

    I can't say that I have EVER had an instance of it "losing" an image. I agree it has gotten large, but you cant really consider it bloatware IF you tend to use the high number of options and tools that it provides. As an analogy, people might consider just about ANY word processor to be bloatware if all they need it for is to create their grocery shopping list. If you USE the features that are there, it isnt really bloated! This is a case where choosing the right tool for YOUR needs and abilities will determine your satisfaction and success.

    Tim Claremont
    Systems Administrator
    Rochester, NY

  • The article covered just the low end and high end photo processing software.  There are a lot of "in between" programs available that are possibly better solutions for those who need more than the basics but less than Photoshop.  About 2 years ago I evaluated about 7 "in between and Pro software packages".  I decided on and  have been very pleased with Canadian produced ACDSee pro.  My level would be considered "pro-sumer".  I need to catalog thousands of photos and process them.  ACDSee pro has extremely good cataloging and batch processing features as well as some advanced manipulation features.  You can catalog by naming your own catagories, or key words, dates, and there is a very nice capability to add notes to each photograph. Many other  packages only catalog by key words.   ACDsee will batch process most anything from re-sizing, re-naming, color and brightness adjustments, adding text, cropping and much more.  It will do this all at once a great time saver.  It will also remember batch settings so you can manipulate your next photos without re-setting the software.  It will create slide shows with music. The interface is intuitive and user friendly.  The newest version 3.0, just released, is EXTREMELY fast and loads RAW images of 24MB in a fraction of a second, another time saver. It has many advanced manipulation features but not as many as Photoshop.  I do own Photoshop, but find that ACDSee Pro fulfills about 95% of my needs in a user-friendly way so rarely use Photoshop.  The cost is moderate, about $170.  They also have a lower end package that sells for less. My only complaint is that the software occasionally hangs using XP.   They may have fixed this on V3,  have only had it for a couple weeks, so far it may be better.  And no, I don't work for ACDSee or benefit from recommending it.  I have used it for quite a while now and am just enthusiastic about it.  I wish techsoup could get them to donate this very worthwhile software.