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instagram photo effectsEver since Instagram was introduced on iOS, people have been easily adding filters to their images to make them look better, or cooler, or any other adjective you can think of. The only downside to Instagram is that it is only for iOS and Android devices, so it cannot be used while you’re on your desktop, laptop, or other daily driver. What can you possibly use instead?

About Perfect Effects 3

Perfect Effects 3 is a program that, in a nutshell, adds effects and filters to any image on your hard drive. Don’t worry though – as a desktop application, it does have some more features so you can click-and-go or mess around with a bunch of sliders. In any case, the images look very nice at the end of the process.

Download & Installation

Free Effects 3 can be downloaded by going to this page and clicking on the download link, which will ask you for a few pieces of information before sending you a download link via email. The download (at the time of writing) is 216MB, so please be aware of that as you’re planning your download. Once the download completes, unzip the setup file from the zip folder and run it. Click next on each screen in the installation wizard, and in no time the program will be installed and ready for use.

Program Features

instagram photo effects

When you first launch the program, you will get a nice little walkthrough of some of the features. When you go ahead and click on Effects at the top right of the screen, another small walkthrough appears, where you can then start applying your different effects.

instagram effects


Settings related to each effect can be found in the panel on the right side, and once you are done tweaking for that specific effect, click on “Add” to add it. You can repeat the process for every effect you’d like to add, and when you’re done you can click on “Apply” to create the new image with effects.

instagram effects

Finally, you can save the image by going to File –> Save As. In there, you can choose a few different formats, including .psd for Photoshop or other compatible software like GIMP. However, if you don’t want to tweak it in the future, JPEG is the way to go.

instagram photo effects

After doing some tweaking of my own on an image I chose, I saved this image as the final result after adding three effects to the image. I’m not that great with art in general, so this is only an example. You can mix and match your own effects to get your own desired effect.


Perfect Effects 3 is a great way to add that Instagram-esque feeling to all of your photos if you choose to use a regular desktop or laptop or if you don’t own an iOS or Android device. With a good amount of control for each effect, you can get just the right amount of each effect so that nothing is too light or too overbearing. This also makes image enhancing easier than using professional tools, which is perfect for friends, family, and other every day users.

How do you tweak or enhance your images? Do you still prefer Instagram over this? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Joe
    May 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Dbox's Instagram Actions for Photoshop are good if you already have the software. Saves downloading something else!

    • Danny Stieben
      June 1, 2012 at 6:48 am

      Thanks for the tip!

  2. Sachin Kanchan
    May 20, 2012 at 2:36 am

    there are too many alternatives coming out for Ps these days...goood for us who don't have much serious amount to spend...

    • Danny Stieben
      June 1, 2012 at 6:47 am

      Well, these programs don't come close to the amount of power that PS offers, but for a simple task you don't really need much!

  3. Amit
    May 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I am using as a desktop alternative and it is amazing. Some filters work better than Instagram. And it is very light weight too.

    • Danny Stieben
      June 1, 2012 at 6:47 am

      It looks very nice! The only thing I see missing from it is the ability to add multiple effects, not just one from each category.