10 Free Image Editing Programs for your PC

Tina Sieber 28-01-2008

Photographs are little gems and just like with shaping a rough diamond it requires a lot of work as well as skill to reveal the true and full beauty of a simple snapshot. And there are a thousand different ways to get there. Here are ten image editing programs that may come in handy one way or the other.


The GNU Image Manipulation Program is a powerful and free piece of software that can handle all basic image editing tasks and much more beyond that. The fact that it’s open source and available for UNIX platforms, Mac and Windows makes it extremely flexible.

1. Paint.NET
This is probably the most powerful free photo editing software on the market. It can complete simple tasks such as red eye correction, resizing, cropping, but it also supports layers. The program is open source and a great collection of user created plugins is available from its online community.

It’s hard to recommend one over the other here, so depending on what you want to do with these programs, Paint.NET and GIMP are probably equally great…given you are a Windows user.

2. Autostitch [No Longer Available]
This is the perfect tool if you want to create panorama images from a series of photos. It works fully automatic and doesn’t require user input. The program can handle both horizontal and vertical stitching. The demo is fully functional and free. One thing you have to be prepared for though is the amount of system resources this program will occupy, depending on the options you select. The image below was stitched together from six individual pictures. It took less than 30 seconds, but I used simple default settings.

Image Panorama Generator


3. Microsoft Reserach Group Shot
If you need to take a photo of a large group of people, chances are that no matter how many shots you take, there won’t be a single photo everyone is happy with. This is where you should give Microsoft Group Shot a chance. With this software you can select your favorite parts in each shot of the series and the program will merge all your photos into the perfect composite image. Unfortunately, it appears the beta software download has expired, however future releases are around the corner.

4. TKexe Kalender
It’s the New Year and maybe you still need a paper calendar. To quickly create a personal and unique edition, try this easy to use software.

5. Opanda PhotoFilter
Filters can make a photo very interesting and special. But it’s tiring to carry around filters for your camera or play with camera or software settings endlessly to yield the desired results. Easier yet, use Opanda PhotoFilter to post process your snapshots. The program comes equipped with more than 100 different settings simulating Kodak, Cokin and Hoya filters.

6. Foto Mosaik
Create a mosaic picture from hundreds or thousands of photos. See example below.


Photo Mosaic Generator

The mosaic image is the eagle displayed in the top left, the rest of the image is a zoom into the single tiles, indicated by the red frame.

7. Win Morph
Morph, warp and distort images in a professional and high quality way. This program gives you all the freedom you could possibly ask for from a free package. It works as standalone application or as a plugin for various video editors, it offers advanced keyframing, blending and distortion tools for total control and can even do dynamic morphing with various input (JPEG,BMP,PCX,PNG,PBM,TGA,TIFF) and output (JPEG,BMP,PNG,TGA,TIFF,AVI,MPEG and SWF) file formats. Are you sold, yet? No wait, it’s free!

8. Free Digital Camera Enhancer
This is the tool to give your digital images the final touch. Reduce noise caused by bad light situations, smooth skin in portraits, correct the midtones, and add saturation. Naturally, this will work best on bad images.


9. JPEG Lossless Rotator [No Longer Available]
With most programs, the simple act of rotating your JPEG photo into the right orientation and saving it causes a loss of quality. JPEG Lossless Rotator does the job without recoding your photo. Rather it performs a special lossless block transformation which leaves the quality of your photo untouched. Yes, this is a tool for freaks…or geeks.

That’s about it, on the same note MUO also covered online image editing apps and you can read about them at 5 powerful Online Image Editing Tools 5 Really Powerful Online Image Editing Tools Read More .

Related topics: Image Editor, Photography.

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  1. cool arm tribal tattoos Rickman
    March 23, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Very nice blog post. I certainly appreciate this website. Stick with it!

  2. Brian
    November 19, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Paint.Net is described here as "probably the most powerful free photo editing software on the market" it's nice but powerful? I suggest Image Analyzer is! along with one or two of the available free plug-ins, also it supports Photshop plug-ins. Where else can you get deconvolution and fractal deconvolution for free? Come to think of it I don't know of any other program at any price that includes these powerful tools!

  3. John Martin
    December 3, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Hi guys,

    Great List, but I have 2 suggestions:!!!

    I've just discovered a new website that rocks.

    It's called [Broken URL Removed] and it allows us to change our nose, mouth, eyes...

    It's so great to see ourselves with a different look!

    I use tha allows put yourself in funny pictures, videos and games. It's very fuuny and easy to use. You must have a look.

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  4. LaVonne
    January 17, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    The link to the calendar site (TKexe Kalender) is "wrong or outdated" according to the error message I saw. Below is a paragraph from a page at the link given on the Error page. I can't read the language. HELP!

    Machen Sie sich oder Ihren Liebsten doch mal ein besonderes Geschenk. Gestalten Sie ganz individuell einen Kalender mit Ihren Fotos!
    Das Programm TKexe zum Gestalten finden Sie bei den Downloads.

    • Tina
      January 18, 2009 at 7:32 am

      You're right, it's outdated because the world has moved on since I wrote this post. :) Here is the currently working link for the download:

  5. Tim
    May 19, 2008 at 12:05 am

    I while ago I did a lot of looking around for the "best" (you know what I mean :-) photo editor and Photofiltre (NOT the Photofilter mentioned above) kept coming up as being cultishly popular. I'd never heard of it before and gave it a try. I still use but I thought I'd mention Photofiltre just in case someone liked it as much as some others seem to.

  6. Photoshop masking
    May 7, 2008 at 4:35 am

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    . If you have any simple or complicated images which you think will look fantastic with a new background just contact SBL and be sure your images will certainly take a brand new look in the hands of SBL image masking professionals.

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  7. Tina
    February 1, 2008 at 3:28 am

    @ Syahid: I had several more programs on the list originally, before replacing them with something else, Photoscape was one of them. I preferred Free Digital Camera Enhancer and subsequently took Photoscape off the list.

    @ Larry: MS states that Group Shot is expecting a new release soon. Hopefully that's true and hopefully it will remain a free tool.

  8. Larry
    January 31, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    #3 doesn't work anymore. MS yanked it.

  9. Syahid A.
    January 31, 2008 at 8:31 am

    You miss Photoscape. But thanks for Autostitch heads up.

  10. todd lucier
    January 29, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Very nice, but I think if we look out on the horizon we'll see that the web based editing tools like those by picnil, fotoflexer and snipshot might be better options...
    aren't most applications going to be in the cloud a few years from now....

  11. Tina
    January 29, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Thanks for the suggestion AL, I will definitely check it out. To anyone interested, Imagenomic offers a "Standalone Community Edition" of its Noiseware software for download. It's freeware and you can see a comprehensive list of which functions it's lacking compared to the standard and professional edition here.

  12. Shubby
    January 29, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Very nice list of programs. Its amazing how one can change the outcome of photos taken. I will definitely be using these..Thanks

  13. AL
    January 29, 2008 at 1:01 am

    If you take pics with your mobile, chances are you will spot noisy pixels all over the shots especiall y if they are night shots. This is where Imagenomic Noiseware comes in handy. Noiseware is a high-performance noise suppression software tool designed to decrease or eliminate noise from digital photo or scanned images. Give it a try you'll be amazed by the results!

  14. Mark O'Neill
    January 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I have recently started using GIMP and I am amazed at how similar it is to Photoshop. GIMP really is a very powerful piece of software and is remarkably easy to use (compared to Photoshop which is horrendously difficult!)