Best free photo editing software: 10 top image editors you should try

Fabulous free photo editors we recommend

There are hundreds of clipart images ready to paste into your picture, for instance. You can add custom speech bubbles to an image, apply some great special effects, even create animated GIFs.


Most of these options are surprisingly configurable too. So while other tools might just have a single "turn this photo into an oil painting", for instance, PhotoScape supports 11 artistic styles (Pastel, Pencil, Cartoon, more), each of which can then be customised further.


7. IrfanView

Download IrfanView

As its name suggests, IrfanView is mostly about viewing images, but the program also includes more plenty of editing power.

You can rotate and resize an image, for instance; tweak its colours, brightness and contrast; add text captions or watermarks; sharpen your photo, remove red-eye, and apply a range of special effects.


If that's not enough, though, IrfanView can be extended via its support for 8Bf (Photoshop), AltaLux, Filter Factory and Filters Unlimited plugins. And all in a compact free tool which requires less than 2MB of disk space.


8. PhotoFiltre

Download PhotoFiltre

While it's more an image retouching tool than a conventional editor (and it's only free for personal use), PhotoFiltre has plenty of editing features and it's capable of some spectacular results.

The PhotoMask tool alone, for instance, applies stylish contour and transparency effects to your image for an impressively artistic effect (check the program website for some great examples).


Elsewhere there are plenty of paint tools, colour corrections and filters, and overall the program is a great choice when you need more artistic editing options.


9. PixBuilder Studio

Download PixBuilder Studio

PixBuilder Studio is a useful mid-range photo editor with a strong focus on solid, practical features. So instead of cartoon clipart and arty effects you get sensible features like crop, resize and rotate options, plenty of colour correction tools, sharpness and blur filters and some capable print tools.


There's not a lot of fun here, then, but PixBuilder Studio is great it you just want to make your photos a little better (and 8BF filter support means the program can be extended if necessary).


10. Chasys Draw IES

Download Chasys Draw IES

Look past its odd name and Chasys Draw IES proves to be a very capable photo editor with a stack of essential features: extensive paint and drawing tools, strong layer support, lots of smart special effects, plenty of colour and lighting adjustments, Photoshop plugin support, and more.


These are just some of the program's capabilities, though. You can also use it to create animations, CD or DVD labels, icons and cursors, or even capture videos of desktop activity.

With a RAW file processor, image viewer and converter also included, Chasys Draw IES really is an amazingly versatile package.