When there's just not enough cash in the bank and you're in a bind, the last thing you're able to do is drop a ton of money for pricey software like Adobe Creative Suite. And sometimes, the professional-grade stuff is too much overkill for simple tasks like putting together a poster, blurring out a license plate in a photo or cropping out a shaky part of your vacation video. So that's what open source software is for. While they're sometimes not the most stable of applications, they're free and they oftentimes get the job done, just like their paid-for counterparts.
We compiled a list of some of the best open source Adobe Creative Suite alternatives. Cycle through for alternatives to Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign, Illustrator (opens in new tab) and more!
GIMP is easily one of the most powerful pieces of open source software available on the internet today. The app gives you the same photo manipulation features as Photoshop, as well as a variety of filters to choose from. There's also incredible hardware and plug-in support. Plus, there's plenty of sites that offer
An image editing application packed in a pretty little name, Seashore is built on OS X's Cocoa framework so it's made just for Mac users looking for an open source alternative. Though it doesn't have some of GIMP's features, Seashore is perfect for novices looking for a simple image editor.
Feel caught in a tizzy when you have a digital document you need to sign? Formulate Pro lets you open and write on PDF documents with a mouse and tablet, then save or print.
Got a character you wanna sketch out, but don't have access to Adobe Illustrator? Inkscape's got the capabilities. Best yet, it supports advanced Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) features like markers, clones and alpha blending. And actually, it's very easy to navigate. One of the simplest open source UIs we've used yet.
Open Office Draw
Need to make a poster for your environmental club? Open Office Draw is a super easy-to-use desktop publishing application, part of the Open Office suite that's actually maintained by Sun Microsystems so it's a relatively stable build compared to the other applications featured in this article.
For a more powerful, InDesign-like desktop publishing application, Scribus is a wonderful alternative for wannabe professionals.
If you've used Adobe Flash to animate before, Synfig is an open source alternative to making 2D animations with vectors and bitmaps. Synfig also has a pretty healthy community of contributors, so many updates are inevitably on their way.
You need to edit your homemade podcasts, so do so with Audacity. It's free, and though it's got a bit of a learning curve for new audio editors, it's the best solution for chopping up and stringing together audio files.
Frankly, you'd be hard pressed to find a full-fledged video editor that's free. So if you just need to cut and edit a home video, Avidemux is the capable open source solution.
SeaMonkey is a community-developed internet application suite that helps you code and develop websites for the Mozilla browser. It comes with its own browser, an email and newsgroup client and an HTML editor. It's also got IRC chat and added on web development tools.