Graphical editing

To continue along the lines of images and media, i often need to work with images, photographs and graphics for teaching or publication purposes. For work I do have the option of getting access to Photoshop which has been the standard and go-to for editing and dealing with graphical material and Adobe has also developed their product line to contain software optimized for a number of other tasks than just photo editing throughout the years. However, this might not be a given alternative for the average home user and enthusiasm since it does costs a bit. The monetary factor did send me out on a chase for better and cheaper alternatives a few years ago.

Another commercial alternative that, at least to me, looks good and has recieved positive feedback are the Affinity products, from which I have tried both Photo and Designer. Both have nice GUIs and it is relatively simple to get up and running. These are also competitively priced compared to other commercial alternatives and does not have a subscription based model, though they still do cost money.

Affinity Photo
Affinity Designer

My go-to software became GIMP as this was the best, free alternative available when I started looking around. This software is free, stable, relatively easy to use, has a modifiable GUI and is simply a good alternative that I use regularly. What might be a problem is that there is no built in support for CMYK color scheme and there are some file formats that are not supported which you might need for publications. This is however the program that I normally launch first, before trying something else if it turns out that GIMP did not manage solve whatever problem I was having.


Now we’re arriving at two newer programs on the market, one being darktable and the other which I was recently told about, RawTherapee, both of which are first and foremost for photo editing and not primarily for creating graphic material. They are both free and do have nice interfaces and is relatively simply to get started with.


Finally, since you might need some software for publications or print products, I recently found a program called Scribus. I cannot say that I have evaluated this software thoroughly or that it seems intuitive to use though it does come with a manual, there are tutorials and they do supply video walk through of the software.


What I’ve come to accept when working with open source and free softwares is that you regularly need a combination. You can regularly do most things you would expect from a commercial counterpart though sometimes you need to combine two or more softwares to reach the exact same goal.

This is in no way a review or complete list. It is more of a note for memory or a suggestion. I do know I left InkScape out of the list as well, this as I have experienced some stability issues under macOS.

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