3 Outstanding Free Graphics Tools

Many web workers work frequently with graphics, perhaps editing photos for blog posts, producing marketing materials, customizing logos, or in other ways. The Photoshops and Illustrators of the world are great at what they do, but are also often overkill for common graphics tasks. Here are three free graphics software applications that you might want to have in your arsenal.

GIMP is a very robust open source graphics application originated out of U.C. Berkeley, and its enthusiastic community has steadily improved it over the years. It’s out in a new version 2.6 that features many interface enhancements, as we covered on the OStatic blog.

If you’re interested in the new version of GIMP, check out the release notes here. You’ll find graphical depictions of many of the new features. And, at the bottom of this post you’ll find links to useful GIMP tutorials.  GIMP runs on WIndows, the Mac and Linux.

A little while back, Mike covered Pencil an imaginative extension for the Firefox browser that turns the browser into a drawing application, complete with palettes of graphical tools. Since that mention, Pencil won an award for best Firefox extension in Mozilla’s annual Extend Firefox contest.

I’ve mentioned IrfanView here before, but no collection of this type would be complete without citing this awesome piece of freeware. It’s lightweight and you can get in and out very quickly, but it still has a great feature set, and you can get many plug-ins from the IrfanView community of users. Check out the reader comments at the bottom here.

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