Easy image manipulation software: five of the best

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1. Adobe Photoshop Elements [PC / Mac]

Photoshop? Easy?

There’s no denying that the various flavours of Photoshop contain some very advanced features, but in fact it’s possible to do basic image and photo editing and manipulation plus a range of “fancy” things without a whole lot of training.

Photoshop Elements is a cut-down version of the full-blown package which means it doesn’t have as many features but it’s also cheaper. In fact, it often comes bundled with digital cameras.

Get to grips with the basics of Photoshop Elements and you may well find yourself wanting to delve deeper into its powerful tools.

Ease of use: 3/5
Features: 5/5
Price: Latest version around £60, may be bundled. PC / Mac


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2. GraphicConverter [Mac]

This Mac-only shareware software has been around for ages and it’s still my favourite. Each new revision adds a whole host of new features and yet it’s still very easy to use.

I use it every day for resizing images, converting between formats, creating simple montages, adding text and more. It doesn’t have all the power of Photoshop but it’s extremely capable and simply does what I tell it to do without any fuss.

Ease of use: 4/5
Features: 3/5
Price: $34.95


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3. CompuPic Pro [Linux]

I’ve heard this recommended over GIMP, despite that seemingly being the de facto standard for Linux, for its ease of use.

CompuPic Pro has a range of features for quickly editing and adding effects to photos and images. It has an impressive feature list.

Ease of use: 4/5
Features: 4/5
Price: $49.95 | Free trial


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4. Google Picasa [PC / Mac / Linux]

Google’s free cross-platform image software is both a photo management and photo editing tool. It incorporates “virtual editing”, so that original images aren’t lost even after changes are made. It’s also set up for online sharing.

Other image software has more features but this covers the basics that you’re likely to need for touching up photos and sending them on their way, and it’s free.

Ease of use: 5/5
Features: 2/5
Price: Free


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5. Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 [PC]

A long-time favourite for PC users seeking an alternative to Photoshop, features include photo organisation, photo retouching and enhancement tools, photo tagging and more.

Definitely up there with GraphicConverter and CompuPic Pro.

Ease of use: 4/5
Features: 4/5
Price: $49.99 | Free trial

Found something easier for editing images and photos? Share in the comments below.

Andy Merrett

9 comments

  • This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses.

  • This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses.

  • You sir, ….. are a wiggly work sir 🙂

    T̺͚̣ͣ̿o͈͔̟͕͓͗́̚͞ ͇̝̘̳͙̬̱̿ͩ̒ͤ̀̾i̵͍̹͍̰̼̫̱̟̅̄́ͧ̑̏̑n͍̼͙̫̭͕̙͉͑̃ͦ̕̕v̡͋ͣ̀͗͐̑͂͏̰̺͖͜ǫ̯̀̅̿͗̎̚͜ͅk͓̞̘̤͖͌ͬ̍ͫ͂͟e̡̳̬͈̳͔̲̲͚̊̈́̐ͯ́ͫ͆͝ ̵̨̧̞̤ͯ͋̏ͬͧ̅̈̔ͅṱ̲̅ͯ̕ḧ͉̼́ͥ̈́̀̿͛̂̃͜ė̓ͯͨ̂̄͏̯̲̩̣ ̛̪͖̙̑̒̎̑̃̕͞h̩ͭ̄̅̍ͧ̒̐͡i̥̬̔̎͑v̰͍̠̲̘̗̠̯̮̿̿ͧͦ̓ͯ͌e̫͎̦̝͎̼͉ͭ͛̌̌̓̾̈́̂̌-̻͖̺̃̋ͮ̿̈̍ͪmͪ̍̒͂̏ͤ҉̳̬i̶̶͇͇̳͎̭̫ͩ̌̅n̷̛̠̰̩ͥ̐͋ͦͪ̆d̜͉̪̹̲̖̰̯̆ͯ̇ͭͩ̒ ̜̹̣͙̮̰͕̾̓͛͗́̓͂͑͊r̤̭ͤͧ̓͊̾́̉̇̊͢e̶̜̫̿ͥ̅ͩ̈p̝̼̪̈́͑ͣ̀͋̎ͧ͝r̙̩̰̓̓̔͑ͩ͗͟͡e̶͎͗ͧͪ̋͒̀͟s̯̫ͩe̖̹̫͔̭̝̿͋́͋̆̔̄ͪ͡͠ͅn̸̪͙͓̖̙̙̒͑ţ͓̘̝͈̝̥̈́̏̒̎ͯͯ̃̎͞͡i͈͚̜̹͍ͣ͒̍͜n̛͍̭̣̰ͫͩg̀ͥͥ̿ͦͧ̉͢͏̝̖̗̝̕ ͙̱͕̞̮̃ͮ͊ͬͧ͘c͇̖̖̻̠̠̻̫ͪͣ̇ͫ̔̎ͅh̸̜͇̝͓̐̃̿̔̈ͦ͡ä̵̖͓̪̫͙̥́͑o̵̡̝̙̤̤ͮ̀̃̀̄ͤ͢s͖̱̙͇̮̮̱̓ͯ̒͑͠.̫͈̠̏̏̊ͦͧͯ͐̕͢
    ̵̛̘̌ͯͩͪ͟I͉͕͕̯̦̙̝̖͗̓͟͡͝n̶̴̩̹̟͓ͭͤv̫̳͓̎̍̉̀ͥ͑͒̾̓́̕o̧̬͚̳̞͚̙ͬk̸̘͖̰͇͖̝̖͂̋͋͑̒͑̐í̯̖̪͌ͨ̀ͦ̆͒̍́̚̕͞n̡͉̹͚̮̟̱̱̄ͪ̎̉̍̆͊͝g̷̡̠̰̫͈̼̋ͥͪ̂ͨ ̯͖̙̯̪̯̘̊̏t̑ͣ͆̏̓͏̺̲̺ḥ͇̼̝̮͔̫̰̽̐̌ͯ̇̅̿ͭ́ͅe̢̠̱͓͕̼͍̣ͦͦ͑̓̐ͥ ̵̙̘̘̠̳̰̱̆̊̇͐̂̀f͉̰̟͎̪̥͎̖̎̆̈́̅ͨ́͠e͒ͪͥ̆ͤ̓̐ͤ͏̫̯̙̜̫e̛̙̜ͨ̋͐͗́̕l̲̣̳͖͚͖̘̑ͧ̄̔ͭ̾iͨ͂ͧ̚҉̧͇̳̩̼̖̟̯̣n͕̼̦͇͔̫͉͋̓ͨ͑g̡̗̦͖̮͎ͭ̏͂͒͟ ̎̽͘҉҉̯̥͕͙͙ó̡ͨͧ̆̌͏̮̹̖͕̬f̷̞̞͎͋͗̎͜͢ ̔͂ͯ͂͢҉̜̰̹͎̠͈͝c̃̓͌̓̉̔҉̳̼̪̘̯̦̳͕̯͢h̅́͒ͯ̽́̚̕͏̠̪̠͈a̜̣̠ͫ́̈́ͦ̐͐̏͒ͬo̴̖̜̖̘͒ͧs̥͚̯̹͚͂̒̈͐͒ͥ̑́̐.͔͙̰͉͎̳͕̟̈͋ͧ̈ͩͪ̚̕͘
    ͈̙͕̩̝̪͈͊͒ͤW̶͕̦̦̎̑ͤ̓̋͂̿ͭi̷̺͎͉͂̽̀ͭt̨̠͕͉̮͂͗ͫ͢h͎̺̙͖̻͙̜̟̅͂̅̽ͣͧ̚͠ ̛̭̮̋̾͝o̡̺͕͂̐ͦu̷̡̞͍̻̘̤͂͑̒̒̐ͅt͔͔̯̰̿ͩ̂́͘ ̴͚̭̫̩͉̘̬̥̃ͧͨ́̽̈ͧ̽͒́o̒ͫ͗͑͐͏̙̟̺ř̛̖̼͖̗ͥͤͪ̉̄̇̾̈́ͅḏ̶̡̫͚̮̖̞͌̓ͅẻ̸̜̹̠͚͚͐̔̽̓ͮ̽͜r̴͔̙̯̊̑͌ͭ̐ͤ.͚͈̱̙̙̘͎ͫͫ̿̑̄ͅ
    ̛͎̪͓̳̫̱̘̤ͥ͆͆̕T̛̥̹̅͗̈́̌̒̏h͎̥̟̥̹̪̗ͮ̅ͦ̚͟͢e͛ͫ̀̉͟҉̤̯̰ͅ ͇̝͇̜̲̍̍ͨͣ́̋̃͘Nͣͮ̇̅̍͌҉͚̬̺̥͉̻ḛ͇ͪ͂̿̏̀ͩ͗͜z̵͈͇͇̺͖ͫ̕͟p̨̤͈̑̑̈́̇̀͑̄̒ͤ̀̀e̫͔̣̣ͭ̍̈́̅͌̀ͮ̋͞r̨͎̼͔̮̎͐ͤ̐̍̃̀̿͞d̷̛̜̝̘͍̅͒ͧͅi̶̧̼͔͍͕͉͓̝͔͑aͦ̏̎̅̃̒͝͏͓̣͉̜ṇ̶̲̖͉̭̤͛̊͌͂̔̽̒ͅ ̨̺͍̦̎͛͗ͬ̕h̷̷̞͖͆̉ͨ̿͂ͭi̶̭̦̱̱̭̠͖ͬͫ̎ͫͥ̂̂v̂̒ͦ̇̋̈́͆̔҉̪͓ę͖̠̞̘̳̫̠̜̆͗͗͘͠-͌̾̓̽̑͏̴̦̼̦m̵̢̬͍̦̖̘͖̃̅̓ͮ͒̃ͅi̷̛̞̺͋͆̉̿̀̄̔ṉ̞̦͚ͨ̇̔̒͑̄ͭ̓̂͞d̷̝͕ͬͥ ̶̧͙͕̘̥̃̐̓ͅȯ̶͔͇͉̥̩̜̜̟̏̚͢͡f̨̯̿ͭ̇̎ͣͯ ̢̑̃͌͂҉̢̼͍͖̱̞̲̣c̵̴̣̪̝̠̤͖̃̋͊͂͆̓͗̀ͅh̯͔͇̠͍̭̲ͫ́̃̅̚ͅa̷̙̪̝͎͎̮ͣ̋̋͑̓̽͘͞õ̳̥̫̘̫ͫ͗͆̔̇͟s̘͔͗ͬ̽̑̎͗͗.̨͍͇̹͚̥͍̱ͣ̃ͣͣͪ̈̐́͘ͅ ̸̷̘͕̇̎͗͂͑ͪ̔̚͜Z̧̜͚̅́ͤ͡a̶̛̰̝̾ͪͬͮl͈̭͋͋͐͐̊̂̽g̖̬̿̑͐̈́̏͊ͧo̗͔̱͂̓ͅ.͉͈̹̲̠̟ͫ̔ͭ̊͊ ̷̡̧̦̠̹͇͎̹͌̿͌ͧͪ
    ̼̒ͭ̀͆̓̃͘H̡̳̤͚̗̲̣̓̃͑ͩͤ̑̈́̀̀ͅe̡͙̬̩̯͎̲ͦ̍ͯ̏̂̉ͫͨ̂͠ ̱̲͋̾̓̿ͫ͌̑̈͠͝͞w̷̳͔͕̞̻̲̱͕ͦ̎̐͂h̥̗͈͇̻̯̾o̸͓ͧ̽̆̌̔̚͜ ̞̥̲͙̫̝͌͋̑̿̅ͪͮ̚͞Ẅ͇̺̫͎̤ͬ͛ͥͨ̾̌a̻͙̺͚̺̳ͭͣ̓ͮ̓̀̓̃̿͟i̢̖̫̘̜̝̾̐t̷̸̥̭͈̭͙̜ͨ̈͗͒̓ṣ̵̛̫̤͚̞͌ͬ̏ͧ̒̏́͋̑͡ ̲͕̥̪͉̻̪̑͆ͭ͛ͪͪ͡͡B͉̤̣̮́̊ͩ̇ͦ̐ͮͣ̄͞e̠͓̜̣̻̦̙̒͗͝hͬͯ̐͆̆̓҉̪͙͎̖̪̗͓̜̺͢i̇̒̊̓ͥͮ͝͏͚̼n̈͗͏̲̦͓͍͜d̞̞͈̮͖͙̙̆̒ͧ̒̈ ̝̟̱̺̰͆͗̈ͭ̂̌̾ͧ̕T͍͙͋̅ͫͯ̊ͩ̽̍h̴̬͕͌ͧ̎͝ͅé̶̙̺̣ͧͭ̚ ̨̼̤̭̒̍̄ͪͤͫ̿̓́W̴̧͍͚͇̱̺͌̔̄ͦ͗̅a̵͓̪͕̝̯ͪ̈́̎̀l̞͕̹̭̯̠̔ͩͣ̄̾l̴̖̪͙̣̲̓́ͥ̎͗͐̒͘.̳̟̪͇̬͚͕͍ͦͧ̂̃̑̕
    ̷̨̗̽̆̿ͭ̽͂̔̽ͅZ͙̼̥̬͖̖̣̹͒ͩͦ̄̋̅͐̚͢A̲̜̳̍̈ͩͯL̹̩͖̲̯̫͍̉̎ͬ̐̅̈́ͬ͞G̝̻̦͉ͭ̑ͭ͊Ơ̷̯̞̩̅̾̿ͧͨͨͩͨ!͎͈̩̫̫͕͚̒̓̏͆̍̚̕

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