Adobe Photoshop freeware alternative?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Helen M. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I need your advice once again. I am 80 years old and have gone back to work as a volunteer; one of my jobs is to make up posters. I only have Microsoft Word, which is not [exactly] ideal for making posters, and I don't want to invest in an expensive software such as Adobe Photoshop. The price to learn it at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City is $275! Can you recommend [an Adobe Photoshop freeware alternative] that is inexpensive and easy to use? I am computer literate. I thank you for all you do. "

My Response:

Off the top of my head, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is probably one of the best freeware photo editing programs you can download. It's been around since January 1996 and was originally developed for Linux operating systems. It has since expanded onto other platforms, including MS Windows, Mac, and even the Amiga operating system (to name a few).

According to Wikipedia, GIMP offers "Photoshop-like capabilities ... [with] a broad feature set that has made it [very] popular ... Although GIMP is generally not regarded as a sufficient replacement for high-end commercial tools [such as Adobe Photoshop], it is beginning to gain some acceptance in the pro market." (Source:

That would be my recommendation for you. Of course, there are other freeware Photoshop alternatives that you can download. Simply search Google for "freeware Photoshop alternative," or "freeware Photoshop replacement", or similar. Anyone else is welcome to chime in with a freeware alternative in the comments section below.

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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Comments's picture

Why not have a link to the main page at the TOP of the newsletter in stead of having the reader have to scroll and search for it in each issue?

Richard Robinson's picture

Hi Alan, The news page is always the same URL, so just put it on yor bookmark toolbar. Whenever you get an email, don't even have to open it, just click on your tool bar and you have the newsletter. :-) R2

dougsmith411_3629's picture


In my experience in providing tech support and "advice" that is worth what is paid for it <G>, sometimes people ask for something with a familiar name not realizing the program they have requested is not appropriate for the task they are tackling.

Helen wants to "make up posters." To me, that implies, text, headlines, graphics and photos. That task would be infinitely easier in a Desktop Publishing Program than in a photo manipulation program.

I have been using Serif's PagePlus since version 1 (now on version 18) and it is relatively easy to use and offers a lot of features that Helen can use to produce her posters.

Serif offers a FREE "Starter Edition" of the software which, I believe, is a previous version from the most current. Even in the starter edition, she will have more than enough features to make posters. Serif also offers free on-line tutorials on their software.

In any case, I recommend it as worth a try. It can be downloaded here . . .

Doug Smith

Dennis Faas's picture

That's a great suggestion - thanks for sharing. I think many professional studios use Photoshop vs a desktop publishing suite for making posters (at least, a professional friend of mine does), which is why I suggested using GIMP. Adding text in and around image layers is simple enough to get the job done quickly.

Comsult's picture

Has a free and paid versions.


Is that what he is looking for? These are photo editors, I am thinking he want's a poster maker program from his description.

So I would agree with Doug that a Publishing or poster program would be better in that case.


do a google search for free poster maker and a plethora of them show up, including; no install, in the cloud ones!


cbecker_3631's picture

I've also used the Serif products, both free and paid. They are very easy to learn and do the job just as good as the Adobe products they emulate. I agree with Doug. It sounds more like she needs a DTP rather than a photo manipulation software. Serif has that as well. She can get them here:

Dennis Faas's picture

Just be careful where you get the download - for example, (which is a subsidiary of now bundles ALL their downloads with crapware / scareware. If you don't pay attention to the install, you may end up getting more than a free program! I just tried the link you supplied and the 'installer' came pre-check marked with a bunch of junk.

dougsmith411_3629's picture

Dennis . . . you are exactly right about the crapware! However, if you DL from the Serif website, you don't have to worry about that!

I am so disappointed in in how they have deteriorated over the last couple of years. I simply don't even look to them anymore for anything!


caryover78_3672's picture

Most MS Office Suites included MS Publisher. Office 2000 and newer runs on Win 7 and with compatability on Win 8 and Win 10. Publisher has many templates which can be easily modified to suit personal preferences and I think would be worth a try if it is available. Ron B.