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The best free graphics software for Windows and Mac

SoftwareFeatures
by Eric Griffith, 29 Mar 2014Features
The best free graphics software for Windows and Mac

So you're keen to learn about some free photo editing software, and where you can download it from? Then you've come to the right place, as we've got quite the selection of freebie goodies here when it comes to image editing, photo organisation, and even 3D modelling and CAD.

Some of these products are Windows only, but many also work with the Mac, and a few with Linux, too. Read on for our top graphics software picks...

GIMP (Windows, Mac, Linux)

The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) remains our favourite free image editor for good reason: This open source classic has all the high-end tools you could want, short of spending a ton of money on Photoshop.

FastStone Image Viewer (Windows)

It would be almost impossible to find an image format that FastStone doesn't support. It also provides management and comparison of files, as well as some rudimentary editing and slideshow-with-transition effects.

Picasa (Windows, Web)

There's arguably no better way to organise your images (and videos) than the great interface of Picasa. The Web Albums also makes it easy to share images online, and this is a sterling effort all round.

SketchUp (Windows, Mac)

If you're getting into 3D and still don't want to spend big bucks on software, check out SketchUp to get started building models.

Inkscape (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Most vector-based drawing programs, like Adobe Illustrator, will cost you big bucks – but Inkscape is open source. It uses the SVG format for files to support features like markers, clones, and alpha blending.

Jing (Windows, Mac)

Jing can do a lot. Mainly, it takes still screen captures, but it also captures video screen casts. The Screencast.com account you get with it lets you store 2GB worth of files for sharing with others online.

LibreCAD (Windows, Mac, Linux)

When it's time to make some 2D computer-aided design (CAD) mechanical drawings, the best free option is LibreCAD. It's a perfect tool for engineers, architects, and draftsmen to make blueprints.

Paint.NET (Windows)

This Windows-only freebie is worth installing for any minor (and some major) picture manipulation. It's fast, easy to use, and comprehensive – if you don't need full Photoshop capabilities.

Sculptris (Windows, Mac)

Ready to start making 3D models? Sculptris gives you a digital blob of clay and all the tools necessary to turn it into a piece of art.

Windows Photo Gallery (Windows)

This photo organiser and editor makes slideshows, stitches together panoramas, fuses similar photos, so you can get rid of the bad parts (like someone blinking), and has a number of editing tools for fixing pictures. It's well worth having, in short.

Zoner Photo Studio (Windows)

This powerful, free, little photo manager/editor/viewer does the typical edits (red-eye reduction, blurring, etc.) and organisation. It also throws in some fun features, such as creating 3D versions of your pictures, and generating calendars and greeting cards.

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