Adobe Photoshop is a behemoth. It’s an industry standard setting software that is widely considered to be head and shoulders ahead of its competition. However, not everyone needs all the features offered by Photoshop. In fact many people who have Photoshop installed on their computers use it merely as a more sophisticated version of Paint. While Paint is too basic, Photoshop (and even GIMP) is too advanced for most people. There is a demand for something in between.
Paint.Net is one software that has filled the void quite effectively. Recently, I found another nice alternative – FotoGrafix. FotoGrafix is a light weight free Photoshop alternative. It supports all popular image formats including jpeg, png, gif, bmp, psd, ico, tiff, xcf and raw. Basic tools like Marquee (rectangular and elliptical), Brush (including some fancy ones like Lens Glare and Sparkle), Fill, Transform, Text and Gradient. The biggest strength of Fotografix is the Layers feature. Layers is an essential feature that I simply can’t do without. Fotografix also includes other features which Photoshop users will immediately recognise – Magic Wand, Clone Stamp and Dropper. Some of the more commonly used Layer Blending modes like Screen, Linear Dodge, Overlay, Multiply, Hard Light and Linear Burn are available along with basic filters like Blur, Emboss and Diffuse.
It is incredible that FotoGrafix manages to pack in so many features in just a few hundred KBs. FotoGrafix is a portable application (no installation is required) and you can carry it with you. It’s ideally suited for Netbooks which aren’t powerful enough to run Photoshop. It’s also great for folks looking for simple yet capable software for basic image manipulation. I am super impressed with this software. Give it a try, it may surprise you.