Best free image editors, viewers and animators

PhotoFiltre is a very fast, yet complete image retouching program and image viewer. If you wait an hour for PhotoShop to open just to resize a picture, or crop, or add some text, apply a common filter, etc, you can just use PhotoFiltre. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image, apply a vast range of filters on it, and it opens instantly. You can find the standard adjustment functions (Brightness, contrast, dyed, saturation, gamma correction) and also artistic filters (watercolor, pastels, Indian ink, pointillism, puzzle effect).

Picosmos Tools is a free and convenient collage maker and image enhancer; you can use it to create fanciful collages, apply effects and watermarks and perform basic editing such as crops and rotations, even record your screen and take screenshots.

Gimp Advanced Image Editor is able for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retoucing program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. Although a full featured painting program, Gimp opens faster than Photoshop.

Gravit Designer is organised in tabs, it lets you draw with layers, add several effects, etc., everything you would expect from an advanced vector editor, such as a lasso, knife, pen, magichand, and much more, all the usual stuff you may need for your web site or flyers.

PhotoWipe is a free and powerful app, able to “eliminate” parts of an image that you prefer they did not exist!

Junior Icon Editor is a free app you may find easy enough and efficient, if you need to design an icon file or just to retouch it. As with most icon editors the program provides options to insert various lines and shapes, in any color you like, use such common tools as a pencil, brush, color picker, etc., and of course configure the icon’s transparency if you want it. The program saves as ico, but also as png, xbm and xpm.

Adobe PhotoShop Express supports all common editing tasks, such as crop, rotate or flip, remove red eye, remove spots, etc. With AutoFix you can apply instantly automatic adjustments of contrast, white balance and exposure, apply more than 45 effects, add borders or watermarks, share in many places, such as Instagram or Flickr, simultaneously.

IrfanView is fast and simple enough, containing also some professional features and a lot of plugins. Very convenient, really a browser, not an editor.

Fotor lets you edit, make collages, touch up, even in batch mode. It features 13 different one click-enhancement options, and has a large selection of effects and frames. You can edit groups of photos or albums at once, apply filters, effects or borders to all your photos at once. Fotor lets you share edited photos on Social Media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr directly from within the app.

Photo Pos Pro lets you create, edit, enhance, print, and manipulate digital photos and computer graphics, create graphics, collages, greeting cards, business cards, website designs, buttons and more. Batch Operations are supported. Upon installation you might be asked to install an extra toolbar and to change the home page of your browser. You can uncheck these options.

Paint.Net supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of powerful tools. Originally intended as a free replacement for the MS Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple tool.

Photo! Editor will let you remove red eyes, enhance colors, make funny caricatures, add lighting effects, straighten, resample and crop images. The Make Up tool offers a complete set of retouching filters. You can also process batches of images easily using a Windows Explorer context menu.

Microsoft GIF Animator is better that many modern animation programs you will find around. You can create or modify an animation then save it for use in your web browser or other applications. The Animation tab of GIF Animator provides control of the size, duration, and transparency attributes of an animation. Repeat Count allows you to specify the number of times you want your animation to repeat.

StylePix can draw pictures, edit photos and more. Features: Draw pictures (Brush, Spray, Clone brush, fill, gradation fill), Resize photos, Rotate photos, Color Correction, Type text on the photo, Synthesis photos, Cut, copy and paste photos, Sharpen/Blur photos, Remove red-eye, Remove dust.

GIF Palette Changer will let you modify quickly a pallete of any GIF image. If you need a quick and basic transformation of a gif image, e.g. colorize it from blue to yellow tones, etc., this utility may help.

JPEG Lossless Rotator will let you rotate your photos keeping the quality of the original. Some images, especially those that come from scanning, need to be rotated.

SageThumbs is a free shell extension that will let you preview even vary rare image formats. It will also let you convert instantly (by right click) the most common image formats.

Able RAWer is for viewing and correcting RAW images. It allows you to resolve all exposure and white balance issues during raw conversion. Supported formats: raw, crw, cr2, nef, pef, raf, x3f, bay, orf, srf, mrw, dcr, dng, arw.

Raw Therapee is a free RAW converter and digital photo processing software.

MobaPhoto is a free toolbox for digital photography.It can also help you create a basic photo gallery for your webpage. MobaPhoto allows you to resize, crop or correct red-eyes of your pictures, even in batch mode.

Foto-Mosaik-Edda applies a mosaic effect to your photos, make them seem like they are composed of many small pictures (tiles). A simple wizard will guide you.

MyViewpad is stable, contrary to many other viewers I have tried. It can display large images, it can show thousands of images in a row, it can view files with errors and nonstandard formatting, as well as multi-page and animated files. Basic editing options also included, such as rotation, color retouch and resize.

WPanorama allows you to display panoramic pictures by scrolling them horizontally or vertically. 360° continuous scrolling, Full screen view, Panorama show, Multimonitor support, and more.

MS Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher. You shoot a set of overlapping photographs of a scene from a single location, and Image Composite Editor creates a high-resolution panorama incorporating all your images at full resolution. Then save your stitched panorama in a wide variety of formats.

Ashampoo Photo Optimizer offers an easy way to make them look better. Just pressing the Optimize button you can adjust brightness and contrast, but you can also rotate them, crop, resize or add frames.

Image Enlarger tries to be an easy-to-use equivalent of the analogue enlarger for the digital photography: You choose an image file, pick a rectangle and decide how big the result should be ( by scaling factor or by giving width or height of the result ), then you press calculate and get an enlarged image with smooth curves instead of blocks, where edges in the original stay ( more or less ) unblurred.

Image Inc will help you blend images in a fast and easy way, using a layer mask for transparency. Ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to use a major graphics application for this task. You can use Image Inc. to blend multiple photos together, create interesting texture overlays, or add edge and frame effects to your images.

XnView will let you view and convert graphic files. It is similar to Windows Explorer. You navigate the directory structure as desired and any image files found in a directory are displayed in miniature (Thumbnails). Numerous image filters and effects for image processing are available.

TileMage Image Splitter will allow you to slice an image into many pieces automatically (you define number of pieces (rows and columns), it can also create an html file with the pieces tiled to let them appear as a single intact image.

HDR image editors enhance the “dynamic range” of photographs, i.e., the ratio of light to dark. HDR usually exploits three photos taken at different exposures, putting those images together and selecting the best parts of each. Picturenaut‘s architecture is modular, and its most important functions can be also accessed from a command line. It will help you create HDR images from single or multiple shots. AutoHDR is a free, portable and convenient editor of HDR images. The default settings produce natural, clean results free from halos, garish colours and other artefacts.

Check also the best free photo album, slide show and gallery makers, and the best free image converters, resizers and watermark embedders.