Free Open Source Photo Editor with Photoshop Plugins Support

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PhotoDemon is a free Photo Editor with intuitive looks, and a noteworthy collection of filters, effects, tools for color correction and more. It is open source and available under a BSD License that allows you to use its source code in any application with proper attribution.

PhotoDemon is a light-weight (14 Mb) portable application that runs from Windows XP through Windows 11.

It was originally designed as an editor that you can use from your USB stick on a relatively slower computer and a small sized monitor. For this to work, Performance and UI design were a priority for the developers, and they have done a great job at it.

The latest version – PhotoDemon 9.0 has been launched recently with UI improvements, in-built support for Adobe Photoshop plugins, support for new image formats and much more.

Interface:

Interface

PhotoDemon boasts of a clean and tidy interface that allows you to easily and efficiently edit pictures without any deep knowledge of image processing. You can directly drag and drop multiple pictures in the main window and preview / switch between them using the thumbnails for each of them.

The integrated toolbox at the left-hand side is the place from where you can perform all of the the basic actions such as create / select / delete objects and items as well as undo / redo your actions. PhotoDemon provides all of the basic selection tools such as rectangle, lasso, oval, and more.

The UI offers a lot of flexibility by which you can display or hide the panels, toolbox, preview windows etc.  Additionally PhotoDemon allows you to unhinge the panels and toolbox from their default location and make them floatable to be placed at any area on your desktop.

PhotoDemon’s Viewing options enable you to zoom in or out of the picture, fit the photo to the screen etc.

Features:

1.File formats: Support for a wide range of file formats, including BMP, GIF, HDR, JPEG, PNG, PSD (Adobe Photoshop), PSP (Corel PaintShop Pro) and many more.

2. Layers: Support for multiple layers. The current layer’s opacity can easily be adjusted and it can also be merged with another layer or duplicated. You can adjust the opacity of the current layer and merge, duplicate, or delete it. Additionally, you can also perform all the basic actions associated with any layers such as resizing, flipping, rotating and more.

3. Filters: PhotoDemon provides a range of Filters like perspective correction, noise removal, gradient, edge enhancement, and palette mapping, content-aware fill and resize and more that can clearly give the commercially available photo editors, a run for their money.

Perspective
Perspective Correction

4. Effects: Like Filters, PhotoDemon offers a wide variety of Effects under different categories such as Artistic (Colored pencil, Comic book, Oil painting, Posterize etc), Blur (Gaussian, Box, Motion, Radial, etc), Stylize (Antique, Solarize, Diffuse and more), Distort, Sharpen, Bump map, and many more

Bump map
Bump map

5. Canvas Tools: like pattern brushes, interactive gradient, advanced selection tools, paintbrushes, etc.

6. Adjustment Tools: HDR, white balance, levels, curves and more.

Adjustment - Curves
Adjustment – Curves
Photo Filler
Photo Filler

7. Batch Processing: This feature can be utilized to apply a variety of common and editing actions (like fixing lighting and exposure problems, resizing images etc.) or to rename and convert files to other popular formats. PhotoDemon also supports recording and importing of Macros so that users can run multiple customized actions in one go.

8. New Features in ver. 9.0: Built in support for Adobe Photoshop Plugins (8bf plugins), unique Dehaze Tool to recover photos impaired by haze or fog, automatic neural network based GIF optimizer, photo-filler tool, and a host of other improvements and enhancements.

Dehaze Tool
Dehaze Tool

Downside:

  1. Since PhotoDemon is portable by nature, you can only get it in 32 bit application. Also there is a 2 GB size limit on images that you upload or save.
  2. The application works only on Windows and there is no compatibility with other operating systems like macOS or Linux.
  3. The official website lists all the important features but lacks any instruction manual to use the application.

Closing Words:

I was indeed delighted by PhotoDemon thanks to its support for an impressive number of tools, special effects and filters. The application is idea for beginners as well as professionals due to its diverse set of editing options. It’s absolutely free and open source and I will definitely recommend it for creative artists.

Click here to navigate to the official website of PhotoDemon. To download the latest version (9.0), click here.

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