Creating and modifying eye-catching images is critical for small business owners and corporations alike. But not everyone can afford Adobe Creative Suite programs such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for image creation and editing. And not everyone has the technical expertise to successfully utilize these programs for their business graphic design. Luckily for frugal entrepreneurs and smaller businesses, there are plenty of useful low-cost or free programs you can use to get the job done. While there are a lot of great options out there, in this post I'll focus on five free image editing resources I've used often and recommended to several others. These programs won't make you a professional graphic designer but they'll usually help you to get the job done for no cost. If it's free it's for me!
With brand evangelist Guy Kawasaki on board with Canva you know it's a great website! You can create custom dimensions up to 5000 x 5000 pixels but they offer dozens of templates based on social media image specifications, flyers, eBook covers, banner ads, and so much more. Add backgrounds, use exact HTML color codes (which you can find on other free websites), upload images, resize, layer, add text, and enjoy several other features. Save and download your files in seconds as standard or compressed JPG or PDF's. You can even share your images with the world or keep them private. And yes, they do have high quality stock images you can pay for, as well as a Canva For Business paid membership option for $10-13 per user per month. I've only utilized their free services as of now but their prices are very reasonable and may be worthwhile based on their ease of use. There have been several times when Canva was overloaded and either froze or wouldn't save my images, but overall still an excellent option.
2) Online Image Editor (Online-Image-Editor.com)
A great quick and dependable site for converting images to PNG, making backgrounds transparent with a single click, and creating GIF's. It also offers a plethora of other image editing features like boarders, cropping, re-sizing, round corners, masks, merging, sharpening, and various text tools. Plenty of fun options here but some simple business applications as well.
3) Fotoflexer (Fotoflexer.com)
Fotoflexer offers a wide variety of options to build and customize your images from scratch. More advanced features like distortions, retouching, and laying help to set this apart from other free online platforms. You can also edit images from Photobucket, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and other existing websites. I have had it slow down or freeze on me on occasion (it doesn't save automatically) but overall it can be pretty effective. And I do love the variety of unique fonts that they offer which can't be found on most other free online image editors.
4) Online Convert (Online-Convert.com)
This is an effective, quick, and free site for converting images of all types to and from JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, SVG, TIFF, and many others. And images are just the tip of the iceberg on this versatile site that takes care of all your needs from Audio, Video, Powerpoints, Excel, Word, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The only downside in my opinion is the high number of ads displayed that can slow down the site a little bit.
5) Small PDF (SmallPDF.com)
Small PDF is another great converter website that allows you to convert various files to images, vice versa, or pull individual images from a large PDF file. Also helpful to split PDF's or merge them together. Quick and dependable with only 1 ad you have to deal with per page.
Another great new option I've been using is Desygner.
**Some other options you may want to take a look at are GIMP, Fotor, Lunapic, Pixlr, Piktochart, and PicMonkey just to name a few. And more are popping up every month it seems like. And while you're creating and editing these unique images, make sure to keep your new files secure.
I hope you enjoyed these 5 fantastic free image editing programs.
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Best Of Luck In Business To You All!
Michael J. Schiemer of Schiemer Consulting
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