Basic Image Creation & Editing – Simplified!
I often get asked if there is a good alternative to Photoshop for the creation and editing of blog images.
Photoshop is terribly pricey for doing little things here and there… and truth be told I’m not particularly good with it either!
When it comes to doing minor editing, cropping, and resizing of images…. or the making of small basic graphics to use in my blog posts… my favorite standby is Paint.net!
Now, lets be real… it lacks a lot of the advanced image manipulation tools that Photoshop has (and it can’t open Photoshop’s .psd files) but generally speaking, on a day to day basis, I don’t NEED all those advanced tools!
Plus, the price tag of FREE is hard to beat!
Because I’m not skilled with Photoshop’s advanced tools, I can remove the background from a photo in half the time with paint.net and its “magic wand” compared to what it would take me in Photoshop! (I do personally have Photoshop too as I often have to work on .psd files for clients, but it is not something I open even weekly.)
There is a MUCH more comprehensive, feature rich alternative to Photoshop that is also free and open-source, called “The Gimp” but I have never had the patience for the learning curve on that software. While I may be technical, I’m not an artist in the visual sense, and spending hours learning a software just to do some basic things that I can do in 10 minutes in Paint.net just does NOT inspire me!
Because I like my blog images to be square before I include them (so that when the thumbnails are created they remain centered), the tool I use almost every time I write a post, as part of Paint.net is Image -> Canvas Size (to make it square) and the Image -> Resize (if I want to make it 150×150 after I’ve made it square). I also use it to quickly add text to images or to remove a portion of an image using the paintbrush or erase.
Lifehacker.com is a site dedicated to things that make life smoother and more efficient… and they say “Paint.net is just about perfect“…. and I have to agree!
What do you find most challenging about dealing with your blog graphics on a daily basis? What do you wish were simpler? Have you found any other tools that simplify the headaches of image use in blogging? I hope you’ll share your thoughts below in the comment box!
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