How to make working with images less horrible Part 2: Easy image editing for PCs and Macs

So now that weve gone over how to choose image file types and resolutions, lets talk about how we actually edit those images (without the expensive software) so that we can use them on a website. For this article, Im going to avoid talking about Photoshop. Photoshop is great software we use it every day it’s professional and it’s expensive. We’re discussing consumer-level editing (and pricing) for those of you out there that just need something quick and dirty to get the job done.

Did you miss Part 1: File Types and Resolution? Here it is!??

First Im going to go over some options that are preinstalled on your computer, and then well talk about some third party alternatives that might give you a little more flexibility.

 

Lets talk about PCs first

This section is just going over some options for editing photos that are preinstalled into different versions of Windows.

Windows Live Photo Gallery >
If youre using a PC running windows 7 (the latest Windows version), there is a software built in called Windows Live Photo Gallery and it should be preinstalled on your computer. This software gives you the ability to do some basic editing of photos like cropping, adjusting the color, removing red eye and a few other nifty things. Heres a tutorial of how to edit using it.

Windows Media Center >
If youre using a PC running Windows Vista, the penultimate release of Windows, you should have a program called Windows Media Center. In there you should be able to crop pictures and make a few other small adjustments. Its not going to be quite as advanced as the Windows Live Photo Gallery on Windows 7, but its better than nothing. Heres a tutorial of how to edit using Windows Media Center.

Microsoft Paint >
For those poor souls out there still using Windows XP, your best preinstalled option for photo editing is MS Paint. If nothing else, you can crop images and save them as different file types. Just dont save them as BMPs, those are useless to anything but Windows, and I think its the default file type. Heres a tutorial of how to edit using MS Paint (kind of).

Now on to the Macs

This section is just going over some options for editing photos that are preinstalled into the Mac OS.

iPhoto >
iPhoto is part of Apples iLife suite which comes preinstalled on all new Macs. iPhoto gives you the ability to do some basic editing of photos like cropping, adjusting the color, removing red eye and more. Its easy to use but doesnt have a lot of file type options. Heres a tutorial of how to edit using iPhoto.

Preview >
Preview gives you the ability to crop and resize phots as well as edit the resolution and save in at least a couple different file formats. Heres a tutorial.

Some third-party image editing options

Gimp >
Gimp is a pretty full-featured image editor, similar to Photoshop, but entirely free to download and use. Its advanced, but its well-documented and has a wide user base so help is usually available from other users.

Photoshop Elements >
This is a great consumer-level alternative to Photoshop. Its created by Adobe also, but the price point is much lower and the software is much simpler than Photoshop. At a $100 (vs. Photoshops $700) price tag, its a great software that has editing and saving functions at a much higher level than youd get with the preinstalled softwares.

So thats it, now hopefully youll be able to edit images, resize them for the web if needed, and not wonder, WHAT AM I DOING?! Of course, if you get stuck you can always contact us!

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