Photo and Image Editors

As I visit web sites one thing that always get my attention is the amount of time it takes to complete a page download. With web sites using more images to display the content, it can at times take much longer than necessary to finish downloading a page.

The biggest problem with the sites that do use a lot of images on each page is the size of the images. Some who manage web sites don’t realize that images need to be resized outside of the browser to decrease the download size. Specifying the size of an image in the HTML code will only shrink the displaying of the image, not the actual size. To shrink the file sizes you will need an image editor. In this post I will list a few image editors that can be used to edit your images for your web site.

The Editors

There are many photo and images editors that are available. Some or expensive while others are free. While I haven’t used many editors, I will list those that I have come across. You may have your own preferred editor, but if you don’t you can start by looking at the ones listed below.

Adobe Photoshop (Site) This is the photo/image editor that all others are compared to. This is by far the most popular, but it is also one of the most expensive ($700 – $1000). For those serious about photo editing you can’t go wrong with Photoshop. It is so popular that the name has become a verb. How many times have you heard about a photo being “photoshopped”?

Corel Paint Shop Pro (Site) This is another popular editor and can pretty much do everything you need with images and photos. Compared to Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro is relatively cheap (less than $100). If you don’t have the money for Photoshop, and are looking for a great editor, then have a look at Paint Shop Pro.

GIMP (Site) If you prefer to look for free alternatives, then look no further than GIMP. The name is an acronym for the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Although it may be free, it is a very powerful photo and image editing software that can run on Unix, Windows, and Mac OSs.

IrfanView (Site) While it isn’t considered an editor, IrfanView does do some basic editing that may be all that you need. The biggest advantage of this tool is that it can view many of the common image formats, which is why it is considered a viewer more than an editor. Besides the viewer capability, the free pricetag is also a good reason to install this application.

While operating systems may come with a free photo/image editor, the ones listed above will provide you with more functionality and control than you could get with an operating system supplied tool. The prices of the tools above may vary, but each one is more than capable of editing your images to your liking.

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4 Responses to “Photo and Image Editors”

  1. I have a website and, due to budget restrictions, while I wanted Photoshop, the price was always too prohibitive … Searching for ‘free’ image editors is how I came across GIMP.

    I’ve used it extensively for all my images (including ‘animated images’) on my Chess website … For most webmasters, who want to create their own website graphics/images, the price for Photoshop seems waaaaaaaaaaaay overvalued when compared with GIMP.

    There is a slight learning curve, to get accustomed to where all the features are, but then it’s exactly the same for Photoshop … The only difference, here, is you’re not spending $700-$1000 for the privilege.

    GIMP Animated Images

    With animated images, you can get more content into a small space (good for adverts/promotions!) …

    You’ll find examples of my own animated images on the following webpages:

    Remember, each frame is a slightly different snapshot of your original image, which is what gives the optical illusion of animation in your images. All the Animated GIF does is quickly rotates each frame, to give the impression of animation.


    For creating Animated images, in order to control the speed that each frame is displayed, you need to manually adjust the frame speed (in ‘ms’, milliseconds).

    To do that, ‘right-click’ in the respective layers and and click ‘Edit Layer Attributes’.

    Then, you can name each layer, for example:

    frame 1 (300ms)
    frame 2 (1800ms)
    frame 3 (300ms)
    frame 52 (413ms)

    and so on.

    Then, when you’re ready to save the file, what I do is select the following menu options:

    1. Image > Mode > Indexed

    A dialog box will pop up at this point, I leave ‘Generate optimum palette’ selected from the ‘Colormap’ option, then click the ‘Convert’ button).

    2. File > Save As

    Aype your filename, when prompted, and add “.gif” (without the quotations) to the end of the filename … So, it could look like technicallyeasy-promo-1.gif

    Once you do that, you’ll be asked to whether you want to flatten the image or save it as an Animation. You, naturally, choose the latter option … and your newly created animated image will be saved as an Animate GIF.


    Make sure you save TWO files.

    Before you save the animated gif version (.gif), it’s vital you preserve all the frames/layers, so you can edit them easily later on …

    To do that, save with the same filename, but add “.xcf” (this is the GIMP’s own file extension).

    So, you’ll have two files, for the one animated image:

    1. technicallyeasy-promo-1.xcf (editable)
    2. technicallyeasy-promo-1.gif (layers flattened. But this is your animated image, which you’ll upload to your website).

    Now comes that learning curve, eh?

  2. nukeit says:

    Paint.NET is also a good contender for the freeware audience. It’s not quite as old as GIMP but it has many of the same features and works very well.
    It does require dot net framework, but I figure most windows users have that already 🙂

    Nothing beats Photoshop in the long run though. If you are even remotely serious about quality graphic design, you should invest in it.

  3. Lynne says:

    Thank you for posting this. I have been wanting a photo editor software and have asked for one as a Christmas present from my husband. This information will allow me to be more specific.

  4. Michael says:

    I use Photoshop and Corel Painter on a daily basis.

    The great thing about Photoshop is it has a “Save for web” feature which dramatically cuts file size while still being able to keep good image quality. Helps for when you need to add some images to your website or blog post.

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