Free software for digital imaging and photography

Free software packages for digital photographers, web designers and graphic artists

Think there's no such thing as a free lunch? I beg to differ: There's a lot of free software, or freeware, available on the web and quite an amazing selection is specifically related to digital imaging. And a lot of it is very good indeed. Herewith is my selection (by no means exhaustive) of free software for photography and digital imaging. (Most of is is Windows only, but Mac users will still find a couple of gems in here, like Photoshop plug-ins.) Beginning with my four favorites...

Top Picks: Free applications I use most:

FastStone - FastStone Image Viewer is amazing. It's not just one of the best freeware imaging software apps, it's one of the best freeware apps of any kind. It will display almost any image format, including JPEG, TIFF, GIF, PSD and over a dozen more, most of which you've never heard of... and digital camera raw files. It will convert images into other formats. Resize, resample (change color depth), rotate and do other basic adjustments like red-eye reduction, contrast adjustment, sharpening and more. It will apply changes images in batches, turning hours of work into a few clicks of effort. It'll run automatic slide shows. It will let you browse with its powerful thumbnail viewer — similar to Adobe Bridge but (cough) more stable. There's really too much to list. Get it now if you don't already have it.

Web Album Generator - Whenever I need to put up a web page of photos quickly, Web Album Generator is the software I reach for. It creates pages with a clean design, valid HTML code (please pay attention, Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom!) and lets you easily insert titles, captions and descriptions of each image. My only quibble is that it has only one directory structure for the sites it builds: Putting the HTML pages, thumbnails and large images all in one directory. This certainly makes things quick and easy, but if prevents you from using a robots.txt file to keep search engines oway from your large images (while allowing them to index your HTML pages). It's a small point and probably insignificant to most users. For a basic photo page generator that's FREE, this rocks.

CK Rename - Versatile, configurable, batch renaming of files. Any kind of files. If you maintain your own file naming system for your digital images, this little application can be a huge time saver. Yes, I have several other applications with batch renaming functionality built in (Adobe Lightroom being just one), but they're all clunky and difficult to use in comparison to CK Rename.

EaseUS Todo Backup - If you don't have your hard drive backed up... stop reading this now and do it before reading another word. Imagine losing every single photo you have saved. Yeah. That's bad.

Despite its name, this is much more than backup software. It includes the best, easiest disk partitioning and formating I've ever used — and that includes software I paid good money for.

More free software applications:

Image Editing:

Non-Imaging Utilities:

Digital Camera Utilities:

Image File Viewers & Organizers:

Print & Web Publishing:


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Copyright © Mark Roberts