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Free Photoshop-Compatible Tools


         means recently added.

                means that the software is available for the Macintosh.

                means that the software is available for Windows.

      *** means very useful

      ** means useful

      *means less useful

      No star means that it wasn't tested yet.

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Serif PhotoPlus 6 ***
... is a free and fully functional graphics application that also runs Photoshop filter plugins.

Irfan View ***
... is a free-for-personal-use viewer and editor that knows tons of image formats. Version 3.85 of IrfanView now supports Photoshop-compatible plugins, also known as 8BF files. To use 8BF plugins run IrfanView and go to Image > Effects > Adobe 8BF filters or simply press Ctrl + K. To add some filters, press the "Add 8BF filters" button and select a plugin folder.

XnView *** (Linux)
... is a utility (for non-commercial use) for viewing and converting graphics files. It supports more than 340 graphic formats in reading and 40 in writing and supports 36 languages. So if you aren't happy with an image viewer in English language or want to convert and view a very exotic image format, XnView should be your choice. Additionally XnView features Multipage TIFF, Animated GIF and Animated ICO support as well as basic image manipulation functions like Resize, Copy/Cut/Crop, adjusting brightness and contrast, modifying color depth and simple filters and effects. It also let you use Photoshop plugins.

Ultimate FX ***
... can run Photoshop-compatible plugins and includes many nice image effects. It isn't officially available anymore, but you may still find it on some download sites.

Deep Paint 2 ***
... is a free painting application with a lot of brush tools that also supports Photoshop plugins.

imageN **
... is freeware image editing application that can use Photoshop-compatible plugins. It needs to fully scan your hard drives before it displays plugins.

Microsoft Expression 3.3 **
... is a free vector, drawing and illustration tool for Macintosh. It was formerly available from Creature House.

SigmaPi NiGulp **
Version 1.5 and higher lets you run Photoshop plugins.

.... lets you run Photoshop filter plugins.

VCW Vicman's Photo Editor *
Version 6.9 and higher support filter plugins, but dragging the preview may causes a crash for some plugins.

GIMP 2, GIMP 2 for Windows *
... is the most popular open source image editing application. GIMP 2 is available for Unix-based systems, Windows and MacOS X. The user interface is now easier to use and the dialog boxes are grouped together in a tabbed interface. Additionally the Windows Version finally seems to work relatively stable now. To make it support Photoshop plugin you need to install an additional compoment, but some Photoshop plugins won't work with it.

Plugin Commander Light *

... lets you organize, preview, convert and apply your plugins. The free Light Version only runs Filter Factory plugins, but the commercial version executes all kinds of Photoshop filter plugins.

PluginMaster *

...is an image editor for Windows featuring a plugin manager for Photoshop-compatible plugins. The plugin manager of Plugin Master looks for all plugins installed on your computer and allows you to organize, filter and manage your plugins and create custom plugin menus in the PluginMaster image editor.

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Copyright (c) 2000 - 2009 by Harald Heim