21 Image Editing Software For Mac Besides PhotoshopJune 8th, 2009
Mac does not come with an image editing software, your search for an image editing software on the Mac need not end with Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is the de facto standard in image editing software and is build for graphics professional. If you plan for a graphics design related career, it is a worthwhile investment to pick up and learn Photoshop. If your image editing requirement is somewhat moderate, the following are the others image editing software on the Mac that might suit your need at a cheaper cost. Some of the listed software are free and open source.
Build for Mac, this image editing software is designed with simplicity in mind. It has support for layers, text and vector type, filters and web export.
Photo and image editing software that targets home and semi-pro users, using the “Photoshop” name but is entirely different product.
Adobe Fireworks combines image editing with vector graphics editing in a single software. It was originally developed by Macromedia (which Adobe acquired in 2005) targeting web designers.
Apple Aperture is similar to iPhoto but targets the pro photography market.
ArtRage comes in a free Starter Edition with 8 painting tools. ArtRage Full Edition is at $25 and contains four new paint tools, multiple layers, stencils and rulers etc.
CinePaint is a fork of GIMP in 1998 and is free and open source. It is used mainly for painting and retouching bitmap frames of movie film, and is used by film such as The Last Samurai, Stuart Little. It supports 16-bit color editing, HDR and high fidelity image file types such as DPX and OpenEXR.
Painter was initially developed for the Mac but now is also available for Windows. A scaled down Corel Painter Essential is available for home user.
8. Draw It
DrawIt is a vector editing tool with support for bitmap image and filters. Editing is completely non-destructive.
Gimp is the open source image editing software from GNU. However it requires the X11 windowing environment which is not installed by default. Apple’s X11 is on the “Optional Installs” package on the OS X install disk.
One major complain about GIMP is its user interface, which many find it complex. GIMPShop is a modification of GIMP to replicate the look and feel of Adobe Photoshop.
GraphicConverter is a shareware graphics convertor software with basic picture editing, slideshow and batch conversion functions.
GraphicDesignerToolbox is build specially for web designer. It includes building blocks to quickly create web design assets such as buttons, textures, logos, text and icons.
ImageWell is build for quick and easy image editing. Use ImageWell for quick image resize, crop, watermark and edit, and then easily export the image to the web or email. You can batch convert large number of images with template feature, and image editing includes adding a drop shadow and a shaped border to your photos.
Apple iPhoto is viewed more as a photo management software rather for image editing, but it has built-in tools for enhancing and editing photos and images.
Designed for Mac with an easy-to-use one-window interface, no more confusion due to multiple palettes windows. Iris supports layer editing, fully customization of brushes and tools, and import and export a wide range of file formats.
15. Naked Light
Naked Light is a non-destructive image editing software, original image is stored safely. It uses a concept of ‘node’ as unit of editing instead of the commonly used layers. You can mix and match images with different resolutions, color spaces, and pixel aspect ratios in the same composition.
PhotoLine is a shareware image editing tool available for both Windows and Mac. It has support for 16bit per channel, lossless image format, creating flash and gif animations, slideshow and batch conversion.
The first version of Pixel was written for DOS, today Pixel runs on many platforms including Windows, Linux, BeOS and FreeBSD.
This a not a Photoshop alternative, but is a competitor for value as it achieves 70% what Photoshop does at $59 dollars. It is one of the better paid image editing apps for Mac.
Pixen is a free image editor for pixel artists build with Mac’s Aqua+Cocoa interface. “Pixen is like a very powerful MSPaint or a simpler, more agile Photoshop.”
Seashore is an open source image editor which uses GIMP’s native XCF file format. It is written using Cocoa API for native Mac look and feel and the software is at beta stage. We are not certain if this open source project is actively being developed. The current version 0.1.9 was released in Apr 2007 but there were development activities on SourceForge about 3 weeks ago.
TuxPaint is a free and open source image editor designed to be usable by children as young as 3 years of age. The brightly-colored user interface utilizes icons and audible feedback to help explain how the software works and to engage children.