If you run a business, have a website, or use social media at all – so, in other words, just about everyone – you probably have to work with images from time to time. And you don’t have to be trained in Photoshop to be able to make some basic touch-ups and corrections to your photos. Free photo-editing tools have come a long way in the past few years, and today we’d like to show you how to use Photoscape, one of the most popular of these programs.
Let me say right off the bat that if you have a lot of previous photo-editing experience, or if you are looking for a free version of Photoshop, this is not it. Photoscape does not support layers, meaning you can’t selectively edit just one part of your photo such as an object or the background. For a more robust program with features that will appeal to graphic designers, we’ve heard good things about GIMP – though I haven’t tried it personally.
Photoscape does, however, have plenty of useful features that you can use to take your images from mediocre to eye-catching, even if you are a beginner. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use this program.
How to Use Photoscape: Getting Started
One note of caution: Be sure to download Photoscape from the original publisher’s site (photoscape.org), rather than a third party site, which can sometimes install malware on your computer along with the program you’re trying to download. (I learned this the hard way.)
From your start screen, you’ll see a “feature wheel” showing all of the various tools available. We’ll start with the editor, since this is where you’ll be spending most of your time.
Basic Photo Editing
Once you open the Editor tool, simply navigate to the photo you wish to edit using the sidebar. The Home tab at the bottom hosts your basic editing functions. From here you can adjust color and brightness, apply filters, or change your photo to sepia or grayscale. You can also utilize simple one-click corrections like Auto Contrast and Auto Level.
I love the “rotate arbitrary” feature, which is perfect for fixing those just-slightly crooked images.
Use the Object tab to add text, symbols, images or shapes to your photo. The Crop tab has handy features like a one-click option to “Save cropped area” as well as the ability to crop a round image.
Finally, the Tools tab has your basic photo-fixing functions such as red eye correction, the clone stamp (copy one part of the image and “stamp” it onto another part), and the color picker.
From the “feature wheel” on the start page, or along the top of the screen when you have the program open, you can click around to the other features offered in Photoscape. Here’s a quick rundown of what they do:
Viewer – Just a basic photo viewer. From here you can play a slide show, delete images, and view exif data for any of your photos.
Batch Editor – This tool is helpful for when you need to make the same adjustment to a large group of images. Click the “Add” button to add multiple photos to the editor, then you can resize, rotate, and add filters and frames. Click “Convert All,” choose the destination folder for your edited photos, and your edits will be applied to all the photos you selected.
Page – Choose one of the many templates and create a photo collage.
Combine – Put together two or more images in an up-and-down, side-to-side, or checkerboard format. This can be convenient for putting together multiple screenshots (for example, if you want to show a more complete picture of a webpage in a blog post or presentation).
Print – Manage your print setup from right within Photoscape, with options for the size and orientation of images, how many per page, and DPI.
Animated GIF – Create your own meme-worthy moving image by adding two or more photos, which the program will automatically turn into an quick mini slideshow.
What is your favorite photo editing tool? Are there other ones we should test out? Tweet us or leave a comment below …