Lower-cost alternative to Photoshop

Maybe once a month I need Photoshop. Since it is rare, the cost seems like a disproportionate amount of money to spend by my startup.

I think the tasks I need to achieve when I’m converting a design to HTML/CSS/images are:

  • opening a PSD that a graphic designer sent me
  • crop some images out of it, generally picking up the layer to have transparent backgrounds
  • measure distances
  • measure colors (RGB)
  • measure font and font sizes
  • maybe more that I’m not aware since I almost never do this kind of task

Is there some cheaper software for MacOSX that can do all of this so we don’t have to buy Photoshop?


If your needs are that simple, you can probably do what you need using the free, web-based and popular http://pixlr.com/ which supports PSD files.

It has a simpler interface and gentler learning curve for people familiar with photoshop than the obvious other free alternative GIMP (which you could always download any time you needed any more features or if you needed to work offline).

Not needing to install and learn the many quirks of GIMP would give you more time for motorized desk shopping 😉

If you wanted a more photoshop-like offline option, Photoshop Elements might1 cover your needs and in the past I’ve found it’s enough for basic web design work. It sometimes comes free with handy – and ergonomic 😉 – products such as some Wacom Bamboo drawing tablets.

1 It can’t turn individual layers on and off if they are inside a group though.

Source : Link , Question Author : pupeno , Answer Author : Community

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