In the world of graphics applications, many freeware programs such as Gimp, Irfanview, and Paint.net are getting a lot of widespread acclaim.
However, contrary to popular belief, these are not the only highly functional image editors available for free use; often lost in the shuffle is Photo Filtre 6 (http://photofiltre.free.fr/), a terrific program that has been free for some time now.
But what exactly is Photo Filtre? It is an image editing and paint program with a surprising number of additional features that puts it a step above your average freeware graphics application. With it, you can apply filters to your photographs, export images in a wide variety of formats (png, gif, jpg), turn them into wallpapers or icons, and even perform a batch conversion in case you need to edit many images at once. As for painting, Photo Filtre comes with a small collection of standard drawing, painting, and selection tools, including airbrush, clone, text, stamp, and smudge. Although the tools aren’t as comprehensive as what you would get in a high end program, they are still nothing to sneeze at, since they are heads and shoulders above what any user would get in MS Paint.
Besides its functionality, one of the things that really distinguishes Photo Filtre from the rest of the pack is its usability. In contrast to other freeware graphics programs that go by a “more is more” philosophy”, the GUI is free of clutter. There is no bevy of overlapping, floating palettes crowding the canvas and overwhelming the user in the process. There is just one palette docked to the right-hand side of the program. On top of that, the GUI is also highly intuitive, making Photo Filtre a very pleasant and easy editor to learn and use.
If there’s any downside to this program, it’s that it doesn’t support layers. However, there are ways around this limitation, since the program has options that allow you to manipulate the properties of a pasted image before permanently fixing it to the canvas. Photo Filtre also doesn’t support Photoshop plugins; however, the program has its own set of plugins available for users (which are available at the official download site). It also supports 8bf filters. With that being said, Photo Filtre may not exactly be the answer to your prayers in finding the closest thing to Photoshop in the world of freeware.
Nevertheless, it is still an excellent, easy to use program that deserves to be as recognized as Gimp, Irfanview, and Paint.net. Hopefully, as more people learn about it, it will finally get its much needed due.