Whether you're on vacation, at a wedding or just enjoying some family time, all too often, pictures don't do memories justice. The right photo-editing software can take your snapshots from "meh" to mesmerizing.
Sure, there are free apps out there that can give your pictures a cool effect or filter, but full-featured photo-editing tools give you more control over details in your images. Better yet, a good premium suite can let you correct problems such as overexposure, inaccurate white balance or offending glare and blemishes. You should also pick a photo editor that's easy to use but still offers plenty of advanced features.
While industry powerhouse Adobe has the most recognized program in the market, many other brands offer as many features — if not more — at a fraction of the cost. Our sister site TopTenREVIEWS rounded up the best photo-editing software so you can make an informed buying decision. Here are TopTenREVIEWS' top three picks.
You want your creations to be appreciated across all platforms, but some devices or programs will only support specific image types, such as PNG or JPEG. Make sure the software you're considering can both read and export using all of the most important formats, especially RAW and TIFF.
Community and Plugins
Programs such as Photoshop Elements 12 and PaintShop Pro X6 support external plugins, such as brushes or filters, so you can expand your library of instruments. Searching Google for "Photoshop Brushes" brings up hundreds of popular third-party or fan-made downloads, thanks to a robust community. Before buying, check to see if the program you're considering supports external plugins or has a strong online presence.
Amount of Assets Included
Most photo-editing programs come with some fonts, brushes and filters. Photoshop Elements 12 bundles 300 fonts and 92 creative filters, while PhotoPlus X6 packs 216 fonts and 62 filters. PaintShop Pro X6 boasts 192 filters and 190 fonts. Having these assets will give you much more creative freedom.
Budding photography enthusiasts need a great companion for their camera or smartphone camera that will perfect the hundreds of shots they take in all sorts of conditions. With the right photo-editing software, you can tweak and enhance your photos to make those memories worth printing and sharing.