The photo editing software which came with your digital camera may be all you ever need. However, if you want to go beyond the basics, more advanced programs are available for editing and organizing digital images.
Some programs are used solely to enhance and edit photos, though many include a browser menu for accessing and tagging photos. They offer powerful editing features and tools such as layer pallets, histograms and adjustment layers.
Photo organizing software does just what the name implies. It lets you organize, categorize and archive images. These programs usually include basic photo editing tools but they are usually not as robust as those found in dedicated editing programs.
Before you buy
Before you run out and buy a photo editing program, check the CD that came with your camera, scanner or printer. Sometimes it includes full versions of an older, but quite capable, editing program. Previous versions of software may be available and purchased inexpensively at online auctions.
Whether a beginner or pro or anything in between, there is a photo editing program to meet your needs. Some are free or moderately priced. Others cost hundreds of dollars.
Try software before buying
Some of the more popular commercial photo editing programs are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Elements and Paint Shop Photo Pro. You can download trial versions of photo editing software for free from the developer’s website.
Related reading: Which photo editing software?