Free graphic apps


Lurks: 15,289
Has anyone come across a good graphics and/or photo program that is freeware? I am a new computer tech for kids grade 4-7 at a school. Our budget was blown on new emacs but we dont have much in the way of graphic programs and no money right now to buy some. I would like to teach some basic design principals and have the kids design some logos and posters and basic things like that.

I know we can get trials of some apps but I need them to function longer then 30 days and not be too complicated to learn.
the GIMP

a free, open source (i think) Photoshop equivalent, developed for linux, i think, but now multiplatform.

it may be quite complex, and rather unintuitive (i have never used it) considering its background.
Well, graphics apps is a pretty broad term that covers a number of areas. That having been said, here are some options:
AppleWorks (preinstalled on all of your eMacs)
AppleWorks provides a very nice basic drawing function. And when I say basic that is relative to current professional apps of this type. AppleWorks is fully capable of producing professional quality work and has most of the features that people paid hundreds of dollars for in the early 90's. It is more than powerful enough for any of your needs... and you already have it.
CADintosh (nagware... free enough)
This is a little beyond illustration/drawing and into the area of drafting, but you may need to cover something like this and this is as good a tool as any.​
AppleWorks (preinstalled on all of your eMacs)
AppleWorks also provides a basic painting function. This is not up to the quality of high end painting apps, but (like the drawing function) is still able to do quite a lot. It is not up to image editing... but there are other apps for those things.​
Image Touch Up/Editing:
ToyViewer (Free)
ToyViewer is a free image editing app that is very unassuming when you first start using it, but very powerful none the less. I strongly suggest browsing the online manual (here) and looking at a page I wrote up on the app (here).
PixelNhance (should be preinstalled on your eMacs, and is free)
PixelNhance is an image touch up application that provides many of the most used features in Photoshop for color/quality correction... only with a much better interface. This makes it an ideal tool for learning how these functions work, and I often times will fire up PixelNhance rather than Photoshop because the interface is just that much better.
GraphicConverter (nagware... free enough)
This is a higher end (which is why it is not free) image editing app which does have a few more advanced features over some of the others.​
GIFfun (Free)
a nice GIF animation app that can help you create simple animations with your students. It's abilities cover enough to teach some of the basic concepts.​
Color Theory:
Apple's Color Panel (Free)
The very unassuming color panel used in most Cocoa applications is actually a very advanced tool for navigating color spaces. There is a great write up here, and I highly suggest experimenting with the tool yourself.​
I hope that at least gives you a starting point.
If you're looking for a Photoshop replacement, then the best solution on the open-source side is the GIMP. One downside is it uses X11 for it's window layer, so you'll have to install that if it isn't already (Panther, Tiger should have it, if not you can download Apple's for free). Another may be it's complexity...the Seashore idea may be better if you're just looking to teach the absolute basics.

The simplest install (assumes you already have is the gimp-app bundle from sourceforge. You can also use Fink to install it.
For DTP (posters, newsletters, etc.) you can try Scribus. There is an aqua port underway (pre-alpha), but you can also install it via Fink.