Photoshop still reigns supreme as the professional image editor of choice, but for users who don't want to shell out that much money and are willing to make a few compromises on design and features, free alternatives abound. Photobie is one of the better free image editors we've tried. It's not perfect, but for users seeking a program that can handle layers and other more advanced features, it's worth checking out.
Photobie has a straightforward interface that will look familiar to anyone who's used an image editor before. A selection of palettes, toolbars, and menus give users access to the program's major features. Users who are just getting started using image editors are going to have to spend some time learning how things work, but fortunately, the Photobie Web site features a wide assortment of documentation, including video tutorials. We did find ourselves wishing for a traditional Help file or user manual, but we weren't able to open these; clicking the menu item for the user manual opened an empty browser window that never loaded anything. We liked that Photobie comes with a variety of fairly standard image-editing tools -- cropping, color adjustments, and so on -- but it also has a few interesting extras, such as the ability to create animated GIFs and add 3D effects. The program also makes it easy to take screen captures and quickly import them for editing, and it supports the use of 8bf plug-ins, which experienced Photoshop users will appreciate. Overall, we found Photobie to be a decent option for users in need of a free photo editor with features that go a bit beyond the basics.
Photobie installs a desktop icon without asking and leaves a folder behind upon removal.