Everyday Open Source Adobe Alternatives

The two Adobe apps I most run into are Acrobat Reader and Photoshop. I don't use either one. Instead, I use these…

October 31, 2017

Adobe Acrobat Reader Replacement

I try it every so often, and end up sticking with the open source adobe alternatives I’ve already found. Whenever I’m stuck with a Windows machine, is the same thing I use in Linux — Evince. No crazy processes that need to run when the PC is booting, or resource intensive daemons lurking in the background… this puppy just opens PDF files, and gets out of the way when I close them. The Evince Downloads page is where you can grab a copy.


Adobe Photoshop Replacement

GIMP is one of the first open source apps I used. I had a pirated copy of Photoshop 6 that I used for some digital art lessons. But I found GIMP a few weeks after pirating Photoshop 7, and haven’t looked back. I was initially using it to draw tatoos (long story) and then kind of moved into just regular image editing. Tablet support (as in Wacom Graphire tablet, not Android or iPad) has improved enough in Linux that I’m able to do fairly realistic landscapes in the style of Bob Ross, but only when I’ve practiced. It’s a lot less messy than oil or acrylic…

Get a free copy on GIMP’s download page and have a ball. There’s a handy book called Grokking the GIMP, but I haven’t looked at it in a few years, and can’t say for sure if it’s been keeping up with the GIMP releases. There is a plethora of tutorials out there though, just search for whatever you’re trying to do – drop shadow text is one I find myself hunting for. There are actually a ton of tutorials right on gimp.org.

I’ve actually got a walkthrough that covers Creating Product Images for Your Website With GIMP if your interested, with one on the way about turning multi layered GIMP images into multi page PDFs. I’ve just got to get the lead out and finish some screenshots.

Other Open Source Adobe Alternatives

These were some of what got me into open source to begin with. Actually, OpenOffice’s export to pdf (around 2001) was what got me really moving toward open source and Linux. I’ve gotten most used to OpenOffice (and LibreOffice), Evince, and GIMP. There are also some others I’ve found along the way. Sumatra is a lightweight pdf reader. Krita is another alternative to Photoshop and GIMP. But the three I mentioned work in Windows. That makes it handy for people who aren’t quite ready to go for broke and cross over to ALL open source computing.

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