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Even though smartphones make it easy to take lots of great photos, sometimes those photos need to be cropped or touched up in order to make your district’s message shine when you use them for marketing purposes.

Here are some options ranging from free to inexpensive (at least compared to Photoshop.)


This cool tool is fully functional in a browser and there is nothing to download or install. It provides full editing capabilities as well as slick design templates (like Canva below.) As they say, “more design templates for your inspiration and easy to get the design you want ” Working with it is super simple. This has become my new “go to” tool for editing. And since this is browser-based, it’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

Take it a step further by going with their Pro version for only $40/year for advanced editing features, online project storage, and a slew of other perks. And yes, if you want, you can get a Windows version to download and install. But I like the freedom of working on the go which sometimes means I’m on my laptop and sometimes I’m on my work laptop.


Another download and install, Gimp is a powerful photo editor but falls short of Photoshop in a number of ways. For example, it only uses RGB and doesn’t support CYMK. I also found Photoshop (and Affinity Photo … see below) to be a bit more intuitive than Gimp. Still, it’s not too difficult and I have friends who love it. And, it’s free.

It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


An online tool, Canva is more of a design application than an editor. It helps you create attractive layouts that are pre-sized for social media. There is a paid version with more features but the free version has served me well.

Affinity Photo

This is one of my new favorites. It’s is a download and install application that I find to be a good replacement for Photoshop. I use Photoshop CS5 and Affinity Photo. The more I use Affinity, the more I like it. The learning curve is simple and there are lots of videos on YouTube. The only drawback when compared to the other applications on this list is that Affinity costs $49.99 USD.

It is available for Mac and Windows.

FastStone Image Viewer

This tool is less of a true editor but it makes cropping, resizing, and renaming files a breeze. It will also convert files from one type to another. I frequently use this after a conference to take all of my files and rename them with the name of the conference (eg, Fall 2017 Conf 0001.jpg, Fall 2017 Conference 0002.jpg, etc.)