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Free Graphics Programs

Here's a roundup of the Web's best free graphics software. Whether you're a professional artist or someone who's just wanting to learn about computer graphics, you'll find a program to fit your needs below. Some of these programs will help you create graphics; others will help you organize the image files on your hard drive. If you're a Web page designer or you're doing business presentations or you just would like to create some cool 3D art, you'll find freeware programs here that can assist you.
If you're in too big a hurry to create your own graphics, be sure to check out TheFreeSite.com's Free Graphics section, a roundup of the Web's top resources for finding free clipart, Web page graphics and other images.

Paint.NET

Do you need a graphics editing program, but can't afford Adobe Photoshop? The next best thing may well be Paint.NET, an excellent free image and photo editing program. Paint.NET offers an intuitive user interface, with support for layers. It features a big variety of powerful tools. (For Windows).

Meazure

Have you ever needed to know the dimensions of a window on your screen, or the size of an image? Meazure is a useful freeware screen measurement, magnification and capture tool. It's easy to use and offers loads of features. (For Windows).

POV-Ray

POV-Ray (the Persistence of Vision Raytracer) is a high-quality, free program for creating sophisticated 3-D graphics. Has a steep learning curve, but is worth the time you invest in it, if you're serious about learning about ray-traced graphics. Available for Windows, DOS, Mac and Linux.

IrfanView

One of the handiest freeware programs around, this multimedia and graphics viewer can handle any type of file you throw at it: from GIFs to Real Audio to MP3 to Adobe Photoshop files, as well as a lot of obscure formats. (For Windows).

Alice

Are you interested in 3D graphics, but find the whole process too involved and complicated for a novice? Then check out Alice. It's a free 3D "Interactive Graphics Programming Environment." Alice can be used for creating many types of applications, including interactive games, animations and virtual reality environments. It has a moderately steep learning curve. Basically, if you've messed around with BASIC before or built a spreadsheet, you can handle Alice. (For Windows).

Icon Viewer

The only freeware program of its kind, this handy utility lets you view all of the icons on your computer that are contained in an EXE, DLL, ICO or ICL file. You can also compare icon files to determine whether they're identical or not, and search a directory for duplicates of an icon. (For Windows).