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Photoshop alternatives?

I am a web designer.  While I can deal with graphics, I do not advertise myself as a graphic designer.

Many of my clients hire independent graphic artists that create websites using PhotoShop.  They send over the website as a PSD file, and I have to then make it work. Also, I have some clients that have purchased pre-made templates that come with PSD files in case we want to do further cusotmizations.

I do not own Photoshop, and in the past I have used Microsoft PhotoDraw, which is now about 7 years old (Microsoft no longer updates or supports this product). I've looked at the new microsoft express graphic designer, but it is currently a bit too complicated for me (perhaps if I took a course, but I am not prepared to do that right now).

I need to be able to open these PSD files and create an efficient website from it. Are there any new alternatives out there that are relatively easy to use, and don't cost hundreds of dollars?

I could ask the graphic artist to do this, but they sometimes charge more than I do for this task.  Also, I asked the artist to do it on one project, and he sent me a webpage with about 100 individual graphical elements - it was the most ridiculously ineffiicent page I have ever seen (and as a graphic artist, he probably didn't realize the problem).  Therefore, I would like to not consider this as an option.

If you suggest that buying the full-blown version of photoshop is the only alternative, then how does one get up-to-speed on it quickly and easily.

Thank you.
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Lev Seltzer
Asked:
Lev Seltzer
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2 Solutions
 
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You could try Photoshop Elements.

For free, you could try GIMP - www.gimp.org

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neutron7Commented:
There is an open source alternative to photoshop called "the gimp" it can open PSD files

http://www.gimp.org/
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neutron7Commented:
oops sorry i didn't see the previous poster already mentioned it.
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aplimediaCommented:
Hi WEBuilder,

You can try fireworks which is specifically for web design... however, as a webdesigner I strongly urge you the bite the bullet and get into Photoshop. Ok, it is more complex... more challenging... I would say it even has a steeper learning curve, but once you climb it you are looking down on everybody else ;-)

You only need to learn it once and for the rest of your career you will be using the industry standard, cutting edge image and photo tool.

As to how long... not as long as you think. Buy the PhotoShop bible, and use the plethra of tutorials, many with video feeds. Take a week or so to learn the basics, and you will be off.

And we are always here :-)

Aplimedia
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