Recently we tested out an easy to use image editor called Zzpaint which we liked even though it was a relatively simple program.
Today, I’m going to look at LazPaint which is a program that is more advanced.
LazPaint is an open source raster graphics editor that is available across multiple platforms (Windows, macOS and Linux). I wouldn’t call it a Photoshop alternative (nothing is, in my opinion), or even a GIMP alternative as it isn’t a vector editor. Instead, it is targeted as a replacement for Paint.net, PaintBrush and similar programs.
The interface of LazPaint, while intimidating at first glance, is not too difficult to get used to. A learning curve does exist, but if you just want to perform some basic edits you can pick it up and do them just fine in a matter of minutes. The menu bar and toolbar on the top offer access to basic and advanced options, and the canvas has a checkerboard pattern.
The drawing and editing tools are located on the left side-bar and the available options include a panning tool, eye-dropper (color picker), pen, brush, eraser, flood tool, clone tool, drawing shapes, text, selection tools, and more.
Nearly any option is accessible from the menu bar as well and you have keyboard shortcuts to make things easier. Drawing shapes is a breeze and you can pull on the edges displayed to adjust the size precisely. The gradient tool colorizes the picture using the color you pick and can be used for some cool effects.
LazPaint has a Dark Theme that you can enable from the View menu. You can zoom in/out, toggle all panels (layers, color, image list, etc) for a distraction-free experience.
The Image menu can be used to set transparency, adjust the canvas size and more, while the Colors menu houses options to Normalize, Grayscale, Colorize, Posterize, set the brightness and contrast. In case you were wondering where the blur tools are, you can access them from the Filter menu along with options to sharpen, smooth, noise reduction, emboss, etc. Just play around with it and you can transform normal images into stunning ones.
The Render menu can be used for adding patterns like wood, metal floor, plastic. It even has Cloud and Rain renders which makes for a very cool animated effect.
The image browser opens in a pop-up window that hides the main interface temporarily. The window displays a thumbnail preview of the pictures along with the file type, size and modification date.
You can change the folder using the address bar at the top. It lagged a bit when I opened folders with a lot of pictures. I found this slightly annoying, but it’s not like you’re going to use this for more than a few seconds. But if that bothers you, the image browser can be disabled which makes LazPaint use Windows Explorer instead.
LazPaint supports layers which you can access from the window on the right. It lets you rasterize layers, import a layer from a file, duplicate a layer, merge layers and perform other operations. It also has a lot of blend options to choose from. The Color window lets you pick a shade using the RGB wheel, and also displays the selected color (when using the color-picker). You can then use these with other tools such as the gradient renderer.
Note: The Color and Layer windows are floating windows, and can be placed outside the interface (in case you’re using it in windowed mode, or multi-monitor setups).
You can save images edited in LazPaint in a lot of formats including BMP, JPG, JPEG, TIF, TIFF, GIF (animated), TGA, ORA, oXo, LZP (raster layer formats). The program is written in Lazarus and hence the name, LazPaint. It is available in a portable version, and its settings are saved in an INI file.
LazPaint is a well designed image editor for all major desktop operating systems that offers a good range of features.
Now You: Which image editor do you use, and why?
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