A few years ago I found myself in need of a simple image editing software program. Photoshop would have been far too complex and I really didn't want to pay a few hundred dollars for the software.
I stumbled upon great application named SnagIt!. For the cost of about $40 this app has been a great fit for my needs. It has a easy to use image editor. It does screen capturer in regular, scrolling, and video. The batch image editor and web page photo album creator are an added bonus. I have used this program many times.
Ahh, but my image editing needs have now changed. I often find myself having to edit a Photoshop .psd file that has layers. The one big limitation that I have run into with my copy of SnagIt 7 is that it doesn't do layered images. Yeah, I can open a .psd file, but I cannot see the layers. Maybe they added this capability along the way, but I don't see it touted in the SnagIt 8.1 features list.
To solve my layer issue, I turned to GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). This is a fantastic program that also happens to be free. It took a little bit to get used to moving around in GIMP, but beyond that let me just say, "Wow". This app lets me wander through a multi-layer Photoshop image and edit away happily. Great program.
If you should happen to find yourself installing GIMP, make sure that you also download the GIMP Help File. It is a separate download that is not included with the download of the GIMP executable.