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Sucks not having PSP or Photoshop, doesn't it? Without these popular programs, you can't make cool effects for your website-- or so you would think. But as it's Webdesigner-Freebie's mission to help those of you who don't have access to high-end software, we have pulled together a list of some of the best graphics freebies on the net-- stuff so terrific, in fact, that in some cases they can even match what Photoshop and PSP can do! Don't believe it? Then read on!

Many people think that to create PSP-style graphics without the budget means only satisfying themselves with the default paint program that comes bundled with their computers or scanners. Not so. Incrediby enough, there are some outstanding freebies that actually allow you to make images that match what PSP and Photoshop can do. Below is a list of the choicest picks, and all free, with no strings attached.

PIXIA | rating: 5.0 stars | download
Pixia is definitely one of the internet's best-kept secrets, and is so good, it's almost criminal that it's being given away. You can paint, draw, alter images with a number of cool filters, and mimic many PSP/ Photoshop effects, since the program is Photoshop plug-in compatible. As with all freeware programs, though, there are some limitations: for example, it doesn't support the .gif format. Nevertheless, it's a great freebie to own, and-- used in conjunction with other programs-- will enable you to make some incredible graphics.

SERIF DRAW PLUS 4 | rating: 4.5 stars | download
SERIF PHOTO PLUS 5.5 | rating: 5.0 stars | download
Serif is the maker of several "clones" of popular drawing and graphics-editing programs. To gain users, this company started doing something unusual-- giving away earlier versions of its software for free on the site, Free Serif Software. It has many products, but the two most noticeable ones are Draw Plus 4.0 and PhotoPlus 5.5. Draw Plus is definitely worth looking into if you want to create vector-based graphics and animation. You can create blends, distort text, and make transparent fades. Particularly great is a feature that allows you to draw numerous helpful shapes, like clocks, arrows, and grids.

Photo Plus 5.5 is just as useful and amazing. Besides allowing you to edit images, this software also comes with image mapping and image slicing capabilities-- a must have for any webmaster. The program comes free, but doesn't support all formats. To support most formats, you can get the CD version for $2.95. If you're grumbling at that, don't-- the small fee is worth every penny.

ULTIMATE FX | rating: 4.0 stars | download
ULTIMATE PAINT | rating: 3.5 stars | download
Finally, we come to two more great graphics freeware, both made by the same company, Megalux. Ultimate Paint and Ultimate FX are two programs that come with numerous filters allowing you to add bevels, wave distortions, color changes, and more to your pics. Ultimate FX is particularly great, because it has an option allowing you to manipulate layers, a feature that is essential for more advanced image creation. All in all, two great finds that are worth looking into.

Of course, with these programs, you can't do everything you would like to do with PSP or Photoshop, but with a bit of multi-tasking and ingenuity you can do wonders with them. Besides, even if you can't exactly achieve the effects you would like, still, it beats having to use MsPaint any day. So check out these programs today-- you won't regret it!

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