back to article Adobe opens Photoshop for freetards

Adobe today launched a free version of Photoshop online. Called Photoshop Express, the software has many of the basic functions of its paid-for cousin. Users will be able to upload photos to the Photoshop Express site, edit them and then store them online. Features include airbrushing (particularly useful for celebrity models …


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  1. Darren B

    Photoshop Album?

    Isn't this "editing" what us freetards can do with Photoshop Album Starter Edition?

    I know it can fix Red Eye and allows resize, but I am unsure if it allows airbrishing. It also catalogues your pictures just like Picasa.

  2. MaxRock

    Feature missing

    An important feature you're forgetting is: Signing the rights of the pictures over to Adobe.

  3. Miami Mike

    Proud to be a freetard

    I'm proud to be a Freetard. I used to be a Paytard, bought crappy software for lots of money, it never worked right, there was always a "new version" which was always more money and still didn't work . . . my favorite was a combination scanner and software way back when this stuff was new, just $10K for the whole setup, claimed 96% accuracy - and a week later, when I asked for a second demo (preparing to buy the system), heard "Oh, we don't support that any more, it is discontinued." And if I had bought it a week earlier, I'd have been out $10k.

    Nah, I'll take Freetard software, Firefox, Thunderbird, Picasa, Open Office, Linux, that way I can do my work and KEEP the money I earn thereby instead of spending it on new software which doesn't work any better than the old software (which I paid for also.) Surprise, surprise, I bought my computers to benefit myself, not for the benefit of the software vendors. Why the **** should I pay for something when I can get better stuff for free?

    So go ahead and call me a "freetard" - I'll be laughing all the way to the bank, that's ME driving the Porsche, not some incompetent schmuck hustling the crap software du jour for a company which will be out of business next week anyway.

  4. Morely Dotes

    Is this official Reg policy?

    If it is now officially the policy of The Register to insult people who prefer to *legitimately* get things for free rather than paying for bloatware, I shall take my custom elsewhere. It's not as if you are the only Web site with nasty-minded drunken oiks writing tech news, you know.

  5. Alan Donaly

    I have news

    Photoshop is Photoshop for freetards why should they bother with this. Most of these people will have CS3 already no charge.

  6. James Pickett
    Dead Vulture

    Open sauce

    Will you stop this 'freetard' business? It was mildly amusing the first 47 times...

  7. daniel


    Who has not heard of photoshop?

    At least this way, you have an official free version than the general cracked versions, um... ahh... backups... you find lying around.

    anyway, seeing as how Adobe fleeces us europeans with +70% to +200% price increases (it's cheaper to fly to New York and buy the software at the local Office Depot and pay for 2 nights in a hotel rather than to order from the european Adobe store), I'm happy using and Paint Shop Pro 5 on Vista :)

  8. Sooty

    What an odd idea?

    "Adobe's plan is to get the Photoshop brand out to people who otherwise wouldn't have heard of it,"

    Hands up if you've seriously never heard of Photoshop? its even fallen into common usage in that digitally manipulating an image is now known as photoshopping it.

  9. Joshua
    Dead Vulture

    El Reg: Lose the "freetard". Please.

    Dear Richard,

    For starters, you're making a pathetic attempt to ape Fake Steve, and secondly, your usage is somewhat bastardised from the original meaning.

    I seem to remember that Lyons was referring to Open Source advocates such as Stallman and co. NOT people who want stuff for free. Proprietary software is evil to the Freetards. For clarification you might want to refer to the explanation from the man himself (well the real FSJ), on your podcast with Mr Vance.

    If you're gonna ape the word, at least get it right.


  10. Ned Ludd

    Never Heard of Photoshop?

    "Adobe's plan is to get the Photoshop brand out to people who otherwise wouldn't have heard of it"

    Considering 99% of PCs have a bootlegged copy of Photoshop installed within 5 seconds of being set-up, I doubt that's much of a concern.

  11. Walter Francis


    Picnik does this as well... Just because it's photoshop doesn't make it good.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    Why bother using that and just torrent Photoshop CS*

    Then you can get full functionality without having a net connection.

    Im all for paying for software as long as it meets 2 criteria:

    1) I use it all the time

    2) I use it for business or make money off of it.

    Neither of which I use Photoshop for mainly there for having some fun at the bosses expense from time to time. :-D

    /anon for obvious reasons Arggggg!!

  13. Anonymous Coward


    I think you have to be genuinely retarded to pay for Adobe's offerings!

  14. Jon Gudmundson
    Thumb Down

    Throw my name on the pile...

    ... of people who want you to stop using the word "freetard." It makes me think thoughts of aggravated assault. I know you fancy yourselves to be 'punchy' and 'provocative,' but this word just makes you look like another internet douchebag shooting his mouth off.

  15. Curtis W. Rendon

    get Irfanview

    it's free, does more than the online photoshop, and you won't be putting your private stuff in public (and the only limit ti size and storage is your own machine, and then there's bandwidth and latency...)

  16. Eduard Coli
    Dead Vulture

    Freetard to Regtard, so what.

    Paint.NET for Windows and GIMP for everything are available so who needs a lackluster online only version even for free.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    'Photoshop for freetards' already availiable...

    The Pirate Bay,



    Take you're pick, none of the Web 2.0, all of the features.

    As a ploy to get the Photoshop brand out there, it's a nice try. What it's not going to do is prevent the rise of the freetard.


  18. Anonymous Coward

    @Morley Dotes

    "It's not as if you are the only Web site with nasty-minded drunken oiks writing tech news, you know."

    They're not???

    If there are other nasty-minded drunken oiks writing tech news with the same wit and irreverence as The Reg, I want them hunted down and shot now!

    (Tip of the hat to Doug)

  19. Mad Hacker
    Dead Vulture

    I agree, lose freetard, it's worse than mobi

    You've given up one words that I had not problem with, but I think freetard has run its course.

    So here's another vote, stop using the stupid freetard word.

  20. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    @Eduard Coli

    Paint.NET. I'll second that.

  21. Colin Wilson

    Freetards ?

    No, we're GIMPs !

  22. Twm Davies
    IT Angle

    Isn't the Reg just tech news for freetards?

    we all turn off the adverts with a flashblocker and no one wants a t-shirt.

  23. phix8

    OK maybe its been said

    1) Freetard, stupid and only makes the speaker look foolish, not those looking for open source software - how can someone really write on a site like this and not be down with the hacker ethic? I mean seriously? wtf!

    2) Google doesn't have to worry. Adobe are greedy, greedy fatcats. Good for them, of course if they didn't charge £900.00 for the extended photoshop CS3 I might have bought one. As it is? Hmm. I'll take one for free, thanks.

    Imagine trying to explain to a software company that they'd make more money if they lowered their prices and stopped trying to rip people off. Revolutionary, huh? Yeah, I'm stupid because I'd rather not waste my money. Mmhm, you nailed it.

  24. Graham Lockley


    Does a freetard own a mobe and a lappy ?

    Cant remember any more of the proscribed terms but hopefully freetard will be added soon

  25. Dick Emery
    Thumb Down

    Give up your rights on your photos

    The T&C's state that you give Adobe free license to do whatever they like with your photos.

  26. Adam Trickett

    What's your problem?

    If El Reg is going to insult people who choose to use free/open software, then you should reconsider the software choices you made, to the best of my knowledge El Reg runs on predominantly free and open software.

    People living in glass-houses shouldn't throw stones.

    It's all well and good to use jolly terms to describe the various IT tribes however some of them are not acceptable. I may have a very poor opinion of some software vendors and their products but I don't go round insulting their customers.

    Anyhow as various people have pointed out, though 90% of Photoshop users have no idea what they are doing or how to use the product it's not a problem in the whole as they are running bootleg copies and aren't using it professionally. Most Photoshop (non-pro) users are probably better off with a "light" product, and if Adobe want to be in that market space, then it better be free, as all the competition is.

  27. tempemeaty
    Thumb Down

    One small step to another goal

    Just a first step in a long process of convincing you down the line some time that your PC should be a thin client and you should be renting their software running exclusively on their servers. This would also give a big brother style of control over everything that's done on computers eventually.

  28. John

    quit your freetarding you hypocrites

    Why is el reg using such derogatory terms for FOSS users, especially when says that el reg's server ( is running Apache/2.0.54 Debian GNU/Linux.

    Nice one, bunch of bloody freetards. El Reg - taking tech news tabloid.

  29. OpenSauce

    Already obsolete

    Google's Picasa for beginners.

    GIMP (gimp-win) as a Photo Shop alternative.

  30. W


    A solid vote for Paint.NET here, too. It's an absolutely splendid prog. Hint: get BoltBait's essential plugin pack from the forum and you'll never look back. Nab Inkscape and you've got an Adobe Illustrator replacement too.

    And the other vote goes for dropping freetard in relation to use of legitimately free software.

  31. Jach
    Paris Hilton

    ...What's Photoshop?

    But seriously, who hasn't heard of it? In any case, I'll stick to Gimp, KolourPaint, and the open source'd Xara Xtreme (which is very close to matching all the functionality of the proprietary version).

    Count me among those who dislike "freetard." As one user commented its meaning is being twisted; and for me I wish English had two distinct words for the two meanings of 'free', like foreign languages have. One reason I like the term Open to Free.

    Paris Icon, because even she has heard of Photoshop.

  32. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Down

    Photoshop over the NET?

    D'ahh ha ha ha hah.

    I've been using and loving Photoshop ever since it came out, nearly 20 years ago (eeyoiks, that long?), but the one problem its always had -- along with being expensive as shit -- is that it can be more than a bit slow at times.

    So, now, they want to offer it over the NET? D'ahh ha ha ha hah. This, on top of their demand that you sign over the rights to your work to Adobe (in their friggin' DREAMS), has me doing what I'm doing right this moment -- downloading a trial copy of Pixelmator, from

  33. b shubin

    A slight but important difference

    ...between "amuse" and "abuse". i suggest thereg writers may want to consult a dictionary...a commercially available, paid-for dictionary, if it so pleases you.

    many organizations and individuals who use these free resources, have no ideological agenda regarding commercial goods; in fact, they themselves offer services or products commercially. most of them DO understand the difference between "great" and "good enough", and accept the reduced feature set, to benefit their top line numbers.

    for those who do not know the difference between the top line and the bottom line, i recommend a brief overview of financial accounting...also fee-based, if it so pleases you. perhaps then you can stop (ab)using this tiresome term. leave the horse be, it's gone...

    it is worth noting that those of us who use FOSS, have been known to contribute money to many of the projects we find useful (of our own "free" will, if you like), sometimes more than once. nothing is free, there are often non-monetary costs (time, effort, inconvenience, headaches, stress, the agony of thinking critically and independently, etc.). of course, many commercial products have those costs, in addition to the purchase price.

    all this may be too much for the magnificent mind that came up with "Freetard", but he's called "Fake Steve" for a reason. those who can, do; those who are capable, knowledgeable and experienced, teach; those who can't do or teach, administrate; and those who offer nothing constructive, whine (but often add "oh, i'm just joking..." to avoid responsibility for their whining).

  34. Anonymous Coward

    seriously, it's played out

    How about we change "freetard" to "fuckwit" or something?

    And yeah, isn't GIMP already Photoshop for fuckwits?


    A happy fuckwit.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Cracked Photoshop

    Yes, I ran a cracked version of Photoshop. Never really got my head around it, and was unamused by the way it strafed my filesystem with thousands of piddly little files. Took it off again and my C: drive was much happier.

    Methinks Adobe know that PS is an entrenched brand name, like Hoover, Sellotape and Preparation H. Methinks this they are trading on this in order to get their mitts on your photographs: Johnny Smartarse can say "Oh yes, I've Photoshopped this picture" without having to learn Photoshop, not realising Adobe have pwn3d his family album.

    Me, I use GIMP to Photoshop my pictures, I Hoover with a Dyson, I Sellotape things with Scotch tape and, er ... Germaloids anyone?

  36. Phantom Wibbler

    Just one thing to say...

    Drop Freetard. It's beyond childish, even for the Reg.

  37. Stuart Van Onselen


    I have far too much crap going on in my life, for me to feel offended by the use of "freetard". And anyway, I'm too goddam lazy to install Linux and OpenOffice, etc, so I guess it doesn't even apply to me in the first place.

    However, let me third the suggestion that it's played-out and clichéd by now. It's just puerile, it is. (Oh crap, now The Reg is *never* going to drop it! Puerile is their stock-in-trade!)

    And as for the people agitating to add "freetard" to the list of "banned words" - Don't bother. The Reg treats that list less like a "rule" and more like a "suggestion".

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting the photoshop brand out

    Is it just me, or does practically everyone already own a pirate copy of photoshop?

    Maybe its just here in asia, but im sure it was the same in europe.

  39. Mad as a Bat

    ah the GIMP

    That'll be the image editing software that doesn't understand colour management and craps out on Windows the whole time then. The GIMP, free and worth every penny.

  40. phil
    Thumb Up

    holy cow...

    ...airbrushing, redeye AND resizing?! fuck me, what a veritable FEAST of features...I'll stick with my Linuxy GIMP thank you very much, it has all that and MORE (I think)....if only I could figure out how to use the fucking thing....

  41. Mattew Gaunt

    To Miami Mike

    It's a laudable sentiment you have: to go with free software. But there's only one problem with free applications: They're shit.

    I tried so hard to like Open Office, but ultimately had to go back to Redmond's bloat to do achieve everything I wanted. I desparately wanted The GIMP to be as powerful as Photoshop, but it's way behind (and needs to lose that terrible name). I wanted Windows Movie Maker to be as good as Adobe Premier Pro, but all I ended up with were high school YouTube clips. They're all shit.

    But it's even worse if you pay for something and the rug is whipped out from under your feet by version changes, updates and obsolescence. Best to get something which does what you need, and stick it on a stand alone machine, on a stable OS version which is not connected to the internet...

    I've got Office 2003 on Windows NT with Photoshop and Premier on a lovely little box with no outside connectivity and it just sort of does what it needs to do without updating itself into a state of non-function. I find it quite sweet that it has no idea about the outside world and calmly believes itself to be still current, so does what it does with a smile. My electric drill and my lawnmower aren't on the internet, and they still do what they did when I bought them, so why shouldn't my other tools?

    However, in summary, the whole world is shit.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Time to retire the "freetard" epithet

    I'm all in favour of guying that tendency that desires everything in life to be free, and makes a political movement out of it, but this is becoming an excuse for lazy headline writing, if not journalism.

    The next hacktard to use this term out of term should get their coat.

  43. GrahamT

    Another vote.. stop using Freetard.Not that I'm freeligious about it, or a freequent downloader. I like to think I am a freesponsible adult with a freesonable atitude - and other stupid portmantau words.

    I use Irfanview for simple viewing, editing and manipulating (like it so much I contributed) and GIMP for layers and more complex stuff. I have used Photoshop, and it is good, but not £570 good.

    I am not a freetard I am a FOSSy bear.

  44. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Time to retire the "freetard" epithet

    Oh I ought not to weigh in, I know, but the thing about 'freetard' is that it's an example of how language evolves in the short term. It's a flippant and slightly off-colour pun that now has a life of its own, retains its derogatory connotations, and is instantly understood as shorthand for a rather complex issue by pretty much everyone with an interest in this subject. It's evidently irritating some people, but I can't really see the justification for retiring it.

    If anyone's got suggestions for suitable replacements that they think would catch on, there's a whole open forum here, so fill your boots. Otherwise, y'know - this! is! El Reg! If you can read it all day without getting your proverbial panties in a knot about something or other, I think we're probably doing something wrong.

  45. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up


    Inkscape, new release 4.6

    Being a Windows user I'm still stuck on 4.5 till some kind soul does 4.6 build.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    @ Sarah, this is not an English language lesson!

    Justification for scrapping the word is pretty much all of Reg readers hate it. Reg readers make the site run through their numbers, and the fact you can sell advertising, then not to put to fine a point on it, you get paid.

    Reg readers are very good with technology, we pay WAY more for it than the typical joe.

    Now sometimes as advanced users, Reg readers might somewhat guiltily download software or media that they wouldn't pay for right now for whatever reason. Either to learn it, or because they are young and can't afford it yet. etc. etc.

    Perhaps they bought a previous version of the software of media e.g. on CD or cassette or VHS or DVD, and now want to use it with different operating system or stream it using new technology.

    Perhaps they want to use a £50 piece of software ONCE for five minutes. For free with ALL the features. Illegal yes. Retarded no. They would only find another way to do it without paying but it wouldn't be as easy or good.

    In return they will probably post about the software on a forum and say how useful it was. Then people who need it all the time will be more likely to buy it.

    'Freetard' is a non-word because Reg readers spend a lot on technology. And making a moral judgement against someone pisses them off. 'Mercy' as ever is the antidote to justice, however true.

  47. Colin Jackson
    Dead Vulture


    Yes, enough with the "freetard", or is El Reg now a fully paid up member of the "copyreich"?

  48. Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee

    "Freetard" doesn't need to be replaced. It needs to be retired and headline writers forced to use English, such as :

    "Adobe launches free Photoshop version"

    I realise this isn't dumbed down enough for tabloid readers, but the only people using this slang are you, the journalists. It's pure laziness.

  49. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ Sarah, this is not an English language lesson!

    Pretty much all Reg readers hate it? Some Reg commenters have expressed dismay. I don't know how representative those are.

    It's satirical. Satire is provocative. And you don't have to take it seriously - in fact, if you're doing it right, satire has 'don't take this entirely seriously' running right through it like a stick of snarky rock. Same goes for the taking of things literally, and personally.

    But I don't make the decisions here - maybe some day 'freetard' will go the way of 'mobe', and never ever be seen again.

    Oh wait.

  50. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee

    I believe you're confusing dumbing down with snarking up.

  51. Justin

    @ "Freetard" whiners

    So someone called you a name? Get over it, this isn't your MySpace page or something.

  52. John
    Black Helicopters

    Stupid Sarah Bee

    It's not satircal, it's insulting. Satire may offend, but does so by parody, by making someone or some action seem foolish.

    Sheridan was a fine satrist.

    Swift was a fine satirist.

    James Barrie was a fine satirist.

    Those understood satire.

    All you can manage is crude insults.

  53. Jared
    Thumb Up

    Save the freetards!

    Wow, I have NEVER seen so many el reg commenters offended by a little light-hearted name calling. For people that always seem to delight in mocking people who pay for software ("paytards", if you will), you sure get sensitive and demand political correctness when the tables get turned. (I forget, haven't I seen a similar term regularly directed towards IE users?) And the funny thing is that the tables haven't even turned - el reg is obviously supportive of everything free and would certainly include themselves in the freetard epithet.

    Calm down, folks. If anything, it's the real retarded folk who should be offended by el-reg's associating them with penny pinching software cheapos.

    As for me, I just gave my pirated version of MS office the boot and gave open office a try. So far, it's only crashed my machine twice. Somebody give those open sourcers a medal!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I vote keep using Freetard - it amuses me

    Just like I smile (really more a sneer) a little whenever I see M$, Micro$oft, Microshaft, Windoze, fanboi, and the excellent newcomer Paytard being used.

  55. Mr Chris


    The problem with "freetard" is twofold -

    1) You guys seem to be extending its (fairly rightful, to be fair) original use as a dig at people who will pirate things because they don't want to pay for them to now encompass anyone who's happy to use *freeware*. They're two entirely different things. The former is criminal, the latter is an entirely legal (and logical) choice based on cost vs functionality. As others have noted, you guys are using open source software to run the Reg site, for goodness sakes. If you want "freetard" to maintain some sort of punch as an insult, use it against the people who are doing something *wrong*.

    2) "Retard" still isn't big or clever as an insult. It's down there with "spaz", frankly. I thought we'd all moved on since the playground? Language can move on all it likes, but some things remain offensive. Would you base a humourous composite epithet around the word "spastic"? What about "n*gger"? No? Well then.

  56. GrahamT

    It's not the free that's the problem...

    The word retard is not acceptable. Disguising it as freetard no more so. There are some words we don't use in polite company any more (OK, including El Reg readers in that category is stretching it a bit) like queer, cripple and "the N word" (see, I can't even type it)

    I don't object because it is an insult to me, but because retard is a word I am not comfortable with. I don't think I am alone in this.

    Before anyone comes in with the "Political correction gone mad" argument (and that should be Political correction gone psychologically challenged, btw</joke>) it isn't. This is having some respect for people who aren't as lucky as us, rather than throwing insulting words around.

  57. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah

    I get it, but context is everything.

  58. Mr Chris


    Well, quite. But you're still now using it as an insult against people using freeware, rather than just idiots who think they have some god-given right to pirate software. It's like calling people who shop at Wilkinson's "cheaptards". There's no satirical point to be made, there.

    The original point seems to have been lost in the "oooh, we've found a new insult that winds loads of people up. Let's use it at every available opportunity" sniggering and giggling.

  59. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah

    >>The original point seems to have been lost in the "oooh, we've found a new insult that winds loads of people up. Let's use it at every available opportunity" sniggering and giggling.

    I fail to see the issue with this. Meheh.

    But, really, it is possible to satirise your own satire. Without the world collapsing in on itself. Much.

  60. Mr Chris



  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vote to keep Freetard

    Have people just woken up? There are 4,400 hits for "Freetard" at

    It's a great word for the nutters who hate paying for music: BoingBoing and Torrentfreak readers who live in their parents' basements etc.

    It's dumb when applied to Open Source stories, and even dumber when used for "cheap software". Choosing to use open source does not make you retarded - nor does making a rational decision to pay less for a product or service (but still pay). That's called getting a good deal.

    Nevertheless, I vote to keep - so long as it's applied to the people who really deserve it: freeloaders.

  62. Frantisek Janak

    How's paying for things bad, exactly, freetards?

    No, but thanks. I've got my Helicon Filter Pro for any editing needs and Power account for any photo storing needs for about 80 USD a year and I don't regret it. In exchange I get reliabilty, constant updates, speedy customer service and

    good feeling of supporting folks, that really work hard.

    ...the one with Doraemon, thanks.


  63. Not That Andrew

    <insert title>

    I'm a proud freetard, paytard and wintard, but not an itard (thank FSM). It's a joke, get over yourselves.

  64. Ian Aberle
    Thumb Down

    Go with Picknik

    I'm sorry, I think Adobe is late to the party. They were supposed to have this out, what, 9 months ago? I think Picknik <> is a better way to go. It's free and you don't have to register.

    I have, use, and teach PS CS3, but if you just need basic photo editing, I'm recommending Picknik to everyone.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Sarah Bee

    Yes indeed, Sarah, it's all about context. Why all these whiners can't accept "freetard" as a satirical term is beyond me. But maybe it's time we come up with an alternative to appease El Reg's readers. I'm not as gifted with words, but here's a suggestion. How about a takeoff on something to do with people in wheel chairs? Ooo, hang on, I've got a better one... how about HIV/AIDS - that would be hilarious! Or maybe better yet we somehow connect 'free' with being female - everyone knows women are pathologically unable to resist a really good deal when satisfying their feminine urges to shop. No? I didn't think so. Grow up, Sarah.

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