10 best royalty free image software for Windows PCs (plus some bonus tools)

By: Daniel Segun
10 minute read
royalty free image software

Royalty free images in the photography industry refer to a copyright license.  The user has the right to make use of pictures without being restricted; after making a one-time payment made to the licensor.

The images gotten can be used in several projects without having to purchase any additional licenses. Royalty free licenses cannot be given out on exclusive basis.

So many people feel the term royalty free refers to the photos on stock photo being free. The use of the word free in ‘Royalty Free’ is not referring to price. There is a price for royalty free photos.

The term royalty free offers the purchaser with certain user rights, such as: where a stock photo can be used, under what conditions you can use them and on what products.

One of the common licenses in stock photography is royalty free images, sometimes contrasted with Rights Managed licenses and usually used in subscription-based photography business models.

Benefits of using royalty free images

There are lots of benefits to buying stock photos through online stock photography agencies; however, most people do not understand what they are and how they work.

There are several benefits to buying Royalty free stock photos. Some of them are:

  • Stock photos are used legally because they comply with international copyright laws.
  • Stock photos can be used on designs, multiple promotional campaigns and digital media.
  • It is cheap and very fast to use.
  • It saves time and money.
  • You can search, find and use international stock photos very fast without any added costs.
  • Many benefits can be received from stock agency free memberships.

1o Best royalty free image software

  1. Adobe Photoshop

adobe photoshop

Photoshop can be used to combine several images and even remove unwanted objects from the image. It offers basic features like channel mixing, perspective correction and clone stamp tool.

Photoshop runs on both Windows. Photoshop is one of the best graphic design software for beginners; in addition, you can create royalty free image with ease using free tools available on this software.

Key features:

  • Basic: Cropping, straightening, rotating and flipping.
  • Auto-Fix: One touch adjustment.
  • Blemish Removal: Removing of spot or dirt from the image.
  • Color: Slide controls to improve the colors of the image.
  • One-Touch filter: 20 eye-catching effects you can select from.
  • Image Rendering: Panoramic image option.
  • Borders: You can include your personal touch.
  • RAW photo support: RAW format support.
  • Sharing: on social media sites like Facebook, Revel, Twitter, Tumblr, and more.

Pros

  • Smooth video editing.
  • Effective crop tool.

Cons

  • No perpetual license.
  • Crushing Interface.
  • Progress bar visibility.

ALSO READ: How to fix Photoshop crashes when printing in Windows 10


  1. GIMP

royalty free image softwareGIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is a good alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is ideal for graphic designers and photographers. The photo manipulation feature is awesome making it ideal royalty free image software.

Key features:

  • The tool is very flexible and enables you create crystal-clear graphics.
  • The interface is totally customizable, also, it has a full-screen mode which enables you to view and edit at the same time.
  • GIMP runs on GNU/Linux, Windows, OS X and other OS

Pros

  • The UI is bright.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Single windows usage.

Cons

  • Have a few bugs.
  • In the initial stage, it struggles with Cintiq tablets.

READ ALSO: 10 best free 3D design software


  1. Adobe Illustrator

adobe illustrator royalty free image

The right tool for using vector art to create logos, sketches, icons, typography or even complex illustrations for videos or mobile is an illustrator.

Key features:

  • Artworks can be created with seamless alignment by drawing pixel-perfect shapes.
  • It is very fast.
  • It has great plugins that help in making a blank web page look like a brilliant web page.

Pros:

  • It has an awesome touch-Type tool.
  • Very easy to use the free transform tool.
  • Availability for Windows PC.

Cons:

  • The price is high.

  1. Inkscape

inkscape

Inkscape is a professional tool ideal for graphic designers and lovers of vector arts who use SVG file format.

The tool is perfect for royalty free image creation. For sketching, coloring or making illustrations, the best tool to use is Inkscape. It has a Ghostscript extension which makes eps files very easy to read.

It also comes with awesome features like:

  • Ability to edit the source code directly.
  • Keys to move screen pixels.
  • Edit clones on the canvas.
  • Edit gradients.
  • Fill paint-bucket with one click.

Pros:

  • It is free to use.
  • It has so many Filters.

Cons:

  • A bit slow.

ALSO READ: 10 best painting apps for Windows 10


  1. CorelDraw

royalty free image softwareCorelDraw is a vector graphics editor that is very popular. CorelDraw has great productive functions.

With Corel draw you have full control so you can achieve dynamic results

Key features:

  • CorelDraw works smoothly with large files in Corel Photo-Paint.
  • It supports apps like Duplexing wizard, Barcode wizard, Bitstream Font Navigator, etc.

Pros:

  • It has an interface customization.
  • The design is very nice.
  • It has good training videos.
  • You can choose from perpetual license or subscription.

Cons:

  • Newbies find it difficult to use this software.
  • Navigation is difficult
  • Invisible Navigation board
  • The freehand brush is difficult to use.

Read Also: 10 best art generator software to use


  1. Adobe Indesign

royalty free image softwareAdobe InDesign is ideal for layout design usage.  For example, this software can be used for online magazines, printed books, brochures or digital magazines most especially to create royalty free image.

Key Features:

  • It has great flexibility as it enables you to easily drag-drop isolated layers.
  • Images can be resized with ease.
  • With Adobe Creative Sync enables you to work efficiently. Your work can be synced in between desktop and mobile.
  • Immediately you become a member you will get the latest updates and features.

Pros:

  • Text and graphics can be easily combined.
  • The learning curve is ideal for newbies.
  • It has great features.

Cons:

  • Tools for creating graphics are limited.
  • The graphics tools are not very powerful.
  • Photo adjustment is limited because it is not a photo-editing software.
  • It has bonus Tools.

  1. Serif DrawPlus

Serif DrawPlus

This graphic design software can be used for photo designing, editing, and creating royalty free image.

Key features:

  • It has great illustrative features.
  • It has a low learning curve which makes it easy for graphic designers and beginners to use it.
  • 3D animations, adding effects to images and create vector illustrations.

Pros:

  • You can create a customizable workspace of your choice.
  • It provides extensive support an option to share.

Cons:

  • It lacks some photo effect features. E.g. Panorama merging, HDR imaging etc.

Read Also: Business card software: 15 best apps to create


  1. Xara Xtreme

royalty free image softwareThis royalty free image software provides a wide variety of photo editing features and illustration tools.

Key features:

  • Maneuvering color and texture of your images. You even have the possibility of removing any distortion caused by the lens, whatsoever.
  • It has great quality.
  • This software has a good support page that addresses issues of its users and provides solutions for the same.

Pros:

  • Tools are available for both raster and vector images.
  • You can export photos directly to any social media website.

Cons:

  • History log is not available; you have to make use of undo button to reverse actions.

  1. Corel PaintShop

royalty free image softwareThe Corel Paintshop Pro 9 is the latest version released by the Coral team.

Key features:

  • It helps in management of photo.
  • It has professional grade tools that can be used easily by both professionals and newbies.
  • It provides video tutorials and other forms of support forums to understand the software better.
  • It has over ninety creative filters that can be used to enhance the image texture and color.
  • It is very compatible with image files like JPG, RAW, TIFF, GIF, PNG, PSD and PDF.

Pros:

  • It has an option for auto edit.
  • A supporter of batch processing. You can edit multiple files at the same time.

Cons:

  • Only compatible with Windows.

Read Also: Vector graphics software: The best tools to create beautiful designs


  1. Corel PhotoImpact

royalty free image softwareThis software offers an easily navigated and user friendly interface. It is ideal for novice computer users.

Key features:

  • ExpressFix or Full Edit mode can be used for editing photos.
  • ExpressFix provides the option to adjust color, exposure, skin tone and focus with just a click.
  • Full Edit has editing options like enhancements, portrait touch-ups and effects.
  • It has a perfect combination of both basic and advanced tools.
  • It holds the compatibility with 32 file formats inclusive of RAW, TIFF, JPG, GIF, PNG, PSD and animated GIFs.

Pros:

  • It has panorama and HDR imaging tools use for creating visually captivating effects.
  • It provides an extensive support system.
  • It has a main docked panel which holds all the other panels and quickly hides and shows them as per requirement.

Cons:

  • It has limited sharing features.
  • Slow development in its software.

Bonus royalty free image software

  1. Cyberlink

Key Features:

  • It has a lot of tools to offer under these tabs, namely: Library, Edit, Adjustment, Layers, Slideshow, and Print.
  • It has a pen tool which can be used to draw colored pixels on photo layers.
  • It has a history log: can serve the purpose of undoing the unwanted changes.
  • It provides a strengthened support system like support forums, telephone support, tutorial video, user guides, etc.
  1. Sumopaint

Key Features:

  • It has several options like 3D effects, Classic Layer Effects, Light Effects and edge detection which provide an edge over other apps.
  • It offers professional painting tools like 300 brushes, Animated Brushes, and advanced options such as scattering and random rotation.
  1. Vector

Key Features:

  • It is a web-based app not just a standalone app.
  • It has a low learning curve.
  • It has basic graphics editor, which is free.
  1. Google Sketch-up

Key Features:

  • A 3D modeling software very easy to use.
  • It can conveniently customize everything.
  • You can use it to stretch, copy, rotate, paste & even draw lines and shapes.
  • One can add model views to pages by using the Pro version.
  1. Cinema 4D

Key Features:

  • It has four levels: Prime, Broadcast, Visualize and Studio.
  • Involve 3D animation without any formal training.
  • Amazing support for materials and textures.
  • Accessible user interface.
  • Smooth learning curve.
  1. Affinity Designer

Key Features:

  • It enables you to have an intrinsic zoom-in experience.
  • It can function in any color space like CMYK, RGB, LAB, Grey-scale.
  • It possesses CMYK workflow along with ICC color management.
  • It is compatible with Windows.

How to upload your royalty free image to the following sites:

  1. 123RF.com

You can upload your photos to 123RF.com through the following procedures. 123RF is a royalty-free digital media library that provides lots of budget-friendly commercial and editorial images, video footage, logo designs and illustrations. 123RF now ranks as the leading global provider version to 123RF.com.

Upload your Photos:

  • Login to your 123RF account.
  • Access the Contributor’s Dashboard.
  • Click on the ‘Upload ‘button.
  • Select ‘Photos ‘
  • Click the ‘Continue >>‘button.
  • Select ‘FTP settings / Check Upload FTP Results ‘.
  • Set up your FTP client to upload to 123RF.com.
  • Connect your FTP client to 123RF’s FTP server.

Please use the following settings:

  • Host Address/Server : ftp.123rf.com
  • Username : Your Username (UID)
  • Password : Your login password at 123rf.com
  • Once you click on ‘Quickconnect ‘, you will see a connection response at the top.
  • Hence, after you are connected, locate the Photo(s) in the file name folder on your left. Then, drag the photo(s) to the file name box on your right.
  • Now, the Upload process will be shown in the box named Server/Local File.
  • The status panel where the ‘Successful Transfer’ tab is indicates the status of photo(s) being uploaded to our server.
  • Please read the information under Warranties and Representations carefully. When you are ready to continue, check the checkbox.
  • Then select ‘Click here to process upload files ‘.
  • You will be directed to the page below.
  • After the queue has completed, you will see the status showing ‘Completed ‘.
  • You may click on the ‘Completed Images‘to see your successfully uploaded images from the ‘Pending‘tab.
  • Precede to the next stage where you have to describe and keyword your photo(s). Once you’ve done that, please ensure that you click ‘Save Changes‘.
  • Describing and Key wording your Photos
  • After processing, you have to describe and keyword your photo(s).
  1. Wikimedia Commons
  • Go to the Upload Wizard on Wikimedia Commons. You can always get to it from the Upload file link in the menu on the left.royalty free image software
  • Use the illustration on the first page to understand whether Wikimedia Commons can accept your upload.
  • When you’re ready to upload, click
  • Next near the end of the page.
  • Click Select media files to share and find the image or images you want to upload from your computer.
  • Licensing your file
  • Click Continue and select the options that apply to your upload, as prompted. When you are done, click next. More information »
  • Organizing and describing your upload
  • Enter a title for the image. Use plain, descriptive language. Then enter a description of the image and the date it was created.
  • Help organize Wikimedia Commons by assigning categories to your file. When you are done, click next.
  • After this, your upload will be published and complete.
  1. Unsplash
  • To upload a photo, click on the link on the homepage that says ‘Submit a photo’ (or go to https://unsplash.com/submit). If you’re not logged in already, follow the prompts create an account or login.
  • After you have logged in, follow the instructions to upload a photo.

Other websites you can upload your royalty free images are listed below. Check sites for tips on how to upload your images. Uploading images on these sites are not difficult.

  1. Pixabay
  2. Every Stock Photo
  3. Negative Space
  4. Magdeleine
  5. Old Book Illustrations
  6. ISO Republic
  7. Public Domain Vectors
  8. 1 Million Free Pictures
  9. Realistic Shots
  10. Startup Stock Photos
  11. The British Library
  12. JÉSHOOTS
  13. The Public Domain Review
  14. Viintage
  15. Fancy Crave
  16. The Pic Pac
  17. Pexels
  18. Jay Mantri
  19. Dreams Time
  20. Death to Stock Photo
  21. Shutter Stock
  22. Foodies Feed
  23. Flickr Commons
  24. Public Domain Pictures
  25. Creative Vix
  26. Barn Images
  27. Snapwire Snaps

Conclusion

Downloading and uploading of royalty free images are all beneficial. You can use the windows software listed in this article to create awesome images.

You do not need to contact a photographer, just go over to those websites listed above, and search for whatever picture you are in need of for your magazines, blogs or websites. It saves money and time. Furthermore, it is cheap, fast and easy to use.

In conclusion, you can upload your images to the websites above contribute to the creative world. So, what are you waiting for, go ahead create, upload or download unique and outstanding images.

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