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CCleaner has been one of the most trusted PC utility programs available over the past decade, and not without reason. The software is very light on resources, yet powerful enough to keep your computer in good health over a long period of time. It comes with the usual set of tools you’d expect from a computer utility software, but is generally believed to be one of the safest and most efficient utility software available in the market today. What’s more, the program was actually entirely free for home use until recently, and although it now has a paid version with some extra bells and whistles, most of the important features are still available in the free version, which is one of the reasons it continues to remain a favorite even today.1. BleachBit
BleachBit is a free, open source computer maintenance software that’s available on all three major platforms – Windows, Linux and Mac. Like CCleaner, it is a lightweight, but powerful program that bundles a disk space cleaner and privacy manager that can identify and delete temporary and cached files in web-browsers, mail clients, and other software, like Java, Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, MS Office, Libre Office and various other apps. The program comes with a clean and minimalist interface, and allows users to check and approve files in each category before deleting them, so as to prevent any accidental deletions.
Platform: (Linux, Windows, macOS)2. PrivaZer
Privazer is one of the best, most powerful and customizable utilities for those who are looking to preserve their privacy. It shares quite a few attributes with CCleaner, insofar as it is easy to use and helps you erase temporary files that build up in your PC over time and can prove to be a huge drag on performance, as well as a threat for your privacy if not cleaned up in time. The program allows you to perform on-demand scans and securely cleans the system, wiping out all history from your browsers, photo editors and other programs that may compromise your privacy. PrivaZer may predominantly be a privacy-oriented app, but it also allows users to clean out useless files left by previous versions of Windows, system updates and installers.
The user interface is simple and intuitive enough, but the unlike CCleaner, program does require a little bit of knowhow to set-up, mostly because it offers so many different options about what to scan and what not to. However, it also includes a ‘Default’ mode that should be good enough for most people. One interesting thing is that, the program actually doesn’t have a disk cleanup utility of its own, so it uses the native disk cleanup option built within Windows to get the job done, making it a notoriously time-consuming exercise, so it is probably for the best if you used some other system utility for at least the Disk Clean feature. Like BleachBit, PrivaZer is also donationware, but you can also download a ‘Donors Version’ which comes with much the same functions, but will get you the warm, fuzzy feeling of doing the right hing and helping in the further development of a great software.3. Iobit Advanced SystemCare
Iobit’s Advanced SystemCare is one of the most popular and efficient PC utility programs available today. It comes with many more utilities than CCleaner, most of which are actually available in the free version. Iobit also offers a paid version of the program that comes with a whole lot more bells and whistles. Alongside CCleaner, this is one of the programs I personally use on my Windows PCs, so I can actually vouch for the fact that most of the functions in the program’s toolbox actually works, although, I have no idea about the efficacy of its malware scanning feature, because I can’t remember getting infected with malware in a very long time. One thing I can tell you, is that unlike many AV programs, it doesn’t give you any false positives, so that’s a definite plus.
The utility gives you the option to defrag your hard disk, manage your drivers, shred files, scan disk for bad sectors, clean and defrag the Windows registry, change OS settings and plug security and privacy loopholes. Then there’s also the Performance Monitor widget that goes above and beyond what you get from chúng tôi and in a more user-friendly interface. It shows you the CPU, RAM and hard disk usage and network traffic in a tiny little window on the top right, but you can get rid of that from the settings. You can also free up your RAM by killing off unnecessary, resource hogging background processes. Rescue Center allows you to create and delete system restore points while Turbo Boost helps speed up Windows by disabling unnecessary processes and services.
Download: Free, Paid version costs $19.99 (Windows)4. CleanMyMac 3
Currently in its third-generation, the software has added a boatload of features and utilities without making it too much of a drag on the resources. The UI is now less cluttered than it was in version 2 and each function now also comes with a brief explanation about what it proposes to do. However, the one thing to note here is that, you won’t be able to try out all the features before you buy it. That’s because the trial version of CleanMyMac 3 scans your Mac entirely, but only removes a maximum of 500 MB of junk. Also, the trial only allows you to use 3 of the maintenance utilities.
Download: Free trial, Costs $39.95 (macOS)5. jv16 Power Tools
It is a full-fledged optimization suite, and like CCleaner, it offers you multiple options, like Registry Cleaner, File Tools, System Tools, Privacy Tools and a startup manager, while other utilities include a software uninstaller, an anti-spyware scanner, a startup timer and even a website black-lister, none of which are available with the Piriform app. Overall, jv16 PowerTools is certainly more customizable than not only CCleaner, but many others on this particular list as well, although, it can be a little sluggish at times.
Download: 60-day Trial, Costs $29.95 (Windows)6. Glary Utilities
Glary Utilities is one of the more well-known names in the world of PC tuneup, and comes with a bunch of system utilities that enables users to tweak, repair, optimize and improve the performance of your computer. Like most of the other programs on the list, it too, comes with multiple built-in utilities, like a disk cleaner, a registry optimizer, an uninstall manager, a memory optimizer, a file shredder, a duplicate file finder, a history eraser etc.
Download: Free, Paid version costs $19.97 (Windows)7. AVG TuneUp
The program also comes with utilities that enables you to optimize system startup, defragment the hard drive, clean broken keys in the Windows Registry, restore accidentaly deleted files, modify hidden settings, customize Windows appearance, check your hard drive for errors and more. There’s also a file shredder, a startup optimizer as well as a defragmenter that come bundled with this program. There’s also an Economy Mode that promises to extend your laptop battery, but I couldn’t really check that out on my office desktop. Overall, the program looks fairly promising, but it’s a late entrant in a segment which has a lot of competitors, so it will be interesting to see how successful it is, going forward.Bonus: Windows Disk Cleanup
A lot of people don’t always realize that Windows already has a built-in disk cleaner. It is fairly easy to operate, in so far as you can choose only one drive to scan at a time, and and once done, the utility will give you a list of objects that it thinks can be deleted. You can then select the ones you want to get rid of, and keep the ones you think might be important for you. While the native Windows disk cleaner does get the job done for the most part, it takes up way too much time and, from what I’ve noticed on multiple PCs, even starts to hang unless you’ve got a lot of free space on your hard drive.
Windows Disk Cleanup may not be a fashionable way of getting rid of unwanted files, nor will it offer you all the bells and whistles that are offered by even free third-party utilities, but if you don’t want to install any more programs on your overloaded computer, or are confused by all the available options in the market, the native cleaning utility within Windows is definitely worth giving a go.
SEE ALSO: 10 Best Free Backup Software for WindowsThe Best CCleaner Alternatives You Could Use
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In this article, we have mentioned apps that focus on both privacy and features. You can check out the entire list of WhatsApp alternative apps by using the table of content below and use it to jump to any app that you want.1. Telegram Messenger
Telegram Messenger has been known as the best WhatsApp competitor for a while now and nothing’s changed. The open-source messaging app is still the best WhatsApp alternative out there. Along with the usual messaging features that both WhatsApp and Telegram pack, the latter brings other features like super groups of up to 100,000 people, public channels, usernames, ability to share files of up to 2 GB, pass code lock, self-destructing messages and end-to-end encryption in secret chat among other things.
Then, there are Telegram Bots, which really enhance the experience. The bots not only bring you important info on the go but there are several game bots that let you play games inside the messaging app. Other than that, unlike WhatsApp, Telegram can be used on multiple platforms at once, so you can start texting on your phone and then continue it on your PC. I also love the voice call feature here which works quite well.
Availability: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web (Free)2. Signal Private Messenger
Signal Foundation, the organization that powers the end-to-end encryption technology in WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger, offers its very own messaging app dubbed Signal Private Messenger. As you’d expect, Signal brings a number of security benefits when compared to WhatsApp. It offers self-destructing messages, screen security (prevents anyone from taking screenshots), and more.
Plus, Signal brings encryption to its backups, calls, group calls, and every other data in the app. Even the files that you send using Signal are protected. Furthermore, according to Apple’s App Store listing, Signal doesn’t link any data to your identity.
It’s a great app for anyone who wants to securely converse with other users. That’s why, Signal is quite popular with journalists. Signal Private Messenger is for people who are looking for a simple and secure messaging app and if you are looking for something like that, it is the best WhatsApp alternative for you.3. Discord
Discord is no longer just a platform for chatting with your fellow gamers. While you can explore a variety of Discord servers to engage with your interests, Discord’s DM functionality is often overlooked by many. You can use Discord’s personal messages feature to send messages, emojis, emotes (if you have Discord Nitro), GIFs, images, and even documents. Furthermore, you can make voice calls, video calls, or even browse together after sharing your screen.
Combined with neat integrations from Spotify, Twitch, YouTube, chúng tôi Steam, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Xbox Live, and GitHub, Discord has got you covered for all your messaging needs and is arguably better than WhatsApp.
You can also create group chats on Discord with a total of 10 members. If you need more capacity, you can always create a server. If you ask me, I’d recommend uninstalling WhatsApp right away and installing Discord. You will find the link to download Discord below and I can assure you that you won’t regret the decision.
Availability: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Web (Free)4. Bridgefy
Rather, they create a peer-to-peer Bluetooth mesh network or Wifi Direct-based network on your phone and allow you to send messages to your nearby friends. If you are looking for such an app then you should use Bridgefy. Bridgefy offers three main types of messaging service; Person-to-Person mode, Broadcast mode, and Mesh mode.
You can send messages to a friend, broadcast them to entire group, and even use users as nodes to send messages to long distances. It is quite helpful during music festivals, sports events, natural disasters, and other such situations where you won’t be getting reliable mobile service.
In fact, Bridgefy and other such apps have become a bastion for protesters around the world as it allows them to evade internet censorship imposed by their governments. The app is free to download and use, and the best offline WhatsApp alternative in my opinion. You should check it out.
Install: Android (free), iOS (free)5. Kik
For those users, Kik is a great service as it only requires you to use your email ID. Once you sign up for the service using your email ID, Kik will create a unique user name for you which you can share with other Kik users to chat.
The best part about using Kik is that you are not losing out any messaging features. You still get access to all the important features including text messages, emojis, stickers, Gifs, photo sharing, video sharing, and group chats among other things.
Another unique feature of Kik is that it supports bots which is something that you do not get on WhatsApp. Using bots you can play quizzes, get fashion tips, latest news, and more. That said, the main USP of Kik remains its non-requirement of a phone number and if that’s something you want, definitely check it out.
Availability: Android, iOS (Free)6. Snapchat
Other messaging features are also here such as the ability to create group chats, voice calls, group voice calls, gifs, and more. I also love Snapchat because it is one of the most innovative chat services on the market. The features that users on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger normally enjoy are generally copied from Snapchat. So, if you want to access these cool features and be the first to receive the latest chat features, Snpachat is the app to use.
Availability: Android, iOS (Free)7. Skype
Skype is without a doubt one of the best business chat applications of the market. With the power of Microsoft behind it, Skype has left all the other business chat applications in the dust. However, that progress has worked against Skype when it comes to personal chats as the business moniker that it has earned keeps normal users away. But let me tell you that Skype is one of the best chatting applications on the market especially if you make a lot of video and voice calls.
I especially find Skype useful when I am using it to make overseas calls as the sound and video quality on Skype is far better than its competition. I also love Skype for its group video call functionality.
Availability: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Web (Free)8. Keybase
Keybase is an open-source secure chat application which is great for users who want to communicate securely. Since this is an open-source app, there’s no private company which is looking at all your data. Anyways the data is end-to-end encrypted so at no point in time, the message is exposed to nefarious actors.
The app doesn’t even allow you to take the screenshot of the chats. The messaging app works more like Slack than WhatsApp, however, it’s not aimed at businesses, rather it is mainly targeting users who are concerned with their online privacy.
My favorite feature of Keybase is that you don’t need anyone’s number or email ID to connect with them. This allows you to remain in contact with users with whom you don’t want to share your personal information with. Finally, this is one of the few messaging apps which offer a native application for Linux operating system. If you value your privacy, you should definitely check it out.9. Viber
Viber is another popular messaging and VoIP app that really stands toe-to-toe with WhatsApp when it comes to features. Firstly, the app offers end-to-end encryption in calls, messages and the shared media. Moreover, the messages saved in multiple devices are also encrypted, which brings us to the fact that the messaging apps packs in multi-device support, which WhatsApp lacks.
Like WhatsApp, Viber lets you make video and voice calls but the app goes one step ahead with its Viber Out feature, which lets you make international calls to non-Viber users at nominal rates.
Talking about the messaging features, Viber includes support for stickers, file sharing, last seen, voice & video messages, public accounts, backup to Google Drive and more. There is also a sticker store and Viber games, which are basically games you can play inside Viber. If you consider everything, you’d notice that Viber is an app that is very similar to WhatsApp. It packs in most of the features from WhatsApp and then some more.
Availability: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows (Free, with rates for Viber Out)10. Session
Despite being a privacy-focused app, Session’s user interface is quite customizable with themes and dark mode. You get groups, video calls, voice messages, attachments, voice calls and even group calling functionality on this WhatsApp replacement app.
Availability: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux (Free)Bonus: LINE
Another WhatsApp alternative you can use is LINE, which is a highly popular cross-platform messaging app that packs in a ton of features. Like WhatsApp, the app features end-to-end encryption, support for voice and video calls & messages and more.
It also brings quite a few unique features when compared to WhatsApp like LINE Out (lets you make international calls to non-LINE users), sticker store, a cool Keep feature (lets you save your favorite messages, photos etc.), and more. It also features a timeline in the app, where you can see any status updates and photo changes from your friends.
Availability: Android, iOS, iPad, Windows Phone, Windows, macOS, Chrome, Firefox (Free)Frequently Asked Questions 1. What can I use instead of WhatsApp?
You can check out apps like Telegram or Signal instead of using WhatsApp on your smartphone.2. Is there a better app than WhatsApp?
Yes. If you want a feature-rich app that offers all the features you need, I’d recommend going with Telegram or Discord.3. Which is the best app for video calls other than WhatsApp?
Discord’s video calling is great if you often video call with friends. You can also check out Google Duo, a dedicated app from Google for video calling.4. Which is the most private messaging app? 5. What messaging apps are associated with Facebook? Best WhatsApp Alternative Apps to Use In 2023
Unveiled earlier this week at its ‘Made by Google’ event in New York City, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are bigger, more powerful than their predecessors, but are also the most expensive handsets ever from the company. The Pixel 3 XL is the pricier one of the two, starting at $899 for the 64GB model and going up to $999 for the 128GB variant. So assuming you want to protect your pricey new acquisition from meeting an untimely end in case of an accidental drop, we are bringing a list of the 7 best cases and covers that you can buy for the Google Pixel 3 XL:Best Pixel 3 XL Cases and Covers You Can Buy 1. Pixel 3 XL Fabric Case
The Pixel 3 XL Fabric Case featured here is one of the handful of cases that is currently available for pre-order on the official Google Store. The device is made out of nylon and polyester fabric polycarbonate materials, and is compatible with the Pixel Stand, which means it won’t interfere with wireless charging. It’s priced at $40 with free shipping, and is available in four different colors – Carbon, Indigo, Fog and Pink Moon.
2. Spigen Rugged Armor Case For Pixel 3 XL
The Spigen Rugged Armor Case is made out of a flexible TPU material and has a Carbon Fiber design that offers resilient shock absorption. It comes with a spider-web pattern on the interior and a raised lip on the exterior to protect the screen. The case is Military-grade certified with Air-Cushion technology that ensures optimum shock-absorption for every drop. Overall, it will provide comprehensive protection to the Pixel 3 XL in spite of its slim profile. The case is compatible with wireless charging.
Buy From Amazon: ($12.99)3. OtterBox Defender Series ‘Screenless’ Edition Case for Google Pixel 3 XL
The OtterBox Defender Series offers some of the beefiest, most rugged cases for a wide range of smartphones, and the unit on offer for the Pixel 3 XL is no exception. The case offers multi-layer defense and comes with a solid inner shell fused with a soft outer cover to defend your device against drops, dirt and scrapes. It also includes a belt-clip holster that doubles as a kickstand for hands-free media viewing. Do note that this is the ‘screenless’ edition, which means it doesn’t come with a screen protector.
Buy From Amazon: ($59.95)4. Spigen Liquid Crystal Designed for Google Pixel 3 XL Case
Rugged cases are great, but they do compromise on the look and feel of the smartphone. That’s exactly where ‘clear’ cases like this Spigen Liquid Crystal unit comes in. Built out of a clear and flexible anti-slip TPU material, the case offers a slim and lightweight alternative that will protect your Pixel 3 XL without making it hefty and/or unwieldy. It comes with Air Cushion Technology built into all four corners for enhanced drop protection. The case has reinforced buttons and supports wireless charging.
Buy From Amazon: ($11.99)5. Maxboost Wallet Case For Google Pixel 3 XL
Buy From Amazon: ($9.97)6. Arae Leather Wallet Case For Google Pixel 3 XL
The Arae Wallet case for the Pixel 3 XL is made of premium PU leather, which is good news for all you animal lovers. As is mandatory in all wallet cases, it comes with four built-in card slots and one pocket to conveniently store ID, Credit Cards & Cash. It’s also got a magnetic closure mechanism to keep your phone and money safe. The case comes with a soft TPU inner screen that prevents the device from getting scratched, while its built-in kickstand makes it easy to watch videos hands-free. It’s offered in Black and Rose Gold (featured here).
7. Leaptech Holster Armor Case For Pixel 3 XL
If protecting your phone from serious damage in case of accidental drops override all other concerns for you, look no further than this bad boy from Leaptech. It’s a heavy duty Armor case that promises full-body protection from shocks, falls and bumps, thanks to four reinforced, protective layers. It’s got added drop-defense at each corner and a raised edge to protect the screen. It comes with a 360-degree rotating holster belt clip to carry the device more conveniently, and doubles-up as a kickstand for the convenience of watching movies and media hands-free.
Buy From Amazon: ($8.99)Protect Your Pixel 3 XL With These Awesome Cases and Covers
The above cases and covers will offer great functionality and protection for your precious new Pixel 3 XL. Some of them are also available in a number of different colors that should endure them to the vast majority of consumers, so each one of you will find a case that will be perfect for you. So go ahead, buy the one you fancy and do let us know which one you chose and why.
As much as photographers love Adobe Lightroom for its smooth RAW workflow, many of us were caught completely off-guard by Adobe’s surprise announcement at the end of 2023.
Instead of simply updating Lightroom CC to a new 2023 release alongside all the other Creative Cloud apps, Adobe launched a completely revamped version of Lightroom CC focused on the cloud and mobile devices.
The old desktop-based Lightroom CC we have come to know and love is now known as Lightroom Classic but retains all of its existing features while gaining a few new ones.
Adobe has confused a lot of people by switching around the names like this, and there doesn’t even seem to be a good reason why they didn’t release the new Lightroom CC under a different brand name – but it’s far too late to change it now.
Now that our surprise has passed and Lightroom CC has taken the training wheels off, I’ve given it another look to see if it’s finally ready to take over from Lightroom Classic.
But if you’re looking to escape the Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem entirely, we’ve also got a list of great Lightroom alternatives from other developers.
Best Lightroom Alternatives
One of Lightroom Classic’s most appealing aspects is that it combines excellent library management and editing tools in a single streamlined package, and there aren’t many alternatives that provide this complete workflow.
If you’re not convinced that Lightroom CC is for you and you’re worried that Adobe may eventually abandon Lightroom Classic, here are a few of the other RAW workflow editors that we’ve reviewed here that are worth exploring.
Shown with the ‘Professional’ workspace enabled
Luminar is one of the newer entries to the world of RAW editing is Luminar by Skylum. It has now reached version 4, but it’s still making waves by combining some powerful tools and clever automated adjustments in a user-friendly package. Of course, professional editors don’t usually want to let the computer decide what to adjust, but there are some times when it can be handy for more basic tweaks.
You don’t need to rely on their AI, thanks to the excellent adjustment tools found in Luminar – but you may have to dig a little to uncover them. The default interface places a heavy emphasis on filters and presets, but you can change to a more capable set of tools by switching your workspace to the ‘Professional’ or ‘Essentials’ option.
Available for PC and Mac for a one-time purchase price of $70, although there is a free trial available to see if Luminar is right for you. You can also read our detailed Luminar review here.
2. Capture One Pro
If you want the absolute best in terms of RAW rendering quality and editing capabilities, Capture One Pro is widely regarded as the best available on the market. Originally developed for Phase One’s high-end cameras and eventually adapted to handle all RAW formats, CaptureOne is aimed specifically at the professional market. It’s not intended for amateur or casual users, and it does not go out of its way to cater to these markets, so don’t expect social media sharing options or step-by-step wizards.
There are excellent tutorials available, and if you take the time to learn it properly you’ll be rewarded with the very best in RAW image editing. Capture One Pro is available from PhaseOne starting at $179 USD as a perpetual license purchase, or for a recurring subscription from $13 per month, as long as you have one of their supported cameras.
3. DxO PhotoLab
If you want excellent RAW editing power with a more user-friendly approach, DxO PhotoLab has a great series of quick automatic adjustments that can dramatically speed up your editing process. DxO is a renowned lens tester, and they use all the data they have acquired to identify your camera and lens combination and instantly correct for the full range of optical aberrations that can occur.
Combine this with solid RAW exposure editing tools and an industry-leading noise reduction algorithm, and you’ve got a great Lightroom replacement. The only drawback is that its library management tools are a new addition, and aren’t quite as robust as what you’re used to in Lightroom.
DxO PhotoLab is available for Windows and Mac in two editions: the Essential Edition, or the ELITE edition. See our detailed PhotoLab review for more.
4. Serif Affinity Photo
Affinity Photo is the first photo editing program from Serif, and it’s been eagerly anticipated by photographers as a Photoshop replacement. It’s still fairly new, but it already has some excellent RAW editing features that rival what you can do in Lightroom and Photoshop in a single program. It claims to be extremely optimized for working with large RAW files, but I found that even 10-megapixel RAW files had some performance issues.
The real selling point for Affinity Photo is how affordable it is. It’s available for Windows and Mac in a perpetual license edition at a one-time purchase price of $49.99 USD, and Serif has promised free feature updates for all users until version 2.0 is released. Read our full review of Serif Affinity Photo here.
5. Corel Aftershot Pro
If you’ve ever chafed at slow performance in Lightroom, you will be happy to know that Corel’s RAW editor has made a specific point of highlighting how much faster it is.
It remains to be seen how Aftershot Pro will compete with the new performance updates found in Lightroom Classic, but it’s definitely worth a look. It also has some of the best library management tools of any of the alternatives on this list, and it doesn’t force you to work with imported catalogs if you don’t want to.
Corel Aftershot Pro is available for Windows and Mac at a one-time purchase of $79.99, although it is currently on sale (and has been for some time) at a 30% discount, bringing the cost down to a reasonable $54.99. Read our full Corel Aftershot Pro review here.
6. On1 Photo RAW
Despite its lackluster name, On1 Photo RAW is also an excellent Lightroom alternative. It offers solid library management and excellent editing tools, although it could definitely use some optimization on the performance side of things.
The interface is a bit difficult to use, but it’s still worth a look if you’re in the market for an all-in-one RAW workflow package. On1 is going to be releasing the new version shortly, so hopefully, they have addressed some of the issues that I had when I reviewed the previous version of the software.
On1 Photo RAW is available for Windows and Mac at a cost of $119.99 USD, although it is only compatible with 64-bit versions of both operating systems. Read our full On1 Photo Raw review here.
7. Adobe Photoshop & Bridge
This workflow requires two different programs, but since they’re both parts of the Adobe Creative Cloud they play quite nicely together. Adobe Bridge is a digital asset management program, essentially a catalog of all of your media.
It doesn’t have quite the same degree of flagging flexibility as Lightroom Classic or CC, but it does have the benefit of stability and universality. If you’re a subscriber to the full Creative Cloud and use a number of the apps regularly, Bridge allows you to maintain a single catalog of your media no matter where you want to use it.
Once you’re done flagging and tagging and you’re ready for editing, you can simply edit images in Photoshop using Camera Raw. One great aspect of using Camera RAW is that it uses the same RAW conversion engine as Lightroom, so you won’t have to redo any edits that you’ve made previously.
The Bridge/Photoshop combo isn’t as elegant as the all-in-one system offered by Lightroom, but you’ll be able to develop a new workflow with a catalog and editor that Adobe isn’t likely to scrap any time soon – although there are never any guarantees in software.
What’s New in Lightroom CC
The Lightroom CC is a completely different approach to photographic workflow management, based around the idea that everything should be stored in the cloud. This has the potential to be incredibly liberating for those of you who work on multiple editing devices regularly, but it may also be frustrating for those of you who don’t have reliable, unlimited high-speed internet everywhere you go.
For any of you who have ever lost photographs due to a hard drive failure, worries about backups will never trouble you again – at least, not until you run out of storage space on your cloud account. All of the images you add to Lightroom CC get uploaded in full resolution to the cloud, giving you a handy backup copy managed by a professional data center. Of course, it would be foolish to use this as the only backup copy of your photographs, but it’s always nice to have a bit of extra peace of mind.
In addition to storing your photos in the cloud, all of your non-destructive edits will also be stored and shared, allowing you to quickly resume editing on a mobile device or different desktop no matter where you started the process.
Probably the most exciting feature of Lightroom CC is that it can search the contents of your photos without using tags. Yes, you read that right – no more time-consuming tagging when you’d really rather be shooting and editing! Powered by recent developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning, Adobe has developed a new service dubbed ‘Sensei’ that provides a range of services across all of their Creative Cloud apps. You can learn more about Sensei and what it can do here.
AI-based searching is incredibly cool (assuming it works properly and doesn’t miss important photos) but it’s not really enough to drive adoption. No matter how many buzzwords Adobe crams into their marketing materials, the truth of the matter is that Lightroom CC still isn’t ready for professional use just yet.
The latest Lightroom CC update solves one of the larger issues by adding support for default import presets, but I find it a bit concerning that they’re only getting around to fixing that now, years after the first release.
We can expect to see Lightroom CC receiving fairly frequent updates as the development process continues, so hopefully, it will eventually live up to its promise. For those of you who are interested in how the migration from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom CC will work, Adobe has prepared a quick guide with tips here.
Has Lightroom Classic Changed Much?
Lightroom Classic still offers the same functionality that we’ve come to expect. Adobe has added a couple of new features in the latest release such as local hue adjustment tools and updated support for the latest RAW formats, but the real changes being touted by Adobe are under the hood. Lightroom users have long complained about slow performance when importing, creating previews, and other edits, although at least one program (Corel Aftershot) makes a point of how much faster it is than Lightroom.
I’m not sure if this is just limited to my unique combination of images and editing computer, but I’ve actually noticed a bit of a reduction in responsiveness after the June 2023 update for Lightroom Classic – despite the fact that Adobe is claiming improved performance. I find it pretty frustrating, overall, although I still find Lightroom to be one of the simplest combinations of library management and RAW editor.
When you look back at the history of new Lightroom features, the latest update is a pretty small set of changes, especially considering that the promised performance improvements don’t really seem to be helpful.
Admittedly, Lightroom was already a pretty solid program and there wasn’t too much to improve upon in terms of major features – but when companies start focusing on optimizing instead of expanding, it usually indicates that they’re done making large changes.
Should I Switch My Workflow?
This is a very difficult question to answer, and it will depend a lot on your current setup. Completely changing your photo processing workflow can be a huge time investment, especially for those of you who have an extensive flagging system for your photo catalog. Not all programs interpret ratings, flags, and tags in the same way (if they recognize them at all) so it’s always a bit nerve-wracking to think about losing all of that data.
Many of you who have invested heavily in Lightroom in terms of your workflow and catalog will be resistant to changing everything up, and very understandably. But is it possible that Adobe will eventually drop support for Lightroom Classic the way they have for Lightroom 6, eventually leaving it by the wayside as new features and camera profiles are released for Lightroom CC? Adobe hasn’t made any statements about the future of Lightroom Classic, but that isn’t necessarily reassuring.
Unfortunately, Adobe has something of a history of saying one thing and doing another when it comes to the future development of their applications. In this blog post from 2013 when the Creative Cloud brand and system were being launched, Adobe attempted to calm down Lightroom 5 users who were confused by the changes:
Q. Will there be a different version of Lightroom called Lightroom CC?
Q. Will Lightroom become a subscription-only offering after Lightroom 5?
A. Future versions of Lightroom will be made available via traditional perpetual licenses indefinitely.
Adobe then later announced that Lightroom 6 would be the last standalone version of Lightroom available outside of the Creative Cloud subscription model and that it would stop receiving updates after the end of 2023. This means that as time goes on, a perfectly acceptable editor will grow less and less useful as the range of unsupported camera RAW profiles increases.
My personal workflow doesn’t benefit from the new cloud-based features, but I’m definitely keeping an eye on Lightroom CC as it matures to see whether or not it grows into a better option. At the moment, the storage plans available don’t fit either my budget or my workflow, but storage is always getting cheaper.
So What Should I Do?
If you’re happy with your current workflow, you can continue using Lightroom Classic without any disruptions other than the slightly confusing new name. You may want to prepare yourself for the possibility that it will eventually be left behind in favor of the cloud-based Lightroom CC, although it’s quite easy to make the shift to the new workflow if you want to.
If you don’t like the idea of storing all your photos in the cloud, many of the other alternatives that we discussed above are just as capable as Lightroom. This may be a good time to see if any other software can fill your RAW photo editing needs – you might even find a program you like better than Lightroom!
After all the hard work designing or retouching an image in Photoshop, it is time to save it. You go to File then Save or Save As; you get a prompt to choose a name if the file wasn’t already given a name. You also see a place to choose the File Format. If you added a feature to the file that it does not support, Photoshop will display an error icon. File formats are very important when saving as they will indicate so many attributes of the file. The file format will decide what program can open the file, how and if it is compressed, and so much more.Common Photoshop File Formats that you can use
Best for Digital Photos
Best for Web Graphics
Best for Commercial Printing
Another thing to pay attention to is the limitations of the file format that you choose. When you choose the file format in the Save As dialogue box, look at the lower section of the box. Check if you see some yellow warning icons. If they are there, check to see what they represent. They will usually show you what features will not be available in the chosen file format.
Here is a file save dialogue box with the yellow triangle beside the feature that will not be available for this file format. In this case, Photoshop is telling you that if you save it as a JPEG file format, you will not have the layers available. If you are ok with the missing element then you can save it. If not, you can choose a different file format that will support the features you wanted available. If you need to save layers and have them available for edit later, save the file as a Photoshop PSD.
Whatever file format you choose to save your project, always keep the Photoshop PSD working file saved. This will help you to make changes in the future without having to redo the whole thing. Another file format that will save your layers and paths is TIFF with Layers enabled.1] Best Photoshop file format for Digital Photos
If you will be doing your printing yourself, you can just print from Photoshop, this means that you can keep the PSD file and print from it. Remember that the more file formats that you have the more disk space that you will use up. That means you can just print straight from Photoshop PSD and you will also be able to make edits if you need to. (Remember that you cannot re-save in a Raw format after opening in Photoshop.) if you need to send the files to a store for printing, then save them as JPEGs. If the print store accepts TIFF then you can send it as TIFF. If you are sending it via the internet, the JPEG file would be smaller and easier to send.
Here are the pros and cons of the major formats that you should consider for photos when saving:
The PSD file format is Photoshop’s build-in file format that is used to save files with all the layers and styles editable. PSD is great for doing your printing and you can make changes if you need to. If the file size is large, you can make a JPEG or TIFF copy before printing, to flatten the image, making it smaller. Be sure to keep a copy of the PSD so you can edit it. Send JPEG to the print store, TIFF is ok if they will accept it.
Although the TIFF format can save your layers and most other Photoshop features, make sure to choose Layers then Flatten Image before sending files for printing. Layered TIFF files generally are compatible only with working in Photoshop.
The JPEG file format is a file compression scheme rather than a file format. What is important to remember is that JPEG throws away some of your image data when it saves the file. Save important images in PSD or TIFF and use JPEG only for copies.
You should use JPEG When sending images to a printing store that doesn’t accept TIFF files, uploading to most social media sites, and when sending images (via email or messengers) to people who don’t have Photoshop. Unlike PSD and TIFF, you can open JPEG images in a web browser and print from there. When saving JPEGs, the lower the Quality setting you choose in the JPEG Options dialog box, the smaller the file, but also the more damage to the image. JPEG only supports 8-bit color so it will convert your 16-bit to 8-bit before saving. Save your file in a format that supports 16-bit color, such as PSD or TIFF, before creating the JPEG copy.
The JPS or Jpeg Stereo file format is used to create stereoscopic images that use the left half as one copy and the right half as another. It’s a specialty format for creating 3D-looking photos. You may or may not ever use this file format.
Lots of people, even seasoned designers tend to overlook PDF for saving images, but you should consider using this format. Lots of printing stores will accept PDF, it’s a great format for sharing your pictures with folks who don’t have Photoshop. Unlike JPEG, your images won’t be degraded when saved as PDF; and like JPEG, just about anyone with a computer can view the files. Adobe Reader and other PDF readers are found on just about every computer now. PDF files will also open and print from most web browsers just like web browsers for JPEG. Remember, however, that PDF files are larger than JPEGs.
The PSB file format is for really big documents, possibly over 30,000 pixels wide or high or both. You may only need that for large banners that will stretch over 30 feet. With vehicle and building wraps being so common, this would be a good file format to save in for those big projects.2] Best Photoshop file format for Web Graphics
If you are designing for use on the web, there are many more factors to consider, including what content management system is being used. Here are the three most commonly used file formats that you need for the web:
The JPG file format is best used for photos. Remember to resize the photo so that it fits on a web page. When selecting a Quality setting, you need to balance image appearance with file size. A smaller file will download (and display in a web browser) faster, but a larger file generally looks better. If you reduce the Quality setting until just before the image doesn’t look great, you’ve got the right balance— the compromise between file size and image quality.
The GIF file format is more appropriate for items like web banners, small animations, and buttons than it is for photos. If you save a photo that’s more than 100×100 pixels in size, you might see some degradation of the image quality as similar colors become one color. When you save an image as GIF, it can contain no more than 256 distinct colors. JPEG and the other common file formats can have thousands of different colors.
PNG3] Best Photoshop file format for Commercial Printing
Commercial printing usually requires excellent color and quality. You may design the artwork very well and the print color is CMYK, however, if the correct file format is not used to save the file, the quality will not be printed on paper. If the wrong file format is used the file may be compressed in the case of JPEG.
The TIFF file format is generally a great choice for commercial printing. Use TIFF for photographic images that don’t contain type/text layers.
The EPS file format is best if your image has type/text. Don’t flatten or merge the type layers before using Save As to create the EPS. In the EPS Options dialog box, make sure to select the Include Vector Data check box to ensure that your type prints perfectly.
If you reopen an EPS file in Photoshop, your type layers get merged. Make sure to save your original file as PSD and, should you need to make changes, open the PSD and create a new EPS file when you’re done editing.
The PDF file format offers support for spot color channels, alpha channels, and paths, these options are not supported by EPS. (Spot channels are used with custom colors, and alpha channels store information about transparency in the image.) If your file uses any of these features, choose PDF over EPS, if your print shop accepts PDFs. When saving as PDF, the PDF Options dialog box offers Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities. If you select the option, the PDF file reopens in Photoshop with layers and editable type.
The PSD file format is great if you need to make changes to the file. Use PSD only if you’re adding the image file to a project in Adobe InDesign. Don’t send PSD files to a print store unless specifically requested to do so by the print store.
Read: How to automate Photoshop using ActionsWhy are there so many different file formats? What else should I consider when designing?
It is good to consider the use of the file, and that will help decide the color format to use. Artwork for print will do better with CMYK and artwork for screens will be better in RGB. These too will help decide which file format is used. JPEG is better for RGB raster images on a screen. The PDF file format is great for a vector which is better for CMYK for print.Which of these file formats is the most used?
Well based on the number of screens used to display and the need for transmitting images over the web, JPEG is the most used file format. JPEG is good for sending on those messaging apps for phones and tablets. These devices are usually small and do not require large files. Note that some of these messaging apps will compress a file that is already compressed so the file may not be that good of quality if you want to download and use it again.Why is JPEG the most used image file format?
A JPEG is a standardized lossy compression mechanism for digital images. Digital cameras compress raw photographs as JPEG images to make the files smaller in size. It is the most common file format for photo storage. JPEGs became popular as they save more storage space compared to older formats such as Bitmap. However, the JPEG file format compresses the image a lot so it damages the file. This makes JPEG less desirable for files that need to be of high print quality.Which image format is of the highest quality?
TIFF (Tag Image File Format) is the highest quality image format for commercial purposes. Photographers and graphic designers consider it, and it is widely accepted worldwide.What could cause an image file to not open?
It’s often the case that what works for PPC works for SEO, and vice versa – at least to a degree. You’ll certainly have to tweak your techniques when moving between organic and paid search efforts, but there’s no reason that gains and losses in one area can’t inform your decisions in the other – this goes for keyword research, landing page optimization, and, I’d argue, copywriting.
Need Better PPC Ad Copy? Performance based PPC Copywriters Average 50% improvement in CTR!
Here are five tips borrowed from the world of PPC that can improve your SEO copywriting.1. Experiment with Exclamation Points
It’s well-known among PPC copywriters that adding an exclamation point to your ad can increase CTR.2. Use Data and Evidence
Symbols and proof are also known to improve CTR in PPC. How can you use these in your SEO copy? Instead of making vague claims like “Negative keywords reduce your AdWords costs,” cite a statistic – for example, “Negative keywords can reduce wasteful AdWords spending by up to 30%.” Naturally, you want to use real data here, not just make up a number (like I just did). Unlike a PPC ad, an article written for SEO gives you room to cite or link to your source.3. Try Virtual Dynamic Keyword Insertion
You can’t do the same thing with the title of an SEO article, but you can emulate the technique by anticipating different variations on a search query that might lead someone to your article. Obviously, you should back this up with keyword research. If you know there’s search volume for a set of similar search queries (say, “emergency plumber,” “short-notice plumber,” and “same day plumber”), you can build three different pages with similar content, but each optimized for a different keyword. That way, you stand to rank for all the variations.4. Test Like a PPC-er 5. Don’t Waste Space
In PPC, you really have to distill your message and avoid any redundancy. If you’ve never tried to write an AdWords ad, trust me, it’s hard to say what you want to say – and be clever and interesting to boot – within that tiny space. Luckily you don’t have to be that concise when it comes to SEO copywriting, but the lesson is still valuable. When writing for the web, you never want to beat around the bush, bury the lead, or say in ten words what you could say in five. Earlier today, I wrote something like “When it comes to PPC, what you get out of it depends on what you put in.” Then I realized I could say the same thing in a lot fewer words: “In PPC, you get out what you put in.” More words don’t make you sound smarter; they make you waste people’s time.
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