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Find Software Alternatives with AlternativeTo

AlternativeTo Have you ever thought about trying out a piece of software, but had your eyes pop out of your head when you saw the price?  Adobe’s Photoshop is a great example of this, coming in at over $650 on Amazon.  That puts it out of reach for the average consumer.  What to do?  You could perform a Google search for "Photoshop alternatives," and pour over the results.  There’s a better way to find software alternatives, though- head on over to AlternativeTo, and find other options as suggested by users.

AlternativeTo is a site that does just what its name suggests – it helps you find alternatives to software.  It’s a simple matter of typing in the program that interests you (such as Photoshop), and selecting that program from a list of possible matches.  For example, after searching for Photoshop, you’ll need to indicate whether you mean Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Express, etc..  Once you make your choice, you’re presented with a list of free and paid alternatives.  In the case of Photoshop, for example, the first few results returned are GIMP (Open Source), Paint.NET (Open Source), and Pixelmator (commercial).

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You can hone down your search with filters, either by license (Commercial, Free & Open Source, and Open Source), or by Platform (Mac, Windows, Linux, Online).  Users of the site can also "Like" a particular program, which is like giving it a thumbs up.  Results are sorted by the total number of "likes" by default, but you can also choose to sort by likes in the last 30 days, number of views, or alphabetically.

If you click on a link to view an alternative program, the page for that program will also include a list of alternatives.  In addition to alternatives, a program’s listing in the AlternativeTo database includes a summary, tags, and an indication of the platform on which the program is available.  Users of the site also have the option to leave comments about a program, and to search for Tweets about the program.  Users can also suggest alternatives.

How do you find programs that you need?