A freeware image editor allows the user to modify and manipulate a digital image through a variety of means, including changing its color tones, hues, brightness and contrast levels without the need to purchase the program. Many programs also allow users to draw or paint onto the image, cut out sections or create special effects using different filters special features.
Freeware image editors function in the same capacity as paid image editing programs, with the most significant difference being that many free programs feature a more limited control set, less customer support and fewer design options compared to programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Most programs contain the same basic functionality of allowing the user to import an image and make tone adjustments through different interface options. Many programs contain options to change the brightness or color levels and tools to select specific areas of the image to which the user wishes to apply the changes.
Layers are another common feature of image editing software present in freeware programs, though some may include a limit on the number of layers in a document. This system allows the user to create a new segment of the file onto which she may draw or make other manipulations. For example, the user may import two images into the same document on two separate layers, then erase part of the top image and blend it into the bottom one.