Image editing software comes in a variety of flavors. And the prices vary just as much. I will outline some of those I have had personal experience with.
This may be the most popular among those who work with photographs. It was born in the world of Macintosh and made a successful migration to establish itself in the world of the PC as well. It has the precision and flexibility that most people want. But the caveat is the price and long learning curve. Adobe is moving their software to the "Creative Cloud" and want users to subscribe with monthly fees around $50. If you can find CS6, expect to pay up to $700.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
This one has most of the features of the full Photoshop program, but only costs $80 - $100 for version 12. The user interface is a bit different from big brother, and includes a lot of "presets" to help newer users with some of the adjustments. This will do all the basics of photo editing and a lot more.
Corel Paintshop Pro
This gem has a lot going for it. The adjustments available sit in panels along side the image of choice. They are quick to provide the how-to instructions of each of the adjustments. Many are so intuitive that instructions are not necessary. A Photo organizer is built into the interface, so everything you need is at your fingertips. A Photoshop style layer menu sits beside the main window, so that you can add layers of images or text just like you can in the $700 program, and at this writing, this one is only $60 (upgrade for $40). What a bargain!!! What's not to love about this one?
This is included in the CorelDRAW graphics suite, and not available as a separate purchase. CorelDRAW is a vector creation/editing program and, as the name suggests, Photo-Paint is a powerful bitmap editing program which includes photos. As in the programs listed above, this one allows the creation of layers, but they are called objects. If you have need of a vector editing program, CorelDRAW is easier to learn than some, and it comes with tons of images and fonts along with Photo-Paint and some other applications. Cost of the full version is about $500.
Created by Irfan Skiljan of Jajce, Bosnia, this little image viewer has a feature list as long as your arm, and it's free to individuals! I've known this program for at least 15 years, and my new computer installations always get this as one of the first to be installed. I use other programs for basic editing, but it has so many features that others don't have, it's well worth having installed on my computer. The only caveat is that it does not offer image layers.
So, no matter what imaging software you have, or decide to buy for this project, download and install this handy program and its plugins. www.irfanview.com/. Go to the downloads page. Tucows is a good download location. Tip: Click the green download button then click the "download manually" link to avoid any confusion about the ads in front of you. Download IrfanView. Download Irfanview plugins. This program is used all over the world. I've found it to be perfectly safe and free of ad ware and viruses.
There are lots of others to investigate. You may find something that has a feature that you love, and you will want to keep that one on your computer as well.
Download your software
Whatever you choose, if you have a cable or DSL Internet connection, you can easily download the software of your choice from the publisher's Web site or perhaps Amazon.com. If kept up-to-date, your antivirus software will scan it then allow you to save the file on your hard drive when found to be virus free. Save the file then back it up. Then double-click the file to load the installation program. Follow the instructions.
Tip: Whatever you choose for your image editor, be sure that it can import from your Twain or WIA based scanner, so that you can control your scanner from within the program.