Sometimes I come across questions on general issues with using graphics software that are tagged , , or mention these applciations in the question body, However, solutions to the issue may be identical on many alternative applications, namely open source counterparts like or , or even command line applications such as .

In the past I have refrained from answering if a question appears to be specific to Adobe products; it seems an answer regarding other software would make little sense. This is not always the case. Occasionally, an alternative may even give better results or be faster at doing the issue specified.

Quite often, steps involved for getting any desired result differ only in the names of the tools but not so much in the procedures involved. In these cases, I sometimes still write an answer but I always feel a bit uncomfortable about it as the OP may be looking for Photoshop/Illustrator solutions only.

Am I welcome to do this? Are there circumstances where adding an additional tag to the question may be a good idea (I haven't done this so far)?

3 Answers 3


Yes, it is welcome and encouraged!

I was sure we had a previous meta discussion about this, but I can't find it (it was maybe a year ago). I also remember having a little discussion about the tags, if allowing for multiple programs would mean there is only one tag extra for the question subject.

Although we have a lot of questions that are software-specific, it is allowed to answer with alternative programs. This is not the case for every single how-to question, but it works for the general ones. When alternative answers are added, the title should be edited to remove any specific references.


I found the 'discussion'. It's a Trello card in the GD.SE strike team board. The board is OPEN. Here it is: https://trello.com/c/uEzFthGX/49-upcoming-meta-post-straying-away-from-application-specific-questions

  • Was searching for a related Meta post myself but failed... if you say we have then there will be one! ;)
    – Takkat
    Mar 18, 2015 at 10:18
  • @Takkat I added a link to the Trello card we had on this!
    – Yisela
    Mar 18, 2015 at 18:04
  • Cool! Thank you :)
    – Takkat
    Mar 18, 2015 at 19:57
  • Hey that trello has Boblette on it!
    – Ryan
    Mar 20, 2015 at 16:51

Before posting an answer I would ask what the OP wants. While it is great to provide an answer to solve the OP's issue I think some can argue that the answer would be wrong because it is not what they are wanting if it is in regards to a particular software.

Imagine going to Stackoverflow and asking a PHP question and the solution that is provided, although correct and great, is downvoted and met with disgust by coders because a user decided to post an answer in C#.

I would purpose a standard comment asking the user simply, Would you be interested in a solution in [x software] software?

However, if the tagged question has a current broad spectrum, like some tagged Photoshop and Illustrator, I would imagine the answer provided in Gimp or Inkscape is acceptable based on the appearance that the OP just wants an answer, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

  • 1
    Yeah, asking certainly is a good way to find out for the given OP, but I fear that most of the times the answer will be "not really". My considerations when answering such questions is focused more at other people coming later for help, and also I'd love to see the site to be a bit wider than a PS/Illustrator tutorial collection but of course that is my personal opinion, and my Gimp/Inkscape answers also are not much more than just another tutorial.
    – Takkat
    Mar 18, 2015 at 13:18
  • 1
    + 1 particularly for the bit about the disgust ; ) Stackoverflow is a wild world! Now seriously, I agree with you that if the OP is asking about a specific program then fanning out might not always help them. For example, if an OP has already paid for AI, started a project and got stuck on a simple task it is very unlikely that, seeing an Inkscape answer, they will go out of their way, abandon AI, install Inkscape and start their project again. I personally have never used Inkscape so I ignore the questions tagged as such, because I think my AI centred answer will not be helpful to the OP.
    – cockypup
    Mar 18, 2015 at 13:28

I, for one, say no.

How dare you show us easier more elegant ways of accomplishing things in less expensive or free software. You really should be careful before Adobe declares a jihad or crusade against you!

Of course, I'm kidding. I always love seeing the alternate software solutions.

  • Besides the joke, I don't see how this adds anything to the answer already here. It's more likely to mislead someone glancing at these posts than it is to help them Mar 21, 2015 at 15:27
  • Really? It adds my opinion about the question. Life's not that serious, ya know.
    – Scott
    Mar 21, 2015 at 16:56
  • If anything that bolded 'no' just made me want to read on to know why.
    – Dom
    Mar 21, 2015 at 18:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .