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24 March 2016

In a Google+ blog post today, Google announced it has made the Nik Collection "available to everyone, for free."

The Nik Collection, originally developed by Nils Kokemohr, founder of Nik Software, and subsequently sold to Google (with a brief licensing of U Point technology to Nikon for use in Nikon Capture NX), consists of seven desktop plug-ins for image editing. The plug-ins are compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom and Apple's Aperture.

Originally offered by Nik for $500, Google dropped the price to $150 before offering them at no charge today.

The plug-ins include Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. Here's a brief description of each:

Analog Efex Pro Film emulsion simulation
Color Efex Pro Color filters
Dfine Noise reduction
HDR Efex Pro High dynamic range image processing
Sharpener Pro Sophisticated image sharpening
Silver Efex Pro Black and white image processing with presets
Viveza Local image editing using U Point technology

We've reviewed several of the plug-ins over the years for other publications, always with high praise. We have been particularly impressed with Sharpener Pro for its intelligent sharpening (avoiding flat fields like sky, for example) and Viveza's U Point technology for local corrections.

Google said it will refund purchases made in this calendar year.

You can download the Nik Collection for Mac OS X or Windows at no charge. For more information see the text of the blog post below.

Today we're making the Nik Collection available to everyone, for free.

Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we've decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities -- from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Starting March 24, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we'll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.

We're excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now.

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