11 Best Graphic Design Software of 2021 (Free and Paid)

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11 Best Graphic Design Software of 2021 (Free and Paid)

Beautiful design that speaks to an viewers is paramount for manufacturers of all sizes.

Whether or not you want this software program that can assist you begin a weblog like this one or edit product pictures in your ecommerce enterprise, choosing the right graphic design software program can take your model identification to the subsequent stage.

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Contemplating this development, Adobe Photoshop has turn into the reference level of picture modifying and graphic design software program. Nonetheless, over time, a number of different visible design software program instruments have emerged to cater to completely different wants and preferences of designers.

A succesful graphic design device not solely enhances effectivity, however it additionally helps in placing beautiful creativity into real-world design.

This text will cowl the highest 11 choices ranked so as of high quality.

Let’s get began.

Disclaimer: Please notice, I’ll obtain affiliate compensation for among the hyperlinks under for free of charge to you in case you select to buy one of many merchandise. Nonetheless, these are my high picks for graphic design that I’ve used and examined this 12 months. You’ll be able to learn my affiliate disclosure in my privateness coverage.

What’s the Finest Graphic Design Software program?

1. Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop best graphic design software

Adobe Photoshop is synonymous with photograph modifying for graphic designers. It is among the hottest photograph modifying software program instruments out there in a strong package deal that provides glorious graphic design capabilities.

Key Options:

  • Design Instruments: Affords loads of design instruments for each cell apps and net
  • Inventive Cloud: Its lively synchronization with Adobe Inventive Cloud gives loads of distinctive options, together with Content material-Conscious Crop, Face-Conscious Liquify, Artboards, the Design Area view, synced libraries, a glyph panel, Cloud Paperwork, contact, and stylus enter assist, amongst others.
  • Consumer Interface: Adobe is constantly engaged on delivering a extra customizable consumer interface. It gives a number of focused workspace layouts, together with Graphic and Internet, Movement, 3D, Portray, and Pictures, Designer can even create your personal customized structure of panels and home windows.
  • Open-Supply GIMP Software program: When you don’t need to pay a dime, then you possibly can obtain and set up this software program at no cost. Take into account putting in it on a robust machine to keep away from lag and different efficiency points.


  • It gives a complimentary cell software
  • Its slick consumer interface gives loads of help for straightforward use
  • Obtained a wealthy set of typography and drawing instruments
  • Comes loaded with 3D design capabilities
  • Affords a library and photograph administration with Adobe Inventive Cloud
  • Environment friendly file switch between completely different packages
  • A number of design instruments include responsive graphics
  • Capacity to edit animation and video layers
  • Customers can outline the dimensions of the canvas, create customized brushes, work in 3D, isolate components from backgrounds, amongst others.


  • Adobe now gives Photoshop together with the subscription of Inventive Cloud. The recurring cost seems to be extra pricey, and individuals who need to purchase software program ceaselessly don’t have the choice to purchase a perpetual license
  • A plethora of options may overwhelm a brand new consumer
  • Affords lessor assist for raster and vector pictures like SVG information

Pricing Plans:

Adobe Photoshop Pricing

Adobe gives Photoshop at a subscription worth of US$33.99 per 30 days per license.

Get began with Adobe Photoshop as we speak.

2. Adobe InDesign.

Adobe InDesign cover photo

Adobe InDesign is a must have software program device in case you are within the enterprise of publishing. It gives glorious capabilities to design beautiful magazines, data sheets, and brochures whereas simply exporting them to PDF or HTML.

Key Options:

  • Straightforward To Use: Not like PhotShop, InDesign requires a low studying curve. Which means new customers can rapidly learn to mix textual content and graphics to attain the most effective outcomes.
  • Modify Format: The ‘Modify Format’ characteristic empowers the designer simply to vary the textual content of the template, and design will get adjusted routinely, which is nice for infographics.
  • Sensei Know-how: Adobe’s AI-powered Sensei know-how ensures computerized resizing and association of pictures.
  • Adobe InCopy: Designers can leverage InCopy to work with different members of the crew by sharing textual content, colours, and graphics.


  • Graphic designers can effectively mix graphics and texts for simpler streamlining and optimizations of information.
  • It permits customers so as to add tags to indexes, key phrases, anchor textual content frames, footnotes, desk of contents, and captions with hyperlinks.
  • It helps HTML exporting that permits net builders to export clear and easy codes throughout the implementation of the web site’s structure designs. This works nice for WordPress websites.
  • It will possibly allow you to remove redundant div tags in HTML information together with insignificant content material grouping.
  • Has the aptitude of resizing a number of objects and alter the width and top on the identical time.
  • Designers can leverage its Eyedropper device to use place or dimension immediately to a different object inside the doc.
  • It’s an industry-standard for desktop publishing.


  • The much less intuitive consumer interface could make issues overwhelming for brand new customers.
  • Not positioned for basic customers. Appropriate for enterprise use solely.
  • Comparatively costly than different related software program obtainable out there.
  • PDF remark integration wants perfection

Pricing Plans:

Adobe gives InDesign at a month-to-month subscription of $20.99. The total Inventive Cloud prices $52.99 per 30 days.

Get began with Adobe InDesign as we speak.

3. CorelDraw Graphics Suite.

CorelDraw Graphics Suite Cover Image

CorelDraw Graphics Suite packs some pro-level options and gives a extremely accessible interface that’s simple to make use of. It’s a bundle of a number of purposes that ship highly effective modifying options.

Key Options:

  • Content material Trade: It’s Corel’s on-line digital library by which registered customers can get entry to 1000’s of high-resolution images and digital pictures. It additionally gives over 2000 automobile templates, 1000 fonts, 350 professionally designed templates, greater than 500 interactive frames, over 600 gradients, vector, and bitmap fills.
  • Versatile Fee: Corel gives three cost packages by which customers can purchase the software program together with nominal expenses for normal upgrades. It additionally gives an improve program for current customers.
  • Customizable UI: You get a customizable UI setting for the desktop, icon sizing, toolboxes, choices for a way your paperwork open, and window border shade scheme. Customers can even go to Corel’s developer neighborhood web site to design macros that go well with their workflow.
  • New Pointilizer: Corel’s new pointilizer gives loads of variable parameters that aren’t simply restricted to common dots.


  • It gives app-wide workflow and under-the-hood innovation and efficiency enhancements to spice up productiveness
  • Works completely with none lag with Floor Pen
  • Customers get the choice to decide on GPU acceleration over the default CPU whereas working with system-intensive refined vector graphics
  • Clean transition from desktop to pill mode to leverage contact options
  • It gives higher EPS and third-party PDF importing capabilities and leverages with their GPL Ghostscript characteristic
  • It’s able to exporting information in as much as 48 file sorts, together with AutoCAD, JPG, PNG, SVG, AutoCAD, JPG, and TIFF. It will possibly additionally open 35 file sorts, together with EPS, HTML, AutoCAD, PDF, PowerPoint, SVG, and even previous FreeHand information


  • Not like Adobe, there are not any complimentary cell purposes supplied by Corel
  • Two many cost choices may confuse the consumer
  • Not simple to function for novices

Pricing Plans::

CorelDraw is out there for a 15-day free trial. Its full model is out there for $474 with a 30-days money-back assure. It’s also possible to pay for an annual subscription for $198, or simply $16.50/month.

Get began with CorelDraw Graphics Suite.

4. Inkscape.

Inkspace Cover Image

Inkscape is a succesful free graphic design software program that may assist designers create scalable graphic designs that gained’t stretch or blur throughout resizing. It’s a user-friendly choice for hobbyists or novices fascinated about vector drawing.

Key Options:

  • Consumer Expertise: Totally free vector software program, the consumer expertise is kind of spectacular. Designers who’re aware of Adobe instruments can effectively function Inkscape.
  • Common Updates: Inscape has a strong neighborhood of builders that permits it to offer updates and new options frequently. Its newest replace has obtained mesh gradients, a checkerboard background to view transparency extra comfortably, improved spray, and measurement instruments.
  • Freed from Value: It is among the most strong and succesful options to Adobe Illustrator that’s obtainable as a free device.
  • Guide Enchancment: Customers can leverage the open-source code to vary the traces of code and improve or personalize the software program as per the requirement.


  • Customers can simply make particular person textual content traces with out frames together with the paragraph sort.
  • It helps a number of gradients and comes with a separate device to create advanced combos.
  • It comes geared up with Bezier handles to make sure extra easy motion of nodes.
  • Inkscape gives a number of well-designed and full-featured instruments to create, edit, and convert vectors.
  • Additionally it is able to downloading or creating ready-made plugins.
  • Customers can leverage completely different preset classes of filters to save lots of effort and time.


  • Inkscapes’ streaming textual content must be transformed into plain textual content, as an example, earlier than export.
  • The Mac model just isn’t error-free.
  • Processing is a bit slower than different graphics software program.
  • Compatibility with Illustrator just isn’t bulletproof.

Pricing Plans:

Read more: What Is Lab Color Space? (And How to Use It in Photoshop)

Inkscape is an open-source platform that’s obtainable at no cost.

5. Sketch.

Sketch: vector-based graphic designing tool

The sketch is a vector-based graphic design device that’s finest suited to app, net, and interface design. It’s best suited to creating interactive prototypes for UI/UX functions.

Key Options:

  • Low Value: Sketch gives a yearly subscription that’s considerably decrease than different subscriptions
  • Nice For Cellular and Internet: It leverages grids, snap to grid performance, and snap to pixel performance to keep away from half-pixel renders or imperfect alignment. These perfections are essential to make sure excellent responsive design/a number of display screen sizes and resolutions.
  • Display screen Templates: It gives a library of artboard templates for iOS gadgets and responsive net design layouts. Designers simply want to pick an artboard and the gadget.
  • Customized Plugins: Designers can simply discover customized plugins for particular duties by strong neighborhood assist


  • It permits simple sharing and collaboration by the cloud. Designers can share your entire interface within the cloud by a easy file sharing course of
  • Customers can mirror designs on bigger gadgets for crew viewing to establish how the design would precisely look in a specific gadget
  • Customers can export any layer or group as a PNG file
  • Sketch autosaves all of the adjustments within the design step-by-step to keep away from any lack of design. Important aid for designers, certainly!
  • Customers can leverage libraries with commonplace Android icons, iOS icons, and Mac icons
  • It requires a low studying curve


  • Being a brand new design device, it isn’t fully polished and requires loads of enhancement
  • It gives restricted illustration capabilities that may hamper intricate illustration work
  • Screens don’t render in excessive decision whereas accessing from the cloud
  • Out there just for Mac customers
  • Absence of computerized structure flowing choice

Pricing Plans:

Sketch Pricing

The yearly subscription prices $99 per 12 months.

6. Adobe Illustrator.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is greater than only a graphic design device that’s excellent for illustrative art work, web page layouts, company logos, web site mockups, and nearly anything as per the requirement. Furthermore, it’s an {industry} benchmark in vector creation instruments.

Key Options:

  • Excessive-customizability: Adobe Illustrator is very customizable by a number of preset layouts together with different customizability choices. Customers can leverage the drag and drop characteristic to maneuver panels anyplace on the display screen.
  • In-Panel Modifying: Its in-panel modifying characteristic permits designers to edit a number of artboards concurrently to assist designers work with extra effectivity.
  • Extremely Suitable: It’s extremely appropriate with quite a few gadgets which have completely different configurations from Mac and Home windows.
  • Consumer Interface: Its consumer interface is very accessible and customizable. It gives customized viewing and space-saving options that can assist you work on any machine.


  • As an alternative of saved pixels, it generates graphics primarily based on mathematical equations to make sure crisp and sharp traces which you can print in any dimension
  • It creates graphics information in comparatively small sizes in order that designers can share them simply by a easy e-mail attachment
  • You get entry to over 90 million pictures, graphics, templates, and movies from Adobe Inventory
  • Use Adobe font integration to pick 1000’s of fonts and implement essentially the most appropriate font for the venture
  • Tight integration with different Adobe merchandise


  • It’s costlier compared to different vector-based graphic design instruments
  • So many options can look a bit overwhelming for brand new customers. It requires a steep studying curve to make use of it effectively
  • It might eat up loads of house in your machine

Pricing Plans:

Adobe Illustrator gives a month-to-month subscription of US$9.99 for private use and US$33.99 for enterprise use.

Get began with Adobe Illustrator as we speak.

7. Affinity Designer.

Affinity Designer graphics software cover photo

Affinity Designer is a clear, succesful, and cheaper different to Adobe Illustrator. It gives a wonderful price range proposition that can also be simpler to make use of and quicker than Illustrator.

Key Options:

  • Grid Methods: Its versatile grid system allows designers to arrange grids whereas creating isometric online game graphics and icons. This characteristic helps customers in buying complete management over angles, gutters, spacing, subdivisions to create correct layouts.
  • Snapping Possibility: It permits designers to lock and place objects and components relying on a number of issues, together with grids, alignment guides, shapes, and nodes of different objects.
  • Twin Atmosphere: By Affinity Designer, customers can work in each pixel artwork environments and vector artwork setting with out opening some other software.
  • Zoom Function: Its zoom characteristic can go so far as 1,000,000 p.c enabling designers to design with utmost precision and accuracy.


  • Designers can leverage dynamic on-screen guides to make sure objects and designs are laid out with correct measurement and alignment
  • Customers can create clean and correct curves by rope and window stabilizers to create stunning vector illustrations
  • Boolean operation just isn’t solely able to combining shapes, however additionally it is able to effectively shifting and modifying some components
  • It gives a wide array of colours to reinforce designs.
  • Customers are additionally allowed to use for his or her work on one venture to a number of numbers of artboards
  • Its iPad app is as highly effective as its desktop software


  • Doesn’t export information in AI
  • Absence of pure perspective grid
  • Absence of vector eraser in Designer Persona
  • Some instruments are lacking which might be obtainable on Illustrator

Pricing Plan:

Designers can purchase Affinity Designer software program for a one time price of $49.99.

8. GIMP (GNU Picture Manipulation Program).

GIMP Cover image

GIMP is far more than only a photograph editor that provides loads of unimaginable Photoshop options at no cost. It gives a number of professional-quality capabilities to fine-tune snaps and create artworks from scratch.

Key Options:

  • Flexibility: The photograph modifying device’s consumer interface is very customizable, and the GIMP neighborhood has developed a number of unimaginable plugins for added options freed from price. Individuals who know coding can customise it to increased ranges as per the requirement.
  • Common Updates: Its lively neighborhood of builders signifies that it retains getting common updates and the addition of recent options.
  • GEGL Scripts: It is among the finest options of GIMP that makes it an open platform for picture processing.
  • Compatibility: It’s appropriate with a plethora of working programs together with macOS, Linux, Home windows, Solaris, and BDS


  • It allows customers to sketch the drawing by leveraging instruments, together with cloning, pencil, and airbrush
  • GIMP gives tutorials for each characteristic to assist out the customers
  • Its Layers characteristic permits designers to design a picture below an current picture
  • Clear and simple to make use of consumer interface for customers who’re new to the world of picture modifying
  • It gives the choice of engaged on a modular and single-window interface
  • It is vitally light-weight and makes use of the computing sources optimally, main to make sure speedy efficiency


  • The consumer interface just isn’t excellent for Mac customers
  • Adjustment layers include a non-destructive method of mixing a number of photograph manipulations
  • The developer neighborhood just isn’t vital. In consequence, it will get up to date at a a lot slower tempo

Pricing Plans:

Because it’s an open-source platform, it’s a completely free model of design software program.

9. Xara Designer Professional X.

Xara Designer Pro X

Xara gives superior options and instruments whereas that present superior design components. The software program is used extensively for net and print design options to create illustrations, edit pictures, and design net pages.

Key Options:

  • Direct Motion Instruments: The ‘direct motion’ instruments provide strong options and secure functionalities for basic use.
  • Drag and Drop Function: This time saving and intuitive characteristic permits designers to zoom as much as 25,000 p.c and leverage direct motion instruments simply for quicker execution of the job. It additionally permits inserting any merchandise on the web page by a easy drag and drop.
  • Efficiency: It gives quicker efficiency and offers customers a simple strategy to implement creativity. It additionally permits customers to make quite a few modifications by limitless redo and undo choices.
  • Tremendous Quick: Xara boasts of one of many quickest and most refined vector rendering engines. This provides it the aptitude to ship extra advanced graphic designs effectively.


  • Xara Designer Professional gives substantial modifying choices, together with stable dragging, scaling, and rotating of objects to attain the most effective in modifying outcomes
  • It gives anti-aliasing that helps in enhancing the standard of on-screen pictures by softening the sides of objects by mixing the sides with the background
  • It comes with cloud capabilities to view, edit, and replace paperwork by an internet browser on any pc or pill
  • The zoom device is able to zooming as much as 25,601% to allow designers to take a more in-depth look
  • Designer Professional is able to syncing information with Dropbox and Google Drive
  • It gives assist to an intensive vary of file codecs, together with bitmap sorts like JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PSD, and permits import of pictures comparable to RAW or JPEG XR
  • It additionally helps importing and exporting Adobe PSD information, together with layer assist, alpha channel, and 16-bit shade and CMYK layer conversion


  • It’s obtainable solely on Home windows
  • Requires a steep studying curve to make use of all of the options effectively
  • The masking characteristic is cumbersome and obscure

Pricing Plans:

It’s obtainable at a yearly subscription of $299.

10. Gravit Designer.

Gravit Designer: HTML-based graphic designing application

Gravit Designer is an HTML-based graphic design software to ship high-quality vector graphics. It is among the best suited instruments for graphic, product, or net designer professionals.

Key Options:

  • Gravit Designer Dashboard: The dashboard is simple to navigate and permits to change between the tabs or change darkish themes immediately simply. Customers can even simply set the width and top of the doc by the dashboard.
  • Pages: Its pages characteristic an ideal mix of artboards and pages that comes with its canvas settings.
  • Instruments and Results: It gives a number of instruments, together with the Bezigon device, Lasso instruments, and Pen device, amongst others. It additionally permits including a number of fills to a component.
  • Portability: It gives absolute cross-platform portability for Home windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS to allow the designer to work from any machine effectively.


  • It gives a contemporary consumer interface that’s fully customizable, participating, and simple to make use of
  • Gravit Designer gives an implicit strategy to design social media posts for numerous platforms, together with Instagram and Fb
  • It gives pure flexibility by net and desktop variations of the software program
  • It helps a number of file codecs for export in addition to import
  • It permits modifying of scalable vector graphics
  • Customers get knife and power assist for non-destructive Boolean that makes it a potent device for consumer interface design
  • Designers can simply open a number of paperwork and go to the papers on the tab
  • Its Professional model gives limitless cloud storage


  • There’s not loads of info current concerning the software program from official sources
  • An actual-time collaboration characteristic is absent
  • Designers can’t run prototypes on smartphones to learn the way would they appear
  • Fonts want an lively web connection to work

Pricing Plans:

Gravit Designer comes fully freed from price with restricted options. Gravit Designer Professional is out there for $100.

11. Photoscape.

Photoscape gives indispensable options for modifying and managing photograph archive. It positions itself as an incredible free graphic design device for novices and professionals who don’t need to purchase costly subscriptions.

Key Options:

  • Modifying Instruments: Photoscape gives quite a few forms of picture editors, together with web page, batch editor, editor, viewer, print, mix, print, display screen seize, animated GIF, print, mix, and so forth. Its modifying toolkit gives a set of distinct and well-labeled options for novices.
  • Multi-lingual: It comes loaded with English and Korean. Nonetheless, designers can achieve entry to greater than 30 languages by downloadable modules.
  • Consumer Interface: It gives a easy and simple to make use of interface that helps novices to make use of the software program effectively.
  • Design Module: Its design module and picture modifying capabilities pack loads of options, together with shade changes, dimension, gamma, backlight, decision, brightness, and so forth. It additionally comes loaded with textual content, design, and drawing instruments, together with results brush, filters, paintbrush, clone stamp, amongst others.


  • The batch editor characteristic is a boon for designers who edit pictures frequently. It permits the consumer to resize, convert, or rename a number of photos with a single mouse click on
  • It’s able to opening RAW pictures and comes geared up with a converter that permits changing RAW pictures to JPEG pictures simply
  • It’s a cross-platform design app appropriate with Mac, Home windows, and Linux machines
  • It comes with a PhotoScapeX version for Home windows 10 machines that’s obtainable freed from price.
  • Affords built-in modifying and graphic options
  • It’s extremely responsive and light-weight that leverages pc {hardware} well


  • Doesn’t present superior picture modifying capabilities like in Photoshop
  • Not obtainable on Linux

Pricing Plans:

Photoscape is out there freed from price.

See more: free download photoshop digital painting brushes | Photoshop Services

Word: different design apps not but reviewed for this checklist embrace Vectr, Microsoft DrawPad, and Pixlr.

What Are the Advantages of Graphic Design Software program?

A succesful graphic design software program device allows designers to create visually beautiful graphics and pictures.

Listed here are a couple of essential advantages {that a} succesful graphic design software program brings to the desk:

1. Flexibility and Scalability.

It gives you with the pliability to create visually beautiful pictures and graphics with out really taking pictures them. Apart from this, the consumer can get the file exported into a number of file-formats immediately for straightforward distribution to different advertising and marketing platforms.

2. Value Environment friendly.

Other than paid instruments that provide nice worth for cash, there are additionally free open supply graphic design software program that designers can leverage to create stunning designs. It helps in saving loads of bills on taking pictures actual objects.

3. Branding.

Graphic design instruments assist organizations in sustaining their model positioning by embedding logos and watermarks on advertising and marketing collaterals. Customers can save templates within the software program that can be utilized each time to take care of consistency of picture dimension and design.

4. Elevated Engagement.

Excessive-quality visuals created by graphic design software program helps in enhancing model engagement. It helps in sending the message to the viewers extra clearly.

How Does Graphic Design Software program Work?

There are a number of graphic design software program instruments obtainable out there with their distinctive set of capabilities. Nonetheless, all of them are constructed with a single aim of making beautiful artworks. Therefore, their fundamental functionalities are the identical.

Listed here are among the steps that may allow you to get the grasp of among the fundamental capabilities of a graphic design software program work.

1. Create a New Doc.

As an example, you’re utilizing Adobe Photoshop to create graphics.

You need to launch Photoshop first and click on on the “File” choice after which “New Doc.”

Adobe Photoshop create new document

The designer can both choose a template or customise the dimensions of the doc manually.

2. Enter The Digital camera Uncooked-Panel.

Subsequent, you possibly can see what the digicam raw-panel really appears to be like like in Photoshop. Right here, you possibly can choose the crop device obtainable within the sidebar to resize your design.

3. Workspace Overview.

This window will show the venture you’re engaged on. It could have a number of tabs relying on the variety of initiatives you’re engaged on concurrently.

Take a look on the workspace from Adobe Photoshop.Adobe Photoshop Workshop

4. Be taught The That means of Fundamental Software Icons.

Earlier than you progress additional, it’s best to know the that means of the important instruments you’ll be utilizing for graphic design.

Right here is the checklist of device icons that you could know by coronary heart to make use of any graphic design platform effectively.

Graphic designing tools overview

5. Layers, Teams, and Information.

Enjoying with layers on the proper spot will assist in creating visually interesting designs. To create a brand new layer, simply click on ‘Layer > New > Layer’ or tick the field with the folded nook on the backside proper of the window. It’s also possible to lock the layers to keep away from modifying them unintentionally.

6. Create a Wallpaper.

Customers can leverage loads of instruments to create easy pictures into beautiful visuals that can be utilized as high-resolution wallpapers.

Govt Abstract.

Discovering the most effective graphic design software program that meets all of your necessities may be overwhelming.

If you wish to make the proper choice, then it is essential to ponder over a couple of important factors, together with:

  • Funds – Analyze whether or not you possibly can afford a paid device or not, or paying the subscription for graphic design software program is possible or not. Determine by weighing the options which you can get from open supply instruments and what USPs paid instruments are providing.
  • Options – Go for a high quality device like Adobe Photoshop provided that you require intricate vector designs frequently. In any other case, free software program instruments like Inkscape are greater than sufficient with regards to managing fundamental modifying work.
  • Collaboration – In case your work methodology consists of frequent collaboration, then search for a graphic design platform that comes geared up with cloud capabilities for seamless collaboration and sharing of information.

Pondering over these factors may help you make the proper choice with out a lot confusion.

Additional Studying on photoshopservices.web: For extra software program evaluations, try my evaluations of the most effective picture modifying software program, the highest decisions for video modifying software program, and my full information to begin a weblog for novices.

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