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16 Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop You Should Try

16 Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop You Should Try. Adobe Photoshop is definitely the most popular and widely used image editing software today, but unfortunately you’re required to pay a premium to get your hands on it. Besides, for most people, it’s quite expensive and has many features that are too complicated to use.


16 Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop You Should Try
Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop You Should Try


Thankfully, there are plenty of free image editing programs that can fulfill your all image editing requirements. In this post, I’ve gathered some great Photoshop alternatives that are absolutely free and extremely easy to use. For your convenience, I’ve divided them into four sections: online programs, for windows, Mac-only and cross-platform.

Let’s start with free online images editors!

Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop You Should Try

Photoshop is a graphic design and photo editor that has been a mainstay in the industry for over 25 years. While it's a great program, it can be expensive for those who don't have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

But what if you could get the same level of quality from a free photo editing software? You can! There are many alternatives to Photoshop that work just as well. In fact, some people prefer them. In this post, we'll explore 16 free photo editors that let you do everything you need to create amazing images without breaking your budget or giving up quality.

What you can do with Photoshop

Once you've learned how to use Photoshop, you'll undoubtedly be able to do a lot with it. You may be able to do almost anything using it. You can edit photos, enhance them, create digital art, add textures and give your images a unique look or effect, and much more.

However, you probably already know all this and could just use the tools you already have at your disposal.

Design This is the most obvious use for Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is what we've come to know as a popular design program. It's great for making changes to your photos or designing a website or desktop app. Many other sites use Adobe Photoshop to create designs, including some of the most popular sites such as Mashable, BuzzFeed, and Instructables.

What is a Graphic Design Tool?

A graphic design tool is a suite of tools that lets you draw and design your graphics, or edit your existing photos. Photoshop is the main name for these tools, and Photoshop Elements is the lesser-known, non-destructive and free alternative. These are just some of the free, relatively popular options for designing images.

When designing for UX, you should:

  • Consider your interactive designs' information architecture.
  • Take advantage of your graphic design talents to develop work that takes into account the overall user experience.

Free photo editing software for beginners and professionals alike

Adobe Photoshop is the one program that will always be considered, free photo editing software, especially when it comes to graphic design and photography. However, it is also one of the most expensive programs you can use if you want to do more advanced things such as retouching and drawing.

There are a few other major Photoshop alternatives, however, that are worth taking a look at. If you want to create more detailed art and backgrounds with Photoshop, try one of these alternatives. 

Here are 16 options that you can try to keep your workflow simple and efficient.

1. Pixlr Editor:

Pixlr Editor is the most popular and widely used web based image editor, which is built for both beginners and experienced image editors.  Actually, it is a part of a suiteof Pixlr Apps, including the photo filter and tweaking app Pixlr-O-Matic, and mobile app Pixlr Express. It packs layers, adjustments, filters and effects, basic features like editing, cropping, resizing and rotation, area selection, and so on. If you’ve ever used Photoshop, you’ll find Pixlr editor easy to use and intuitive.

Pixlr Editor is a free Photoshop alternative that works a lot like Lightroom If you want to save some time and get your job done in one sitting, Pixlr Editor might be a good option. You can upload your image directly from your computer or use the image you have already on your hard drive.

2. Photoshop Express Editor:

Photoshop Express Editor, which is considered as the browser version of Photoshop, gives you easy options for creative enhancements and quick fixes. Although this online application has limited functions for photo editing, but it’s good for those who wish to use Photoshop but don’t own a copy of licensed Photoshop. It currently only supports editing of JPEG, JPG, or JPE files and doesn’t allow you to add text to photos.

3. PicMonkey:

PicMonkey is another popular online image editor that lets you transform your ordinary images into most eye-exploding images, using a simple and intuitive interface. From designing a picture from scratch to creating collages for scrapbooking, everything is a breeze with PicMonkey. Though PicMonkey is absolutely free, but a premium version is also available to give you a lot of extras.

4. Canva:

Canva is a powerful web based image editor that empowers you to easily turn your ideas into stunning designs. The aim of Canva is to “make design simple for anyone”. This great app is stuffed with thousands of fantastic design elements - like fonts, layouts, and stock images - which you can use in your designs. Using Canva, you can create business cards, blog graphics, presentations, invitations, posters, flyers, Facebook covers, and so much more in seconds.

Interface and Tools of Design Free Design Software, Create beautiful photo books with easy drag-and-drop features.

Canva offers simple in-app design tools, a variety of full-color templates, unlimited books in your library, and tons of inspirational and motivational quotes for you to add to your pictures. 

The customizable templates and photo frames will help you share your message. Photo Frames for Instagram Great for Instagrammers Allows you to customize your photos to highlight their story It's easy to add text, customizes frames with different fonts, and even has filters Templates Create professional layouts and effects The most advanced and comprehensive on this list.

Read more:

5. sumo:

sumo (free edition) is a lightweight and highly capable online image editor used by many professional designers. The user interface of sumo is very similar to Photoshop with plenty of the same features like gradients, shapes, brushes, pencils, cloning etc. It works great in all modern web browsers, and requires Adobe Flash plug-in to use.

6. Photoraster:

Photoraster, written in JavaScript, is an advanced online photo editor that has built-in tools for image adjustments, layer editing, photo retouching, nondestructive editing, digital painting, and filters. It is powered by WebGL technology which provides performance never seen before in browser-based applications.

7. Pixia:

Pixia, created by a Japanese guy Isao Maruoka, is one of the most capable and professional alternatives to Photoshop. It is available in 9 languages, and supports transparency effects, standard file formats, multiple layers, numerous RGB file formats such as .psd, and some basic Photoshop tools.

8. Serif PhotoPlus:

Serif PhotoPlus (free edition) is a simple and user-friendly image editor, especially designed for those who are looking for a simple yet effective way to fix and enhance their photos. Though it doesn’t have advanced features like Photoshop, but even it offers professional photo editing tools for adjusting brightness and colors, removing red-eye and blemishes, and creating stunning web animations.

9. Photo Pos Pro:

Photo Pos Pro is an advanced yet extremely easy to use image editing software that can be a major boon for those who are completely new to image editing. Using Photo Pos Pro, you can create stunning graphics, business cards, greeting cards, beautiful collages, and much more in just a few minutes. The best thing about Photo Pos Pro is that it offers helpful “pop-up tips” for those who are just starting out.

10. Seashore

Seashore, inspired by GIMP, is an open source image editing software that works only with Mac OS X's Cocoa framework. It uses the same native file format as GIMP, has MAC OS X like UI and supports alpha channel editing and multiple layers. Although this image editor is not as powerful as Photoshop, but is quite useful for producing beautiful images with less efforts.

11. LiveQuartz:

LiveQuartz is another simple image editor for Mac, offering non-destructive filters, multi-touch support along with some essential drawing tools. Combined with retina display support and full screen presentation, LiveQuartz makes your image creation easy by letting you make the most of every pixel available on your screen.

12. GIMP:

GIMP, stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is one of the best free Photoshop alternatives. The user interface of GIMP is somewhat different from Photoshop , but a version of GIMP called GimpShop is available that mimics the look and feel of PhotoShop. In addition, GIMP has a huge repository of add-ons that you can use to extend its functionality. If you’re familiar with Photoshop, getting start with GIMP can be quite easy for you. It currently supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Sun OpenSolaris, and FreeBSD platforms.

GIMP (Graphics Manipulation Program) is a free, powerful image editor. It can take your pictures from simple and basic to highly intricate work. Not only does it give you the freedom to create your art, but it can also be used to edit and manipulate pictures that you have taken. With a wide range of plugins, you can enhance your Photoshop skills.

13. Inkscape:

Inkscape is a free professional vector graphics editor for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It is very similar to Adobe Illustrator, Xara X, Corel Draw, or Freehand. If you are new to vector graphics creation process, you can take advantage of many learning resources offered. Inkscape could be a great option for those who want to learn vector illustration at absolutely zero cost.

14. Microsoft After Effects

Microsoft After Effects As its name implies, this program allows you to create visual effects in addition to manipulating images and putting them to good use. It's great for adding effects and transitions to your photos or adding complex menus and animations to websites.

There are many options and extensions you can download, but the free trial gives you a taste of what you're missing out on. Photoshop's biggest competitors are the free programs, so it makes sense to give them a try before spending any money on any other software. Creative Cloud This is one of the easiest free Photoshop alternatives out there. It has all the tools that you would expect to find in Adobe Photoshop, but it is a lot easier to use than the original.

15. Paint.NET:

If you’re on Windows and looking for a good alternative to Photoshop, you should definitely give Paint a try. This powerful yet simple image editor features an intuitive user interface with support for special effects, unlimited undo, layers, and a wide range of handy tools. It was originally created as a free replacement for the Paint editor, an image editor that comes with all versions of Microsoft Windows, and is currently being maintained by some of the people who originally developed it.

Paint: is a great program for folks who want to create things with layers or geometric shapes. It offers tons of artistic tools for drawing and painting as well as brushes and markers. It's a great alternative to Photoshop for many graphic designers, illustrators, and digital artists. Batch create image changes in Photoshop with Brushes in GIMP. Paint.NET also comes with some creative filters and some other editing tools.

16. Picasa:

Picasa, originally created by Lifescape in 2002 and acquired by Google in July 2004, is a free image viewer, organizer, and editor. Though it might not as capable as Photoshop, but it is a superb option for making last-minute edits. The batch editing, photo-management tools and easy sharing on Google platforms are just a plus. Currently, it is available for Windows and Mac OS X.

What Makes These Programs Unique?

Each of these free Photoshop alternatives has its unique features. For example, one of the products, GIMP, is used by graphic artists to create photos and graphics for use in magazines and newspapers. By the same token, anyone can use InDesign to create their print design.

The popular word processing program can do just about anything you need. And the list goes on from there. What Is Included in Each Product? One of the biggest things that set each of these products apart is that they are easy to learn and use.

Since they're not encumbered by a big sticker price, you won't have to spend much time learning how to use them.

Graphics Interchange Format

Mac: Graphics Interchange Format Graphics Interchange Format is a document type that allows you to make slideshows on your desktop. It’s similar to the GIMP but is much simpler to use. The interface is basic, but it can be used to do some pretty impressive things.

Photoshop: Advanced Adobe Photoshop is one of the best-selling programs ever, so it's no wonder why so many designers prefer it. However, many are skeptical that it is worth the price or the learning curve. Graphics Interchange Format makes it dead simple to create a slideshow and add text, so you don't need to fear losing a sale when people get a look at your design before they even see the real content.

Conclusion:

So, what are the best alternatives to Adobe Photoshop? Well, to find the best Photoshop alternatives for your use, you'll want to first determine what type of software you want to use for your particular needs.

If you're looking for something basic, you're not going to want to spend a ton of time learning something. In that case, a more comprehensive alternative might be better. If you're looking for a more advanced alternative to Adobe Photoshop, or you're just looking to upgrade your basic image editing program, the Adobe Photoshop alternatives should meet your needs.

All of the software above is great tool for all different kinds of photographers. If you are looking to do nothing more than run simple edits on your photos, one of these programs will work.

If you want to design websites or photos or anything else, check out the ones below. Most of them are open source or are free to download. 

Then there's Dreamweaver, which allows you to create websites that resemble actual websites in an actual browser. If you want to learn web design, you might want to start with Drupal, a free and open-source content management system. Even if you want to create more complicated websites, using Google's graphic design tool for web design, WebFX, is a great way to learn.


Which software do you use for photo editing? Which software are you currently using?.

Have I missed your favorite Photoshop alternative? If so, let us know in the comment section given below!

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