Adobe Photoshop is like the ultimate king of media editing and analyzing. However, sometimes the paid features are quite expensive to afford and in such condition, you people need free Photoshop alternative. You need such options which are quite similar to Photoshop but provides quite amazing features under the free plan.
10 Best Free Photoshop Alternative
To help out the low scale photographers and art students, I have a perfect list of Photoshop alternatives free which are going to reform the way you have ever used photo editing software before. For more information, check out the details given below, compare the programs and pick the one which suits your needs the best.
The thing about GIMP is that when I searched for free Photoshop alternative I found this editor program on every single page I checked and that too on top. And when I went through it I realized why does people even pay for image editors when they can get so much for free through this amazing open sources software.
GNU Image Manipulation Program or GIMP is the most used and most advanced image editing program that you are ever going to get.
From providing cross-platform support to high-quality image improvement, GIMP does it all for its users. You can perform multiple functions through it like photo retouching, additional plugin use for image editing, original artwork creation and many more.
Be it a photographer or graphic designer, I think everyone should definitely try this amazing software for making their work stand out from others. The main advantage you are getting with GIMP is the additional extensions which provides high flexibility for editing work. Despite with so many functions, GIMP is the simplest software that you are ever going to find.
Compatible with: , BSD, SkyOS, Unix
2. Photo POS PRO
Offered by Photo POS, the Pro editor is currently available in its 3rd version. However, old versions are also available on the official site. With millions of users entrusting this program, this is the best professional choice you can make for making your images livelier and improved.
Photo POS Pro is one of the best free Photoshop alternative in this list which also offers a premium version too costing $39 as a one-time fee.
Now, I am going to talk about both free and premium features combined. These are poor photos improvement, text and advanced photo effects, frames and collages, unwanted objects removal, professional approach, virtual vector photo editing, transformation engine, advanced styles and many more.
For people having regular editing need and graphical designing requirement, I think they should prefer the paid version as it offers quite high-end services and advanced editing skills. However, the free version is also quite amazing and you can download it from the official website available in three versions.
Such free programs like Photoshop are totally redefining the way a person can retouch their images smartly with simple techniques and quick effects.
Pixlr is quite a different free Photoshop alternative as it works on online platform rather than involving the downloading process. It has two different editing programs namely Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express and both are available for online use.
For a quick information, if you are starting as a beginner then prefer the Pixlr Editor and for high-end reforms in your images, you can use the Express program.
I really liked the way they have kept everything minimal yet impactful. A fast and smart approach towards image editing and manipulation makes them unique from other programs. You can use this program for low to moderate image editing but for professional need I would recommend you other programs.
Main features of Pixlr are basic image editing tools, one-click changes, amazing photo effects, grabber for Firefox allowing direct editing from any webpage, absolutely free to use, easy and simple interface, beginner’s tutorials for a smooth start and many more. I really loved the fact that they have put full-length tutorial videos which are quite helpful for beginners in photo editing.
Our very own Paint has changed a lot and now for sure you would not be using the childlike tool coming pre-installed in all the Windows based devices. So, this super cool free Photoshop alternative have literally changed the way even native users can improvise their photographs like a pro.
With a similar interface to the usual Paint in Windows, they have made their simplicity the key and also kept everything needed for image manipulation handy for the users too.
With the gradual layering process, it allows unlimited numbers of undo which I think a boon for the beginners. Other features which comes with this open source and free to use program are special effects for images, powerful editing tools, tutorials and extended plugins too.
Despite being a free alternative to Photoshop Paint has literally raised the bar for other similar software too. It is counted amongst the fastest image editor specially made for Windows whose innovative interface has made it simple for users to keep up with all the tools and services offered.
Canva offers a number of different products and one of them is their photo editing tool with some of the most powerful features which are hard to find in other free Photoshop alternative. They offer a really long list of features that I would not even be able to mention them all here.
Starting from something basic like photo straightening, cropping, text addition, they do it all with various options and alterations provided. In the free version of this app, you get 1GB of space, access to 8,000 templates, organizing and many other perks.
Now, moving to some high-end and advanced features then you can get them all here too. Some of these are photo transparency tool, photo enhancer, blur effects, design grids, frames, web wireframe, design texture and many others.
However, apart from the free version you are always invited to move to paid versions too. These are especially for work only which costs $12.95 per user per month. The home edition of this software is absolutely free. As Canva works online only, you can download the ultimate image formed to your system directly.
Seashore is a simple yet powerful image editing software but unfortunately, it is only available for Mac OS X platform only so Windows users would have to get a bit disappointed here.
You can compare this software to GIMP more than Photoshop because of the super clean and sleek interface and it uses the same file format as GIMP. There is no doubt that Seashore makes a perfect free Photoshop alternative and offers full support to formats like TIFF, JPEG and PNG.
Talking about the features offered by Seashore then they are image texture, feature gradient, text and brush strokes, smoothening effects, Cocoa UI, transparency effect, multiple plug-in and extension support to add extra flexibility to this software.
Seashore is an excellent programs like Photoshop offering layer and Alpha channel support too. I would strongly recommend this editing program for those people who are looking for an excellent free tool that too for professional needs. Other tools of Seashore includes graphics tablet support, anti-aliased paint brushes, layer merging effects etc.
I am sure you must have hear of PicMonkey before as it is a widely used online software which is mainly preferred for its collage tool. But there are pretty less people who knows that PicMonkey makes an excellent free Photoshop alternative and can be used for advanced image editing too.
From giving touch up to dull and withered photos to adding text based and other designs to it, you can do it all with the help of PicMonkey and that too effortlessly.
Although it is free to use but if you want to move to some professional features then you can choose between Premium plan for $5.99 per month and Supremium plan for $8.99 per month. Now, talking about its features then there are various.
To name a few, these are photo filters overlays, layering, collage making, touch up, direct sharing, on the go apps, tutorials for beginners, additional sketch effect and many more others.
SumoPaint works on the principle of cloud-based creativity where without the need of downloading or installing anything you can access a world of features for image editing. This is the most similar free Photoshop alternative which is quite nearly derived/inspired from the former one.
The one which I am talking about here is a completely free version but if you want to upgrade to more professional services then you can opt for SumoPaint Pro which is a paid program.
If you have used Pixlr before then SumoPaint would not seem alien to you. They have focused more towards illustrations rather than techniques. SumoPaint is comprised of features like layering capability, image adjustment, image blending, shadows effects, color balance and many more.
Released in 2007, it has more than 30 million users till now. SumoPaint is undoubtedly the best amongst all free Photoshop alternatives and also the simplest one also. Someone looking for a more expressive platform than Photoshop or GIMP, I think SumoPaint is the one they should head towards.
Fotojet is an online web-based image editing program which has the needed tools and features to turn your imagination into amazing visuals of artworks. I really liked the fact that how they have something to offer be it a beginner or an advanced user.
From photographer to Graphic Designer, Fotojet makes an excellent free Photoshop alternative for everyone who wants to improvise their existing artworks.
From creating designs, to edit existing photos or making collages out of them, you can do it all on Fotojet with the help of great tools and simple interface. Fotojet is comprised of features like professional templates, social media graphics, designing and editing tools, one tap effects, no hassle of registration etc.
If you want then you can also upgrade to Fotojet Plus which costs $4.99 per month and offers more advanced and professional features for editing. From naïve to some really stunning effects, Fotojet adds a completely lively approach to your photos and artworks.
And the last and final one in this list of free Photoshop alternative is Krita. Launched in 2005, this is an open sources program and graphics editor. For a professional level use I think you would find Krita to be too modest for offering free services.
Krita is more artistic in nature and therefore you are going to find the features more illustrative and creativity based featuring a digital painting program.
Features offered by Krita are customizable interface with movable gears and simplest navigation, pop-up and versatile color palette, brush stabilizer in 3 different ways, additional plug-ins, photo texture, amazing wrap around mode and many more.
For a free programs like Photoshop, Krita has upped the bar for other relevant software in this field. With tools like Layer management and drawing assistant, Krita works more of an art based platform rather than technology based.
It’s an online-platform which doesn’t require downloads. Although PhotoPea isn’t just a tool to “add image/apply filters”, instead it’s extremely advanced and in more than one ways is one of best free Photoshop alternatives.
For starters, it supports not only .PSD (Photoshop) files, but also CDR, SketchXD and XCF files from Coral Draw, Sketch and GIMP respectively among many others.
The basic interface mimics Photoshop, and most of the features too are identical. For e.g. it lets us group/merge layers, apply filters, rasterize, add vector mask, flatten image and much more. Layers, the History tab, Swatches are all available as well.
It surely isn’t as easy as Canva or some other options on this list, but compensates for that by offering a plethora of extra features which those tools miss. The project can even be saved as a .PSD file and continued on Photoshop. Direct exports to Imggur are possible as well. Furthermore, individual “layers” can be exported without having to export the entire project.
Over 150+ professional, funky, comic and other fonts matching your every mood and requirement are available. Just like Photoshop, a Navigator, path, colour-channels, location co-ordinates and many other individual elements can be optionally enabled.
The tool is largely free to use, although shows Adsense ads. Monthly or 3-month paid plans are available, price depends on the “number of steps in history” as well as “number of users”.
12. Corel Draw
Corel Draw needs no introduction, does it? It’s one of the most advanced, sophisticated and established Photoshop Alternatives in the industry and is a complete graphic-suit. Its Photo-Paint add-on comes with its Graphics suite which enables us to get everything done that Photoshop makes possible, and then some.
My favorite feature is its RAW-editing capabilities, it comes in-built with Camera RAW Lab allowing us to edit High-resolution images. Additionally, “Aftershot 3 HDR” can be downloaded to edit these images even better from within Corel Draw’s Photo-Paint.
Basic painting tools such as the pen, stylus, image sprayer etc. are available. The colour mixers and palettes available are for sure equal to those offered by Photoshop, if not better. More basic functions such as transforming an image into a painting or abstract image etc. too are available along with unique filters.
Masking images, trimming, cutting, isolating areas to only affect the selected areas, clip masks and objectifying (for isolated, individual edits to elements) are among some other possibilities and features.
Layers, filters, tone-adjustment, sharpness control, distortions make a presence as well. Being honest the list of features is too long for us to sum in this brief section. Let’s just say Corel Draw is arguably the best Photoshop alternative and ranks much higher up the food chain as compared to most other options out there.
It’s available both for Windows and Mac, offers a free-trial however has two payment plans: a One-time Payment, or a subscription-based model. No pricing has been listed, individual resellers need to be manually contacted via E-mail or Phone for purchases.
13. Photoshop Elements 2020
Talking of the best Photoshop Alternatives, it would be unfair not to talk of Photoshop Elements. Do not confuse the two to be the same, they’re simply related very closely and hence make the perfect Alternative for one another.
Photoshop Elements can be considered the watered-down version of the classic Photoshop, made a lot easier, and targeted primarily towards beginners. But that in no way means it’s any less feature-rich.
Despite having very similar names ,the entire interface or working-model of the two differs widely. For starters, the classic Photoshop (Photoshop CC /CS and other versions) require users to manually “work” on the documents. While with Photoshop Elements, most of the work is automated. It’s more like an “editor” with extremely advanced capabilities.
PS Elements offers us a “guided mode” which helps users through the editing process step-by-step, and primarily simply requires them to “select” the outcome rather than having to create it manually. If you’d rather have a more hands-on approach, it provides the “Expert Edit” mode allowing manual editing, layers, masking and other such advanced features.
Obviously changing backgrounds, selecting subjects, adding overlay effects and other such options are still available. It does offer a “Free trial” version. Although for unrestricted access, the paid plan can be purchased for USD $99.00
14. Affinity Photo
Without doubt, one of the most advanced, extremely feature-rich and probably the second best editing software after Photoshop!
It markets itself as a complete graphic solution, capable of handling everything from the simplest photo edits to the most commercial Digital Projects. Alike Photoshop, it too allows for non-destructive editing. In other words, most changes are previewed live, in real-time even before they’re finalized. Hence, can be cancelled without making any permanent changes to the files.
Again being one of the best Photoshop Alternatives, it too offers curves, White-Balance, Levels and all of those other Photoshop settings. Blur effects, lighting correction, Distortion, masks and other abilities available as well. It also brings with itself a set of tools specializing in “retouching” photos. There even is a “magic paintbrush” just like there’s the “magic eraser” with Photoshop.
Additionally features an exclusive “Liquefy workspace” which enables photo editing on a granular level. RAW editing, various Blend modes, Vectors, Panoramic stitches, advanced merging, EXIF info. display are just some of the other features it brings with itself.
For Digital painting, it comes pre-bundled with a ton of digital brushes, ability to create, or combine your own brushes, and much more is available. Support for PSD files and third-party plugins too isn’t missing. It claims to be the only photo editing tool capable of end-to-end 32 Bit workflow. Its advanced selection refinement feature, coupled with HDR algorithm take it to whole other level.
Offers a free-trial, however the paid version costs just around USD $40.00 (approx), making it extremely cheap compared to Photoshop.
Compatible with: (including Apple pencil/graphic tablets)
15. Paintshop Pro
Paintshop Pro is basically a toned-down version of Photoshop. Even though some Photoshop features may be missing, the difference isn’t much. It markets itself as not just an image editing software, but also as a Graphic Design suite.
For starters, the basic editing features such as resizing, sharpening, noise-reduction etc. are all available. It brings with itself multiple workspaces, the “Essentials”, “Photography” and “Complete” to be specific. The new text wraps and designs too are eye-catching.
It also auto-saves the progress ensuring ongoing projects aren’t lost. Then there’s smart-clone, basically an advanced morph and clone tool. More of a “detailed” editor, are you? Its “Refined brush” makes selecting extremely minute details and pixels possible.
The other common features include RAW editing, Templates, support for third-party plugins, A.I powered tools/effects, batch processing etc. It even supports 360-degree editing. Moreover, scripts and scripting for advanced users too is supported.
Sure easier, simpler and fun-features too are available, such as Pic-to-Painting, advanced brushes, one-click effects etc. It even has an official “Photoshop Vs. Paintshop Pro” comparison guide, establishing the fact that it indeed is a Photoshop Alternative. Has a free trial. Paid package costs USD $50.00 (Approx).
16. Photo Line
Not the most advanced Photoshop alternative on this list, but not a total letdown either. Its prime selling points are the easy interface and lightweight design. It’s supports up to 32bit per color channel, CMYK as well as Lab color space and ICC profile based color management.
It also boasts itself on an advanced search functionality. Using Photo Line, you can even create flash and Gif animations, web exports, tile images, image maps etc. Convert files in batches, or create slideshows something which isn’t exactly easy even on Photoshop can be accomplished with Photo Line.
Advanced designers can use digital camera RAW data, EXIF data, IPTC Data (primarily for identification, such as photographer, description etc). Noise correction, Distortion, Red eye fixing, color-temp fixing, lightness/shadow adjustments etc. can be made as well.
Just like Photoshop, there basically are a hoard of correction tools available. Blurs, filters, retouching capabilities, contrast optimization and everything else has been packed in with Photo Line. The interface by itself mimics Photoshop to quite an extent.
It even can be run from a USB-stick which is an added benefit on systems with low specs. A very simple order-form lets users purchase it for 59.00 EUR, both for MacOS and Windows.
We talked of Canva, Pixlr and many other tools earlier, Fotor is a tool resembling those online editors. However, it brings with itself a designer, an editor as well as a collage-maker. Well it’s not an exact replacement for Photoshop, but offers enough features to be considered a Photoshop alternative.
The designer offers pretty professional pre-designed templates for Tickets, Youtube channel art, Facebook cover, Posters and much more. So whatever you’d create with Photoshop is mostly pre-designed, and only requires a drag & drop edit. You can even design logos, business cards, wallpapers and much more.
The editor offers actual editing of the photos and allows for features such as cropping, color-fixing and a “magic clipper”. The magic-clipper is much like Photoshop’s magic eraser and auto-detects selection areas of the same color. You can add text, shapes, effects and other such elements as well.
The edited/designed pictures can be download in high-definition. Is completely free to use, and doesn’t require a registration. Although a paid version is available with a bigger canvas and some other features.
Pizap is more in line with Canva than Photoshop. However if you need to get basic photo editing done, it’ll deliver. The photo editor resembles a Photoshop-like interface. A tool-box on the left panel followed by the workstation on the right.
A number of one-click edit options are offered. For e.g. the “Basic” icon reveals options for Brightness, saturation, Temp, Hue, Soften, Contrast etc. Filters offer a number of filters which include “Autofill“, “Classic“, “Light FX“, “Crazy colors” etc.
Hundreds of stickers suiting various national and international events too are available. A number of touch-ups such as eye-tint, teeth whitening, eye liner, lip tint, hair color, tan, wrinkle fixing, airbrush etc. are available. Text, speech bubbles, caption-boxes etc. too can be added.
A plethora of border-selections are available to choose from. Borders for everything from New year to Thanksgiving are available. An in-built Meme creator makes creating memes easy and fast. Basic paint tool included as well. A full-blown designer too is available. Is web-based and free, paid plans available.
Inkscape is an advanced vector and graphic designing tool. You can use it to draw fresh lines and shapes, or for editing pre-existing designs. It’s completely free, open-source and licensed under the GNU Public license.
A number of drawing tools including the Pencil, Pen and calligraphy are available. Objects can be cloned live. All the standard shapes are available. The text-tool most certainly is available (obviously).
Colour pickers and selectors making choosing the right colors extremely easy. Dashed strokes and path markers are available as well. Multi-stop gradients, pattern fills, and copy-pasting style are some other possibilities. It also features a diagram connector and 3D paint.
Text in shape as well as path is supported. Numerical as well as drag & drop transformations too are available. Layering allows for more in-depth editing possibilities. It also includes the grouping feature. The interface totally could use a makeover though, it just feels a bit out-dated.
Note that it wouldn’t be the best option if you need print-material as it doesn’t support CMYK. However that problem can be solved with other third-party editing tools. It’s available for MacOS, Windows and also Linux.
20. Capture One
Capture One is a pretty advanced photo editing solution which makes it one of the best Photoshop alternatives. For starters, it offers layers actually as many as 16 of them at once. Healing and cloning layers are offered separately for natural-looking edits.
You can also control the tone mapping of your images using its film curves. You can build and save your own style presets, or use one from its pre-included library. The HDR (High Dynamic Range) tool further allows editing the tone and contrasts of an image in a few clicks.
As many as 4 clarity methods are available which can be used with added structure for striking outputs. The basics such as exposure, saturation, noise-reduction, lens correct etc. can obviously be controlled as well. “Tokens” are another feature which come in handy when you’re working with multiple images which require custom data but for the same field (for e.g. Watermarks).
Gradients for multi-color effects, and luminosity masks for area-specific edits too are available. It allows for a faster output by allowing “Process recipes” which generalize the output criteria for files in a single go. It’s also capable of Graphic Acceleration which makes sure the editing experience is lag-free and smooth.
All in all, it’s extremely feature-rich. Offers a 30-day free trial, however the paid plans start from around USD $12.00/month. They also offer perpetual licenses which can be bought by paying a one-time fee. Prices differ based on the number of users you need the license for, camera-brand and a number of other features.
21. Photoshop Express
Talking of the best free Photoshop alternative it’s just unfair to not include Photoshop Express. It’s basically a free version of Photoshop although obviously with lesser features. It’s best to call it an image enhancer instead of a full-fledged image editor.
It allows edits throughout an image, meaning one effect can be applied to all the images in a project, say a collage. Need to make yourself look better? Just use its “spot healing” tool. Another one of its basic yet effective functionalities is the “one-click fix“. Just click once and the exposure, contrast etc. are fixed automatically.
You can spice things up by adding stickers, tattoos, text and much more. A plethora of effects and filters are available to make you captures look good.
Being an Adobe product, the images can directly be sent to Photoshop for further edits as well. It even supports imports directly from Lightroom and also allows editing raw photos.
Sharing has been taken care of, you can directly share the photos to Social media, E-mails, Whatsapp and other such channels. It clearly states that its prime purpose is to support mobile-photography. Hence it’s totally available as an app for iOS Android and Windows devices.
I tried to list down all types of free Photoshop alternative here which are available for navice to advanced users. For someone who is just a beginner in the field of image editing, there are some amazing software and web based programs available for them. After getting done with them, they can proceed to the higher ones.
These free programs also have paid subscription plans too. If you like their services then you can opt for the paid plans too which offers better and more advanced editing techniques. I am sure after several attempts you would be finally getting over with the Photoshop era.