VonOjash Yadav/Jan Feb 30 2023 10:10am EST
Adobe Photoshop is the industry leading photo editing application with loads of powerful features. However, it can be expensive and overwhelming if you only need basic photo editing features. So if you're looking for alternatives that are more affordable, easier to use, and offer unique features, you're in luck. In this article, we are presenting a list of 11 best Photoshop alternatives that offer a solution to various needs. From powerful editing tools to free and mobile options, these alternatives will not only save you money, but also help you create professional-looking images without necessarily having to master photo editing.
That is, assuming it's not just about using those"free" version of Photoshopinstead, of course, with all the disadvantages of the freemium model. We start our journey today with GIMP, the best Photoshop alternative on the software market today, especially since it costs nothing to download or use.
GIMP: The Best Overall Alternative to Photoshop
Chris Burns/Slash Gear
CAÑUTILLO, also known as the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a powerful open source image manipulation program that has been around for over 24 years. It is often considered one of the best free Adobe Photoshop alternatives as it offers a wide range of professional features that rival Photoshop.
First of all, GIMP's interface is very user friendly and easy to navigate, even for a beginner. So it won't take you long to get used to it. And just like Photoshop, GIMP lets you create masks and layers, make color adjustments, and even create your own editing presets. Plus, it doesn't take up as much RAM and other resources as Photoshop.
GIMP also has an extensive library of plugins, including the coveted Resynthesizer, which is the equivalent of Photoshop's Content-Aware Fill tool. It also has a built-in file manager, similar to Adobe Bridge, that makes it easy to manage and edit your files.
Furthermore, GIMP is free, open source software and frequently receives updates that improve its functionality. It also received a major update in December 2021, allowing GIMP to support PSD files natively. This means you can instantly switch from Photoshop to GIMP without changing the file formats of the projects you're working on.
It has a similar learning curve to Photoshop, and it can take some getting used to. However, since GIMP is completely free and still offers a wide range of professional features and a highly customizable interface, it is a great alternative to Photoshop.
Affinity Photo: Best for advanced users
affinity photois another powerful and affordable alternative to Photoshop that offers many of the same features and tools professionals use in their workflows. With the ability to import RAW images, work with unlimited layers, and support for various blend modes and smart object support, Affinity Photo also offers a Photoshop-like user experience.
In fact, both the apps are also quite similar in terms of design. Like Photoshop, Affinity Photo also has a tool palette on the left, properties on the top, and finally levels, histograms, and adjustments on the right. However, it has a more colorful design which makes it easier to use while the Photoshop design is a bit complicated.
As for the tools themselves, both Affinity Photo and Photoshop have a full suite of editing tools, including brush and clone tools. However, Photoshop has a larger selection of effects and filters, e.g. B. Adobe Filter Gallery and Neural Filters, which are not available in Affinity Photo.
What makes Affinity Photo unique is that it has a feature called "Person" that allows you to switch between different editing modes such as Photo, Liquify, Develop, Tone Mapping, and Export depending on your needs. This can be useful when multitasking with multiple projects at the same time or setting custom workflow presets.
Affinity Photo is available as a one-time purchase for $69.99 and is compatible with both Mac and Windows. It also has a touchscreen compatible version for iPad. It also works well in conjunction with Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher, Affinity's counterparts to Adobe's Illustrator and InDesign. Plus, it offers additional purchases like overlays, templates, and textures, and offers an affordable, comprehensive workflow with access to powerful tools that seamlessly integrate across all devices.
Photopea - The Best Free Browser Based Photo Editor
Fotoguisois a free web-based photo editor that offers more than 40 editing tools including lasso, crop, and clone. It may not have all the features and accessories of Photoshop, but it does come with all the basic photo editing features and tools you'll need for most projects. These include layer management, layer blending, layer opacity, move tool, artboard tool, rectangle selection, lasso tool, clone tool, and more.
On the other hand, it lacks some important features that a professional editor might need, such as the tool.
When it comes to usability, Photopea has a more user-friendly interface, but it sometimes lags during editing and some features are not as smooth as Photoshop. However, the fact that it's a web-based tool that doesn't consume as many resources of your computer as Photoshop makes up for it.
Both Photopea and Photoshop support various types of images, such as raster (PNG, JPG, TIFF, PSD, PCX, OpenEXR) and vector (SVG, AI) files. But when it comes to RAW images, Photoshop has an edge over Photopea with its RAW Editor feature. In terms of exporting, Photoshop supports more formats, but Photopea supports some unique export options that you won't find in Photoshop, such as SVG, ICO, WebP (plug-in in Photoshop), EMF, and DXF files.
Overall, Photopea is a great Photoshop alternative for people who are looking for a free and powerful photo editing app. While it may not have as many advanced features as Photoshop, it still impresses with its ease of use and comprehensive set of editing tools that will suit most users.
Pixlr - Best Freemium Browser Based Photo Editor
pixlris another browser-based photo editing app that offers a wide range of tools and presets, including filters that mimic hand-drawn pencil graphics, watercolor, blur, and more. It's also lightweight and easy on your computer's resources, making it perfect for you if you have one.entry level computer. In addition, Pixlr also offers a free mobile app that makes it easy to edit photos on the go.
One of Pixlr's strengths is its well-organized interface, which includes a history tool that makes it easy to scroll through actions and undo or redo changes. With the free version, you can do all the basic image editing functions like cropping, resizing, rotating, and adjusting brightness and contrast. You can also add effects to your images, e.g. For example, a vignette, convert an image to black and white, and apply a specific color filter. However, to access the best tools and features, you need to upgrade to Pixlr Editor Pro.
This paid version offers some advanced features like layers, a repair tool, advanced filters and effects, customizable brushes, text editing, RAW file support, and export options. There's also more control over image adjustments and advanced text editing options. It also has a handy Photoshop-like hotkey setup that lets you set your own shortcuts and easily complete repetitive tasks.
The basic version of Pixlr is free to use, but it only supports JPEG files. This may not be ideal for you if you are an advanced user who often works with various types of files. However, the paid version supports many RAW file formats that offer higher quality and more editing options than JPEG or PNG. Also, the Pro version allows you to export images in various file formats, including PSD, JPG, and PNG.
Sketch - Best for UI UX Designers
Sketchis a vector graphics editor and digital design tool used primarily for web and interface design. It is specially made for web and mobile design and has a streamlined user interface that is easier to navigate. Photoshop, on the other hand, is more complex and can be overwhelming for designers who are new to it.
Sketch provides basic image editing features such as image inversion, cropping, and color fill. It also includes powerful vector editing and pixel-perfect precision, hundreds of plugins with non-destructive editing, lightning-fast prototyping and collaboration tools, and the ability to speed up your workflow by creating custom presets.
Additionally, Sketch offers some features for UI-UX designers that Photoshop does not. For example, the built-in prototyping capability allows designers to create wireframes and interactive mockups without the need for additional software. It also offers better support for vector graphics, which is essential for creating scalable graphics for web and mobile design.
Another unique feature of Sketch is that it has its own file type with a ".sketch" extension. These files are typically much smaller than Photoshop files, but contain the same amount of data, making them easier to share and collaborate with other designers. Sketch also has a built-in version control feature, making it easy to track changes and roll back to previous versions if necessary.
The best thing about Sketch is the cheaper pricing model compared to Photoshop. It's available as a one-time purchase for $99 per year, while Photoshop requires a $20.99 monthly subscription. While Sketch is a better alternative to Photoshop in some areas, it's not for everyone as it's designed specifically for web and mobile design applications.
Luminar AI - Best AI Powered Photo Editor
As the name implies,AI Luminaruses artificial intelligence to enhance your images, automate time-consuming tasks, and turn your photos into stunning works of art.
It offers several AI-powered tools, such as the Sky Replacement Tool, which automatically replaces the sky in a photo with a more dramatic or attractive one, with realistic lighting and shadows. Or you can use the Portrait Enhancer tool to automatically smooth skin, brighten eyes, and whiten teeth, resulting in more flattering portraits.
In addition to these features, Luminar AI also offers a range of other tools that can help you take your photos to the next level. For example, the Accent AI 2.0 tool can automatically analyze an image and adjust colors, contrast, and other settings to improve the overall appearance of the photo. The AI Structure tool can enhance details and textures in an image, bring out hidden details, and make the photo look more vivid and lifelike.
In addition to these AI-powered tools, Lumninar AI also offers a wide range of manual editing tools like layers, masks, brushes, and a huge library of customizable presets and filters that save a lot of time. However, it still lacks some advanced features and tools like the Healing Brush, Clone Stamp, and Content-Aware Fill that Photoshop offers.
Compared to Photoshop, you'll find that Luminar AI offers similar capabilities to Photoshop, but with the added benefit of AI-powered tools that make work more efficient in specific situations. However, it can't handle heavy tasks like large image editing, image compositing, and advanced retouching as well as Photoshop. Luminar AI is free to download in trial mode, after which a license fee of $49 per computer applies.
Canva: Best for Social Media Graphics
canvasis a web-based graphic design tool designed primarily to help hobbyist photo editors create beautiful graphics or edit images like a pro. One of the biggest advantages of Canva is its ease of use. Unlike Photoshop, which can be intimidating for beginners, orPhotoshop-WebWith strict restrictions, Canva offers a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for anyone to create professional-looking designs.
Canva has a vast library of over 25,000 templates and presets that you can use to create unique designs without having to start from scratch and create professional-looking graphics without much design experience.
Another feature that sets Canva apart from Photoshop is its collaboration features. Canva allows you to share content and collaborate with others to collaborate on a single project in real time. In addition, Canva also offers a variety of image manipulation and editing tools, similar to Photoshop. You can crop, resize, and adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of images to enhance the overall appearance of your designs. However, it's still not as powerful as Photoshop when it comes to editing RAW images.
Canva has free and paid versions, and the free version provides access to basic templates, design elements, and editing tools. The paid version costs $12.99 per month and is called Canva Pro. It provides access to templates, design elements, and additional features, e.g. B. the ability to upload custom fonts, resize designs, and access a library of millions of photos, illustrations, and videos. The paid version also includes advanced editing tools for users who need more control over their designs.
Procreate: Best for digital touchscreen painting
witnessesis a powerful iPad app designed for digital artists. With its elegant interface and robust collection of tools, Procreate enables you to easily draw, paint, touch up an image, stylize a work of art, and edit with precision and ease.
One of Procreate's standout features is its extensive brush library, containing over 130 brushes that can mimic almost any artistic technique. The dual texture system allows you to mix and match brush types, and each brush is fully customizable. Additionally, it features a Photoshop-like layer system that gives you complete control over individual elements and the ability to organize and combine layers into groups.
Procreate also offers a wide range of image enhancement tools including blur, sharpen, curve manipulation, and color balance. You can even create your own custom filters and share them with others. And with Apple Pencil, the drawing experience is as real as possible in the digital space.
Furthermore, Procreate offers high performance with 120fps canvas and 64-bit architecture making it fast and responsive. This allows you to create a high-resolution canvas up to 16k x 4k and export your artwork in various file formats such as PSD, JPG, PNG, and more. And with an Envato Elements membership, you can access thousands of Procreate plugins, brushes, scripts, and more with unlimited downloads.
For a one-time purchase of $9.99, Procreate is a cheap alternative to Photoshop's monthly subscription fee, making it more accessible for artists on a budget or those more comfortable with a touch-based application.
Pixelmator: Best for Mac users
Pixelador Prois another powerful and easy-to-use photo editing software designed exclusively for Mac users. With its affordable price and intuitive interface, it offers a variety of features that make it a great Photoshop alternative for basic photo editing needs. . Its features include non-destructive photo editing, tabbed, full screen, and split view capabilities that make it easy to work on multiple projects at the same time.
It also offers some unique tools like Magic Background Eraser that allows you to effortlessly remove the background of any image with just one click. It also features a selection and masking tool that makes it easy to advanced select difficult image areas, such as hair or fur.
Pixelmator Pro also offers layer-based editing, basic and AI-assisted adjustments, multi-channel curves, and support for RAW photos. Among Pixelmator Pro's best features is a repair tool that allows you to remove unwanted objects with a single click, while the magnetic selection tool allows for precise object selection. It also has a customizable workspace with built-in presets, just like Lightroom.
In addition, Pixelmator Pro also includes vector tools, support for the SVG vector file format, various typographic features, a "pixel tool" for creating pixel art, a large collection of brushes, color blending, and graphics tablet support.
While Pixelmator Pro doesn't have as many professional tools as Photoshop, it does offer excellent value for money. It is available for $39.99 from the Mac App Store, with a free trial download. If you're a Mac user looking for affordable and easy-to-use photo editing software to perform basic editing tasks, Pixelmator Pro is definitely worth considering.
Krita: Best for Brush-Based Digital Paintings
casesis a powerful, free and open source application that is a great Adobe Photoshop alternative for digital artists. With an emphasis on brush tools, Krita offers over 100 brush types, nine brush motors, and a special brush stabilizer to help you create smooth, precise strokes.
It also has a smudge tool that allows for realistic color blending and another unique feature called "Surround Mode" that makes it easy to create consistent textures and patterns.
Brushes aside, there is one advantage over Photoshop when it comes to digital painting, the unique set of tools it offers. For example, the Drawing Wizard allows you to easily create straight lines and geometric shapes using tools such as rulers and protractors.
Or the Mirror tool, which lets you create symmetrical drawings and patterns by mirroring your sketchpad. Additionally, it has an ellipse guide and a perspective grid, multiple reflection modes, layer management, element selection, full color management, and even PSD support.
However, Krita lacks some of the advanced photo editing features that Photoshop offers, such as: B. Advanced color correction, noise reduction, lens correction, etc. But it's still a great choice for artists and graphic designers looking for feature-rich free digital painting software.
Adobe Photoshop Elements: Best for Beginners
Photoshop-Elementoit's basically a toned-down version of Photoshop redesigned to be more beginner-friendly. Of course, it has a more user-friendly interface and a fairly limited set of tools, making it easy for beginners to navigate and learn.
Best of all, Photoshop Elements comes with a variety of ready-to-use templates and effects that make it easy to create professional-looking edits without having to understand the ins and outs of advanced editing techniques.
It also offers a variety of creative filters and effects, such as the "Portrait" filter that automatically softens the skin and brightens the eyes, and the "Art" filter that applies various artistic styles to a photo, as well as basic video editing features. This makes it a versatile option for those who want to edit both photos and videos.
In addition, Photoshop Elements offers a variety of features and tools for organizing and cataloging photos, such as B. the "Organizer" feature, which makes it easy to sort and find photos. Or the Auto Selected Albums feature, which uses AI technology to automatically categorize and organize photos based on people, places and events, making it easy to find and share specific memories.
Another unique feature is "Guided Edits", which are step-by-step tutorials that guide you through different editing techniques, such as: B. creating a panorama, removing unwanted objects, and creating a photo collage. The most attractive part of this deal is that Photoshop Elements offers all of these features at a fraction of the cost of Photoshop, since you only have to pay a one-time fee of $99.99 for a lifetime license.