As the world continues to put a premium on good visuals and captivating designs, it makes perfect sense why more entrepreneurs and creatives are looking to explore new tools and instruments they can optimize to better produce profitable content. While Adobe Photoshop has been a leader in the design space, helping creatives design meaningful graphics and stunning logos, not everyone prefers to use Adobe’s software or pay for a subscription to use it.
Luckily, there are many different alternatives to Photoshop out there and we wanted to highlight some of the best free and paid options that are out there so you can create incredible works of art. For some, not being able to find a comparable piece of software can be some and our list of the best Photoshop alternatives can provide you with some great options.
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The Best Photoshop Alternatives (Free & Paid)
There are so many different options out there that you can choose to use instead of Adobe Photoshop and while some are better than others, not everyone is capable of helping you create incredible works of art or edit your photos. We feel like our list covers many different options that you can use right away.
The Best Photoshop Alternatives (Free & Paid)
If you’ve done any kind of design work, you’ve likely heard of Canva. A popular editing tool on its own, the Australian brand provides a vast number of free badges, design templates, icons, cartoons, and even stock images—things Photoshop doesn’t supply. While it is an editing platform, Canva isn’t squarely Photoshop competition per se, as it optimizes drag-and-drop editing versus Adobe’s more complex method of producing content.
Still, it is a staple design solutions tool for creatives of all kinds. From newsletters to advertising pitches and CVs to social media cards, Canva allows you to effortlessly make graphics in no time. While there is a free version of Canva available to everyone, if you want to have access to all of Canva’s perks and visual assets, they offer a plan for $13/month.
It’s difficult to write a list about Photoshop alternatives without mentioning Procreate. A raster graphics editor app, Procreate started as a basic drawing app about a decade ago before becoming one of the most profitable digital products it is today. Although it’s exclusively available for the iPad, packed with features any artist will adore. From inks and brushes to true-to-life pencils, there is a lot that creatives can accomplish with this product for only $10.
Check out our collection of Procreate brushes.
One of the most powerful Photoshop alternatives, Affinity Photo allows users to create HDR images, perform panorama stitching, and import RAW images. While the program is unable to organize digital assets, it’s an advanced piece of software that supports multiple layers, allowing designers to edit graphics with ease. The Affinity Photo program can be purchased for both Windows or Mac for $25 or even your iPad for just $10.
Celebrating its 25th year, GIMP is a program that has been available for quite some time. While most people know it as GIMP, its title stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Patterning after Photoshop in more ways than one, this product is one of the best choices to turn to if you don’t want to spend a dime. Designers who are used to the Adobe product also won’t find it difficult to adjust with this platform as there is a full suite of tools available for both tenured and beginning creatives.
From color correction to enhancement and cloning, image-editing is easy and feasible with GIMP. It isn’t as intricately complex the way Photoshop is, but it’s a fantastic product that’s more than good enough for basic to medium editing. Today, it’s available for Mac, Linux, and Windows.
One of the most powerful professional graphics apps to date, Sketch is a vector-based tool that lets you develop prototypes, mobile UI designs, and mockups. Like Photoshop, this contender can manipulate photos, as well. Sketch is perfect for brand designers and photo editors, creatives will love the app’s extensive abilities to help you come up with striking visual works and true-to-life renditions. While Sketch costs $99 per year, a big bonus is its user-friendly UI, making it simple to use.
Pixelmator Pro is a great tool for graphic designers or editors looking for a way to make graphics and edit photos. While the previous Pixelmator version optimized floating windows, the brand’s Pro upgrade utilizes an impressive single-window UI, offering a seamless and desirable image editing process. Furthermore, Pixelmator Pro also pushes forward a hidden interface option that allows users to see the image they’re editing without the clutter of the editor’s worktable. Available for the macOS operating system, the Pixelmator Pro software sells for $40.
The Luminar AI program from Skylum has been touted by the manufacturer as “The first image editor fully powered by artificial intelligence.” While it’s used mostly for beatifying photos and adding effects, it’s a stunning app that simplifies telling a story and manipulating backgrounds. The program’s workspace is organized into six distinct panels: canvas, layers, pro, portrait, essentials, and creative. The segments appear when you need them and automatically vanish from the screen when you need to optimize another segment, making your working space tidy and easy to navigate.
The program is available at two price points: you can purchase the program for $99, which is good for two computers, or you can pay $59 annually. If you’re looking for AI-powered image editing software, this one’s your best pick.
No matter where you’re editing, whether it’s on a cell phone or a laptop in a coffee shop, Fotor is made to deliver. Whereas Lightroom and Photoshop may take a while to familiarize yourself with, Fotor is a terrific image editing program for creatives who want quick access to easy editing and light touches. There are three main options when opening the program. Users can make a collage, edit photos, or easily design visuals from scratch. Furthermore, the edit mode presents some decent features too.
Whether adjusting the contrast or adding hues, Fotor is the perfect Photoshop substitute for anyone veering away from the complex UI of the Adobe staple and at $9/month, you can’t beat the price either.
The wonders of web technology have brought us many things—one of which is Photopea. A browser-based image editor, this Photoshop substitute supports layers and layer masks, allowing you seamlessly composite multiple images, add text to your photos, or supplement vector shapes. What’s more, Photopea also extends a host of selection tools from a magnetic lasso to standard marquees. It may not be as elaborately sophisticated as the popular Adobe editing staple, but it sure packs a punch considering that it’s free.
Available solely as a web app, Pixlr X is an HTML 5 photo editing software that optimizes a drag-and-drop interface. While it might not be as robust as Luminar AI and GIMP, it easily helps designers remove backgrounds, add text, and source stock photos. It extends an intuitive UI, too, making it a fantastic option for newbies as well as designers in a hurry.
Granted that you can only perform basic editing features on the platform, it bears mentioning that Pixlr X has surprisingly powerful and extensive layer support. While anyone can use the free version, which you can find at the link below, you can also sign up for their premium version at $5/month
Inpixio Photo Studio
Now on its 10th version run, inPixio Photo Studio is another user-friendly Photoshop alternative. Similar to Pixlr X and Design Wizard, this editor is a powerful contender that doesn’t hold too much weight in the money department. Extending features and capabilities you’d expect from most image-editing programs, this product lets designers transfer, sharpen, and enlarge photos.
There’s also no shortage in the filter category. From removing prominent objects in a photo to restoring old and damaged scanned images, there’s a lot you can do with this pick. While it’s user-friendly, the price tag of $80/year may turn some away. Those who look past the cost will find a great program that’s easy to use.
There’s a common misconception that image-editing tools are exclusive for those who are great at professional design. Design Wizard is out to prove that wrong. Perfect for beginners and entrepreneurs, this product allows you to instantly produce visuals and graphics needed for marketing materials. Starting at $10/month, Design Wizard is geared towards people in advertising and social media, and with a stock photography database curated by the company, this tool is easy to optimize and one of the more affordable options on the list.
One of Photoshop’s strongest features is its ability to replicate real-life paintings. If you like to stretch your creative muscles with different genres of art, then you’re going to love Rebelle 4. An affordable program, Rebelle 4 allows you to develop painting techniques and effects effortlessly while mimicking how paint responds to paper and canvases in real life.
A tilt option that allows your paint to run in the directions you choose is also included, allowing you to produce an authentic take of watercolor works. If you’re looking to create beautiful watercolor works of art, you should check out Rebelle 4. The program is available from their website for $90.
An open-source program, Krita is a powerful photoshop alternative that’s backed up by a dynamic community. A free program, anyone can use the program, which is great for any creative looking to take a break from Photoshop. Even with a free-to-use model, the program is an incredibly robust photo editing program with hundreds of brushes, text capabilities, and more. Krita even comes with a reliable resource manager for importing tools.
Another photo editing software that extends AI tools is PhotoDirector 365 by CyberLink. This Photoshop alternative provides enough features for the eager designer to work on intuitive layer editing capabilities and advanced color controls. Beneficial to photographers and editors looking to color-correct images, PhotoDirector 365 is a worthy Photoshop alternative. It may not pack Adobe’s signature bells and whistles, but it’s an affordable ($4/mo) program that helps creatives get the job done.
Adobe Photoshop Discount – 40-70% Off
Still looking? Don’t miss our exclusive discount with Adobe CC that offers up to 40-70% off Adobe’s apps including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, XD, and more.
» Get 40-70% Off Adobe CC
The Best Free Photoshop Alternatives
The internet provides no shortage of Photoshop alternatives designers of every kind can turn to for image-editing purposes. Whether it’s a free or paid program, there’s a program for everyone to choose from! We hope this list provided you great insight on which product supports your editing needs the most.