Adobe photoshop is the most commonly used and well known raster graphics editing tool. It is used by nearly 90% of the creative professionals globally. Even after this popularity, many freelances, designers and beginners still remain in the search for Adobe Photoshop Alternatives. This is primarily due to the hefty subscription fee. Buying Adobe Photoshop subscription costs US $21/month as per Adobe’s official website. This may not be feasible for people planning to learn photo editing and to some freelancers, especially students.
The good news is that there are many alternatives available for Adobe Photoshop which people can use. In this post, we will talk about of these other applications.
Free Photoshop Alternatives
PhotoPea is a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop and users don’t even need to download any app as it runs in a browser. You can just visit their website at www.photopea.com and start using it. It’s interface resembles a lot with photoshop and contains most of the tools required in normal usage. Other than normal image files, PDFs and Adobe files like .ai and .psd can also be imported and used for editing. Being a web based application, it also allows its users to get files from Google Drive and Dropbox.
On the downside, PhotoPea contains ads on its free version. These can be removed by getting their premium version.
Pixlr is a web based application and just like PhotoPea, you don’t need to download any application for it. The application can be accessed at www.pixlr.com. It allows users to customize its interface so they can remove the unnecessary tools out of the sight. Furthermore, the image layer support is excellent along with the AI cutout features.
Pixlr X is completely free of charge but contains ads. For ad removal, its premium version can be bought which also provides added features like extra icons, decorative text, high resolution support and templates. The premium plan starts at $7.99 per month and the creative pack costs $29.99 per month.
Pixlr X also requires Adobe Flash to be enables on a browser and if you don’t have it already then it would be required to install it to use Pixlr X editor.
Krita is an open source and free program. It is a great option for making graphic art & digital drawings and provides a hand full of tools for this purpose. Plus, it also supports Photoshop documents (.psd) so you can easily transfer your work to and from Photoshop. The layout of these two apps is although similar, but Krita is easier and much friendly to use than photoshop.
On the other hand, Krita is not really good option for photo editing as it lacks some powerful tools which Photoshop provides with full functionality.
Paint.NET is a free image editing software. It is very easy to use and has a clean and simple interface. Paint.NET can be really helpful to newbies who are planning to learn image editing as its layout contains all the essential tools and is not cluttered.
Although Paint.NET is easy to use, but it does not provide you the wide range of tools which Photoshop does. It can be used for starter photo editing, but on a much profession level it would not be of too much use. Moreover, Paint.NET is only available on Windows OS.
Photoscape is a free image editing software and is available for Windows and Mac OS. It provides many important and powerful tools along with bulk-editing features like batch format changer and multiple/batch resizing. Plus, tools like RAW converter and Face search can help a lot to the user and save time.
Photoscape offers a simple user interface and is a great software if you want to perform basic image editing on photographs from your phone or digital camera. An amazing feature which it provides is the GIF animator where you can use multiple images to make a GIF out of them. It is indeed a very useful software for beginners and normal level editing.
On the downside, Photoscape does not open .eps files which is a major setback as these files are majorly used in graphic designing and image editing, especially with Adobe products. It also does not provide all the powerful image editing features like Photoshop. Moreover, the layout and interface are although simple but seem outdated and not that eye catchy enough and sometimes it gets difficult to find some tools which are not used frequently.
GIMP is an image editor available on Windows, MacOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. It’s an open source and cross platform software. Unlike Photoshop, it doesn’t have any subscription charges and can be used free of cost. As it is an open source software, so it is constantly being improved. Moreover, It is fairly easy and simple to use as compared to photoshop. GIMP also provides a wide variety of plugins.
Although GIMP can be really good option as a no-cost photo editing software, but it doesn’t have as much features as Photoshop. Furthermore, some users have experienced bugs in the software and occasional lags.
Paid Photoshop Alternatives
Affinity photo a great software especially if you want to create or modify HDR photos and is also lightweight as compared to photoshop, due to which it experiences much less crashes and freezes even on low-end systems. Performance settings can also be changes on it if you want the software to consume more or less RAM and space.
Just like photoshop, its layer functionality is really good and you can easily edit your photos in a non-destructive way. Moreover, the layout of both softwares is quite similar, so the user won’t face any much difficulty from transitioning from one of them to another. Another great aspect of Affinity photo is that other than Windows and Mac OS, it is also available on IOS.
In terms of price, Affinity Photo can be purchased for a one time fee of $54.99 for Windows/Mac OS and for $21.99 on IOS. Other than this, there are no subscription charges.
Luminar is a powerful software for image editing and utilizes artificial intelligence to create changes in photos within a matter of a few clicks and is developed by Skylum. Other than being used as a standalone app, it can also be downloaded as a plugin for Adobe photoshop and even Adobe lightroom.
Luminar NEO allows RAW photo editing in a non-destructive way. It provides some amazing tools that are not directly present in other photo editors. These tools include the AI sky replacement, AI portrait, Sunrays tool, AI structure and other filters. Moreover, the photo manipulation features are also quite good. It also provides a smooth workflow and the layout is clean with most of the tools available in the sidebar.
Luminar NEO is available at a one time price of $79. It can also be bought with a subscription of $59 per year.
PicMonkey is web based software which also have applications for IOS and android. It is mostly used for as a design tool and comes with a lot of design templates and assets. It can help a lot when making graphics like social media posts, cover photos and provides amazing photo enhancement features. Another amazing feature which PicMonkey provides is the real time team collaboration to easily work with your team or show your work progress to any client. Plus, PicMonkey also provides cloud storage to save your work.
On the other hand, PicMonkey lacks some features for much professional photo editing as it is more focused on designing and users, sometimes, feel restricted in the theme or template they selected. Moreover, users have also experienced website freezes during their work. This can lead to loss of work as, so far, there is no autosave option available.
The price of PicMonkey starts at $72 per year or you can opt out for monthly payment plan of $7.99 per month. It also provides Pro and Business plans priced at $120 and $228 per year.
InPixio is a simple yet powerful photo editor. It comes with a nice range of inbuilt one click filters which are capable enough to transform your pictures instantly. The interface is itself really easy to use and learn. It is not clustered with unwanted tools and focuses on a much minimalistic layout. This can help you to get really satisfactory control over image composition and retouching.
InPixio also has a mobile app for IOS with highly featured tools like background removers, photomontage maker, one-click image correction and other impressive tools.
Talking about the drawbacks, you would not be able to work and create HDR images as InPixio lacks the powerful tools to handle it. Moreover, it also lacks proper photo management features. A user might feel restricted between just opening and saving files.
The subscription price tag of InPixio Photo Studio starts at $49.99 per year for its standard version and its premium version costs $79.99 per year. Moreover, InPixio also provides an ultimate subscription plan which provides even further features like photo maximizer and photo focus. The price for this ultimate version is $319.99 per year.
Photoshop is, without any doubt, the most powerful image editing software with the most users. It does contain all the necessary tools for nearly all types of photo work. If the user can afford photoshop in terms of finances and system requirement, then it is recommended to use it as no other photo editing application surpasses it in terms of overall features and trends. But still, there are a lot of other softwares and services available which can work as alternatives to photoshop. They can be really helpful in their own context.