Adobe Photoshop has been a pioneer in the industry of digital arts. When it comes to creating a design or making photos more remarkable, the very first tool that everyone bats their eye on is photoshop.
Well, not everyone can afford Photoshop, and it doesn’t have to mean that you cannot create attractive stuff. Here in this segment, we bring you the best free photoshop alternatives. With this, you can unleash your imagination and make it digital for everyone to adore.
We have also shared some paid options that don’t cost much. Some of the tools are online with basic functionalities of retouch, resize, crop, and other similar features that of photoshop that allow you to create beautiful designs online as well as offline; let’s have a look.
Alternatives to Photoshop for Designers and Non Designers
Sometimes the designers, in general, tend to use multiple tools on their images to make that one masterpiece they desire. Well, here, some tools might have limited functionality, so you must choose your companion as per the requirements.
1. Affinity Photo
Affinity photo is one of the best photoshop alternatives for designers and photographers. It’s super sturdy. It offers a lot of things such as Raw Editing, HDR Merge, Multi-layer composition, and other advanced features such as batch processing, PRO retouch, Digital painting, and 360degree image editing.
You can rely on this tool to perform advanced manipulation to any of your images. Additionally, it also supports PSD files, which can be helpful for you if you are planning to shift.
The primary function for which most of the people pay in general is the adobe cloud, and the substitute is missing here. But again, you don’t have to get a subscription, and it’s just one-time payment and hence becomes way cheaper than photoshop. Apart from that, you also get a free trial for ten days on Mac or Windows. It’s also available for the iPad (it doesn’t have the trial version for iPad).
A free and open-source tool for designers and professional photographers. GIMP can help you manipulate images, create original artwork, and design graphic elements such as icons, user interface components, and mockups.
If you use Linux, then its the best competitor to photoshop. It’s also available for Windows, Mac, FreeBSD, and OpenSolaris. You also get a customizable interface where you can set frequently used items and change widget theme, set custom tools, and much more.
The standard User Interface is a bit different, but it also comes with a photoshop look-alike version, which you can prefer if you’re over photoshop. It gets even more interesting as you can use almost all the popular file formats for editing images.
Since being an open-source tool, it sometimes an unfair advantage over traditional tools. You get a community where you can learn, ask, and fix any of your image-related problems. Moreover, multiple GIMP plugins perform digital magic with a single click. You can get a substitute for almost all the missing features via plugins. It’s always under development and can give a smooth image editing experience without any bugs.
Get GIMP from here: Windows | Linux | Mac
Claim to fame “Advanced Photo Editor,” and it does stick to it. Supporting all the major formats such as PSD, XCF, Sketch, XD, and CDR, it comes out as a reliable web-based photoshop alternative. It’s completely platform-independent, which means that all you need is a web browser to access this tool. It’s online, making it accessible from absolutely anywhere.
It comes with a photoshop look-alike GUI, which is quite handy if you come with a prior photoshop background. It packs itself to handle all the everyday workflow and some advanced image manipulation. Some of the main features included and not limited to are Layer masks, Blend Modes, Brush, selections, and procedural adjustments such as sharpening, brightness, color adjustments, etc.
Furthermore, you can also convert file formats, e.g., sketch to PSD, just in case if you’re looking for that functionality in general. Overall it’s an excellent lightweight browser tool that loads quickly, but you might need a powerful system (generally one with more RAM) to edit raw images. You can access it with a pocket-friendly monthly and annual plans, and It also offers a free version, so give it a shot.
Note: Make sure to update your web browsers for superior performance.
Access Photopea from here.
Canva can be your go-to tool if you happen to be from a non-designing background. You can create posters and general artwork which doesn’t need much manipulation. Here you get free templates for different social media platforms such as Instagram, youtube banner/ thumbnail, facebook poster, or posts images.
They also provide standard templates for a cover letter, envelopes, gift cards, and other types of formal designs like business cards, Legal Documents, Letter Heads, etc.
Editing designs in Canva is a simple task. It is a non-designer friendly tool that is aimed towards a general population. It’s completely online, and you can access it from any device with an internet connection. It also comes with an Android and iOS app.
Additionally, they give a 30-day free trial to their pro features. Apart from these, if your requirement is regular social media and light editing, then you can use Canva free for a lifetime.
If you find photoshop a bit complicated or you are new to this creative world, then you must definitely check out Pixlr. It’s beginner-friendly, can do a lot of powerful designing stuff, and that makes it super convenient for people who want to try basic digital art.
You get a newbie-friendly user interface that also explains the use of each tool when you select them. When it comes to image editing, you can depend on pixlr to retouch images, apply amazing filters, use of layers and masking, making the usual image adjustments, and basic drawing on your photos.
Its online editor supports PSD, XCF, and Sketch format. They also have a mobile app for Android and iOS. Apart from all this awesomeness, it is entirely free and a must-try alternative to photoshop.
Choosing the correct Photoshop Alternative
There are many choices out there to try and test your hands on for relevance to your daily needs. To be honest, it may become a tedious task to go through all of them and choose the right fit. You might come across some requirements that a single tool can’t fulfil. In such a case, do look for a complete solution.
For small-time social media managers, Canva is the right choice, for beginners into creative art, go for Pixlr. If you need something robust that can manipulate images as per your will, GIMP is a quite suitable option.
If you need something remotely accessible, Photopea can be your partner in animation. Do give these photoshop alternative a shot and let us know about your all-time favourite in the comments section below.