The Top 5 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

When it comes to editing your images, Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular software solutions around. Used by amateurs and professionals alike, Photoshop can help to turn any image into a masterpiece.

Unfortunately, the Creative Cloud subscription that you need to access Photoshop can make it quite expensive for people who are just launching their photography brand.

What’s more, with so many tools to choose from in Photoshop, you might find that this tool is tougher to use than other options.

So, what are the top free alternatives to Photoshop?

  • GIMP

    The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is one of the best-known free alternatives to Photoshop on the market. As a very feature-rich solution for photographers, GIMP can do almost anything that Photoshop can.

    • Pros:
      • Lots of features
      • Image slicing support
      • History toolbar
      • Blending and layer support modes
    • Cons:
      • Complicated UI
      • Strange text tool
      • No RAW filter

    Krita is another highly popular free alternative to Photoshop. In fact, it’s one of the tools most recommended by photographers in forums about editing and creative image design. The best thing about Krita is how similar it looks and feels to Photoshop

    • Pros:
      • Support for pens and drawing tablets
      • Multiple pre-installed templates
      • Lots of effects to choose from
      • Guides and rulers supported
    • Cons:
      • No history toolbar
      • Slow at times
      • Limited text feature
      • No RAW filter
  • Paint.NET

    Originally, Paint.NET was intended to be an enhanced version of the MS Paint tool. So, you’ll notice many features similar to your Microsoft application here. However, while Paint.NET might not be as powerful as Photoshop, it gives you a lot of features that may make it a great alternative for beginners.

    • Pros:
      • Blending and layer support
      • History tool
      • Support for multiple file types
      • Well-rounded editing tool
    • Cons:
      • Outdated UI
      • Lack of Guide support
      • No RAW option
      • No slice, patch, or spot healing tool
  • Pixlr Editor

    Although it’s a browser-based tool, the Pixlr editor is just as powerful as many desktop applications. Unlike other free alternatives to Photoshop, Pixlr editor was created by AutoDesk, a leading name in computer-aided design.

    • Pros:
      • Access on any platform (because it’s browser-based)
      • Layer and blending supported
      • Customizable interface
      • Healing and history tools
    • Cons:
      • Flash download required
      • No pen tool supported
      • Not as much file support as Photoshop
      • No guides and rulers
  • Photo Pos Pro

    As an advanced piece of editing equipment designed for people who can’t afford Photoshop, Photo Pos Pro is brimming with fantastic capabilities. Similar to Photoshop, there are layers and layer masks, as well as healing and clone brushes.

    • Pros:
      • Customizable interface for novices and experts
      • Support for layers and masks
      • Intuitive feature selection
      • Closely resembles photoshop
    • Cons:
      • Can be difficult to learn
      • The software acts strangely at times
      • The size of exported files is limited