Photoshop Alternatives has been the industry standard for decades, but it’s expensive for those who use it occasionally—and for those who only use it for basic photo editing. Here are 9 free Photoshop alternatives for basic photo retouching or graphic design; some offer the best of both worlds.
Photoshop has been the industry standard for decades, but it’s expensive for those who use it occasionally—and for those who only use it for basic photo editing. Photoshop is an image editing and graphic design program, but it takes up a lot of space and can slow down your computer. This can be not easy to understand, even for beginners. And at $9.99 a month, Photoshop might not be the best choice for most new photographers.
If you’re looking for a free Photoshop alternative, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will walk you through 16 free Photoshop alternatives. Some are perfect for basic image manipulation, some can be used for graphic design, and some offer the best of both worlds.
Some of the best free Photoshop alternatives of 2022:
Luminar (Free Trial)
If you’re looking for a comprehensive free Photoshop alternative, the Luminar 4 free trial is a great choice. Luminar combines image management with advanced RAW editing. Luminar is ideal for professional photographers and designers.
Pros: Besides managing photos, Luminar 4 offers great photo editing capabilities. Use it to edit RAW images with high precision. You can also adjust features such as contrast, brightness, saturation, and brightness. Also, Luminar comes with AI-enhanced filters, including Accent AI 2.0 and Steel Enhancement. These automated tools provide fast repairs with excellent quality.
Cons: It’s only free for a 7-day trial period. The full version is available for $69.
Apple Photos comes installed on every Mac computer and provides easy editing tools to speed up your photos. It’s also a great place to store your photos, so you can sort photos by date or organize them into folders. Basic adjustments like color correction, brightness, saturation, and contrast can be made with the click of a button.
Pros: Photos is easy to use and works as a photo organizing system and editor at the same time. The photo editing tools are the same on the desktop as in the iOS app, so the interface is especially easy for Apple users.
Cons: Photos is only available for Mac and iOS and has very limited hardware. It does not support layers or advanced edits.
Microsoft Windows 10 Photo
The Microsoft Windows 10 Photo app is built into every Windows 10 operating system. Like Apple Photos, Windows 10 Photos is a regular system for photos. It automatically displays all photos saved in your Photos folder and also makes it easy to import photos saved in other folders. One-click editing option instantly improves color, brightness, and contrast.
Pros: 10 Best Photos for Windows Users Who Don’t Want to Install Additional Software The user-friendly interface is ideal for new photographers who don’t need advanced options.
Cons: Professional photographers can only use a small portion of the capability of this software, which is only compatible with Windows 10.
Perhaps the most popular Photoshop alternative, GIMP has been around for a long time and is the first program that comes to mind when most people think of “free Photoshop.” It’s open-source software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and the official website offers many helpful tips.
Pros: Advanced functionality like layer masks and filters are available in GIMP.Many can be downloaded to suit your needs. Both photographers and graphic designers will find the tools they need to perform many tasks, and GIMP supports a wide range of file formats.
Cons: The interface is not as intuitive as Adobes.
Photo Pos Pro
Photo Pose Pro is a free photo editing program that can manipulate photos and create collages and business cards. It allows you to edit existing photos as well as start new projects.
Pros: Photo Pos Pro is great for beginners, recognizes RAW files, gives you a choice between Beginner or Expert mode, and helps ease your workflow.
Cons: To unlock full features, you must buy the premium version for $30. There are two interface types, but if you choose noise mode, you cannot work with layers.
Raw Therapee is an open-source photo editing software that is perfect for beginners. You can quickly adjust photos, improve exposure, color, white balance, sharpen, and more with just a few clicks. Raw Therapee also allows you to create collages and add frames to your photos.
Pros: You can download plugins according to your needs. It is a great basic photo editor for beginners and is specially designed to work on slow computers. Three basic correction profiles (raw treatment versions of the presets) provide a quick way to enhance images.
Cons: Since the number of users is limited compared to other photo editing software, there are not many tutorials.
Pixlr is unique because it is a completely web-based photo editor. It allows you to make basic adjustments like vignettes, color correction, saturation, contrast, and framing. It’s simple to edit images on the fly using the mobile version.
Pros: Pixlr is a great choice for people who don’t have room to download additional software on their computer. The user interface is straightforward and resembles Photoshop Elements. Pixlr also supports layers that are hard to find in an online editor.
Cons: You’ll need a constant internet connection to edit photos with Pixlr. If you stick with the basic pixel editor, you’ll also need Flash to make it work. However, the new Pixlr X works on HTML5.
Paint.NET was originally developed as an alternative to Microsoft Paint but has since evolved into a simple image editor. Contains basic tools that provide the ability to edit with layers, curves, and surfaces. Although the tools and filters are limited, you can download free plugins to add more types. Since many people use Paint.NET, there are many forums where you can find tutorials.
Pros: Paint.NET is easy for beginners and provides basic image editing tools for those without prior experience.
Cons: This software is only compatible with Windows operating systems and has a limited capability.
Darktable is an image editor often marketed as an alternative to Lightroom, although it offers limited functionality compared to Adobe products. However, it offers excellent tools for basic image editing, making it a good starting point for beginners. It also lets you create and save your own presets, making it easy to edit with one click.
Pros: Darktable provides a simple interface that allows users to quickly adjust colors, apply filters, and adjust brightness and contrast. The interface is almost identical to Lightroom. While most image editors are only available for Mac and Windows, Darktable is also available for Linux.
Cons: Not enough tools for professional photographers, and if the files are too big, Darktable can be full of errors and crashes.