12 Best Free Photoshop Alternatives Tried & Tested In 2024

With over 2 million content creators worldwide using Photoshop, it’s no surprise that it has become the industry standard for image editing and graphic design.

However, it might not be the best option for everyone, due to its high price tag.

In recent years, there has been a rise in alternative software that offers similar functionalities at no cost and with unique features not found in Photoshop.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

1. GIMP

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open-source software that offers a wide range of tools for image editing and graphic design. It has a user-friendly interface and a customizable workspace, making it suitable for beginners and professionals alike.

One of the main advantages of GIMP is that it is completely free to use, meaning you can download and install it on multiple devices without any limitations. It also supports various file formats, including Photoshop’s native PSD format, making it easy to switch between the two programs.

While GIMP may not have all the advanced features of Photoshop, it offers many powerful tools such as layers, masks, and filters. It also has a dedicated community that continuously develops new plugins and resources to enhance its capabilities.

Pros

  • Cost-effective alternative to Photoshop
  • Suitable for beginners and professionals
  • Continuously updated by a dedicated community

Cons

  • Lacks some advanced features found in Photoshop

2. Krita

Krita is another free and open-source software that specializes in digital painting and animation. It has a vast range of brushes and customizable features specifically designed for artists and illustrators.

Krita’s interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it a popular choice for digital artists. It also has excellent support for graphics tablets, providing a smooth and natural drawing experience.

One unique feature of Krita is its ability to create animations within the program. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want to explore animation in addition to digital painting.

Pros

  • Ideal for digital painting and animation
  • Great support for graphics tablets
  • Intuitive interface

Cons

  • Limited functionalities for non-artistic design work

3. Pixlr

Pixlr is a cloud-based image editing software that offers a user-friendly interface and powerful tools similar to Photoshop. It has a variety of features, including layers, filters, and advanced editing options.

One unique feature of Pixlr is its ability to work on both desktop and mobile devices, making it convenient for on-the-go editing. It also offers various pricing plans, including a free version with basic tools and a paid version with more advanced features.

While Pixlr may not have all the capabilities of Photoshop, it is an excellent option for quick and simple edits or those looking for an alternative to traditional software.

Pros

  • Convenient cloud-based editing
  • User-friendly interface
  • Offers free and paid versions

Cons

  • Lacks advanced features found in Photoshop

4. Microsoft Windows 10 Photos

If you’re a Windows user, you may already have access to a built-in image editor – Microsoft Windows 10 Photos. While it may not be as comprehensive as Photoshop, it offers basic editing options such as cropping, resizing, and color correction.

One of the main advantages of using Windows 10 Photos is its integration with other Microsoft products, for example, to edit a photo that you want to insert into PowerPoint. It also allows for easy sharing to social media platforms directly from the program.

Pros

  • Built-in image editor for Windows users
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Integration with other Microsoft products

Cons

  • It’s only available for Windows 10

5. Photo Pos Pro

Photo Pos Pro is a free image editing software that offers an interface similar to Photoshop. It has various tools, including layers, effects, and brushes, making it a suitable alternative for creative professionals.

One unique feature of Photo Pos Pro is its batch-processing tool, allowing users to edit multiple images at once. It also has tutorials and user forums available for those who want to learn more about its features and capabilities.

Pros

  • Interface similar to Photoshop
  • Has advanced tools such as batch processing
  • Offers tutorials and user forums for support

Cons

  • Must purchase the Premium version for $30 to unlock all features.

6. Raw Therapee

Raw Therapee is a free, open-source software specifically designed for processing raw image files from digital cameras. It offers advanced features such as non-destructive editing, color management, and lens correction.

One of the main advantages of using Raw Therapee is its ability to work with a wide range of raw file formats from different camera brands. It also has a customizable interface and various editing tools for advanced image processing.

Pros

  • Specialized in processing raw image files
  • Non-destructive editing
  • Supports various camera brands and raw file formats

Cons

  • Limited functionalities for non-raw images

7. Paint.net

Paint.net is a free image editing software that offers basic and advanced features similar to Photoshop. It has an intuitive interface and a wide range of tools, making it suitable for both beginners and professionals.

One unique feature of Paint.net is its active online community, which creates and shares plugins to enhance its capabilities. It also has a user-friendly interface, making it easy to use for those familiar with Microsoft Paint.

Pros

  • Suitable for both beginners and professionals
  • Offers basic and advanced image editing tools
  • Active online community creating new plugins

Cons

  • Some features may be limited compared to Photoshop

8. Darktable

Darktable is a free and open-source software specifically designed for editing raw images. It offers advanced features such as non-destructive editing, masking, and color correction.

One of the main advantages of using Darktable is its wide range of tools and presets that allow for precise adjustments to raw images. It also has a user-friendly interface and is continually being updated with new features.

Pros

  • Specialized in processing raw images
  • Non-destructive editing
  • Offers various tools and presets for precise adjustments

Cons

  • Limited functionalities for non-raw images

9. Photopea

Photopea is a free, online image editor that offers a similar interface to Photoshop. It has various tools and features for image editing, including layers, masks, and filters.

One of the main advantages of using Photopea is its compatibility with different file formats, making it easy to open and edit images from various sources. It also has a customizable interface and offers tutorials for beginners.

Pros

  • Online image editor with a Photoshop-like interface
  • Compatibility with various file formats
  • Offers tutorials for beginners

Cons

  • There are a lot of ads. You can remove them for $ 5 a month.

10. InPixio

InPixio is a free image editing software that offers basic tools, such as cropping, color adjustment, and filters. It also has advanced features like batch processing and removal of unwanted objects from photos.

One unique feature of InPixio is its ability to create photo collages with different templates and layouts. It also has tutorials and a user-friendly interface for easy navigation.

Pros

  • Offers basic and advanced image editing tools
  • Ability to create photo collages
  • Tutorials and user-friendly interface

Cons

  • Pay to have full access to all features

11. Inkscape

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor that can also be used for basic image editing. It has features such as layers, filters, and text tools.

One unique feature of Inkscape is its ability to create vector graphics, making it suitable for graphic design work or for creating illustrations for PowerPoint. It also supports a wide range of file formats and offers advanced features for precise image editing.

Pros

  • Can be used as a vector graphics editor
  • Supports various file formats
  • Advanced tools for precise image editing

Cons

  • Sometimes Inkscape crashes without reason when working on large files

12. Pixelmator

Pixelmator is a powerful image editor for Mac users that offers advanced tools, such as layers, masking, and color correction. It also has a user-friendly interface and integrates with other Mac applications.

One unique feature of Pixelmator is its machine-learning technology, which can automatically remove objects from photos or suggest edits based on the image content. It also offers a wide range of filters and effects.

Pros

  • Advanced tools for professional image editing
  • Integrates with other Mac applications
  • Machine learning technology for automatic edits

Cons

  • Only available for Mac users. There’s a free trial, then you have to pay.

Bonus: Keyhole’s Unlimited Scheduling Feature

For those who create visually compelling content using the photo editing software mentioned above, managing and scheduling posts on social media platforms can further enhance the reach and impact of their work. 

Keyhole offers an unlimited scheduling feature that allows users to effortlessly plan and queue their social media posts. This feature is particularly beneficial for maintaining a consistent posting schedule, increasing audience engagement, and optimizing the timing of posts for maximum visibility.

Takeaways

In conclusion, numerous free and open-source alternatives to Adobe Photoshop offer various features and functionalities for image editing. While some are more suitable for basic edits, others have advanced tools for professional use.

It is important to consider your needs and preferences when choosing an alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Whether you are looking for a user-friendly interface, specific features, or compatibility with different file formats, there is sure to be software that meets your requirements.

Author Bio

Erik Emanuelli has been in the online marketing game since 2010. He contributed to many important online publications and he has been featured on sites like Entrepreneur and GoDaddy. He’s now helping people increase their online visibility by sharing what he has learned during these years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I get a free Photoshop?

Unfortunately, Photoshop is not available for free. However, Adobe offers a 7-day free trial for new users to test out the software before committing to a subscription.

2. Are there any good free photo editors?

Yes, there are many great free photo editing software options available. Some popular ones include GIMP, Lightzone, and Photopea.

3. Do I need a powerful computer for image editing?

It depends on the complexity of the editing you will be doing. For basic edits, a standard computer should suffice. However, for more advanced and intensive work, a powerful computer with higher RAM and processing speed may be necessary.

4. Can I use these photo editors on my mobile device?

Some photo editors have mobile versions of apps available, but not all of them do. It is best to check the app store for availability before downloading.

5. Is it worth paying for a photo editor?

It depends on your needs and level of expertise. If you are a professional photographer or graphic designer, investing in high-quality paid software may be worth it. However, if you only need basic editing tools, there are many free options available that can fulfill those needs.