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5 Best Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

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Adobe Photoshop is the most popular software for photo editing. It provides a host of tools, plugins and features that most other photo editing software cannot match. It is one of the best photo editing software for professionals and most popular with web and graphic designers. However, if you simply want to do minor edits to your images or graphics, there are many photo editing software options that you can try.  Below is a list of 5 best alternatives to Adobe Photoshop in terms of features and usability.

1. Gimp:

5 Best Alternates to Adobe Photoshop - Gimp

GIMP is a powerful and flexible free Photoshop alternative. It is a very adaptable and customizable software for Photo editing. This Photoshop alternative possesses a range of excellent Photoshop features. You can use features like layers and masking, advanced level filters, color modifications, and transformation.

The best thing about GIMP is that the plugins and scripts are created by users. Most of them are already pre-installed and you can  start using them right after installing the software. These plugins are the best alternatives for tools like ‘Liquify’. In addition, there is a whole pack of animation tools that allow you to make your photographs life-like with morphing and blending. If these tools are not what you are looking for, then you can always add Photoshop plugins to GIMP as well!

If you find GIMP a little bit intimidating at the start, then you have plenty of troubleshooting guides and tutorials you can use to get familiar with it. GIMP’s new interface combines palettes, menus, and toolboxes in a single window to make user navigation easier. There is a bit of learning curve with this completely free and open-source image-editor but once you have a good understanding of all the tools, you can do just about anything with this software.

2. Paint.NET

5 Best Alternates to Adobe Photoshop - Paint.NET

The journey of Paint.NET started as a replacement for Microsoft Paint. With the passage of time, Paint.NET has become a powerful photo editing tool. Just like other alternates of Adobe Photoshop, it offers features like automatic filters and manual editing tools. It does not offer as many features as Gimp, but it also relatively easier to learn and use.

Paint.NET provides features for masking but you have to download a plugin for layers. This software comes with in-built batch editing feature and in addition, it has clone stamp to easily erase blotches and commotions.

Paint.NET is the best option to use as Adobe Photoshop’s alternative in case of working with multiple photographs. It has quick access tabs that use thumbnails and allow you to view multiple images simultaneously. The software is light-weight and works well with low configuration computers. You can save images of any size but it does lack some customization options.

3. Affinity Photo:

5 Best Alternates to Adobe Photoshop - Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is perfectly suitable for image editing and photo retouching and works with a large number of file formats. It is mostly used by professional photographers and designers. The creators of this software claim that it is better than Adobe Photoshop. It is certainly a lot cheaper than Adobe Photoshop.

This Photoshop alternative comes with exceptional speed, fewer reported crashes by users, and unlimited number of undoes. This software is however, resource intensive. It is best compatible with the latest quad-core technology.  It is compatible with both Mac and Windows. If you are searching for the closest alternative to Adobe Photoshop at a lower price, then Affinity Photo is the right fit for you.

4. Photo Pos Pro:

5 Best Alternates to Adobe Photoshop - Photo Pos Pro

Photo Pos Pro is one of the best-designed alternatives for Adobe Photoshop but it has a few limitations. This Photoshop alternative is designed intuitively and offers two types of interface for newbies and experts. The interface for newbies includes one-click filters and automatic adjustments while the interface for experts completely resembles the interface of Adobe Photoshop.

It has features like layers, masking, clone and healing brushes. You also have access to color refining tools, batch-editing, and scripts to save time. In addition, you can also import the images from a camera or scanner. It also has plugins for extra frames and templates. One limitation of this software is the limited number of saved files available. Another limitation is that while there is a free version available, advanced features are only present in the paid version.

5. Pixlr Editor:

5 Best Alternates to Adobe Photoshop - Pixlr Editor

Pixlr Editor is a browser-based Photoshop alternative and it is more effective than some desktop applications. It is not a very popular alternative just yet. Pixlr Editor is created by Autodesk, a well-known name in CAD and three-dimensional modeling. There are different versions of Pixlr Editor, web version, desktop version, and mobile application version. However, the most effective of all the versions is the web-based version which offers the feature of layers.

There is a big ad on the right side of the screen in Pixlr Editor and it is one of the major drawbacks of this free Photoshop alternative. You will find tools like sharpening, unsharp mask, blur, noise, levels, and curves. These features are almost similar to the features of Adobe Photoshop. In addition, you get arty filters and automatic options. All features are available for free in the Pixlr Editor.

Just like GIMP, Pixlr Editor has a toolbox with fills, selection and clone stamps. You can have the advantage of both layers and masks here. One issue with this alternative is it doesn’t have the feature of batch editing but you can see all the images in tabs at a glance.

There are a lot more image editing software available than the ones mentioned here. While each software provides different features for different purposes, most of them fail to provide multiple features under one roof, except for Gimp and Affinity Photo.

Harsh Raval
HR is a skilled web developer, graphic designer, digital marketing consultant, and content creator. With more than 10 years of experience in content creation, HR has contributed engaging, thorough, and well-researched graphic and web design content for several years here at WebDesignDev.

1 thought on “5 Best Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop”

  1. I’ve been using GIMP for years. Nothing extravagant, just basic photo editing a making headers and banners. Seriously, it does everything I need it to do. And another thing is there are no shortage of resources. Between tutorial sites and YouTube there is no reason you can’t figure out what to do.


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