Free Photoshop Alternative

Top 20 Best Free Photoshop Alternatives

Is there a free Photoshop alternative that can completely replace Adobe Ps in terms of professional photo retouching or digital drawing?

Photoshop is a synonym for photo editing and the choice of almost all professional photographers, designers, and web developers. Today I will tell you about 20 cheap and FREE Photoshop alternatives that have almost the same functions.


Open source alternative
  • Simpler than Ps
  • Open source
  • Masks and layers
  • Compatible with Linux
  • Poor performance compared to analogs
  • Few video tutorials

Verdict: GIMP is a full-featured open source editor. There are many tools and photoshopping portraits tips for basic retouching and color enhancement, working with text, masks, layers, various effects, etc. This Photoshop free analog allows you to customize tools, fix bugs, and create new functions manually. The biggest drawback – no full desktop version for MacOS.

Complete GIMP Review

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    2. PaintNet

    For digital drawing
    • Easy to use
    • Basic editing
    • Deep color improvement
    • Tools for basic digital drawing
    • Isn’t supported by Linux and MacOS

    Verdict: PaintNet is an open source bitmap editor for Windows. It is one of the best Photoshop freeware alternatives as it offers custom sliders, adjustable colors, masks, layers, and filters. In general, it is a universal option for amateur photographers and beginning designers. Besides, the interface has not been updated for a long time and today it looks a bit outdated.

    Complete PaintNet Review

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      3. SumoPaint

      For graphic designers
      • Simple interface and tools
      • An amazing text processing tool
      • Suitable for basic editing
      • Works with RAW files
      • Weak optimization
      • Some tools need extra development

      Verdict: This free Photoshop alternative is rather simple and user-friendly. It can be a suitable option if you are searching for a free Photoshop alternative for Mac. The interface is similar to Photoshop and Pixlr. The fairly developed brushes will be very useful for you for amateurs and Instagram bloggers. Doesn’t support Photoshop Actions.

      Complete SumoPaint Review

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        4. digiKam

        Best free photo catalogue
        • Well-developed organizer
        • Fast import, export and photo libraries
        • Open source
        • Supported on Linux
        • Not suitable for professional retouching

        Verdict: A powerful photo manager, organizer and editor for basic color correction. A free alternative to Photoshop it terms of photo management. You can import images in various ways, group them into albums, and browse and search in your collection by location, time, tags and people. DigiKam isn’t optimized for weak PCs, so you may have long delays.

        Complete digiKam Review

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          5. PhotoScape

          Pro Photoshop alternative
          • Professional tools for image editing
          • Digital drawing and color correction
          • RAW format support
          • Low system requirements
          • Many functions are limited in free access

          Verdict: PhotoScape can be considered as a free Photoshop alternative suitable both for professional and beginner users. The program includes several separate tabs for photo editing, cataloging, working with GIF and video files, converting RAW files and more. You may edit portraits, create design projects, logos, and banners, and do much more. It’s the best free Photoshop alternative for Mac.

          Complete PhotoScape Review

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            6. Krita

            Many tools for designers
            • Excellent brushes
            • Pro tools for digital drawing
            • User-friendly interface
            • Poorly developed photo retouching tools

            Verdict: Krita is an open source and free Photoshop replacement for those who often need basic digital drawing tools. It can’t compete with other programs similar to Photoshop or Photoshop Elements Free in the sphere of photo retouching. However, you can use some basic tools as filters, effects, remove imperfections, etc.

            Complete Krita Review

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            • krita interface

              7. Inkscape

              Vector graphics alternative
              • Advanced tools for vector graphics
              • Optimized for weak PCs
              • Support RAW files
              • Not suitable for pro picture editing
              • Poorly-developed masks and layers

              Verdict: Inkscape is one of the Photoshop freeware alternatives with excellent functionality for vector graphics. It’s suitable for creating artistic and technical illustrations. This free Photoshop alternative is a nice choice for beginners in photography or web design. You can zoom in and visualize vector graphics with different resolutions without quality loss.

              Complete Inkscape Review

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                8. Photo Pos Pro

                Photoshop interface
                • Lots of features for image editing
                • Good for digital drawing
                • Optimized for weak PC configurations
                • Advanced brushes
                • Cluttered interface
                • Doesn’t support batch image edit

                Verdict: Photo Pos Pro is a good free program similar to Photoshop that works with layers, masks, gradients and textures. It has a “complex interface” with many icons. This may be confusing when you open the program for the first time. However, except photo editing, you can create new graphic compositions, logos, banners and websites from scratch.

                Complete Photo Pos Pro Review

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                  9. Capture One Pro

                  Professional software
                  • Fully customizable interface
                  • Fast import and export
                  • Well-developed masks and layers
                  • Suitable for professional retouching
                  • Requires good PC configuration
                  • Difficult for beginners

                  Verdict: It was designed for photographers who use Phase One cameras. This free software similar to Photoshop provides powerful tools for professional image editing. You’ll find tools to correct colors, retouch portraits, work with masks, layers, brushes, etc. It has a complex user interface that may be quite confusing for beginners.

                  Complete Capture One Review

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                    10. Affinity Photo

                    For professional retouchers
                    • Simple interface
                    • Professional brushes
                    • Supports RAW files
                    • Fast photo import and export
                    • Expensive compared to competitors
                    • Lacks an image organizer

                    Verdict: Affinity Photo is a raster graphics editor that combines powerful tools for image editing and color correction with a nice user-friendly interface. From my point of view, this is the best Photoshop replacement. The real-time display is one of the most interesting features. It allows you to preview the result before using the tool.

                    Complete Affinity Photo Review

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                      11. ACDsee Photo Studio Ultimate

                      Convenient photo catalog
                      • Professional tools
                      • A large number of functions
                      • User-friendly interface
                      • Quite high price

                      Verdict: ACDSee Photo Studio is a semi-professional software for previewing, editing and publishing images. The program offers direct access to files and folders with the possibility to update their content in real time. This saves time spent on importing images into a separate library. Don’t require watching Photoshop portrait tutorials before using.

                      Complete ACDSee Review

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                        12. Sketch

                        For vector graphics
                        • Many tools for working with graphics
                        • Basic image editing
                        • Fast import and export
                        • Excellent brushes
                        • More expensive than Photoshop

                        Verdict: This is a professional vector graphics app for creative work with digital photos. The most popular tools are layers, gradients, color palettes and styles. Sketch also offers many useful plug-ins for creating designs. You can create a new image from primitive shapes, as well as draw new ones using the Vector or Pencil tool.

                        Complete Canva Review

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                        • sketch interface

                          13. Acorn

                          For beginners
                          • Creates great HDR images
                          • Easy-to-use tools
                          • Supports RAW files
                          • Lacks an organizer and batch image edit

                          Verdict: This program enables you to change the hue, brightness and contrast of your images. This software also works with layers. You can create both HDR and panoramic pictures. Since it works with HDR images, the software is compatible with RAW files. There is no organizer for photos in its free version.

                          Complete Polarr Review

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                            14. Pixelmator Pro

                            Best alternative for Mac
                            • Advanced digital drawing
                            • Suitable for basic photo editing
                            • Photoshop similar brushes
                            • Supports RAW
                            • Price is higher than Photoshop

                            Verdict: A universal software that meets all the requirements of professional users. It isn’t a free Photoshop alternative, but has a great variety of essential photo editing functions. User-friendly interface, RAW files support, a convenient organizer, and many options and tools for image retouching.

                            Complete RawTherapee Review

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                              15. Pixlr

                              Online Photoshop alternative
                              • Tools and interface are similar to Photoshop
                              • Lots of efficient tools
                              • Supports masks and layers
                              • 40% of the functionality is limited for free
                              • Too much advertising

                              Verdict: This is one of the best “shareware” web apps and a nice free alternative to Photoshop. If you have good Internet and you do not mind the absence of Photoshop plugins, this online app is the best choice. Upload your image and you use layers, masks, clone stamps, selection tools, etc. Mind, Pixlr app does not support batch editing.

                              Complete Pixlr Review

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                                16. Adobe Photoshop Express

                                Simplified Photoshop version
                                • Easy interface
                                • For basic editing
                                • You cannot upload and edit multiple photos at the same time

                                Verdict: This is a simple and properly-developed Photoshop free online alternative from Adobe. All tools are logically ordered and, unlike in Photoshop, everything is immediately available, even if you have never used any photo editor before. It supports only JPG files of less than 16 megapixels and a maximum width of 8,191 pixels.

                                Complete Photoshop Express Review

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                                  17. PicMonkey

                                  For Instagram photoshopping
                                  • A lot of tools for photo editing
                                  • Can create banners and logos
                                  • Excellent text tool
                                  • HUB cloud storage
                                  • Not for deep portrait editing

                                  Verdict: PicMonkey is among the most popular programs similar to Photoshop and Canva. You can store photos, organize them, and create various design projects, banners, and logos. PicMonkey has a well-developed HUB tab including cloud storage and a convenient cataloger.

                                  Complete PicMonkey Review

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                                    18. BeFunky

                                    Simplified alternative
                                    • A lot of tools for photo editing
                                    • Many effects and decor elements
                                    • Nice brushes
                                    • RAW files are supported
                                    • Functionality is limited for free
                                    • Many ads

                                    Verdict: BeFunky is one of those Photoshop freeware alternatives that offers effects, textures and advanced settings to decorate your photos. In addition to removing small objects, and color correction – it has separate modules to create collages and graphic design. Unfortunately, this picture editor contains just 60% of the paid content.

                                    Complete BeFunky Review

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                                      19. Fotor

                                      For creating collages
                                      • Fast and responsive
                                      • Many seasonal decorative elements
                                      • RAW files are supported
                                      • Well-developed brushes
                                      • A limited number of functions without registration

                                      Verdict: If you are looking for free software similar to Photoshop or Movavi that is rather simple, Fotor can be an excellent choice for you. You can crop and rotate images; adjust sharpness, brightness, detail, contrast, and shadows; apply various photo effects; adjust the photo frame; and add stickers.

                                      Complete Fotor Review

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                                        20. piZap

                                        Photoshop alternative app
                                        • Many picture editing tools
                                        • Good, stable speed and responsiveness
                                        • Basic color enhancement
                                        • Doesn’t support RAW files

                                        Verdict: PiZap allows you to perform basic image editing and color correction in one click. The app has HTML5 and Flash versions. The interface has a dark, modern design with sliders for quick customization that works much faster than tricky drop-down menus if you use a touch-screen device.

                                        Complete iPiccy Review

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                                          Ann Young

                                          Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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