Is Photopea a Complete Photoshop Duplicate

Photopea 1.0
Platforms: Web
Price: Free or $9/month

VERDICT: Photopea is a picture editor for work with vector and raster graphics at a professional level. It is equally suitable for complicated procedures like web-page design, making illustrations, editing pictures and simpler ones like changing the size of pictures.

Its UI and the toolkit remind me of Photoshop. Of course, Photopea doesn’t provide all the functions that are present in Adobe software. But its feature set is extensive enough to satisfy users, especially those, who aren’t willing to spend much on the subscription.

  • Can export in PSD format
  • Doesn’t require a browser plug-in
  • Fast loading
  • Drag and drop support
  • Responsive to feedback
  • Same basic shortcuts as in Photoshop
  • May not open other photo formats
  • Additional features are available in the premium account
  • Some powerful picture editing tools may be missing
  • It takes time to get used to the interface
photopea interface

Photopea has an open-source code. If you are OK with ads, which aren’t really disturbing, use this program for free. But there is a possibility to get a premium account by paying $9 per 30 days and forget about ads.

Photopea is a free web-based image editor developed for loading, editing and exporting Adobe Photoshop (PSD) files, GIMP (XCF) files, and Sketch (Sketch App) files. No plug-ins are required, which is a distinctive feature of Photopea app.

Such well-known picture editors as Fotor, Pixlr, Picasa and others are capable of working with numerous generic picture formats, like JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, etc. But the majority of them can’t load and edit picture files generated by image post-production software, for instance, Photoshop, GIMP and Sketch. That’s why, in case you need to edit a PSD, XCF or Sketch file that you have downloaded from the web or created in those programs yourself, try Photopea online editor.

Photopea Review

logo photopea

Photopea works like any other regular picture editor, giving users ample opportunities to edit picture files. This online photo editor is free and may easily replace widely used Photoshop or Sketch.

Many entrepreneurs and official institutions prefer working in commercially successful software due to extensive feature-set. But if you are an amateur user on a tight budget, Photopea will work no worse than Photoshop. Photopea doesn’t require installation or downloading any files, which is an advantage.

Photopea is equally suitable for complicated procedures like web-page design, making illustrations, editing pictures and simpler ones like changing the size of pictures. It is very newbie-friendly.

Friendly Interface

The program launches within seconds and its interface resembles Photoshop, except for the bars with ads on the right side. Everything is located logically; you don’t have to open manuals to find this or that tool.

I effortlessly created a new file and instantly decided to try a rather interesting tool – the Brush.

Brushes in Photoshop are my personal favorites. That’s the reason why I have abandoned other picture post-production programs. Imagine how happy I was to discover that using brushes in Photopea is just as convenient as in Ps. No need to master a different brush engine if you have ever worked in Photoshop.

photopea online editor brush tool

Comparing Photopea vs Photoshop in terms of the menu, I can say that the former is more intuitive. I didn’t notice that some of the important Ps features were absent in Photopea. That’s probably because I use nothing but basic tools. But I’m not so sure about more advanced functions. I need to try high-end picture retouching to see what Photopea is capable of.

The zoom in Ps is smoother than in Photopea. Plenty of artifacts are noticeable once I choose a number that isn’t 25% or 50%.

Perfect Colors in sRGB Color Space

Photopea currently works with the sRGB color space (the standard color space for the net), with the 8-bit color depth. The files you export use sRGB as well.

Zoom Tool for Perfect Portraits

photopea online editor zoom tool

For zooming in and out in various parts of the picture you can use the Zoom tool. Find it on the toolbar, pick it and click on the picture. Press the Alt key on the keyboard to switch between zooming in and out in the upper panel. Another way to zoom in is to click and drag to the right side, to zoom out – drag to the left side.

The Zoom tool features a quick mode. Press Ctrl + Spacebar and you will be switched to the Zoom tool that you may use in a standard manner. For instance, you may release or add Alt if you wish to switch between zooming in and out.

Once you have released the keys, the previously used tool will be brought back. In this way, you can zoom as fast as possible.

Convenient Hand Tool

photopea online editor hand tool

The Hand tool is meant for moving the view to various areas of the picture. Activate the tool, click and drag on the picture to move to other areas.

The Zoom tool also features a quick mode. Press the Spacebar to switch to the Hand tool. Once you have released the Spacebar, the previously used tool will be brought back.

If there is a mouse wheel, try panning and zooming with its help. For vertical panning, move the mouse wheel. For horizontal panning, add Ctrl. In case you need to zoom with the mouse wheel, hold the Alt key.

The Healing Process Is Easy to Perform

photopea online editor healing brush

Now let’s figure out how to use Photopea to make the skin textured, with evenly distributed pores.

I really like the Healing Brush in Photoshop. It may be used on a blank layer for non-destructive editing and lets you fully manage the part of the picture where you sample from. The Healing Brush in Ps perfectly copies the texture from one area to another, corrects color along with luminosity. This process isn’t as simple in Photopea. The Healing Brush works fine but I’m not satisfied with the results – I see noticeable edges of the brush.

As for the Clone Stamp tool, I like the results it provides. But it is still not a magic stick. The Clone Stamp tool didn’t manage to fix the skin in areas where slight changes in saturation, luminosity and hue can either make or break the natural-looking result. Nevertheless, I browsed through the menu and came across a helpful familiar Frequency separation with a high pass filter (without Apply Image).

The Best Helper for Quick Editing – Actions Panel

photopea online editor action panel

The next point of my Photopea review is actions. You can manage them via the Actions panel. To view the panel, press Window – Actions. There you may observe the structure of present actions in the middle. Use the buttons at the end of the panel in order to work with actions.


All the actions are strictly structured. Basic units are Action Sets (those with a Folder icon). An Action Set consists of Actions (those with just an arrow). Every Action may consist of Steps (those with a checkmark on the left side).

Click on Action Sets, Actions or Steps in order to pick them. Alter the structure by pressing the buttons at the end of the panel.

  • Record – begin recording the process (as Steps) into a chosen action. To stop recording, press it again.
  • Apply – apply an action to the current file
  • New Action Set
  • New Action
  • Delete – remove a chosen Action Set, a Step or an Action
  • Export – export a chosen Action Set as an .ATN file

Text Style Will Help with Creating Personalized Graphics

photopea text tool

Photopea app offers two types of style parameters. The first one is Character Style (includes color text size) that vary from character to character. The second one is Paragraph Style (includes text margin, aligning, etc.) that is common for the entire paragraph.

Find Character parameters on the Character panel by clicking Window – Character. Paragraph parameters are located on the Paragraph panel (Window – Paragraph). Look for certain standard Paragraph and Character parameters in the upper menu of a Type tool.

If the type layer is chosen on the Layers panel, it is possible to modify the style of the entire layer, for instance, pick a different aligning or font. Or you may try entering the layer and highlight a particular part of the text. The modifications you make to the style are applied only to the highlighted part of the text.

Photopea Price

Photopea is a free service, so you can use all existing tools in the picture editor. However, there is a Premium account ($9/month) that lets you use the service without ads and view the history of picture post-production up to 60 steps.


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Photopea vs Photoshop

Photoshop is a worldwide renowned picture editing program with an extensive feature-set. It is notable that many people are using unofficial, pirated versions of Photoshop on their PCs. This happens because of an expensive price. Not every professional, let alone an amateur, can pay so much money for the software.

Comparing Photopea vs Photoshop in terms of price, I can’t say for sure if the former is a worthy replacement for Adobe product. In this case, only your needs matter. If you are doing photography at a pro-level, you will certainly put all the Ps capabilities to good use.

Besides, I discovered that Photopea may lag after you upload big-sized files with a number of adjustment layers, which some cameras tend to generate. I tried editing a file with multiple layers and the program crashed several times. According to another Photopea review, it is quite a common problem.

  • photopea vs photoshop
  • photopea vs photoshop

    If you go lighter on Photopea, it will produce remarkable results. I use this picture editor for resizing screenshots or creating specific images for my blog. Whenever I need a quick edit and don’t feel like launching Photoshop and overloading my OS, Photopea is my go-to app.

    Moreover, Photopea is a suitable variant for those, who wish to master the art of picture post-production. You may use this free Photoshop alternative online and get a hang of all the necessary functions. After that, you will feel more confident if you decide to take it up a notch and switch to Photoshop.


    Download and try these free Photopea plug-ins. They will speed up the entire picture editing process and make it more efficient.


    freebie action color freebie action color

    The ideal action to make unusual colors. Use for studio portraiture and enjoy the effect.


    freebie action retro freebie action retro

    Want to achieve classic look for your headshots and business portraits? Use this action. It will add warm shades to the photo.


    freebie action sepia freebie action sepia

    Use this action for any type of photo. It is perfect for outdoor and studio photos. Add vintage effect and depth to portraits.

    Ann Young

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

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