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Free Photoshop Alternatives in 2022

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Adobe Photoshop enjoys a cult status among photographers due to its wide range of photo editing tools. But, to access all these advanced tools, you need to go for monthly subscription fees.

If you are someone who does not use Photoshop often or is not ready to spend such a huge amount on subscription fees, you need to find suitable Photoshop alternatives.

Fortunately, editing software like Luminar, GIMP, Photo Pos Pro and others are on the market. All these software come with advanced tools for editing.

There is a wide range of free software alternatives, including basic editing features and throws with advanced layered editing tools. Most of this software does not require a lot of money as well.

So, here are the top free alternatives for adobe Photoshop for you-

Best Free Photoshop Alternatives

1. Luminar

The software that tops this list is Luminar, a product from Sjylum. It is a free photo editing software that does photo management and RAW editing. If you are into landscape and portrait photography, Luminar AI can be a great alternative.

The software offers an advanced and new-age approach with its Artificial intelligence-based editing facilities. Hence, the software can detect the image issues and edit them automatically without any manual intervention.

On top of that, Luminar also automatically uses Templates or pre-set filter combos to edit the picture through AI detection. The AI detects the possible areas that require an edit and chooses the best possible template to edit everything at once.

This app also offers other exciting features like fogging landscapes, Body slimming and enhancements, sky replacement, etc.

If you are not bothered by the lack of a batch editing facility, Luminar can be a great choice.

Features

  • AI-based editing templates to edit everything at once.
  • AI for automatic detection and masking
  • Portrait editing tools like body slimming, eye enhancement, etc
  • RAW editing through different features
  • It comes as a standalone app for the extended plug-in

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • AI-based editing makes editing easier and faster
  • Does not require you to pay for updates
  • Great editing for portraits and landscapes
  • Available for both windows and mac devices
  • You can use it as standalone software or use its plug-in with other software.

Cons

  • Layer based editing is not available
  • Batch editing is also not available
  • Does not have some advanced editing features
  • The purchase price is high- $69 for a lifetime.
  • High system requirements for proper functioning

 2. Apple Photos

Next comes Apple Photos, a free photo editing software for Mac devices. Despite being a free tool, it does not disappoint.

You can perform basic edits like color correction, saturation, brightness change, and contrast with a single click. On top of that, it also offers great retouching for you.

Apple Photos also comes with a library where you can store the pictures in folders or according to their date.

Features

  • One-touch editing for exposure, saturation, tint, warmth, saturation, etc.
  • Color effect filters like classic B/W, silvertone, dramatic, visit, etc
  • Other basic editing features like crop, tilt, flip, and vertical-horizontal perspective adjustment.

Pros

  • Great for basic editing
  • Easy and user-friendly interface
  • Also works as a photo library and organizer

Cons

  • No facility for layered or advanced adjustments
  • Only basic editing features are available

3. Microsoft Windows 10 Photos

If you are using Windows 10, you can try their Microsoft Windows 10 photos app for once. This app is the Windows equivalent of Apple Photos and offers quite a few good editing facilities for free.

It’s the best part of the one-touch editing for color, contrast, brightness, etc. On top of that, you can also crop the image and change its size for future use.

The Microsoft Windows 10 photos editor also doubles as a photo library where you can find all the stored images on your device.

Features

  • Removal of red eyes and tweaking the light.
  • It also offers crop, rotating, and other finer adjustments
  • The app allows you to improve the clarity and color saturation, brightness, etc
  • You can also convert the image to a 3D image and add a 3D effect to it
  • Drawing and doodling feature for pictures

Pros

  • Great for basic editing
  • Offers doodling and in-picture drawing
  • Intuitive and user-friendly user interface.
  • Does not cost extra

Cons

  • Does not offer enough advanced editing features for professional photographers.
  • Only restricted to windows 10 users

4. GIMP

GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is an open-source photo editing software. It comes with an advanced raster editor like Photoshop and can be an affordable alternative. Due To its high and advanced features, many photographers have been using it for ages.

This software is available for Mac, Windows, and even Linux. You can edit different formats like JPG, PNG, TIFF or GIF, and PSD in GIMP.

Like Photoshop, it also uses vector methods for layout elements like text. But, it also offers editing to the pixel level, including changing the contrast or brightness. On top of that, you can also add lighting effects to a raster image.

Like a proper photo editing software, GIMP offers all the advanced editing features like layered editing, color correction, MNG support, etc.

On top of that, it also has an exclusive community where photographers can connect and get suggestions for editing.

Features

  • Offers layered editing and color correction
  • Painting features including pencil, clone, airbrush, and brush, including custom brush designs and patterns
  • Editable text layers
  • MNG for animated images
  • Pro editing tools like masking effects, curves, levels, and layered
  • Colour correction
  • Rotation, scale, shear, and flip facility available
  • A wide range of plug-ins

Pros

  • Wide range of pro editing options
  • No advertisement pop-ups
  • Layered editing with blending models
  • You can access your editing history from the History Toolbar
  • Offers image slicing

Cons

  • The user interface is outdated and cluttered
  • The brushes come with the same pre-set settings
  • The drawing features are not that beneficial
  • You need to get used to its features and editing procedure
  • The editing procedure is not user friendly
  • No facility for RAW filter

5. Photo Pos Pro

Photo Pos Pro is another free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is a great choice for those looking to make simple photo collages and retouch their images for a bit. Additionally, Photo Pos Pro allows you to edit existing images besides new images.

It’s simple interface makes it a great choice for those who are only beginners in editing. The “Novice” layout offers beginners a proper editing guide and maintains the ideal editing track.

On the other hand, experts can choose the “Expert” layout and access high-end editing features like manual curves and level adjustments for their projects.

Features

  • The Magic Eraser Tool comes with editing features like background replacement, erasing background and images, and removing objects from the
  • You can create photo collages and add frames with Photo Pos Pro
  • It offers masking effects and layered editing
  • Photo Pos Pro offers clone brushes and healing brushes for minute editing
  • You can create your own filters and save them for future use.

Pros

  • Offers “novice” and “expert” layout design to help everyone while editing
  • You will get help tutorials for learning editing
  • It offers both single-click and manual editing tools
  • Supports RAW images
  • Round the clock customer support

Cons

  • You need to get used to the complicated feature of the “Expert” layout
  • The software becomes slow after editing images back to back
  • The exported file size is limited to a certain range

6. RawTherapee

Looking for a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop? Why not try RawTherapee? It is an open-source photo editing software specially designed for movie editors.

It supports regular RAW images, TIFF, PBNG, JPEG, and floating-point HDR images in DNG format.

With RawTherapee, you can sort photographs in a few clicks. On top of that, it also offers single-click editing features, including exposure improvement, color adjustment, white balance adjustment, clarity enhancement, filter application, etc.

The best part? You can use this software to create collages and even add beautiful frames during editing.

Features

  • A camera-like starting point makes the RAW file appear as an out-of-camera JPEG file. You can export it as you want.
  • It comes with SSE optimization that enhances the editing performance for modern CPUs and offers precise calculation in floating points.
  • RawTherapee uses the LittleCMS color management system.
  • It also supports DCP and ICC color profiles.
  • The tools are designed so that you will not face maladjustments of tools by a cursor movement.
  • You can use vertical screen space to your benefit

Pros

  • Offers extensions as per your choice and preference.
  • Supports most image formats
  • Supports monochrome cameras and even film negative cameras alongside modern digital SLR cameras.
  • Comes with a before vs. after look
  • Three basic Retouch profiles for one-click editing
  • Great for beginners
  • Works fine on even slower devices.

Cons

  • Not too many tutorials available

7. Pixlr

Pixlr is also one of the most used free alternatives to Photoshop. Since it is a web-based editor, you will not have to spend your storage for it.

Depending on your choice, you can use either the old Pixlr or the latest Pixlr X. Both are equally beneficial and come with many advanced photo editing features.

Since it uses HTML5, you can use any browser, including mobile browsers, to edit through Pixlr. Hence, it offers on-the-go editing when you are short on time.

It also supports any OS, including windows. MAC AND Linux. There are basic image enhancements available alongside the more advanced ones. You can also use tools like curbed tools and de-hazing during photo editing.

The best part? Pixlr offers a special Auto-Fix tool that prevents over-editing in any image.

Features

  • Features like rotate, flip, and straighten alongside crop with seven different pre-set ratios.
  • Offers multiple filters that you can use
  • Comes with a built-in text tool to add stylish and elegant texts to your image
  • Offer vibrance change, highlights, and shadow manipulation
  • Offers layered editing with different blending modes

Pros

  • Web-based editing tool that can be used on any device, including mobiles
  • Comes with an image history tool
  • Uses HTML5 instead of Flash
  • You can edit images from your desktop gallery or the URLs

Cons

  • You need to have internet access to use this web-based software
  • Most of the tools come in beta versions
  • The healing brush and other tools are more prone to become slow
  • There are no such features to install additional font sets.

8. Paint.NET

The Paint.NET is a free Adobe Photoshop tool, the latest version of the classic Microsoft Paint tool.

The modern Paint.NET is one of the simplest photo editing software.

It comes with a tabbed interface that allows you to work simultaneously on different projects within one window. On top of that, you can also shift through different tabs at once. Each tab comes with a small thumbnail image to help you find the right one intended.

It offers faster editing and an intuitive user interface. It also comes with different blending tools. On top of that, it also supports a wide range of files, including DDS, JPG, PNG, TIFF, TGA, PDN, BMP, etc.

Features

  • 3D rotate zoom function and recomposition of the images
  • Offers layered editing tools
  • Comes with a quick undo tool and editing History tool
  • Tools Like rulers, gradients, and drawings are also available
  • You can copy and paste or erase selected part of each image

Pros

  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Offers multiple plug-ins
  • You can use it for commercial purposes as well
  • The app is fast and consumes less space
  • You can get free tutorials from the forum and connected community

 Cons

  • Only restricted to windows users
  • No native support for PSD images
  • The UI often fails to manage the plug-ins properly
  • Doesn’t offer text correction

 9. Darktable

Darktable has a user-friendly interface and some exciting photo editing tools. It is a popular choice among photographers because it was actively designed under the direction of some eminent photographers in the industry.

This open-source image editor is a great alternative to Photoshop due to its ability to edit RAW files through different tools. It offers advanced features like Tethered shooting, advanced color management, and non-destructive editing for free of cost.

With Darkroom, you can edit different file formats, including low-resolution JPG and PNG to high dynamic EXR images or 16-bit TIFF files. Since it comes with separate versions for Linus, Windows, and MAC OS, you can use it on any device.

Features

  • Innovative non-destructive editing
  • It supports RAW files, and other formats like JPG, TIFF, PNG, and EXR
  • Darkroom offers tethered shooting support for modern camera
  • It has a lot of editing tools, including tone editor, color editor, image balance editor, sharpness tool, contrast tools, etc.

Pros

  • Offers an identical interface like Lightroom.
  • Supports all types of OS, including Windows, MAC OS, and Linux
  • Supports a wide range of image files
  • The exposure tool is great

Cons

  • Does not offer many advanced tools required for detail editing or retouching
  • Often crashes due to a high percentage of bugs
  • Also crashes if you try to edit large image files

10. LightZone

If you only perform basic editing tasks, you can get LightZOne. This open-source photo editor offers basic color corrections, white balance adjustment, and frees other editing tools for free of cost.

Features

  • You can edit for RAW files and JPEG files from LightZone
  • It comes with “Styles’ ‘ or pre-determined image filters that can transform an image in just a single click.
  • It also comes with a non-destructive editing facility that preserves the RAW file after
  • You can also access your editing History from the history and record your favorite transformation filter for future use.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface for beginners
  • Supports RAW files
  • Offers pre-set transformation filters

 Cons

  • Does not offer layered editing or blended mode and other advanced editing tools
  • The color correction tool is not great
  • No tutorial available for first-time users

11. PhotoScape X

PhotoScape X is a tool that supports advanced editing features like Adobe photoshop. You can perform tasks like batch editing, screen captures, animated GIF making, RAW image editing, etc. On top of that, PhotoScape X also allows you to add texts and graphics to your images.

Features

  • Offers drag and drop editing interface where you can use different tools
  • You can import and use tools like layered editing and different types of brushes to enhance the picture.

Pros

  • Ideal for novice editors
  • Comes with pre-set filters for one-touch editing
  • Allows you to insert graphics and text in images

Cons

  • Cluttered interface
  • Prone to become slow with large image files
  • Does not offer any Selection tools for editing a certain part of an image

12. Photopea

Photopea is another web-based tool that you can use instead of Adobe Photoshop. If you have less space on your device, this web-based app can be a breather.

This tool offers faster editing, and you do not need to wait for a long time to edit a photo. You can complete tasks such as resizing, cropping, etc.

You can edit images in different formats like PSD, JPG, SVG, etc., through Photopea. If you want, you can use the free plan. Phobia also has a paid plan to access the advanced tools.

Features

  • Innovative and powerful brush and pen tool
  • Offered layered editing and layer masks for images
  • It also has a wide range of blend modes
  • You can edit and adjust brightness, sharpness, and blurring effect from Photopea.
  • There are different templates stored. You can kick start the editing process with these pre-set templates.

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of file formats
  • You can export in both SVG and PSD format
  • The free plan is enough for basic editing
  • You do not need to use a specified browser plug-in for accessing Photopea

Cons

  • The free version displays frequent advertisements on the sidebar. It can be annoying sometimes.

13. InPixio

InPixio is called the “World’s First One-Click Photo Editor”. It comes in both paid and free versions. But, the free version comes with huge tools and can be a sustainable alternative to Photoshop.

You can use this software to get professionally edited images in just a few clicks, including features like removing backgrounds, erasing objects, etc.

Features

  • Allows you to cut your photo and remove the background
  • Dehaze and brightening and overcast of the sky background. You can also remove the entire sky and replace that with a new sky background as per your
  • Comes with advanced tools like blurring tools, Photomontage tools,
  • You can erase an object from the photo with a few clicks

Pros

  • Offers one-click filters for easy editing
  • User-friendly interface
  • Background and object removal feature

Cons

  • To access the full version, you need to pay $30 once. The rest of the updates are free.

14. Polarr

Polarr can compete with Adobe Photoshop due to its wide range of filters. You can choose these filters to perform single-click edits. You can also use the editing tools as per your choice.

This photo editing software is available for Windows, IOS, Android, and other operating systems and can be used on laptops, PCs, and even smartphones or tablets.

Features

  • It comes with trendy filters that you can use for single-click editing and transforming the image at once.
  • Offers an innovative Face Tool that can enhance skin tone, teeth whitening, and improve skin tone. It also offers facial feature
  • Polarr offers dimension change of the forehead, chin, or whole face
  • It has an auto-detection tool that detects possible acres required for editing and offers solutions based on the detection
  • Polarr has an improved Color mask that you can use to edit the color tone of the picture
  • It also comes with a detailed spot removal panel that you can use to remove any object or a part of the image during editing
  • Has a Liquidify panel that you can use to distort your image
  • Also offers a wrap tool, pinch tool, and Bulge tool

Pros

  • Supports iOS, Android, and Windows devices
  • User-friendly interface that is ideal for beginners
  • Detailed editing tools for face and facial features

Cons

  • The free version does not offer advanced tools, and you need to pay $2.50 per
  • Often lags with larger files

15. Inkscape

Inkscape is go-to editing software for graphic designers. But, a photographer can also use it in place of Adobe Photoshop. This is an illustrator cum editing tool that helps to transform photographs into vector images.

Features

  • Allows you to add handwritten notes and sketches in images(JPG, PNG, PDF, SVG, or WILL file formats)
  • Offers tools like a cropping tool, flipping tool, and some filters as well

Pros

  • If you are into graphic design and need to edit images, this tool is best.
  • Offers to transform images into vector images

Cons

  • Lags with larger files
  • Does not come with advanced tools like blended tools and layered tools like Adobe Photoshop

16. Krita

If you need flexible image editing software, nothing beats Krita. It comes with many art tools that can help you create paintings and digital illustrations of your images.

Krita is very popular with comic illustrators who use images as RAW files. It offers a wide range of tools, including a pop-up color palette, interchangeable brushes, and strokes.

There is also a Krita forum where you can seek help from experts and get tutorials as well.

Features

  • The pop-up color palette allows you to change the color and tone of the images.
  • It also has a tagging system that allows you to swap the brushes for editing. You can also customize the brushes as per your Besides that, there are brush stabilizers that eliminate any shakiness.
  • You can use assistant tools to create different shapes

Pros

  • Offers a similar vibe to Photoshop with a customizable interface
  • Supports a wide range of PSD images
  • The advanced layer editing system
  • Supports Windows, MAC OS, and Linux

Cons

  • Does not come with RAW filter
  • History toolbar is not available
  • The touch controls are outdated
  • Tends to become slow
  • Does not offer regular updates

17. Pixelmator

Pixelmator is a new-age photo editing software for Mac. It comes with a thirty-day trial period, and you need to pay $30 once to access all the pro editing features. If you want, you can also get the Pixelmator Pro for $40.

It allows you to edit images and create a new project from a blank document. Many users have commented that it shares the same vibe as Photoshop. That means it is easier for even a beginner also.

It comes with many editing tools and filters that can help you get a professionally edited image within a few minutes.

Pros

  • User-friendly and navigable interface
  • One-ticketing through different filters
  • You can edit digital paintings as well

Cons

  • You need to buy the Pro version to get all the features
  • Does not support RAW files
  • Does Not have many advanced tools

Conclusion

For many photographers, especially those who are a novice and have just started, Photoshop is often a burden due to its huge price tag. But fortunately, many Photoshop alternatives come for free. A few editing software also requires you to pay a one-time registration fee. But, their price tag is very low, and you can easily spend that much for lifetime access.

Our experts have designed this list of top alternatives to Photoshop that will offer you the needed editing tools. You can check their features and other factors to choose the most suitable one for your editing requirements.

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