Photoshop Alternatives

by Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp — all-in-one help authoring tool

Everyone knows what Adobe Photoshop is, even people nowhere near the design or art. Thanks to Hollywood stars with their retouched photos, it has become a verb. And while Adobe’s image editing software is a constant preference for designers, there are many arguments why one may want to find other software. That includes the subscription model, frequent crashes if you don’t have enough disc space, the abundance of features when people look for something simpler. Or the reason may be in the fact that you want to support smaller development houses and save some money. So I decided to gather the list of alternatives for the sake of healthy competition cause I believe that when a company getting complacent, it may ruin the quality of a product ;)

Alternatives to Photoshop

  1. Acorn. Acorn is sometimes called a Photoshop clone. It has a Path Text Tool, letting you wrap and warp text anywhere you’d like. Export options are great: with Web Export, you can zoom, pan, and use shortcuts to change the scale of your image and find pixels that are out of range of sRGB. You can also preview your changes prior to exporting and compare to the original.
  2. Affinity Photo. A professional photo editing tool with full support for unlimited layers, masks, live filters, effects, etc. You can choose from a massive library of brushes and work with all standard formats and multiple platforms.
  3. ArtRage. A realistic painting tool with a minimalistic interface. It contains lifelike oils, pencils, canvas textures, and color blending. ArtRage offers a selected set of features for people wanting to try basic painting and drawing. It’s affordable and intuitive.
  4. Colorcinch — is a user-friendly web-based editor with an extensive collection of presets and graphics. It features AI-powered specialty effects. Take Cartoonizer, for example. It allows you to transform images into cartoons or paintings and export your work in a PNG, JPG, or PDF format.
  5. Corel Photo-Paint. An editor in the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. The suite was updated this year with a crafty app for creating on-the-go, improved features, and the professional vector illustration, photo editing, and typography tools you need. It works perfectly with Windows 10, offering multi-monitor viewing.
  6. GIMP. An open-source photo editor with all the basic features of Photoshop. Gimp is constantly updated and provides code support for developers who want to use their design across websites with more customization options.
  7. Krita. Free and open source painting program. Made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone. And they’ve focused on tools they know other artists want and need. When it comes to coloring your photos, you can use a unique pop-up color palette. More lightweight alternative to GIMP.
  8. Photopea. With no software needed, no subscriptions, and no specific devices, Photopea is the finest browser-based option for anyone without Photoshop. This is a free online editor supporting PSD, XCF, Sketch, XD and CDR formats. Even though it is a free tool, any pro would appreciate Photopea. It has all the tools you know such as Layers, Brush, Selections, and Procedural adjustments.
  9. Pixelmator Pro. Image editor designed to make the most powerful professional image editing tools accessible to everyone. This Photoshop alternative is a Mac-only tool, and it supports features like tabs, fullscreen and split view.
  10. PhotoWorks — is a photo editor with awesome functionality. Thanks to a clear, intuitive interface you can work with it even if you are a newbie. The editor contains essential photo editing features and some unique tools. The demands of PhotoWorks allow to run it even on low-spec computers. Portrait retouching is one of the vivid features when you can retouch with only one click without compromising the quality.
  11. Procreate. Easy to use layout, true-to-life pencils, inks, and brushes. All that is in the iPad app is considered highly professional. And to help get you started there’s a free handbook on the Procreate website, featuring an overview of all the apps features and tools.
  12. Rebelle 4. Rebelle is designed for everyone who wants to explore their artistic skills using digital technology, no matter the level of proficiency. Rebelle imitates paint on paintbrush in the real world so you can feel yourself a Picasso, in a way.
  13. Sketch. A flexible tool for UI and UX design with many features similar to Photoshop. It supports infinite zooming and vector shapes that are perfect for multiple resolutions. You can build a new graphic from primitive shapes or start a new one with the Vector or Pencil tool.
  14. Snapseed. Open and modify native camera files, save and export them as JPEGs. Also, you can adjust exposure and color manually or automatically, crop, rotate, transform and play around with filters, frames, brushes, white balance, text, and tones.
  15. TouchRetouch from ADVA Soft. TouchRetouch enables you to remove powerlines, surface breaks and scratches, photo bombers, skin blemishes, and human-made objects like power lines — it’ll let you remove whatever you wish from your photo. This is helpful when you have a great picture but a small detail on it prevents it from being perfect. Now it’s not a problem.

Here are the first 15 alternatives to Photoshop. Next week I’m going to continue with another batch of those. In the meantime, you can add your favorites and write why you like them in the comments below, and I’ll include them too.

Have a nice day!

Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors

Content Manager at https://medium.com/level-up-web 👈. I write about web design, web development and technical writing. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook