Top 18 Free Photoshop Alternatives

You may have come up in this article searching for free photo editing software alternatives because photoshop is a bit costly for you. Are you starting your own business? Do you want to market your business online through incredible photos? Whatever the case, you need photo editing features as good as Photoshop.

In this article, we will talk a bit about Photoshop and a list of free alternatives you can use.

What is Photoshop?

buckled-book-photoshopPhotoshop is a computer program that is used for graphic design and editing photos. Photoshop can be used as both a simple paint program and as a powerful photo manipulation software. It’s almost like having an unlimited amount of paints at your disposal, but instead, you’re working with pixels on the screen! Of course, you could use it as just another paint tool for doodling or making silly edits. Still, when combined with skills from other programs such as Illustrator and InDesign – Photoshop has endless possibilities. However, it can be costly for start-up artists and companies wanting to enhance their photos for business or advertising use.

Free Alternatives to Edit Photos

There are many free-to-use and free-to-download alternatives to Adobe Photoshop that you could try out until you find one that suits your needs best. These programs are listed below.

1) Paint.NET

High-quality image editor with loads of features, many built-in filters, and effects to get the best out of your images. It has a simple interface that will be easy for beginners to pick up and use straight away!


watercolor cat in GIMP appAnother free Photoshop substitute, although based on image manipulation rather than image editing. Used by many professional graphic designers due to its versatility and wide range of tools. It cannot be easy to use for beginners, but it’s a good substitute if you’re willing to put in the time.

3) Inkscape

This vector illustration program is an open-source alternative to Adobe Illustrator. However, it doesn’t have as many tools and options as an illustrator, so it may not appeal to many people.

4) Krita

A free-to-download full-featured, professional-level 2D animation and image manipulation tool. It has everything you would want in a Photoshop/Illustrator substitute (layers, selections, masking, etc.), and many professionals use it due to its powerful features. It can also be used for 3D and 2D animation, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants the power of Photoshop but at a lower price.

5) G’Mic

Another free software like Photoshop that can be used to manipulate and edit photos or create images from scratch – using both layers and filters. It also has a few plugins too which make manipulating images even easier.

6) Seashore

digital art of couples in seashoreA basic image editing that offers a large range of tools and filters. It is good for beginners wanting to edit their photos to look more appealing.

It’s simple to use but lacks features found in other free photoshop substitutes listed in this article.

7) Raw Therapee

An excellent RAW converter that supports over 500 camera models. It can also be used to edit and convert images, which is a nice bonus. You can even use it to create your own presets of filters and adjustments!

8) IrfanView

A program that claims to be able to manage all image formats. This makes it great for anyone who regularly edits or opens pictures from different sources and doesn’t want to keep switching programs. It has a simple interface and offers basic tools for editing images + batch processing too. It is an instant image viewing and editing program. It also has a batch image converter built-in, so you can quickly convert multiple images at once to different file formats if required.

9) XnView

This program can be used to view, convert, organize and edit photos. It doesn’t have the same level of functionality as other programs listed here today. However, it’s still good for viewing large pictures when you cannot use Photoshop (e.g., when using a tablet native app instead).

10) OpenOffice Draw

keyboard typingThis is the image editing component of the open office suite, which can be used for viewing and editing images, too. It has some basic tools/filters that can help you get started with photo alteration. It isn’t as powerful as other options listed here today, but it still gets the job done and is simpler to use than many of its free competitors.


A free photo editor which is easy to use and has some fun mini-games built in! Great for beginner photographers looking to improve their skills.

12) Picasa

Google’s free photo editing software. Although the advanced features might be difficult for new users, it has a straightforward and easy-to-use interface.

13) Paintbrush

It is an Adobe Air-based image editor similar to GIMP and Photoshop CS4 in terms of looks and functionality. It also offers some basic drawing tools as well as filters that can be applied to images. A web-based photo editing tool that can be used straight from the browser without downloading anything onto your computer. It offers basic photo editing tools and effects but is very easy to use even if you’ve never edited a picture before! You can even save your images online so other people can view them!

14) FotoFuze

woman on laptop editing photoOffering a powerful suite of tools and filters, including automated photoshop functions that can be applied to images in just one click! It also has many social media features so you can share your pictures with friends online straight away.


15) PhotoScape

Another free image editing and manipulation program that works very fast, making it ideal for working on huge files or batches of images. It has all the standard filters and effects available to edit your photos.

16) Picnik

A free online photo editing tool that allows you to edit your pictures from any internet browser. It has lots of effects and tools to help you get creative with your images! You can also upload your edited images straight onto social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Great for bloggers or newbie photographers who want to add finishing touches to their pictures online.

17) Imagination

As with Picnik, this online photo editing tool allows you to edit your photos from any web browser. In addition, you can also create animated gifs for share on forums and social media sites!

18) Photo Editor by Aviary

A free-to-use web-based editor which comes with numerous filters and effects. The app also allows you to add text to images and even insert your photo into a collage! In addition, you can easily save your images or upload them straight onto Facebook or Twitter.

There are many alternatives to Photoshop (listed above) that will allow you to perform many photo editing tasks at no cost! Don’t pay for something that you don’t need… Keep your money instead and use it to buy coffee while you’re editing pictures on your lunch break.

If you have any questions about these or other alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, please feel free to mention them in the comments section below, and I will be happy to answer them.

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