Best Free Photoshop Alternatives
Adobe Photoshop is amazing, but it’s also expensive. Here are some great, free alternatives to Photoshop that benefit people of all editing levels.
There are many popular, free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop and it’s a great time to compare those options. Many people have been bitten by the creativity bug during coronavirus isolation, and photo editing is a fantastic way to pass that time while developing a skill that’s useful in multiple aspects of personal and professional life.
Photoshop is so big these days that it has become its own verb. Telling someone that a photo has been edited is now, somehow, less clear than telling them it’s been “Photoshopped”. This is mostly a result of the way Adobe has managed to ingrain its most popular piece of software into the public consciousness, but it turns out, Photoshop’s free competitors can produce similarly fantastic images without its steep price tag.
As one would expect, deciding which free option is the best can depend on a person’s needs. There are great options for people who want to literally edit photographs or images, but people interested in creating an original image using something like a design tablet may want a different alternative. Additionally, because photo editing encompasses such a wide variety of tasks and actions, the best option may be something that condenses those jobs into a smaller, simpler toolkit. We’ll approach the topic based on these parameters.
The Best Free Photo Editing Software for Artists
To most artists, Krita is the best free service. The combination of it having been on the market for over a decade, it being free, and its open source nature means Krita gets massive community support. That’s always a good thing for anyone looking to learn a new program. Aside from that, it features tons of brushes and tools to make drawing digital art an easier process. It’s a favorite amongst painters and webcomic producers, likely because it was developed by a group of artists.
The Best Free Photoshop Alternatives for Editing
On the side of simplicity and accessibility, Pixlr is the best option for people who want to edit existing images. Its toolset is fairly robust, including virtually everything people would consider standard for editing. There are ways to enhance color, add text, crop, blur effects, and so on. However, its biggest strength is that Pixlr is browser-based. It can be accessed from any web browser, even on mobile devices, which means users are never far from a quick edit. Having a browser-based editor also means projects are stored online, making it easy to continue an in-progress edit anywhere.
The best all-around alternative to Adobe Photoshop is GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Its interface is atrocious and it has a steep learning curve, but its capabilities are immense. GIMP has a fully-featured suite of tools rivaling most paid software and, due to it being open source, it receives new options constantly. It even works with many Photoshop plug-ins. Many professional photo editors use GIMP exclusively, saving hundreds of dollars by choosing it over Photoshop. If it was more intuitive, had better drawing options, and didn’t have such an eyesore of a UI, many people would consider GIMP to be better than Photoshop.