alternative to photoshop: 7 of the best photo editing software

Alternative to Photoshop: 7 of the Best Photo Editing Software

alternative to photoshop software

Photoshop is one of the best photo editing software known for years in the market. It has been used by a lot of professionals, from photographers to graphic designers; even amateurs are drawn to using Photoshop. But there are software programs alternative to Photoshop when one wants to explore outside of this mainstream tool.

Photoshop is indeed a complete and helpful tool for a lot of designers, but it is expensive and complicated when you plan to buy as a one-time purchase.

That’s why we are here to discuss other options you can try if you want to stray away from the traditional brand in photo editing.



alternative to photoshop GIMP

GIMP is short for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It was first known in 1996 and is continually used up today. The program has various tools that you can enjoy. It has features such as retouching paint program and other features that are as great as Photoshop.


User Interface

It has a friendly and easy-to-use interface. Users can change the color, widget theme, spacing, and sizes of the icon. There’s also a full-screen mode to preview your work and edit it.

Photo Editing or Enhancement

It can fix perspective distortion caused by lens tilt by using the corrective mode. It can also eliminate barrel distortion and vignetting. Makes black and white images stand out using the channel mixer.

GIMP comes with world-class retouching tools that can touch up minor or simple details to complicated edits.

Supports Various Hardware, File Type, and Platforms

It works on different devices, even pressure and tilt-sensitive devices, USB, and MIDI controllers. You can change the size, angle, and opacity of your brush while you are painting and binding favorite scripts.

You can save different file types such as JPEG, GIP, PNG, and TIFF. Furthermore, it also supports special formats. You can load and save files from a remote location.

It supports the following system:

  • GNU/Linux
  • MS Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Sun OpenSolaris

Corel Photo-Paint

It’s a professional editing tool that creates perfect images. Corel Photo-Paint is created to compliment CorelDRAW. Furthermore, it supports PSD files and extensive RAW files to over 300 types of cameras.


Fix Imperfections

With powerful tools such as red-eye removal, elimination of scratch marks, and retouching tools you’ll be able to edit images and turn them into perfect photos.

Paint,  Text, and Draw

You can add lines, shapes, even add brush strokes, text, or other effects to your photos.

Machine Learning Correction

The power of machine learning incorporated in Corel Paint can help users perform quick edits, such as correct color and tone. But users can also choose to do it manually.

Edit RAW Files

In the Camera RAW lab of Corel Photo-Paint, you can work with RAW camera files by adjusting the color and the tone.

Access and Create HDR Images

When you download the AfterShot 3 HDR, with no extra cost, you can start creating breathtaking HDR images with a broader tonal range.

Pixlr Photo Editor

Pixlr is a free web-based editor that anyone who likes Photoshop will enjoy. It comes with over 600 effects, overlays, and borders to add to your work. Furthermore, it has all the tools you need for basic photo editing and retouching. You can try its uncomplicated interface.


AI-designed Tools

Smarter tools make the editing process quick and easy. With a single click, you can remove the background of an image. Furthermore, other editing processes like the removal of blemishes, hair strands, and more are easily edited with the help of Machine Learning and AI technology.

Ready-made Content for Creation

With Pixlr’s various graphic elements such as stickers, overlays, borders, and decorative text, you can add them to your photos for more effects and style.

Although the app is free, you can purchase a plan from them to get more. Pixlr has two plans, premium ($4.91/ month) and professional ($14.99/ month).

Adobe Photoshop Elements/Premier

adobe photoshop elements and premiere elements

Another software for editing your images or for creating illustrations is Adobe Photoshop Elements/ Premiere Elements. Both may come from the same family as Adobe Photoshop, but there are comparative differences between the two.

Adobe Photoshop Elements/ Premiere Elements is like the version of Photoshop, but it’s uncomplicated. It assists in creating beautiful photos, adding incredible visual effects, and unique collages.


Built-in Organizer

Unlike in Adobe Photoshop, Elements has an organizer that can automatically detect images and categorize them into groups. With the power of Adobe Sensei, images and videos are easily browsed with Smart Tags and facial recognition.

Sharable Content

Get to share your creation with your family and friends through social media accounts. You can create GIFs, memes, or any animated effects on your images.

Share your work on YouTube, Vimeo, or burn it on DVDs. In addition, it supports the importing and editing of HEIF photos and HEVC videos.

Innovative Editing Tools

  • Automatically change the color of your image from colored photos to black-and-white, or vice versa.
  • With a single click, cut your subject and paste it on another photo. No need to manually remove the subject or the background.
  • Work by batch. You can edit images such as color, clarity, and other effects all at once.
  • Whiten teeth, reduce camera shake, fix photos that are tilted, and correct the tone of the image.
  • Add filters or effects on images to fine-tune the details, add more life to it, and make it look more interesting.


If you are looking for a serious alternative to Photoshop, Affinity photo editing software comes close to it. It has better reviews and even great tools for editing images and more.

Affinity is designed for professional photographers and designers, which means, more tools like Photoshop, but less complicated.


No Subscription

Unlike in Photoshop, you don’t have to opt for a monthly subscription plan. It’s a one-time purchase software, and it comes in three plans (Photo, Designer, and Publisher).

Incredible Retouching Tools

Get quick detailed retouches on images such as smooth skin, removal of blemishes, and deletion of unwanted objects.

Live Photo Filters

It allows the addition of a non-destructive live filter layer to correct distortions, blur, or lighting. Apply the layer, mask, and erase it to fully apply the filter to the image. In addition, you can preview the changes in live full-resolution at any time.

RAW Edits

It comes with an end-to-end 16-bit that can bring out all the details of your images. It has a pro lens correction, exposure adjustment, shadow and tone controller, noise reduction, and batch copyright images.

Advanced Brushwork Tools

Besides tools for professional photo editing, Affinity also allows designers to bring their creations and imagination to life. It’s packed with smooth brushes and advanced tools for designing. There’s a wide selection of brushes and custom-made ones, which allows a combination of different brushes in a single stroke, and it’s compatible with Wacom, and other graphic tablets.


It can work with Windows, Mac, and iPad.


Krita is an open-source and free tool that is almost similar to Photoshop, particularly its interface. The theme and tools seen are almost the same, but of course, Krita has some differences too.


Intuitive Interface

Customize the panels and make it into a workspace you want. You can create shortcuts or display the tools you often use.

World-class Tools

  • Brushes: Choose over 100 professional brushes to add effects on your work
  • Brush Stabilizer: Smoothen brushstrokes in different ways.
  • Texture and Pattern Creation: Create continuous patterns as you paint with no clunky offsetting.
  • Share Resources: Import brushes from other artists, or share yours for other users to try it.

Supports Productivity Enhancement

Krita comes with tools that can enhance productivity, such as:

  • Drawing assistant tool
  • Artwork organization with layer management
  • Color management
  • Supports PSD files
  • Available training resources
  • Support HDR images or painting


Last on our list of alternative software for Photoshop is Acorn. It’s an editing tool specifically created for Mac users. It’s one of the best software for hobbyists or artists looking for an affordable alternative to Photoshop.


Customizable Filters

Combine filters to create a new and unique appearance. You can also customize the presets.

Photo Effects

Add effects by adjusting the gradient, sharpening the image, color correction, fixing distortion, and other more. All changes applied to your image will be seen in real-time.

Enhanced Crop Tools

Crop your images or layer, rotate it while cropping it, and increase the canvas to your desired size.

Work with RAW Images

Import high-resolution images such as 32, 64, and 128-bit images.

Batch Processing

Edit multiple images by watermarking, cropping, or trimming them in batches.

View in Any Percentage

No need to zoom in and out to see edits you made to your images. Stay in one view and continue editing your work.

Customizable Brushes

Use the preexisting brushes or create your own brushes to come up with strokes you desire for your work.


There are plenty of photo editing software programs similar to Photoshop that you can choose from as an alternative. Some of these software programs may have better features than Photoshop, or some may not. But remember that choosing the best photo editing software for your work doesn’t only rely on the name of the tool or the pros, but also on what you need as a professional or amateur designer.

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