Although, Adobe Photoshop has become recognised as the industry’s leading photo editing software. But that isn’t to say that it’s certainly the best software available for you. And it can be difficult to learn and may not suit the budget for complete beginners.
Long go those days when you could just purchase a license for Photoshop and use it to your heart’s content until you decide to splash out on the newest version of Photoshop. But these days, if you want to use Photoshop, you will need to save up your cash for that monthly subscription that, over a year, will simply add up over on what it would have cost you for previous licenses.
All of this means it’s challenging to maintain the cost of Photoshop, particularly if you are a student, a hobbyist, or you simply just want to edit the occasional photo or two.
Thankfully, the market has popped up with an extensive assortment of Photoshop alternatives that can suit any kind of budget, feature needs, and device you may have.
So here are 8 Photoshop alternatives you can start using today
Figma is the first alternative on the list, this app is fast and lightweight that was built for collaboration within design teams. While you may see that this alternative isn’t featured heavily as some of the alternatives I will talk about. But it’s a great option if you are looking for a free tool. Whether you are a hobbyist, wanting to collaborate with some friends or even if you work in a professional arena.
One of the greatest things about Figma is that it is built not only for graphic designers, but also for UX, UI, and web designers that need to prototype designs.
With design-specific features Figma allow you to build interactions between graphics and animate transitions. But as well as their intuitive auto-layout feature. Figma will save you a lot of time with your design work.
If you are looking for a design tool that has a free option, easy to pick up and learn, then you will love Figma. You just need to create a basic account for free, but that gets you unlimited cloud storage, unlimited drafts, a 30-day version history, as well the ability to work on one team project at a time.
Available For: Android, iOS, Mac, Windows
Price: Free to $45 per editor/month
Pixelmator Pro is the latest version of Pixelmator. You may already be familiar with if you have been designing or photo editing on a Mac.
Sadly, this piece of software suite is only available for the Mac OS, which is regret for Windows users, because it has one of the most beginner-friendly user interfaces currently on the market.
But Pixelmator Pro offers tools like smart guides, image repair, and non-destructive resizing to offer a modest variety of editing and design tools.
This is a great Photoshop alternative, although supporters of Photoshop will possibly miss the more advanced features that you find within Adobe’s software.
Available For: Mac
Price: Free trial, but then it’s $40.00
Affinity Photo is probably the most popular Photoshop alternatives, and it’s for good reason. Not only is Affinity Photo’s have a one-time license fee of only a few dollars more than you would be expected to pay for Photoshop for a month. But it’s virtual with all the same features.
This alternative has key features like unlimited layers, RAW file editing, undo/redo of up to 8,000 steps, and autosave. But not only that, but it is significantly more lightweight than you find using Photoshop, but it is ready to use modern quad-core technology to run at 60fps for smooth editing.
It fully supports the most popular models of graphics tablets but as well as the Apple Pencil. It’s designed to use almost all the same Photoshop keyboard shortcuts, as well.
So if you are already familiar with Photoshop, then there is not a huge learning curve. Still, if you are new to graphic design and looking for something easy to pick up and play with. Then using this alternative may not be the best choice.
Available For: MacOS, iOS, Windows
Price: $54.00 for Mac or Window / $21.99 for iOS
If you are looking for a Photoshop alternative for just only your mobile devices, then Procreate is for you. This alternative is a digital painting app for iOS only. So while it may not have as many features as you’ll find in Photoshop. You will have almost all the features you need to create remarkable digital paintings on your iPad. But also there’s an app available for iPhone.
Procreate has over 200 brushes included in the app. And thousands more are available for download. You have the ability to make custom brushes, digital artists will love the value of versatility that Procreate offers. Also, it comes with intelligent colour-picking software, which makes it easy to choose contrasting or complementary colours where you need them.
It has been designed to take full advantage of the Valkyrie graphics engine. This alternative isn’t just for painting, though. Also Procreate has full typography and font control within. This makes it great for graphic designers who want to work on the go.
Available For: iOS Only
Sketch, is a powerful and professional image editing tool built with developers in mind. Whether you wanting to design a website, a new User Interface, or just prototyping a new UX idea, this alternative has you covered.
With near-infinite zooming down to the pixel level. The powerful vector editing tools, and easy prototyping to demonstrate interactions. Sketch is a comprehensive Photoshop alternative for devs. Also, it’s easy to install add-ons to Sketch that allows you to extend its functionality without having to pay anything extra.
So if you work in a design team, or wanting to collaborate with associates on a project, then this app can support you with that. It offers real-time collaboration, version history, shared libraries, and instant updates.
Also, when you have finished with your project and it is time to turn it into code. Sketch has integrated developer hand-off tools that allow you to inspect every element of your design.
Available For: Mac
Price: 30 Day trial, then it’s $9.00 per editor, monthly with unlimited free viewers or $99 per editor, yearly
What would we be without mentioning GIMP, or to put it in its full name GNU Image Manipulation Program. This alternative is free, open-source that’s been constantly updated for over 25 years.
It is one of the rare free image editing programs that offer a somewhat similar suite of tools you’ll find in Adobe Photoshop. Features that are great if you are used to working with the advanced features that Photoshop offers. As its open-sourced, you can also easily find plugins and scripts to further extend its functionality. This is useful if you want to use GIMP for Web, UI, or UX design.
Nevertheless, because it is so comparable to Photoshop, it likewise has the same learning curve that oftentimes stumps new users to Photoshop. While it is by no means difficult to learn. GIMP is not the most beginner-friendly Photoshop alternative. Thus, if you are still wanting to learn about image editing, graphic design or photo manipulation, you may be wanting to learn another tool before giving GIMP a go.
Available For: macOS, Linux, Windows
Luminar is the worlds first AI-powered image editor. So this alternative is giving you thousands of possibilities when you are editing your photos. While you’ll notice that Photoshop has a notable learning curve when you want to customise your photos. While Luminar has been designed so that despite how much experience you may have, you can create striking photographs with one-click.
By using AI to analyse your photos. Luminar can suggest the best templates to use with your photo. So you don’t have to spend minutes searching through different options to find the perfect match. Not only that. But once you have chosen a template, you can quickly apply it to a series of photos so you can achieve a centralised style.
Available For: Mac & Windows
Price: from $59.00 to $158.00
If you are just getting started with photo editing and needs an alternative that is simple and lightweight to play with. Then you should give Polarr a go as it’s a great Photoshop alternative for you.
As a free user, you’ll get full edit histories for each photo you work on. Infinite undo/redo, and advanced RGB and HSL tools. While also using standard tools like exposure, temperature, denoise, and diffuse. You will also get access to advanced filter blending and toning, which makes it one of the best free photo editors on this list.
So, if you are learning, Polarr has a ton of online tutorials and community support. And with its auto enhancement feature is an excellent way to create beautiful results in a single click.
Available For: Android, iOS, Chromebook, Mac, Windows
Price: Free but also from $2.49 per month