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Top 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives You Should Try

Photoshop has been the most popular image editing application for the longest time known. The tool has become so synonymous to image editing that we barely think about its alternatives. There is no denying that Photoshop is one great image editor that packs loads of features. But, for these features Adobe charges a pretty hefty subscription fee. Not everyone can –or would like to – pay that kind of money. That’s why we go out looking for the Photoshop alternatives so many times. We have handpicked a few and here is the list. Some of free photoshop alternative. 

Photoshop Alternatives


Acorn is a Mac OS only image editing tool and is available for $49.99. It is considered one of the best Photoshop alternatives, especially for the Mac users. Acorn is a fast and easy to use image editing application. It packs a number of advanced features allowing you to create some stunning images. It has loads of custom brushes and tons of filters for quick and easy editing. It also has many advanced features for creating professional-grade images. For the beginners, Acorn offers a wealth of tutorials that help you up the learning curve. You can carry out complex and difficult tasks with the help of these tutorials.

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Pixelmator is another Mac only and rather cost-effective alternative to Photoshop. While it is not the complete replacement of Photoshop, it can carry out all the basic and many complicated tasks quite easily. It has a very nicely designed interface that makes photo editing very simple. It also supports multi-monitor editing. It compresses the files at the time of editing enabling you to save space. For the price of $29.99, it is definitely a wonderful image editor you would like to consider. In spite of being low priced, Pixelmator is not necessarily for the beginners. Many experienced image editors will find it pretty useful.

Corel PaintShop Pro X6

Corel has been one of the toughest competitors of Adobe, the creator of Photoshop, for several years. PaintShop Pro, developed by Corel is indeed one of the finest Photoshop alternatives you can get. It is a perfect tool for both beginners and experienced editors alike. For those who are new to image editing can benefit greatly by the number of guides and tutorials provided by Corel for this program.

It has plenty of filters, effects, and overlays to transform your image instantly into something more beautiful. It also has the auto-selection feature that makes it easy for you to create composite images. PaintShop Pro also has lots of brushes and you can create custom ones too. There are a wide range of plugins that can help you with a variety of editing jobs. If you need to batch-process lots of images together, PaintShop is the right choice for you. It records the scripts and then plays them over allowing you to complete the repetitive jobs automatically. Corel Paintshop Pro X6 is a Windows only application and available for $69.99.

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 12

Surprisingly, Adobe itself has an alternative to Photoshop and is called Elements 12. If truth be told, Elements 12 isn’t exactly Photoshop (or why would Adobe make two similar apps). However, it lets you do a lot of things that Photoshop can without you having to pay the hefty subscription fee every month.  

Elements may not be as feature-rich as Photoshop but you will find many powerful features and editing tools in it. Besides being a basic image editor, it is also a great image and photos manager. If you love to quickly enhance photos and share it on the social media platform, Elements is the right pick for you. It also supports layered editing. In fact, layering feature is pretty good and lets you create awesome images. If you are a beginner, you will like The Guided mode offered by Elements, which helps you carry out several editing tasks. Elements is available on OS X and Windows for $69.99.

Serif Photoplus X7

If you are looking for a cost-effective alternative to Photoshop then Serif Photoplus X7 could be your pick. Available for nearly $100, Serif Photoplus is one of the best budget alternatives to Photoshop. It packs all the basic features as you would expect. However, it doesn’t seem that the tool has been made for the beginners. The user interface and workflow are not as simple as many would like. But, the experienced image editors will find this tool very useful. Serif supports a wide range of file formats including RAW, JPED, BMP, GIF, PSD and more. It is currently available only on Windows.


While many would like to think that the best thing about GIMP is that it is totally FREE of cost, the truth is that there is so much more about this incredible image editing tool you would love. GNU Image Manipulation Program, more popularly called GIMP is inarguably the best alternative to Photoshop among the free programs.

GIMP is available on a wide range of platforms including Mac OS, Windows, Linux and more. In spite of being free, it is a feature-loaded image editing tools. Besides the basic editing, you can also access many advanced features. Some of its key features include color correction, color grading, noise removal, HDR, layer support, retouching, selection editing, wide plugin support, and a lot more. GIMP does not support RAW files directly but you there are plugins available for it.

It is true that GIMP is not as feature-rich as Photoshop. But the fact that it is totally free and can create professional quality images makes it one of the best image editing apps.

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PicMonkey is a web-based image editing application that opens on your web browser. There is a good chance you might instantly fall in love with its interface. It has a very nicely designed and highly functional front. PicMonkey is a powerful image editing tool and is totally free of cost. Being a web-based application it is supported on all the platforms. You can use this tool for creating beautiful looking images for a variety of purposes. To begin editing an image, simply drag and drop it onto the web interface of the app. Whether you wish to create a simple collage or a professional quality image, you can do it all on PicMonkey. This app is free to use. If you are willing to pay a relatively small subscription fee, you will get access to a lot of extras.


Most of us have used MS Paint, a simple image editing tool built into Windows OS from the beginning of time. Paint.NET was initially created to replace MS Paint. However, over time, it has emerged as a powerful editor that can be considered as a Photoshop alternative to a certain extent.

Those who have used MS Paint would feel very familiar with this application. In fact, it has several features from its predecessor. As you would expect, Paint.Net is not as powerful as Photoshop. In fact, it is also not as feature-rich as GIMP. However, if you need to carry out the basic editing tasks without any hassles, Paint.NET could be a good choice.

Paint.NET is also much easier to learn as compared to the other heavy-duty image editors like GIMP. It has a very simple and neat looking interface. Although it offers limited functionality, you can install some plugins to make it more functional. It is available on Windows 7 and newer versions.

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Seashore is a Mac only, open-source image editing application based on the Cocoa framework. Seashore bears a strong resemblance with GIMP as both of them use the same file formatting. If you have used GIMP as well as Seashore, you will find many similar features. Seashore isn’t the perfect Photoshop alternative but it can do the basic editing jobs very easily. Seashore is also not as powerful and feature-rich as GIMP. But, it is lightweight and if you are in need of some quick, fuss-free editing on Mac, it is a good choice. It has a well-designed interface with elements laid out in a clutter free manner. It is easy to use and does not require a steep learning curve. Some of its key features include layered editing, gradients, support for the alpha channel, true shapes with anti-alias brushes, support for plugins, and more.


Pixlr is considered to be one of the most viable, free web-based alternatives to Photoshop. In fact, those who have used Photoshop will feel a great sense of familiarity. With its user-friendly and intuitive interface, Pixlr makes editing tasks easy. Pixlr requires a certain level of understanding of image editing. The problem is that there aren’t a lot of tutorials available. If you are new to image editing, it will be a bit of struggle in the beginning. However, the experienced ones instantly like this image editing application. Pixlr also offers layered editing but it isn’t as effective as you may like. The other features include resizing, teeth whitener, red eye removal, lots of effects and filters, text overlays, and more.


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