16 Best Photoshop Alternatives (Free & Paid)

16 Best Photoshop Alternatives (Free & Paid)

Just Creative is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more

Looking for the best Photoshop alternatives? We’ve got options for you.

As the world continues to put a premium on good visuals and captivating designs, it makes perfect sense why more entrepreneurs and creatives are looking to explore new tools and instruments they can optimize to better produce profitable content.

While Adobe Photoshop has been a leader in the design space, helping creatives design meaningful graphics and stunning logos, not everyone prefers to use Adobe’s software or pay for a subscription to use it.

Luckily, there are many different alternatives to Photoshop out there and we wanted to highlight some of the best free and paid options that are out there so you can create incredible works of art. For some, not being able to find a comparable piece of software can be some and our list of the best Photoshop alternatives can provide you with some great options.

You may also be interested in our guide on how to download Photoshop and the full Adobe software list, as well as the best Adobe Illustrator alternatives and the best monitors for photo editing. If you’re a student check out our guide on how to get Adobe student discount and our Adobe Creative Cloud pricing guide.

 

16 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Graphic Design (Free & Paid)

There are so many different options out there that you can choose to use instead of Adobe Photoshop and while some are better than others, not everyone is capable of helping you create incredible works of art or edit your photos.  We feel like our list covers many different options that you can use right away.

  1. Canva The best free Photoshop alternative online (Free)
  2. Procreate — The best alternative for digital illustration ($10)
  3. Affinity Photo — One of the most powerful Photoshop alternatives ($25)
  4. CorelDRAW — A Photoshop alternative for vectors ($39)
  5. GIMP — The Photoshop alternative software with similar UI (Free)
  6. Sketch — The best professional Photoshop alternative ($9)
  7. Pixelmator Pro — The best alternative for photos  ($40)
  8. Lumiar AI — The best Photoshop AI alternative ($99)
  9. Fotor — The best alternative for quick lighting fixes ($9)
  10. Photopea — A browser-based alternative (Free)
  11. Pixlr XAn alternative for drag and drop interfaces ($5)
  12. Inpixio Photo Studio — A user-friendly alternative ($80)
  13. Design Wizard — An advertising and social media design alternative ($10)
  14. Rebelle 4 — A great software for replicating painting techniques ( $90)
  15. Krita — One of the most robust design and editing software (Free)
  16. PhotoDirector 365 — An AI alternative for photographers and editors ($4)

 

sponsored message


Adobe Photoshop Discount (Get 65% Off) or Free 7-Day Trial

Adobe CC

If you don’t find a Photoshop alternative, we have an exclusive discount with Adobe CC that offers up to 40-70% off Adobe’s apps including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, XD, and more.

Adobe also offers free trials & discounts on their most popular creative software including Adobe Photoshop.

Students and teachers are also eligible for a discount on Adobe products.

sponsored message


If you are a current student or teacher you are eligible for up to 65% off Adobe Creative Cloud on their Students & Teachers plan.

If you’re not a student or teacher, you can easily become a student and then save up to 65% off on Adobe’s most popular annual plan, CC All Apps. See the instructions here.

 

The Best Photoshop Alternatives (Free & Paid)

1. Canva

Canva - One of the best Photoshop Alternatives
Canva. Image credit: Canva

The best free Photoshop alternative online

If you’ve done any kind of design work, you’ve likely heard of Canva. A popular editing tool on its own, the Australian brand provides a vast number of free badges, design templates, icons, cartoons, and even stock images—things Photoshop doesn’t supply.

While it is an editing platform, Canva isn’t squarely Photoshop competition per se, as it optimizes drag-and-drop editing versus Adobe’s more complex method of producing content.

Still, it is a staple design solutions tool for creatives of all kinds. From newsletters to advertising pitches and CVs to social media cards, Canva allows you to effortlessly make graphics in no time.

sponsored message


While there is a free version of Canva available to everyone, if you want to have access to all of Canva’s perks and visual assets, they offer a plan for $13/month.

Pros Cons
➕ Drag-and-drop editor ➖ Can’t create hand drawing and vectors
➕ Can schedule post to social media ➖ Hard to use on a small screen

 

2. Procreate

Procreate - Photoshop Alternative
Procreate. Image credit: Procreate

The best Photoshop alternative for digital illustration

It’s difficult to write a list about Photoshop alternatives without mentioning Procreate. A raster graphics editor app, Procreate started as a basic drawing app about a decade ago before becoming one of the most profitable digital products it is today. 

Although it’s exclusively available for the iPad, packed with features any artist will adore. From inks and brushes to true-to-life pencils, there is a lot that creatives can accomplish with this product for only $10.

Check out our collection of Procreate brushes.

Pros Cons
➕ Has a wide selection of brushes ➖ Only for iPad
➕ Easy to zoom in and out and rotate canvases ➖ No free version
➕ Wide file format support (JPEG, PNG, PDF, PSD, and TIFF) ➖ No vectors

 

3. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo Photoshop Alternative
Affinity Photo. Image credit: Affinity Photo

One of the most powerful  Photoshop alternatives

One of the most powerful Photoshop alternatives, Affinity Photo allows users to create HDR images, perform panorama stitching, and import RAW images.

While the program is unable to organize digital assets, it’s an advanced piece of software that supports multiple layers, allowing designers to edit graphics with ease. The Affinity Photo program can be purchased for both Windows or Mac for $25 or even your iPad for just $10.

Also see here for the best Illustrator alternatives.

Pros Cons
➕ Can do layer-based editing ➖ No custom workspaces
➕ Can work with vector images ➖ No Android version
➕ Raw images are supported 
➕ Similar to Photoshop but easier

 

4. CorelDraw

CorelDraw
CorelDraw. Image credit: CorelDraw

The best powerful Photoshop alternative

With all the professional vector illustration, layout, photo editing and design tools you need, CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite is a compelling alternative to Adobe Photoshop for graphic design although it is roughly the same cost at $39/month.

As Corel partners, we can offer you 10-96% off all of Corel’s best creative software including CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, CorelDRAW Standard, CorelDRAW Essentials, CorelDRAW Technical Suite, CorelDRAW App Store Edition and more.

This also includes discounts to their software: Painter, CorelCAD, VideoStudio Pro, PaintShop Pro, MotionStudio 3D and more — wherever you are in the world and available right now in June, 2021.

Pros Cons
➕ Training videos are available ➖ No Mac version
➕ Efficient layout tools ➖ Not easy to navigate
➕ All-in-one app (publishing, illustration, and image editing)
➕ Great performance

 

5. GIMP

gimp
Gimp. Image credit: GIMP

The best free Photoshop alternative software

Celebrating its 25th year, GIMP is a program that has been available for quite some time. While most people know it as GIMP, its title stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program.

Patterning after Photoshop in more ways than one, this product is one of the best choices to turn to if you don’t want to spend a dime. Designers who are used to the Adobe product also won’t find it difficult to adjust with this platform as there is a full suite of tools available for both tenured and beginning creatives.

From color correction to enhancement and cloning, image-editing is easy and feasible with GIMP. It isn’t as intricately complex the way Photoshop is, but it’s a fantastic product that’s more than good enough for basic to medium editing. Today, it’s available for Mac, Linux, and Windows.

Pros Cons
➕ No need to install ➖ Limited third-party plugins when compared to photoshop
➕ Feature-rich
➕ Allows removal of background from images
➕ User-friendly software

 

6. Sketch

sketch
Sketch. Image credit: Sketch

The best vector Photoshop alternative

One of the most powerful professional graphics apps to date, Sketch is a vector-based tool that lets you develop prototypes, mobile UI designs, and mockups. Like Photoshop, this contender can manipulate photos, as well.

Sketch is perfect for brand designers and photo editors, creatives will love the app’s extensive abilities to help you come up with striking visual works and true-to-life renditions. While Sketch costs $99 per year, a big bonus is its user-friendly UI, making it simple to use.

Pros Cons
➕ Design and collaborate in a single workplace ➖ Mac only
➕ Massive library ➖ Heavy tool
➕ Both personal and team accounts are available 

 

7. Pixelmator Pro

pixelmator pro
Pixelmator pro. Image credit: Pixelmator Pro

The best Photoshop alternative for photos

Pixelmator Pro is a great tool for graphic designers or editors looking for a way to make graphics and edit photos. While the previous Pixelmator version optimized floating windows, the brand’s Pro upgrade utilizes an impressive single-window UI, offering a seamless and desirable image editing process. Furthermore, Pixelmator Pro also pushes forward a hidden interface option that allows users to see the image they’re editing without the clutter of the editor’s worktable. Available for the macOS operating system, the Pixelmator Pro software sells for $40.

Pros Cons
➕ Low cost ➖ Mac only
➕ Easy to use ➖ Limited features

 

8. Luminar AI

Luminar AI
Luminar AI. Image credit: SKYLUM

The Luminar AI program from Skylum has been touted by the manufacturer as “The first image editor fully powered by artificial intelligence.” While it’s used mostly for beatifying photos and adding effects, it’s a stunning app that simplifies telling a story and manipulating backgrounds. The program’s workspace is organized into six distinct panels: canvas, layers, pro, portrait, essentials, and creative. The segments appear when you need them and automatically vanish from the screen when you need to optimize another segment, making your working space tidy and easy to navigate.

The program is available at two price points: you can purchase the program for $99, which is good for two computers, or you can pay $59 annually. If you’re looking for AI-powered image editing software, this one’s your best pick.

Pros Cons
➕ Offer refund ➖ Fewer advanced editing features compared to competitors
➕ Has powerful AI

 

9. Fotor

Fotor
Fotor. Image credit: Fotor

No matter where you’re editing, whether it’s on a cell phone or a laptop in a coffee shop, Fotor is made to deliver. Whereas Lightroom and Photoshop may take a while to familiarize yourself with, Fotor is a terrific image editing program for creatives who want quick access to easy editing and light touches. There are three main options when opening the program. Users can make a collage, edit photos, or easily design visuals from scratch. Furthermore, the edit mode presents some decent features too.

Whether adjusting the contrast or adding hues, Fotor is the perfect Photoshop substitute for anyone veering away from the complex UI of the Adobe staple and at $9/month, you can’t beat the price either.

Pros Cons
➕ Easy to use ➖ Limited features for the free version

 

10. Photopea

Photopea
Photopea. Image credit: Photopea

The wonders of web technology have brought us many things—one of which is Photopea. A browser-based image editor, this Photoshop substitute supports layers and layer masks, allowing you seamlessly composite multiple images, add text to your photos, or supplement vector shapes.

What’s more, Photopea also extends a host of selection tools from a magnetic lasso to standard marquees. It may not be as elaborately sophisticated as the popular Adobe editing staple, but it sure packs a punch considering that it’s free.

Pros Cons
➕ Free version available  ➖ Limited advanced features 
➕ Cross-platform ➖ Ads with the free version

 

11. Pixlr X

pixlr x
Pixlr x. Image credit: PIXLR

Available solely as a web app, Pixlr X is an HTML 5 photo editing software that optimizes a drag-and-drop interface. While it might not be as robust as Luminar AI and GIMP,  it easily helps designers remove backgrounds, add text, and source stock photos. It extends an intuitive UI, too, making it a fantastic option for newbies as well as designers in a hurry.

Granted that you can only perform basic editing features on the platform, it bears mentioning that Pixlr X has surprisingly powerful and extensive layer support. While anyone can use the free version, which you can find at the link below, you can also sign up for their premium version at $5/month.

Pros Cons
➕ Supports layers ➖ Some tools are in beta version
➕ Advanced editing tools are available 
➕ User-friendly interface

 

12. Inpixio Photo Studio

Inpixio Photo Studio
Inpixio Photo Studio. Image credit: inPixio

Now on its 10th version run, inPixio Photo Studio is another user-friendly Photoshop alternative. Similar to Pixlr X and Design Wizard, this editor is a powerful contender that doesn’t hold too much weight in the money department. Extending features and capabilities you’d expect from most image-editing programs, this product lets designers transfer, sharpen, and enlarge photos.

There’s also no shortage in the filter category. From removing prominent objects in a photo to restoring old and damaged scanned images, there’s a lot you can do with this pick. While it’s user-friendly, the price tag of $80/year may turn some away. Those who look past the cost will find a great program that’s easy to use.

Pros Cons
➕ Easy to understand ➖ Lacks file management
➕ Multilayer editing available
➕ Budget-friendly 
➕ Multilingual 

 

13. Design Wizard

design wizard
Design Wizard. Image credit: Design Wizard

There’s a common misconception that image-editing tools are exclusive for those who are great at professional design. Design Wizard is out to prove that wrong. Perfect for beginners and entrepreneurs, this product allows you to instantly produce visuals and graphics needed for marketing materials. Starting at $10/month, Design Wizard is geared towards people in advertising and social media, and with a stock photography database curated by the company, this tool is easy to optimize and one of the more affordable options on the list.

Pros Cons 
➕ The library is licensed for commercial use ➖ Watermark on images of free version
➕ Can share images and videos directly on social media

 

14. Rebelle 4

rebelle 4
Rebelle 4. Image credit: escape motions

One of Photoshop’s strongest features is its ability to replicate real-life paintings. If you like to stretch your creative muscles with different genres of art, then you’re going to love Rebelle 4. An affordable program, Rebelle 4 allows you to develop painting techniques and effects effortlessly while mimicking how paint responds to paper and canvases in real life.

A tilt option that allows your paint to run in the directions you choose is also included, allowing you to produce an authentic take of watercolor works. If you’re looking to create beautiful watercolor works of art, you should check out Rebelle 4. The program is available from their website for $90.

Pros Cons
➕ Imitates real paint ➖ Not available for mobile devices

 

15. Krita

Krita
Krita. Image credit: KRITA

An open-source program, Krita is a powerful photoshop alternative that’s backed up by a dynamic community. A free program, anyone can use the program, which is great for any creative looking to take a break from Photoshop.

Even with a free-to-use model, the program is an incredibly robust photo editing program with hundreds of brushes, text capabilities, and more. Krita even comes with a reliable resource manager for importing tools.

Pros Cons
➕ Easy to use ➖ No dedicated team for customer support
➕ Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux  ➖ Not available on mobile devices 

 

16. PhotoDirector 365

photodirector 365
Photodirector 365. Image credit: CyberLink

Another photo editing software that extends AI tools is PhotoDirector 365 by CyberLink. This Photoshop alternative provides enough features for the eager designer to work on intuitive layer editing capabilities and advanced color controls.

Beneficial to photographers and editors looking to color-correct images, PhotoDirector 365 is a worthy Photoshop alternative. It may not pack Adobe’s signature bells and whistles, but it’s an affordable ($4/mo) program that helps creatives get the job done.

Pros Cons
➕ User-friendly interface ➖ Lacks raw format support
➕ Multilayer support
➕ Advanced features available 

 

Adobe Photoshop Discount – 40-70% Off

Still looking for a Photoshop alternative? Don’t miss our exclusive discount with Adobe CC that offers up to 40-70% off Adobe’s apps including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, XD, and more.

Adobe CC

 

Frequently Asked Questions

• What is the best Photoshop alternative?

Canva and Photopea are really great simple Photoshop alternatives. However, if you’re looking for a software that's UI is very similar to Photoshop you should try out Gimp.

• What are some free alternatives to Photoshop?

Canva, Gimp, Photopea and Krita are some great free alternatives to Photoshop.

• What is the best photoshop alternative software for iPads?

Procreate is by far the best design and photo editing alternative to Photoshop available for iPads. The Apple pen that’s now available allows creatives and artists an easy-to-use, versatile platform.

• What software is best for quick lighting fixes?

Lumiar AI is best for quick lighting fixes.

• What is the best Photoshop alternative for photos?

Pixelmator Pro and Affinity Photo are some really good alternatives for editing photos.

• What are some good AI photo editing alternatives to Photoshop?

Lumiar AI and PhotoDirector 365 are some good Photoshop alternatives that have AI features.

• What is a great alternative for advertising and for social media?

Design Wizard is one of the best out there. After this, Canva is a great free option.

• What is the best alternative for vectors and UI mockups?

Sketch is a great software alternative for vectors and UI mockups.

• What software is the best for artists trying to replicate paintings?

Rebelle 4 and Krita are great options for artists trying to shift to digital art on design software. But for iPads, Procreate is still the best.

 

The Best Free Photoshop Alternatives

The internet provides no shortage of Photoshop alternatives designers of every kind can turn to for image-editing purposes. Whether it’s a free or paid program, there’s a program for everyone to choose from! We hope this list provided you great insight on which product supports your editing needs the most.

Leave a Comment

[Cyber Monday Deals LIVE!]
[Cyber Monday Deals LIVE!]