3 Free Photoshop Alternatives

Photoshop is a very powerful piece of software and is probably the most well-known photo editing and manipulation software on the market today. It’s incredibly versatile, is used all over the world and is considered by many to be the industry leader in all image software. However, it’s got one big drawback; it’s not free! 

Screenshot photoshop

For the casual user, the price tag of $10 per month, through Adobe’s Creative Cloud pricing and membership plans may seem a bit steep. Depending on the version, you can easily spend upwards of $300 and that is certainly out of most people’s price range. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean your image editing days are over. There are lots of great, FREE alternatives you can use instead. 

Here are our favorites.

1. Adobe Photoshop Express

This is essentially the free, stripped down, basic version of Photoshop from the makers of Photoshop, Adobe. It can be used within your browser or you can download the app for your mobile device. All the basic functions are available such as image cropping, rotating, resizing and adjusting the brightness and contrast of your photos. They have also left some of the ‘make me pretty’ functions in such as red eye removal (so you don’t look like an extra from Twilight) and the Touchup Tool to remove any unsightliness from your pictures - goodbye pimples!

2. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

This has long been the top free competitor for Photoshop offering some great features at, well, none of the price. Of course, it’s not quite as action-packed as the one-and-only but it does have a great array of features that can seem overwhelming at first. The good news is if you take the time and effort to become familiar with the software, it’s very useful and actually doesn’t take that much time to get your head around. This software has been in production for almost two decades now and it’s reflected in the usability of the package.

3. Pixlr

Pixlr is an in-browser photo editor that feels like Photoshop, looks like Photoshop but of course isn’t Photoshop. You can upload photos directly from your desktop or external hard drive or choose an image online to start working on. There are some fun filters to use, both layers and text-overlays are supported and you can blur, clone, dodge and burn just like Photoshop. More experienced users will love the ability to adjust the tool options to your preference. This is a truly amazing web-based application and for those of you on the cloud, the top choice when it comes to online photo editing software.

There you have it, three great alternatives to Photoshop that are completely free. They may not be as feature rich, but they’re not as expensive and for most of us they will get the job done. Give these a try and you might soon forget all about Photoshop, the grand-master of image editing software.

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.

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