5 Best Photoshop Alternatives to Try in 2021

5 Best Photoshop Alternatives to Try in 2021
5 Best Photoshop Alternatives to Try in 2021_609be34ad530e.png

5 Best Photoshop Alternatives to Try in 2021

Adobe is the industry-standard software for photographers around the world. Its Photoshop and Lightroom programs are the most used for image editing.

Some people do not like Photoshop. Whether it is the learning curve or lack of customisability, alternatives are sought. In this article, we list five of the best Photoshop alternatives.

Close up of a person editing on Photoshop on macbook pro

The Best Photoshop Alternatives

Here are five photo editing programs we recommend using as a Photoshop alternative. Not all are free, but they each have their advantages.

5. Paint.NET

Paint.net is a free Photoshop alternative. Its interface is consistent and easy to use. Since it is open-source, its operating code can be changed, edited, and manipulated. This allows anyone to create plug-ins and other helpful photo editing tools.

Paint.net offers a fantastic range of automatic filters. There are even manual editing tools for finer adjustments. It also supports layers. By installing a plug-in, you can use masks.

Batch editing is standard. Its clone stamp makes it easy to erase annoying spots or blemishes.

There are quick-access tabs that use thumbnails to represent each open image at a glance.

Like Photoshop, it is also fast. It even runs well on low-powered PCs.

There are no limits to the size of saved images, but it takes a far place due to its smaller range of options and tools.

A screenshot of the free photoshop alternative Paint.NET interface

4. Pixlr

Pixlr is an online photo editor, which you can also find for iOS and Android. They offer two options: Pixlr X and Pixlr E.

With Pixlr, you get all the tools you get in Photoshop. You can also find the artistic filters, as well as automatic optimisation options.

Pixlr gives you a toolbox filled with brushes, fills, selection tools, along with healing and clone stamp tools. All these are customisable.

Though Pixlr cannot edit pictures in batches, there is support for both layers and masks. Also, you can easily find the Remove BG option. This allows you to remove the background of a photo in no time.

Like Photoshop, it will handle multiple images in different tabs.

A screenshot of thephoto editing software Pixlr interface

3. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo has a vast toolset designed for creative and professional photographers alike. However, this is a paid software. It gives you the ability to make local adjustments. But it also allows you to create full-blown multi-layered compositions.

Like Photoshop, you can use levels, curves, black and whites, white balance, HSL, shadows, highlights, and layer editing. Unlike Photoshop, the edits you make in Affinity Photo are non-destructive. You can return to the original whenever you wish.

What makes this an excellent software choice are its extras. HDR merging, panorama stitching, focus stacking, and batch processing are all possible.

One negative point is import time. Affinity Photo takes a long time to process hundreds of images. Like in Photoshop, importing is not built for mass editing or organising.

A screenshot of photoshop alternative editing program Affinity interface

2. PhotoWorks

Although PhotoWorks is only available for Windows, it is a great Photoshop alternative. It offers a free version with the option to buy the full one.

PhotoWorks provides easy ways of image editing. You can use the smart auto-correction feature to fix the basic settings of your image. It can set white balance and exposure, remove noise, and straighten the horizon with one click.

You can also retouch your portraits, change the background, and remove unwanted details. You can even restore old photos.

PhotoWorks also provides filters, effects, and allows you to work with layers. It has everything you would need for quick image editing.

a screenshot of photoshop alternatives photoworks download page


GIMP’s reputation precedes it. As GIMP (GNU image manipulation program) is powerful and adaptable, it is the best free Photoshop alternative.

GIMP comes with layers, masks, advanced filters, colour adjustment tools, and transformations. These are customisable. Photoshop has customisability in its panels, but there are limitations.

One of the features we like GIMP is its vast array of user-created scripts and plugins. These are all pre-installed. Some of these even replicate the most popular Photoshop tools, like Liquify. You can even add Photoshop plugins to GIMP.

There is also a package of animation tools for bringing your photos to life via blending.

One thing GIMP also has to its advantage is a comprehensive user manual. It includes step-by-step tutorials and troubleshooting guides. Photoshop has one too, but it can be somewhat confusing for beginners.

A screenshot from GIMP photo editing software


Not everyone likes Adobe Photoshop. If you are one of those people, luckily their are plenty of other options. You can find free Photoshop alternatives, as well as a few paid ones worth their price. These programs tend to use the same tools and are like the Photoshop interface.

We recommend trying more alternatives for photo editing. There is not only one solution that is best for everyone. From the listed photoshop alternatives, our favourite is GIMP.

If you are still using Lightroom for your photo editing, try out our Effortless Editing course to master all its secrets.

Get Your Photos Retouched By A Professional

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email