Top 5 Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Top 5 Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is recognized as the go-to software for professionals in the creative industry. However, Photoshop’s cost isn’t only intimidating, it’s also reoccurring. If you’re looking for a day to day photo editing tool or in need of a t-shirt design software, don’t jump to conclusions yet. There are plenty of free Photoshop alternatives available online. You just might find what you’re looking for with a simplified learning curve and non-existent price tag!

  1. Gimp vs. Photoshop

Experience Level: Mid-level – professional

Gimp vs. Photoshop

Gimp is a free graphics manipulation tool with a feel that’s quite similar to Photoshop. The program can be used as a simple drawing tool as well as a professional photo editing tool.  If you’re comfortable with Photoshop, adapting to Gimp’s interface will be quick and easy. For users new to the creative industry, Gimp offers a variety of helpful tutorials to get your off to a productive start!

As far as photo manipulation goes, Gimp offers everything you’ll need. Anything from retouching, to cropping, to drawing is made easy for users at any experience level. While many of Gimp’s tools are simple to learn, don’t underestimate the power behind them.

No two applications are better than another. Some are better for beginners, some are better for professionals. It’s important to test the waters before making any big investments, and Gimp is a great place to start. There are pros and cons to both Gimp and Photoshop. While Gimp doesn’t share the same capacity as Adobe, it’s still one of the most trusted tools amongst the free alternatives to Photoshop.

Beneficial Features of Gimp:

  • Free
  • Compatible with Photoshop files
  • Supported by most operating systems (Mac, PC and Linux)
  • Digital retouching
  • Photo enhancement tools
  • Advanced manipulation

Keep in Mind:

  • It’s not as polished as Photoshop
  • Less support and recognition
  • The Windows version takes a little longer to launch

Compatible with:

  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Mac
  1. Pixlr vs. Photoshop

Experience Level: Moderate

Pixlr vs. Photoshop

Pixlr is an intuitive, online platform used for professional photo editing and manipulation. Developed by the reputable Autodesk, Pixlr enables users to work in layers and transform images from the convenience of a web browser. Experts in the creative field would agree that Pixlr’s functionality and tools are similar to Photoshop’s, only Pixlr stuck to the basic, necessary tools.

It’s hard to believe the platform is free because of the incredible work it can output. Its seamless, mobile-like interface is so easy to navigate, it completely eliminates the guessing element that often comes with other free alternatives to Photoshop.

Whether you’re looking to add some finishing touches to your artwork or create something from scratch, Pixlr can be your one-stop shop. Unless you plan to use Adobe Photoshop to its full potential, then Pixlr will be the perfect fuel to your creativity.

Beneficial Features of Pixlr:

  • Free
  • Links to free fonts and graphics
  • Offers a mobile editing tool
  • Known for its speed and accuracy
  • Customizable workspace
  • Advanced manipulation

Keep in Mind:

  • You’re limited to using specific image formats (no BMP or TIFF files)
  • Not many user tutorials to reference
  • Cannot edit RAW files

Compatible with:

  • Browser based
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iOS
  1. Canva vs. Photoshop

Experience Level: Beginner – Intermediate 

Canva vs. Photoshop

Canva is a free online design tool that sets the pace for image enhancement. The platform offers anything from quality design essentials to stock fonts, templates and graphics. All the essential resources are built into the platform to help anyone become a designer.

Needless to say, Canva is a worthy competitor amongst the free alternatives to Photoshop. It simply makes graphic design a lot less tedious and a lot more user-friendly. Plus, users have the ability to share their creations straight from Canva’s interface! Exporting has never been this easy.

So, give Canva a try and witness the platform’s power first hand. Whether you need an eye-catching header image for your shop or your Instagram photo needs a little boost, Canva will be your go-to for all editing needs.

Beneficial Features of Canva:

  • Free
  • Brand builder to maintain consistency
  • Premade templates
  • Font, graphic and photo library
  • Premade image filters
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Templates for any social media header image

Keep in Mind:

  • Some premade artwork is copyrighted
  • Editing features are limited
  • Very busy/ crowded interface

Compatible with:

  • Browser based

Update (!): Canva 2.0 has launched. With Canva 2.0 you can now:

  • publish designs straight to Mailchimp
  • transform templates in seconds with Backgrounds Pro
  • unlock 500 premium styles exclusive to the Canva Pro suite
  • enjoy 20,000 stunning templates, made from gorgeous premium elements – with no more to pay
  • create and export designs with videos included
  • add all new Canva Button that allows your users and customers the ability to design banners, ads, headers, and more, right from within your platform
  • take advantage of 50 new Instagram Story templates
  • drop images from your Dropbox account straight into your Canva designs
  • move multiple pages at once with Page Manager

and so much more.  Visit Canva news blog to discover other hot features available in Canva 2.0

  1. Krita vs. Photoshop

Experience Level: Beginner – Advanced

Krita vs Photoshop

Krita is a photo editing tool that’s quickly extended its capability over the past couple years. White Krita started as a simple paint tool, it has grown to implement brush stabilization, advanced layer management and professional drawing assistants.

Because Krita was developed by artists, it offers all necessary tools to power your designs. No overhead, no excess, only the things you need to create a magnificent work of art! Plus, Krita is compatible with PSD files, so you can toggle between both platforms when necessary!

Krita is one of those platforms that doesn’t have an adjustment period. The second you open the application, you’ll feel at home. With Krita’s constant effort to improve, more and more features will be made available with every update. Krita aims to be an essential to all creators out there, so don’t wait any longer to give it a try!

Beneficial Features of Krita:

  • Free
  • Various brush customizations
  • Constant improvements
  • Pop-up palate
  • Wrap-around mode
  • Optimized user interface
  1. vs. Photoshop

Experience Level: Beginner vs. Photoshop was originally created as a free replacement tool for Microsoft Paint. Over the years, it has grown into the go-to quick-editing tool for creators everywhere. The powerful but simple platform offers Photoshop’s basic features along with unique additions of its own. Users have full control over the interface making it easy to use and hassle-free for everyone.

Additionally, offers a variety of tutorials and tips to make your design experience as seamless as possible. It’s reassuring to know there is a helpful, friendly community to back the platform. It’s tool set is impressive, but if you’re looking for a little more advanced functionality, there are plenty of plugins to support your needs as a creator.

So, if you’re browsing through free alternatives to Photoshop, don’t hesitate to give a try. You won’t be disappointed with the results, even if you’re new to the world of graphic design.

Beneficial Features of

  • Free
  • Unlimited undo
  • Use-friendly
  • Organized interface
  • Powerful tools
  • Variety of special effects

Keep in Mind:

  • Only available on Windows
  • Only single-image editing

Compatible with:

  • Windows

As you can see, there are plenty of Adobe Photoshop alternatives available for free. Give some of these options a little test drive to see which program will work best with your creative needs. You may never need to use the word Photoshop again.
Did you know, you can make money with that creativity of yours? See how you can monetize on your designs by opening a FREE online shop today!

Open your own online shop

4 comments Write a comment

  1. Hello Lisa! I would assume that you can’t use Canva stock images because these are the images that are produced by Canva and therefore are not allowed to be used for sale.

    I would also recommend you to go through Canva’s license agreement and/or contact its customer support for more information.

  2. Hello, so if I make a design on Canva using their stock images, can I sell on spread shirt? I have made a ton of designs using their images for fun. I am new to the world of design, Photoshop and selling! Help!

  3. Very Good List, but you forgot about Inkscape. I’ve personally been using Inkscape for years and they’re GREAT and FREE. I’m in no way associated with Inkscape other than being a user, but it can be found here:

    Open Source and Free. You should try it. There are so many great tutorials on Youtube.

    Thank You and Happy Holidays!


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