free Photoshop alternatives for mac & windows

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says photo editing software? Many will say Photoshop. It is because Adobe Photoshop is the most popular software and is widely used by professional photographers, designers, and companies to produce high-quality images.

But then why are we talking about Photoshop alternatives if it is the best in the market? An important reason is that the Photoshop subscription prices are on the higher side. So, if you are looking for some affordable alternatives that have similar features to Photoshop, then you have reached the right place.

In this article, you’ll learn about some of the best free Photoshop alternatives that you can try out. Here goes the list:

  1. Colorcinch


    Colorcinch is a browser-based user-friendly image editing software has a collection of preset tools. The look-out feature of this program is Cartoonizer. It is an AI-enabled special effect tool that can change photos into paintings, cartoons, or sketches.

    The package provides millions of high-quality stock photos free of cost. It also has hundreds of frames, overlays, and masks to use. You can use the rotate, crop, resize, and straighten tools to your benefit. There are many in-built options to enhance the look of the photos. This program supports PNG, PDF, and PNG file formats.

  2. Affinity Photo

    Affinity Photo

    Affinity Photo is the immediate competitor of Photoshop that has all matching features. The subscription cost of this photo editing software is less in comparison to Photoshop. The software developers claim it to be the best alternative to Photoshop, and by far, it is true.

    If your equipment has the best quad-core technology, then you can enjoy high speeds, less downtime, and nearly zero crashes. The software version is available for both Mac and Windows. But for an iPad, you have to pay for it.

    The software has a comprehensive set of retouching tools like:

    • Dodge and burn, patch, clone, and blemish wiping tools
    • Frequency separation option for smoother skin retouches
    • Dedicated sculpting features

    Photographers can now achieve a great level of accuracy with the use of,

    • Lasso and marquee tools
    • Brush and magic wand
    • Pen tool
  3. GIMP(Image Manipulation Program)


    If you have a limited budget but need the latest editing features, then GIMP is the best fit for your image editing needs. This high-speed and latest raster editor can be any of the following,

    • Tool for expert photo retouching
    • Image format converter
    • Simple paint program that has features such as airbrush, clone, brush, and pencil
    • Online batch processing system

    This open-source software program is an excellent choice for photographers as they can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux with the same speed and efficiency.

    Also, with GIMP, you can create customized brushes and patterns. It has the best photo editing tools such as curves, masks, and layers. This program supports file formats such as PNG, GIF, TIFF, JPED, and PSD like Photoshop.

  4. Krita (works well on Mac too)


    Krita is where flexibility meets creativity. Photographers, artists, illustrators, and texture painters love its built-in art tools. It is open-source software developed by artists with the goal of providing high-quality software at a low cost. As they learn about the industry’s needs, you can find more dedicated tools for the artists.

    The vibrant color palette can enrich the colors of your photos. Besides, you can access the most-liked colors and configure them in fewer clicks. You can import other artists’ brush and texture packs and widen your toolset.

    With Krita, it is easy to create shortcuts for the most widely used tools. Also, you can remove the shakiness of the photo with brush stabilizers. If you are looking for free Photoshop alternatives for Mac & Windows that allow unlimited brush customizations, then Krita is for you.

  5. PhotoWorks

    PhotoWorks strikes the right balance of user-friendly and impressive functionality features. It provides all essential photo editing tools for beginners and professionals.

    The content-aware AI feature makes the landscape editing and portrait editing process simplified. The program has an intuitive UI that turns your dull photos into eye-catchy ones.

    With hardware requirements, it performs well on even low-end PCs. It supports non-destructive editing as well as basic manual adjustments too.

    The program finds its extensive application for portrait retouching. Its face-recognition technology simplifies the complex retouching processes.

    Another attractive functionality of this program is the Face Sculpt feature. It helps drive facial retouching to the next level. You can also remove the unwanted objects in a photo with a few brushstrokes.

  6. Pixlr X

    Pixlr X

    It is the new version of the popular Pixlr image editor. The old versions had impressive features that made them the best Photoshop alternative.

    Pixlr X is an HTML5 based-editor, so it works well on all browsers. It is this flexible feature that made Pixlr X appealing to global photographers. Besides, its smooth UI with dark and light color schemes makes them the most sought-after one.

    It is an online image editor, and thus it finds compatibility with all leading operating systems. Pixlr X is a photo editing software with all tools to produce refined images. You can also use the curves and de-haze to enhance your photos or else use the Auto-fix tool to avoid over-editing.

    Also, you can straighten, crop, rotate, flip your images with the related tools. It has a collection of stylish fonts that you can choose to tweak your photos.

  7. Sumopaint


    This free package provides the best design and functionalities for its users. When you need mid-range editing, go for its brushes, wands, layering, and editing tool. But you can avail yourself of all these features free of cost.

    It runs as smooth as butter on Flash browsers as well as on cloud-based platforms. So, you do not have to go through the fuss of technical downloads and installation steps. You can easily become a member of the Sumopaint online community.

    You can use its layer blending modes, color picker, brushes, clone stamping for your needs. This program supports file formats such as PNG, JPEG, GIF.

  8. Photopea


    Photopea is a beginner-friendly program that is a web-based best alternative to Photoshop. When you have needs like resizing or cropping, it has high-speed editing time. With Photoshop, you have to wait for a long time for the image to load.

    It has a powerful brush, a pen tool, and impressive blend modes. You can work with layering masks as you did in Photoshop. The only downside of this basic use best-fit program is that it displays ads on the screen side. It can be distracting when you need more focus on editing works.

    It finds compatibility with all OS and supports CDR, Sketch, PSD, XD, and XCF formats. It is possible to export your files in SVG, JPG, PNG, and PSD formats.

  9. Seashore


    Seashore is GIMP-inspired editing software. It is a strong contender for Photoshop alternatives in the market at present. Also, it offers a user-friendly UI for Mac users.

    The merging effects of layers help you to do image edits with a few simple steps. It also provides textures, gradients, and anti-aliasing for brush strokes and text.

    If you are using a highly sensitive tablet, then customizing photos with this program is easy. Seashore supports GIF, HEIC, XBM, JPEG, TIFF, XCF, PNG, PICT, and PDF file formats.

  10. Photo Pos Pro

    Photo Pos Pro

    It is an exclusive suite that provides all the exclusive features of Photoshop. These features help to make a photo look striking.

    Photos Pos Pro is a user-friendly and easy-to-learn UI, which is hard to find in GIMP and Photoshop. When you want to ease off things, try turning on the novice layout button to help you do the need-of-the-hour editing work.

    The professionals can turn the expert layout mode for manual curves and level adjustments options that fine-tune work.

    The software has the following features:

    • Unlimited masks and layers
    • Clone and healing brush, magic eraser tool
    • Save the filters for future use
    • Spice up your photos with impressive frames and collages
    • Library of pre-designed extension packs
    • Manual editing tools

    Photos Pos Pro is compatible with Windows and Mac. Also, it is free software for photographers.

  11. Procreate


    If you need the best painting app for iPad that has similar features but performs better than Photoshop, then Procreate is the expert choice for you. It is a professional digital painting app that has won the best Apple Design Award a few years back.The collection of brushes, pencils, inks helps artists to sketch their visions. Moreover, these tools find regular updates that help to style up your artwork.

    The Procreate Pocket, released in 2019, provides iPhone users with all the painting tools. It comes at an impressive subscription fee of £10.

    The app has two drawbacks:

    • It supports only iPad mobiles and is not compatible with Android smartphones
    • There is no free version or free trial available for the users.
  12. Acorn

    It is a budget-friendly image editing software released in the year 2007. Acorn has provided the best editing features for professionals since then. The non-destructive filters, blending options, layer styles, curves and styles match up the Photoshop.

    Acorn 8, the latest version, has the following:

    • Fresh Transform and Scale options
    • Creative use of emojis
    • Layer or images are editable with clone tools

    The disadvantages of this program are:

    • It is compatible only with Mac OS
    • It does not have the photo organizer capacity found in Photoshop.
  13. ArtRage


    It offers artists customizable and realistic canvas textures, pencils, delicate watercolors, and conventional painting tools.The minimalistic tool interface helps artists to have an expanded canvas space. After work completion, all popular tools start appearing on the toolbar section. ArtRage is the cost-effective and intuitive digital painting tool available for iOS and Android at £4.

    The only drawback is that you have to buy a separate version for mobile phones.

  14. Pixelmator Pro

    Pixelmator Pro

    The original Pixelmator has been the best alternative to Photoshop for years. But Pixelmator Pro is their latest version that has:

    • Fully functional single-window user interface: Here, the users can enable the hidden option to have distraction-free image views
    • Non-destructive image editing: Pixelmator 2.0 is the recent update with features such as tabs, full screen and split view that supports M1 Macs.

    The only downside of this program is that it supports only Mac OS with limited features. But you can make use of the free trial before making a cost-effective buy of this easy-to-use software.

  15. Rebelle


    Rebelle is a professional painting program from Escape Motions. It helps artists create life-like artworks. Rebelle is cost-effective software that imitates the watercolor painting methods of Photoshop. Thus, it is a capable participant for the best Photoshop alternative.The amount of water, drip size, blow length makes Rebelle deliver realistic paintings. Also, the tilt option helps the artists to run the paint in any direction that they desire.

    Its latest version, Rebelle 4, has different photo editing features such as:

    • A staggering number of 170+ presets
    • Brush stabilizers
    • Unique oil and watercolor effects

    The software aims to produce good results for the traditional media. The disadvantage of this Rebelle is that it is not compatible with mobile devices. But it performs well on Windows OS. It comes with a demo version but does not provide a free version for the users.

  16. Sketch


    It is a professional and popular graphics tool in the realm of web designing. This app has unlimited primitive vector shapes that can be zoomed to the minute details. The Vector and Pencil tool also helps to build basic geometric shapes.Sketch has the following tools for photographerswhich are much like Photoshop:

    • Style presets
    • Gradients
    • Color pickers
    • Layers
    • Functional plugins

    Two drawbacks of this editing software are that it does not support raster editing and works well only on Mac OS.

  17. Corel PHOTO-PAINT


    Corel PHOTO-PAINT is an exclusive suite for image editing from CorelDraw. The program received its latest update in 2021 with improved tools for the following:

    • Vector Illustration
    • Typography
    • Layout designing
    • Photo editing
    • Collaboration

    The suite works seamlessly on Windows 10 with the best monitor views. This software package is for Windows OS alone. Besides, its price is on the higher side with a few advanced features.

We hope that this article has provided you with the needed insights into free Photoshop alternatives. So, choose the one that best matches your needs and try it out today. If you’re finding it difficult to get along with the software, you can reach us for our image retouching services.

WinBizSolutionsIndia is a reputable photo editing company that edits photographs using cutting-edge image editing software. We have been serving the domain for years now and have gained enough expertise to deal with the most complex image editing requirements. So, get in touch with us today.