8 Best Photoshop Alternatives in 2024 (Free and Paid)

Photoshop has become synonymous with image editing in general. It lets manipulate an image in any way, whether you want to fix a minor blemish or create something new out of nothing. However, all this comes at a steep subscription not everyone wants to pay, given there are other options out there. That’s why we have curated a list of the best Photoshop alternatives you should try.

The tools mentioned in this list are added based on their price, how much value they offer for them, and their popularity within the image editing community. With that said, let us take a look at this list.

1. Photopea

Photopea is one of those tools that you don’t even need to download in order to use it. It offers an identical experience to Photoshop right from your web browser. And you don’t miss out on any of the essential features as it comes with layers, masks, and selection tools. It can even open and save files in PSD (Photoshop’s native format).

Photopea Photo Editing | photoshop alternatives

But you have to note that it does not feel as optimized as Photoshop which is apparent since it is running on top of your browser. Photopea is a free-to-use tool and yet does not feature any ads within the interface, at least to the extent that we have used it. However, I feel it is best suited for making quick online edits. But the number of features does let you do more if you want to.

Free online editing toolClosing the tab will result in loss of project
Interface similar to PhotoshopStarts too slow down while heavy editing
Supports PSD file format
Also lets you make vector art

Pricing: Free

Availability: Works from Web Browser


GNU Image Manipulation Program also known as GIMP, reigns supreme in the free photo editing world. This open-source software boasts a ton of features that rival Photoshop, like layers, masks, and professional-grade photo editing tools. You can even create your digital artwork from scratch using it. Plus, it offers a vast library of plugins allowing for plenty of customizations.

GIMP Photo Editor

However, GIMP’s interface can feel a bit overwhelming, especially for beginners. The learning curve is steeper compared to some user-friendly options in this list. But if you’re a student learning professional graphic designing or an enthusiast willing to invest time in learning, GIMP is an absolute steal.

Plethora of photo editing toolsInterface can be complicated to understand
Vast library of pluginsDoesn’t open RAW files
Free, completely open-source software
Allows scripted image editing

Pricing: Free

Availability: Windows, macOS, and Linux

3. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo can be one of the good alternatives if you are switching from Photoshop but don’t want to start all over again with a new tool. It is a close alternative to Photopea which is popular among professional photographers and designers. This tool carries a lot of tools and features from Photoshop, even the interface to some extent, and runs overall smoother on lower-spec machines.

Affinity Photo Editor

However, what I consider the best part about Affinity is that it is a one-time purchase, so you can get licensed software without having to pay a hefty monthly subscription fee. Though you won’t find some advanced AI features that have recently been introduced with Photoshop, overall, Affinity is a pretty well-rounded alternative.

Runs better on limited hardwareSome advanced AI features are not available
One time purchase
Mirrors Photoshop’s features and interface
Also available for iPad

Pricing: One-time payment of $34.99

Availability: Windows and macOS

4. Skylum Luminar Neo

Skylum Luminar Neo caters to a different audience. Right off the bat, I want to make it clear that it is more of an image enhancement and refining tool instead of a full-fledged editing software like Photoshop. It can help you adjust the lightning of the sky, or fix blemishes using its AI-powered tools. You can also find advanced features here like masking tools, object removal, and portrait retouching.

Skylum Luminar Neo Photoshop Alternative
Image Courtesy: Skylum Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo is best suited for people who often take and edit landscape photos or portraits. It does not give you as much flexibility as Photoshop or some other alternatives in this list but it does well for the job it’s intended for. However, it is also a subscription-based service. Users can also use its plugin for Photoshop to try out the tool before they shift to a new platform.

AI tools for one click image enhancementDoes not let you draw or manipulate the photo
Easy to use interfaceRequires a subscription service
Some advanced tools are also available Steep lifetime purchase license
Can be used as a Photoshop pluginNo free trial

Pricing: Yearly subscription of $99 or $249 for a one-time purchase

Availability: Windows, macOS, and Plugin for Photoshop

5. Pixelmator Pro

If you are a Mac user then you should surely try out Pixelmator Pro. This tool is specifically designed for Mac users offering a streamlined Photoshop-like experience on the platform. It works well with the Photos app and lets you combine photo editing with illustration and painting tools in a single program. It also comes with some machine-learning features that automatically enhance your image as required.

Photomator Pro MacOS
Image Courtesy: Photomator

The user interface is pretty clean and well thought out and it runs surprisingly well on Macs, even on the older models. Though as a professional you can use it, it is directed more towards casual or inexperienced users. The Pro version of this tool unlocks a lot of features however it also comes for $49.99 as a one-time purchase. It is a good option for photographers on Mac.

Good set of retouching and enhancement toolsLimited feature set compared to Photoshop
Well designed user interface
Works quite smoothly on Macs
Supports PSD and other file formats

Pricing: One-time purchase price $49.99

Availability: macOS

6. Pixlr

For anyone who has been editing photos for a while now may have heard about Pixlr. This online tool, much like Photopea lets you edit images right from your browser. The tool has been quite popular among students for all the features it has, and all the adjustments it lets you make along with options like filters, overlays, and borders.

Pixlr Online Image Editing Tool

Pixlr has also recently introduced some AI-oriented features like Faceswap and image generation. However, about a year ago, the company changed its policy to allow for limited exports per day which turned off a lot of users. Currently, you can use the free version with limited features or go with the monthly subscription which is still pretty cheap compared to Photoshop. It is a good option for people who want to do some light image editing for projects or personal files.

Supports LayersOnly three exports per day
Runs in a web browserRequires sign up to use
Lightweight and fastUnlimited saves require Premium subscription
Features AI tools for image generation

Pricing: Free and Paid, base plan starts at $1.99

Availability: Runs from a web browser

7. PhotoScape X

Before Photoshop, this was the tool that I used to use excessively daily. PhotoScape X is a standard photo editing tool that you can use to make minor adjustments and edits to an image. It doesn’t offer features like layers which is common with other Photoshop alternatives. Instead, it features a bunch of filters, frames, resizing, and other adjustment tools that you can use to refine your image.

PhotoScape X

What I like the most about is its batch editing option that lets you edit multiple images in a single batch saving you a lot of time and effort. Its interface is also simple enough that your parents can start using it. Plus it runs quite well on devices with lower-end hardware. The only issue with PhotoScape X is some of its features are locked behind the Pro subscription. Still, you can make the most out of it in the free version.

Lets you batch-edit photosSome features locked in Pro subscription
Includes a wide list of filters and other adjustments Does not support some file formats
Simple to use layout
Smooth operation on lower-end devices

Pricing: Free

Availability: Windows and macOS

8. Krita

Krita is a compelling alternative to Photoshop, especially for those focused on illustration and concept art. Developed by artists, for artists, it is a free and open-source painting program. It boasts over 100 different types of brushes, with multiple brush engines and a stabilizer that helps you get clean, natural strokes. It also supports layers, for complex art.

Krita Illustration Tool

The interface is similar to that of Photoshop’s layout. However, it’s important to note that Krita lacks some of the advanced photo editing features found in Photoshop. So, if you’re a digital artist and want a free solution for creating art and illustrations then you should try out Krita.

Variety of different brush stylesDoes not feature advanced editing tools
Advanced drawing tools
Free and open source
Oriented towards digital artists

Pricing: Free

Availability: Windows, Linux, and macOS

This brings us to the end of this list. There are a number of different image editing tools that you can find online, that are way more affordable compared to Photoshop. If you’re looking for tools to edit videos on your phone, then there are some options you can check from our Video Editing Apps for iPhone and Android lists. In case you have any doubts regarding this list then let us know in the comments section.

comment Comments 45
  • fastclippingpath says:

    I love learning new software. Thank you so much for introducing us to so much software.

  • Lisa Madden says:

    Thanks so much for this OH-SO-USEFUL and VERY-MUCH-NEEDED info. I have lost all of my office (software, electronics, et cetera) in a fire and am restarting, on a no-budget/low-budget mission. You have definitely helped me. I went through so many unhelpful on-line articles. I wasted so much time until I found this site. Many Blessings to you.

  • Loyce says:

    I feel GIMP is extremely difficult for beginners. I just want to make transparent pictures in order to change backgrounds on my photos for my website. I’ve watched so many GIMP tutorials on YouTube, however, either the instructor goes so fast you can’t follow, or their screen looks way different from mine. I need a simple no fuss photo editor that will allow me to create beautiful pictures of my products.

  • Cathy says:

    Thanks for such informative article. GIMP is good, but this time I prefer Movavi Editor.

  • Pratik Kafle says:

    Yeah These are indeed a good alternative to Photoshop. Thanks Akshay For This awesome article.

  • Allaiyah says:

    Dated interface is a PRO for me.

  • San says:

    As per the Affinity website, they have RAW Editing. Not sure though.

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