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8 Best Photoshop Alternatives to Try in 2021


Are you looking for reliable Photoshop alternatives? Don’t want to pay for the subscription or just feel like trying something new? Though most people think about Adobe Photoshop when it comes to photo editing and manipulation, there are many other programs with interesting features and a rich toolset. This post contains a detailed description of top 8 paid and free Photoshop alternatives that are popular this year.

H2: 1. Online Photoshop Editor – Best Web Alternative


  • Feature-rich program
  • Support a large array of formats
  • You can use the same hotkeys as in Photoshop

This is a web Photoshop alternative, which you can use without downloading and installing a file on your computer. The program is especially suitable for people who use devices with limited storage. You can get access to the tools without undergoing time-consuming registration. Since the program resembles Photoshop a lot, people, who have already used the Adobe software, will easily adapt to a web environment.

Users can fully immerse into layer-based photo editing with the help of such tools as channels, Spot Healing, Patch Tool, selections, text layers, smart objects vector shapes, filters, and more. Besides, getting down to work is very easy thanks to a variety of templates. If your Internet connection suddenly drops, you can continue working in an offline mode, which is a rare case among browser-based instruments.

Though Online Photoshop Editor can’t stay on par with its bigger brother when it comes to advanced features, the available features and tools can fully cover the needs of most creatives. Moreover, the program is absolutely free. You can work with JPG, RAW, and PNG files, as well as open native Sketch, GIMP, and Photoshop formats.

H2: 2. GIMP – Best Free Alternative


  • Users get total freedom when adjusting the interface
  • Many features that can be further extended
  • Supports RAW and PSD files

GIMP has an open source code and is positioned as one of the best free Photoshop alternatives You can use it on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. The range of tools is truly mind-blowing and most of them resemble instruments available in Photoshop, so no wonder there are many GIMP vs Photoshop  comparative reviews.

As for the UI, it is different from what you see in Photoshop, but you can choose a specific version developed with Adobe users in mind, so that the getting-used-to phase will be as short as possible. Looking through the tools, you’ll find those for drawing, color correction, cloning, selection, and enhancement.

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Comparing GIMP to a similar image editing program, I can say that it takes up very little space. The developers did their best to create software capable of handling different formats and they achieved success in this regard. This Adobe Photoshop alternative supports all popular file formats and even contains a built-in file manager similar to that of Adobe Bridge.

The interface can be fully personalized for convenient work. The number of menus and tabs present in the main window can be easily increased/decreased. Of course, mastering such a feature-packed program can take some time, but there are numerous learning materials and video tutorials that can speed up the process.

GIMP is popular among users because of its extendable functionality via plug-ins. It even offers the tool, called Resynthesizer, which can serve as an alternative to Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop. Using this plug-in, you can significantly level up your photo editing routine.

H2: 3. PhotoScape X – Good Choice for Color Grading


  • More than 1K filters and effects
  • Great batch editing mode
  • Suitable for producing unique collages
  • Fix the Photo

If you are looking for a Photoshop alternative packed with different effects, filters, and image enhancement tools, which are available absolutely for free, you are unlikely to find a more suitable option. People usually download PhotoScape in order to beautify their images and transform them into works of art using 1000+ filters, effects, frames, and more.

When you’re done with creative changes, you can group your images into mood boards, collages, or animated GIFs. Besides, the program allows for various customizations – you can define a time for every frame, add transitions, insert text, etc.

The bragging point of the software is its efficient and lag-free functioning during batch processing. Moreover, PhotoScape supports PSD files, so switching from Photoshop to this program is a simple thing to do.

H2: 4. Luminar 4 – Impressive AI Features


  • Can work independently or as a plug-in for Adobe programs
  • AI edits applicable for a pack of photos
  • Non-destructive editing

This photo editing program is created with AI advancements in mind in order to make the entire workflow simpler and quicker. Luminar 4 can work as an independent program or as a plug-in for Photoshop CC or Lightroom. Users opt for this software because of the non-destructive photo processing it offers and the possibility to carry out advanced masking.

Choosing this Photoshop alternative, you get an AI sky replacement tool, AI portrait and skin enhancer, advanced AI structure and lighting filters, sunrays, a smart contrast tool to keep textures and colors intact, and object removal brushes.

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If you have never used this program before, you’ll be amazed by its modern interface fitted with all the needed tools. The workspace is divided into 6 separate panels – Layers, Canvas, Creative, Essentials, Portrait, and PRO.

You can activate any panel by clicking on it. The panel is immediately closed when you switch to another section. This way, you always have the needed instruments at hand without cluttering the working space.

H2: 5. Pixlr – Easy Navigation


  • Supports layers and masks
  • Adjustable UI
  • Opens images from desktop and URLs

Pixlr is one of the best online Photoshop alternatives that can cater to the needs of both beginner and professional users. In fact, the program is available in 2 versions – Pixlr X and E. The former is more intuitive to work with. You can embellish your photos with other images or inscriptions, adjust the size, and add filters in a quick way. If you want to make quick tweaks, this is an ideal variant to try.

Pixlr E has all the features available in the X version and some tools specifically aimed at more creative manipulations with images. For instance, here you’ll see the Heal, Burn, and Clone tools, which are absolutely easy to use and can come in handy for more complicated work.

Both image editors have something to interest users with and the choice solely depends on your particular demands. The best part is that you can use Pixlr X and Pixlr E without spending a cent and signing in.

H2: 6. Krita – Huge Collection of Brushes


  • Ability to assign shortcuts
  • Color management support
  • Opens PSD files

Krita is a free, open-source program capable of replacing Photoshop for users with average needs. This is a community-based tool mainly created for beginners who think of jumping to more sophisticated software.

The interface is absolutely straightforward and can be further customized for convenient work. Besides, it is possible to assign shortcuts to different tools and choose between light and dark color themes for a more personalized feel.

The interface borrows much from Ps, so if you have previously worked in the Adobe software, the adaptation process will be quick. However, those taking their first steps in photo editing and illustration, will need some help.

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They can watch video tutorials, read guides, and visit the dedicated community to fill gaps in their knowledge. Since this Adobe Photoshop alternative offers a selection of assistance tools (brush stabilizers, perspective grids, etc.), people learning digital artistry can also make good use of it.

Krita has an amazing collection of instruments – 100+ top-notch brushes, brush stabilizers for more accurate strokes, brush engines and even a brush resource manager, which allows importing new brushes and textures.

H2:  7. Paint.NET – Best Windows Alternative


  • Takes little space
  • Supports plug-ins
  • Batch editing mode

Paint.NET is a trustworthy Photoshop alternative for editing digital images. It appeals to users with decent selection tools, support for layers, numerous settings (curves, brightness/contrast,), and more. The program belongs to the group of open-source software, which means you can edit and manipulate its code to adapt it to your photo editing style. Paint.NET has a fantastic set of automatic filters and manual editing instruments for more precise adjustments.

The layer support and the possibility to install plug-ins, which in the long run means extending functionality, adds to the popularity of the program. Batch editing is standard. Using the Clone Stamp, you can get rid of distracting spots and defects.

A tabbed document interface is the highlight of the program. Thus, you can operate several docs or panels in one window and use tabs for instant switching. Moreover, the program shows a small thumbnail image for each tab instead of a text description, so that you can quickly understand where to move.

The software stands out among competitors with its super intuitive operation. The developer claims that even people with no prior experience can start editing images without experienced troubles.

H2: 8. Pixelmator Pro – Best Mac Alternative


  • Layer-based editing
  • AI-based operation
  • Multi-channel curves

This is a perfect variant for users owning Mac and Apple M1 devices. The automatic image editing capabilities of Pixelmator Pro have been tested on 20mln photos, so now the program works without flaws. Since this Adobe alternative is based on machine learning technology, it pleases users with smart guides, image repair, and non-destructive resizing.

Besides, you can upload RAW photos from more than 600 popular DSLRs. Moreover, it is possible to add RAW photos as RAW layers and get down to editing without performing prior processing.

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Pixelmator Pro allows exporting photos right to the web. So, you don’t have to use third-party instruments to edit and optimize files to output them to your website or other online platforms. However, such amazing opportunities await only Mac users, while their colleagues using Windows need to look for an alternative.

Source:Plato Data Intelligence





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