Photoshop Alternatives That Are Both Free and Good

Photoshop Alternatives That Are Both Free and Good

Hey there! So, how is Photoshop like the king of photo editing software, but it can be expensive? Well, fear not, my friend! There are some awesome alternatives out there that won’t break the bank. In this guide, we’ll explore some free and high-quality options that can give Adobe’s behemoth a run for its money.

Photoshop is a powerhouse for image editing, but it’s not always accessible to everyone due to its cost. Having alternatives is crucial for folks who can’t afford Photoshop or just prefer to spend their hard-earned money elsewhere.

In today’s world, everyone wants to put their best foot forward on social media or create stunning graphics for personal or professional projects. Free and good alternatives provide the tools needed without emptying your wallet. Whether you’re a student, a small business owner, or just a creative enthusiast, these alternatives can be a game-changer.

In the sections to follow, we’ll dive into some fantastic options like GIMP, Krita, Photopea, Pixlr, and Canva. We’ll chat about what makes each one unique, their pros and cons, and where they shine the brightest. So, stick around for some budget-friendly photo editing wisdom!

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) as Photoshop Alternative
© Alphr

Ah, GIMP – the granddaddy of free image editing software. Let’s get to know it a bit better:

GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, and it’s been around for a while. It’s a free, open-source software that’s a solid alternative to Photoshop. Here’s what you need to know:

Key Features

GIMP comes packed with some cool features:

  • Layer support: Just like Photoshop, GIMP lets you work with layers to create complex compositions.
  • Advanced tools: You’ll find a wide array of brushes, filters, and effects to spruce up your images.
  • Customizable: GIMP allows you to personalize your workspace and tools, making it super flexible.
  • Plugin support: You can expand its functionality with a bunch of third-party plugins.

User interface

Now, the user interface might not be as sleek and polished as Photoshop’s, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straightforward. It has menus, panels, and a canvas where you work on your images.


It’s FREE!

Powerful image editing capabilities.

Extensive community and online support.


The learning curve can be a bit steep for beginners.

The interface might not be as user-friendly as some other options.


Krita as Photoshop Alternative
© OMG! Linux

Next up, we have Krita, a real gem for digital artists and illustrators:

Krita is an open-source digital painting software that’s especially well-known for its powerful illustration and painting tools. It’s not just a Photoshop alternative; it’s a digital artist’s dream.

Primary functions

Here’s why Krita is a favorite among artists:

  • Natural brushes: Krita offers a plethora of realistic brushes that mimic traditional art mediums.
  • Layer blending: You can experiment with blending modes and layer effects to create stunning artwork.
  • Animation support: Krita even lets you create 2D animations, making it a versatile choice.
  • Customizable workspace: You can tailor the interface to your liking, focusing on what you need.

Graphical user interface (GUI)

Krita’s user interface is designed with artists in mind. It’s intuitive and clean, with various tools neatly organized for easy access.


  • Ideal for digital artists, illustrators, and animators.
  • Regular updates and community support.
  • Free to use and constantly evolving.


  • While it excels in painting and illustration, it might not be as versatile for general photo editing.


Photopea as Photoshop Alternative
© Kru Mark Tutorials

Let’s talk about Photopea – a nifty little online photo editor that’s making waves:

Photopea is a web-based image editor that closely resembles Photoshop. It’s pretty impressive, especially considering it runs in your browser without any installations.

Critical elements

Photopea brings some great tools to the table:

  • Familiar interface: It has a UI that’ll make Photoshop users feel right at home.
  • Layer support: Work with layers, blend modes, and all those advanced editing features.
  • File format compatibility: It can open and save files in various formats, including PSD (Photoshop files).
  • Responsive design: Whether you’re on a PC, tablet, or phone, Photopea adapts to your screen size.

Interface design

The user interface is where Photopea shines. If you’ve ever used Photoshop, you’ll find it eerily familiar. It’s like having a free Photoshop clone right in your browser.


  • Online accessibility: You can edit your images from any device with a web browser.
  • User-friendly interface: Ideal for those who are already familiar with Photoshop.
  • Loads of features: It’s got a bunch of Photoshop-like capabilities.


  • While it’s free to use, you might encounter some ads.
  • It might not be as powerful as the full version of Photoshop.


Pixlr as Photoshop Alternative
© Pixlr

Alright, it’s time to talk about Pixlr, a snappy online photo editor that’s perfect for quick fixes:

Pixlr is an easy-to-use online image editor that offers both free and premium versions. It’s all about simplicity and speed.

Main attributes

Pixlr keeps it simple, with features like:

  • Basic editing tools: Crop, resize, adjust brightness and contrast, and more.
  • Filters and effects: Easily apply filters to add style to your photos.
  • Layer support: The premium version offers more advanced editing options.
  • Mobile app: You can edit on the go with the Pixlr mobile app.

Front end

Pixlr’s user interface is clean and intuitive, with straightforward menus and options. It’s a no-frills photo editing experience.


  • Quick and easy for basic editing tasks.
  • Available as both a web app and a mobile app.
  • Affordable premium version with more features.


  • The free version has limitations compared to the premium.
  • Not suitable for in-depth, professional photo editing.


Canva as Photoshop Alternative
© Photo Retouching Services

Now, let’s dive into Canva, a versatile design platform that’s more than just an image editor:

Canva is an all-in-one design platform that caters to a wide range of creative needs. It’s not just for image editing; it’s a design powerhouse for everything from social media graphics to presentations.

Principal characteristics

Canvas got a lot going for it:

  • Templates galore: Canva offers a plethora of templates for various design projects.
  • Drag-and-drop editor: You don’t need to be a design pro to create beautiful visuals.
  • Stock media: Access a vast library of photos, illustrations, and more.
  • Collaboration tools: Work with a team on design projects.

User experience (UX) design

Canva’s interface is user-friendly and inviting. You can create designs with ease, even if you’re not a seasoned designer.


  • Versatility: It’s not just for photo editing; it covers a wide spectrum of design needs.
  • Easy for beginners: Drag-and-drop functionality makes it accessible to all.
  • Great for collaborative projects.


  • The free version has limitations, and some features are behind a paywall.
  • While it’s excellent for basic image editing, it’s not as robust as dedicated photo editors.

Comparison of the above alternatives

Now, let’s put these Photoshop alternatives head-to-head and see how they stack up against each other:

Feature comparison

  • GIMP: Robust image editing capabilities with a learning curve.
  • Krita: Ideal for digital artists with advanced painting tools and animation support.
  • Photopea: A web-based editor that closely resembles Photoshop with a familiar interface.
  • Pixlr: Quick and easy for basic edits, suitable for casual users.
  • Canva: More than just an image editor, with a wide range of design templates and collaborative tools.

Usability and learning curve

  • GIMP: Might take some time to get the hang of, especially for beginners.
  • Krita: User-friendly for artists, with a bit of a learning curve for non-artists.
  • Photopea: Familiar for Photoshop users, but might require some adjustment for others.
  • Pixlr: Intuitive and easy to use, even for those new to photo editing.
  • Canva: Very user-friendly, especially for those without a design background.

Platform availability

  • GIMP: Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Krita: Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Photopea: Web-based, accessible from any device with a web browser.
  • Pixlr: Available as a web app and a mobile app for both Android and iOS.
  • Canva: Web-based, with a mobile app available for both Android and iOS.

Community and support

  • GIMP: Strong community support with plenty of online resources and tutorials.
  • Krita: Active community with regular updates and online support.
  • Photopea: Growing community with online support available.
  • Pixlr: Support is available through the Pixlr website and community forums.
  • Canva: Extensive support with tutorials, guides, and a helpful online community.

Each of these alternatives has its unique strengths, so it depends on what you’re looking for and what suits your specific needs. Take a closer look at their features, usability, and community support to find the perfect fit for you!


Alright, it’s decision time. Let’s wrap it up and help you pick the right alternative for your needs:

Suggestions for selecting the right alternative

  1. Consider your needs: What kind of editing or design work do you do most often? Are you into digital art, quick social media posts, or more extensive image manipulation? Choose an alternative that aligns with your primary use.
  1. Your familiarity with Photoshop: If you’re already comfortable with Photoshop, Photopea might be your best bet due to its Photoshop-like interface. For digital artists, Krita is an excellent choice.
  1. Learning curve: Think about your willingness to invest time in learning a new tool. GIMP and Krita offer powerful features but come with steeper learning curves, while Pixlr and Canva are more user-friendly.
  1. Platform and accessibility: Consider where and how you want to use the software. Web-based options like Photopea and Pixlr are great if you need flexibility across devices. If you prefer desktop software, GIMP and Krita are solid choices.
  1. Community and support: Take into account the availability of tutorials, guides, and online communities. A strong support system can be a lifesaver when you run into questions or problems.

The world of image editing and design is more accessible than ever, thanks to these amazing free alternatives. Whether you’re a professional, a hobbyist, or just looking to spruce up your social media game, you can find the right tool that suits your style.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Each alternative has its strengths and is a valuable resource in its own right. The best part? You don’t need to break the bank to unleash your creative side.

So, take your time to explore these options, give a couple of them a test drive, and find the one that makes your editing and design tasks a breeze. Happy creating, my friend!

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