Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Photoshop Alternatives Photoshop is the undisputed class leader when it comes to image and photo editing. However, the wide range of functions of the software also has its price. Since not everyone can afford the high monthly costs of the Adobe Creative Cloud in the long term, we have collected 10 Photoshop alternatives for you in this article that cost less or even nothing at all.


1. Canvas

If you’re looking for a graphics program for your online business, you can’t go past Canva . The program has thousands of ready-made templates ready for you: From Instagram posts to YouTube banners or screen presentations, you will find the right template for every area. Numerous other features such as an integrated image database, symbols or shapes complete Canva’s offer. If you opt for the Pro version, the range of functions will be Photoshop Alternatives  significantly expanded.

Among other things, you can save images in PNG format with transparent backgrounds, get access to millions of premium images or enjoy the background remover for images. While Canva doesn’t really compare to Photoshop, it comes highly recommended if you’re going online. A particular highlight is the team function. If you work with external freelancers, you can integrate them into your workspace. Afterwards you have the possibility to place orders directly via Canva and to examine the finished designs there.

What does the Pro version offer?

  • Brand documents: Define fonts, colors and designs that belong to your brand and integrate them into nine designs with the push of a button
  • Background Remover: Retouch away annoying backgrounds from images with a simple mouse click. This feature is really awesome when you need transparent images of objects (product images) or people.
  • Resizing: Change the dimensions of a design at any time, even while editing.
  • Team function: You can add up to 5 people to your team. You also get a content planner to structure workflows.
  • 100 GB online storage
  • Access to 100 million (!) premium stock photos
  • 610,000 templates


  • For free
  • Very beginner friendly
  • Browser application, desktop and smartphone app
  • Great templates for every area
  • Competent support
  • Team function for perfect collaboration
  • Access to numerous stock photos
  • Pre-made shapes and objects


  • Pro version a bit expensive at 9 euros/month
  • The range of functions is significantly lower than in Photoshop


Photoshop Alternatives Gimp was originally developed for Linux, but today it is one of the most popular graphics programs for Windows and Mac. The great thing about Gimp is that it now includes many of Photoshop’s features, but is distributed as free open source software. In the meantime, a huge community has formed around the program, which is happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also find high-quality explanatory videos on YouTube for almost every topic and all functions. The only drawback: the usability. The user interface is very reminiscent of the old days of Linux and the usability of the program is not comparable to modern applications. Nevertheless, Gimp is a really excellent and very extensive graphics program that leaves almost nothing to be desired.


  • For free
  • Regular updates
  • Numerous free tutorials (YouTube)
  • A lot of tools


  • Surface takes some getting used to

3. Affinity Photo

At a low price of just 54.99 euros, Affinity Photo gives you a very functional image editing program that comes close to Adobe Photoshop in many areas. We deliberately use the phrase “close enough” here, because Affinity Photo is not a full-fledged Photoshop replacement. However,Photoshop Alternatives  the differences between the two programs will only be noticed by real professionals, normal users will probably not exhaust the range of functions of Affinity Photo by a long shot. You will definitely find all the tools you need for comprehensive photo editing. Especially people who are switching to this program will have their fun with this program, because the programmers have orientated themselves very much on Photoshop. Even the keyboard shortcuts are nearly identical.


  • Free Trial
  • Favorable one-time price
  • Clean interface
  • Large range of functions
  • Strongly based on Photoshop
  • Numerous tutorials on YouTube


  • We couldn’t find any

4. Pixelmator Pro

Photoshop Alternatives Pixelmator Pro is one of the top-rated programs in the Mac App Store: With over 7,000 ratings, it achieves an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars. This is no coincidence, because Pixelmator Pro convinces with an almost unbeatable price-performance ratio. For 39.99 euros you get a very comprehensive image editing program for the Mac that hardly misses a function. The interface looks tidy and clear, the included tools are gigantic. Even the artificial intelligence of the Apple Framework has been integrated, so that many automations can be created and work done quickly. Of course, Pixelmator is compatible with most image formats such as RAW or HEIF. What is the direct comparison to Photoshop? Pixelmator cannot keep up here across the board. However, this program is more than sufficient for private users who have not used all the functions in Photoshop.


  • Excellent value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Large range of functions
  • Very fast workflows
  • German translation
  • Regular updates


  • Doesn’t quite match Photoshop
  • No MacBook touch bar support
  • Crashes every now and then

    5. Affinity Designer

    Photoshop Alternatives Affinity Designer is the right choice if you want to create vectors and graphics for your website or add graphic elements to photos. Even if the program can only be compared to Photoshop to a limited extent due to the way it works, you should take a closer look at Affinity Designer, especially if you are looking for an online graphics program. Among other things, the program is ideal for removing the background from images, combining the content of several photos or simply creating things like logos or icons for your website. The price is really sensational in view of the range of functions offered.


    • Very clear user interface
    • Favorable price (one-time payment)
    • Free Trial
    • Large range of functions
    • Suitable for beginners
    • Numerous tutorials and instructions on the web


    • Cannot compete with Photoshop for photo editing

    6. Luminar AI

    In professional circles, Luminar AI is considered one of the best Photoshop alternatives ever. In fact, the feature set really rivals that of Photoshop, with Luminar AI available at a significantly lower price point. The special feature lies in the artificial intelligence (AI) of the program, which supports you in many areas. For example, with the AI ​​Sky Enhancer you can adjust the sky on pictures to your wishes with just a few mouse clicks and without any previous experience. Things like exposure, shadows or tonal value can also be optimized in no time at all. Even removing and replacing objects or people in an image, which for a long time was only possible satisfactorily with Photoshop, is no problem for Luminar AI. However, you should be aware that this program requires some training and is not as simple as Canva , for example .


    • Favorable price (one-time payment)
    • Large range of functions
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Many different effects included
    • Very beginner friendly


    • Training period required
    • Weaknesses in data organization

    7. ACDSee

    ACDSee comes with all the features you would expect from a comprehensive image editing program. This includes removing red eyes, adjusting the photo size or optimizing color effects. However, the real strength lies in the organization of large image databases. With the help of ACDSee you can sort and group thousands of images as well as provide them with individual META data. The program is therefore the right alternative if your focus is on organization and you only want to optimize your images slightly. The editing tools in particular do not reach the scope of Photoshop. By the way: With ACDSee Photo Studio 7, the Mac version is finally coming.


    • Perfect at organizing photos
    • Add custom META data to images
    • Simple optimization tools
    • Cheap price
    • Expandable with additional programs


    • Mac version a bit expensive
    • Tools significantly reduced compared to Photoshop

    8. Polarr

    Polarr is a simple and rudimentary image editing program that you can access for free via the browser. You can add color effects or text fields, crop images or add elements to landscape images directly in the browser application. Polarr certainly doesn’t come close to Photoshop in terms of functionality, but it’s a really great alternative if you only want to make small changes to your images and don’t want to get used to complex programs. The program has also been available as a Mac app for several years, which can be downloaded from the App Store. Here, Polarr achieved a very respectable rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. By the way: Polarr can handle most file formats such as PNG, BMP, JPG or RAW.


    • For free
    • Browser based
    • Easy handling
    • App available


    • Very little functionality

    9. Darktable

    Similar to Gimp, darktable is also a free, open-source program. Especially if you often work with files in RAW format, darktable is a very useful program that can compete with Photoshop in some areas. The tools are not nearly as extensive, but the program has its strengths in the organization of large amounts of data. You can use the so-called “dark room” to quickly and easily carry out various tasks such as white balance, contrast enhancement or vignetting.


    • For free
    • Open source and continuous development
    • RAW conversion possible
    • Perfect at organizing large databases


    • Tools somewhat limited

    10. Photopea

    Photopea is another browser-based application that definitely cannot be missed from our list. The program provides you with numerous tools that you also know from Photoshop and can even handle file formats such as PSD, RAW, PDF or CDR. Not only can you work on several levels with Photopea, you also get numerous repair and correction tools at hand. Even removing the background is easily possible. So it’s definitely worth taking a look, especially since you can find many YouTube videos that explain the basic functions excellently if you have any questions or problems.


    • For free
    • Browser based
    • Very extensive functions
    • Tidy menu
    • Working on several levels possible
    • Compatible with many file formats


    • Lots of ads in the free version

      Which software is suitable for whom?

      We have tried to cover many different claims in this list of the best Photoshop alternatives. The fact is: There is no one best photo editing program. The software sometimes differs significantly in terms of its range of functions and orientation, so you should first analyze your needs in order to find the right program for you. Roughly, the following categorization can be made:

      • Online Business: Canva
      • All-rounder: Gimp, Affinity Photo, Photopea, Luminar AI
      • Organizational skills: Darktable, ACDSee
      • Entry level applications : Pixelmator, Polarr
      • Illustrator: Affinity Designer

      Is Photoshop free?

      A current, free Photoshop version is not available. You can only test the program for 30 days for free. However, the monthly fee for the Adobe membership is then due.

      If you can settle for an older version:

      A full version of Photoshop CS2 from 2005 is available for free download, e.g. B. at Techspot .

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