Adobe Photoshop is the preferred software of its kind on the market at the moment and there is a huge chance that this will not change in the future because of the quality that is offered. The problem is that the software can be pretty expensive for the regular users. This is why you might be looking for some free alternatives.
The good news is there are many free photo editing programs on the market and there are some that are pretty good. The following Photoshop alternatives are available with a freeware license and you can start using as soon as you download them.
GIMP is available as an open-source alternative to Adobe Photoshop. You can use it as a paint program, a photo retouching program or an image format converter, among others. Use it on both Windows and MAC and you will be happy to hear that most file formats are recognized, like JPEG, PNG, GIF and more. You can even find PSD support for some files, although some layer types cannot be read.
The best part of GIMP is that the developer community is large and user suggestions and feedback are considered. When you download, you get what most photographers need so you can edit photos very fast. If you need something extra, you just need to download a plugin for it.
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The big advantage of PIXLR X is that it works in your browser. You do not have to download anything. You can even use it from your smartphone. As a mobile photographer, this can be a huge advantage.
The interface is pretty modern and it does not matter what operating system you use. The software will work. Absolutely all the common basic adjustments that people use are available. Add text, tweak shadows, work with layers and add filters that are perfect for Instagram. If you have an Internet connection, you can use this free Photoshop alternative right now.
If you need more flexibility and you are a creative person, Krita might be the Adobe Photoshop freeway alternative you have been looking for. Many artists actually use it and there is an exclusive tagging system that is very good at swapping used brushes during photo editing. You can easily import texture packs and brushes so your toolset is expanded. Basically, brush customizations are practically endless.
The only problem is that you cannot use RAW filters and there is no history toolbar. However, most PSD files are supported and the interface is customizable so you build your own interface.
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Sumopaint has great functionality and a very simple design. You can use editing tools, wands, brushes, layering and much more without having to pay for such features. You can use the photo editing tool online because it is accessible through Flash and a Chromebooks web app is available. This one is cloud-based so you do not have to download anything. In the event that you want to download the software because you liked it, a paid version with a free 30 days trial is available.
Sumopaint features 100 layers with effects, over 300 brushes, access to a great online community and the interface is similar to Photoshop. While there is no support for PSD, guides or rulers, the gradient editor and included symmetry tools are quite impressive.
Photo Pos Pro
This complete photo editing suite markets itself as the best free photo editing software on the market and it is hard to argue with that. When it comes to creating art and enhancing photographs, the software is very good. Even the user interface is very simple and modern. Those that do not have experience can simply enable a novice layout and the expert layout does offer access to numerous fine-tuning editing tools that are appreciated.
Photos Pos Pro stands out because of the countless help tutorials available and impressive one-click editing tools for beginners. To make matters even better, RAW files are supported.
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Just as the name implies, this is a web-based Photoshop alternative. Its goal is to help you speed up editing, especially when referring to some simple tasks like converting or resizing photographs. You can use PSD files, CDR files and much more. You can even expand your project as PSD if you want to.
The pen and brush tool instantly stands out and the blend modes are very similar to what Photoshop has. You can use many premade templates and while some ads will be shown in the sidebar, the program will be free and should be considered.