12 Best Photoshop Alternatives You Should Try in 2021

Back in the day, Photoshop was at the foreground of the editing space, and was the only high-end software to beautify the images, especially the ones needed for the professional purposes. However, the technological push has changed the industry dynamics, and now, we have a couple of editing options to try our hands on, which share the space with the behemoth – The Photoshop.

While Photoshop is expensive, and can sometimes be a bit clumsy, these alternatives are a pretty good return. Below, find out the best alternatives to Photoshop for 2021 which you should definitely try.

Free Photoshop Alternatives – The Best of the Lot

1. GIMP- Several Notches Higher


Image Credit- gimp.org

GNU Image Manipulation Program, or the GIMP, is a front-running Photoshop alternative with bounds of excitement loaded in it. The software is indeed a class-apart, spiffing up your pictures with features, which are seemingly out straight from the Photoshop’s dashboard. It is an easy-to-use free Photoshop alternative, and a delightful one at that.

Key Takeaways

  1. GIMP is an abbreviation for GNU Image Manipulation Program.
  2. Not exactly like Photoshop, quite understandably, but lets you edit your pictures with a multitude of effects, which are unique and catching to the eyes.
  3. Packed with an array of capabilities, including Selective Editing, Re-touching, Noise Removal, Color Correction and HDR/Plug-in support.
  4. Despite not being a close drawer to Photoshop, professional editing gets a thumbs-up here.

Workable On: Windows, MAC, UNIX, SkyOS, UNIX and Linux.

Price: Free


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2. Pixlr – Photoshop’s Long Lost Cousin


To speak candidly, Pixlr is cut from the same cloth as that of Photoshop. The only differentiating factor is the cost. Pixlr is an impressive image editing software, offering the same level of detail and dynamism as that of Photoshop’s paid services, and that’s pretty much a hefty reason to deduce why it’s one of the most sought-after Photoshop alternatives.

Key Takeaways

  1. The best recourse to anyone seeking a Photoshop double, and often touted as the best web-based image editing software after the biggie;
  2. Well-tuned to fit multiple formats, including BMP, GIF. PNG, TIFF, and JPEG;
  3. Capitalize on Pixlr’s band of features, including Re-Sizing, Text overlays, Red-eye removal, Teeth whitener and so on;
  4. The two app renditions are – Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express.

Workable On: Windows, Android and iOS

Price: Free


Photoshop Alternatives Online

3. Fotor- Awesomeness In Beta


Fotor definitely kills it, for being called as the Lite Photoshop by the BBC. It’s a free online photo editorpowerful and globally-accessible to take all sorts of your editing expeditions onboard with a streamlined set of features, sure to wow you. Apart from the collage and edit options, Fotor doesn’t go without an appreciative mention for its ‘design’ feature. With Fotor, thoughts may exhaust; possibilities can never.

Key Takeaways

  1. A complete suite of edits and enhancements for controlling exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation and white balance makes it a pretty neat free Photoshop alternative.
  2. Blur, Lomo, Webcam and Mosaic effects available, along with sticklers, color splashes and tilt shift commands;
  3. Beauty retouching and HDR photography are the hit features.
  4. Quite a thing when it comes to creating advertising banners for various social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
  5. A wealth of tutorials and guides available to bolster your understanding about the software.

Workable On: Windows, MAC, Android and iPhone.

Price: Free


4. PicMonkey – Ape Around With Your Photos


PicMonkey is where our loyalties rest, and all the envy of the industry rivals. This image editing software tops the game with its amazing fleet of Instagram-like image effects, and other modish features that create pictures of far more gravitas. Least wonder, PicMonkey is an online Photoshop alternative that does work effectively well.

Key Takeaways

  1. Top-end image magnifiers at your disposal, including the blemish and wrinkle eliminators, along with the essential effects, such as Sepia and B&W;
  2. Image overlays, such as moustaches and hats, and stickers add a tangy twist to the images;
  3. Meme-maker fonts available to create the real joys of the Internet – the memes;
  4. Keep an active supply of your edited images on social channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram;

Workable On: Only Web.

Price: Free


5. SumoPaint – Cloud Benefits


SumoPaint is a free Photoshop alternative online, allowing users to edit pictures on the browser itself. It is a very simple and effective app that helps you keep a proper track of your images that are saved in the cloud.

Key Takeaways

  1. A variety of 50 different editing filters and effects;
  2. Ladled with features, such as Symmetry Tool, Custom Overlays, Collage maker, Gradients, Brushes and much more;
  3. A lightweight and fun-filled app;

Workable On: Only Web

Price: Available as both FREE and Paid versions. The PRO wing of the application costs around $4/pm.


Best Photoshop Alternatives for Windows and Android

6. Paint.NET- MS Paint Gone Wild!


Image Credit- getpaint.net

Treat yourself to the distinction of Windows Paint application with a hint of professional artistry to it. Paint.NET graced the floors as an upgraded version of the default Paint tool – a factor which brings us to the fact that the old school craze is well-cherished. Plus, the software has a slew of features, which gets you covered through and through, but of course, not as comprehensively as Photoshop.  

Key Takeaways

  1. A perfect grab for pictures, which look magically real.
  2. Supports a good number of formats, including JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, RAW files and PNG.
  3. Multiply your scope of work on Paint.NET by installing the plug-ins.
  4. Discover more with features like Selective Editing, Histogram, Retouching, Noise Removal, Color Correction and more.

Workable On: Windows 7 and the subsequent versions.

Price: Free


Also see our article on Best Free Photo Stitching Software in 2019

7. Photomania- No Frill Just Skill!


Photomania is a no-frills application (no registration required) with resources that jack up the aesthetic quotient of your pictures. The software allows user to apply basic touch-ups to the pictures with ease, and even the advanced editing options are more than just good. Photomania boasts about a filter count that shoots up to 70. Yes, 70 in total!

Key Takeaways

  1. If numbers are the only thing, PhotoMania claims to have edited over 2 BN pictures on its interface by over 40 million users worldwide.
  2. With an elaborate array of features, a picture turns into an exquisite work of art – neat and snazzy.
  3. Cartoon, painting and animation effects are applause-worthy additions.
  4. Share your images-cum-art pieces on social media in a single push of a key.

Workable On: Android and iOS

Price: Free


Photoshop Alternatives for Mac

8. CinePaint- Plain Beautiful


CinePaint shouldn’t be mistaken as a software of prosaic picks, as it is arguably one of the best Photoshop equals. The software excels at image retouching, supporting the color fidelity as high as 32-bit. CinePaint is a total charmer when it’s about fidgeting with your images in stunning ways.

Key Takeaways

  1. Used by a bunch of Hollywood-based production studios to craft stellars on-screen. If this doesn’t impress you, we don’t know what will.
  2. Supports a variety of file formats that include DPX, JPEG, CIN, MP, OpebEXR, XCF and TIFF.
  3. A tool of great value, and capable of doing image retouching and framing with a lot of depth.

Workable On: BSD, Unix, Mac OS, and Linux.

Price: Free


9. Seashore


Seashore bats on the same field as that of GIMP, making it strikingly similar to the latter in terms of online photo effects and other offerings. Also, it uses the same native format as that of GIMP. But unlike GIMP, Seashore targets your basic, day-to-day editing needs only, and isn’t of much service for professional imaging needs. It’s a photo editor for Mac OS X’s cocoa framework and is very minimalistic in design.

Key Takeaways

  • Supports basic editing needs. There’s still a lot to be worked on to make it a top-notch professional product.
  • Features textures, gradients and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes.
  • User-friendly and offers smooth navigation.
  • Packs Alpha channel support.

Workable On: Mac OS X

Price: Free


Best Photoshop Alternatives (Paid)

10. Paintshop Pro X9- Effort Efficient

Paintshop Pro X9

Image Credit- paintshoppro.com

With the professional help of Paintshop Pro X9, you can create a mojo collection of your pictures, because this software is a pure luxury inside. It’s an easy, swift and very, very creative software, which adds a distinct flavor to your pictures. Use the much-loved one-click enhancements to create the best pictures.

Key Takeaways

  1. Lots of image editing effects, which can be extended using the Plug-ins.
  2. An interface that’s smooth and easy to navigate across.
  3. The tools are the best of the crop, and work realistically.
  4. Features, such as Magic Brush, Color Palettes, and Enhanced Dialog Boxes available.

Workable On: Windows PC only (7, 8 and 10 versions)

Price: Purchase from Corel for $79.99. If opted for the ‘Ultimate’ edition, pay $99.99. This also comes compounded with AfterShot photo workflow app, Perfectly Clear photo corrector, and Live Screen capture for Screen Recording.


11. Adobe Photoshop Elements 14- More Advanced Than Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop Elements 14

Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 is an extension to the software class, but is nowhere close to the advanced features of the original Photoshop. You get the best of the basics, but really feel the need of the Big Daddy – the Adobe Photoshop.

Key Takeaways

  1. A mediocre, cost-friendly software with a limited range of features.
  2. An ideal proposition for the newbies and the inexperienced.
  3. Better face recognition edits, coupled with enhancers, such as De-Faze and Shake Reduction features.
  4. No curve adjustments, and features for Camera Raw plugin are missing.

Workable On: Windows 10,8 and 7 SP1; Apple MAC 10.10, 10.11 or 10.12.

Price: Costs $99.99 as a standalone product, and goes on to cost $149.99 when accompanied by ‘Premiere Elements’.


12. Paintshop Pro 2019 By Corel

Paintshop Pro 2018 By Corel

This is the most latest version of PaintShop Pro X7, and it’s safe to say that Photoshop has some serious competition escalating in the backyard. Coming from Corel – one of the biggest names in the industry – this professional editing tool has a lot to offer. It features improvements to almost each tool, and has new workplaces added for specialized editing. What’s more? The interface has been made smart and simple for faster navigation, so that you can hop from one menu to another with zero fuss.

Key Takeaways

  • Simplified interface with bigger icons.
  • Better creative content with availability of new color palettes, brushes, gradients, patterns and textures.
  • Faster launch time and excellent features with improved quick fixes, like Crop, Straighten and other adjustments.
  • Third-party plugins available, like Google Nik Collection and Topaz Labs.

Workable On: Windows

Price: $63.14; Free Trial Available


This is our user guide for best alternatives to Photoshop (free and paid) for Windows, Mac and Android platforms. These software programs have everything you need to add a dab of finish to your photographs, from top-notch enhancements, simplified UI and faster controls. And to top it all, they have the same level of expertise and utility as that of Photoshop, which make the best photo editing replacements on the pyramid.