Adobe Photoshop is always the first choice for graphic designers all around the World. It’s mighty, loaded with lot of wonderful tools. As good as it is, Adobe Photo shop is pretty expensive too. Currently Adobe offers Photoshop as part of its Creative Cloud Platform. Adobe charges a monthly subscription fee of 9.99 US dollars for Adobe Photoshop. This could go beyond the budget of many.

But don’t worry, here we discuss about some amazing alternatives for Adobe Photoshop. I have included softwares catering to different groups – based on budget, type of use, platform and expertise level. Some of them can be downloaded free of cost while some of them can be purchased on a one-time payment.
Let’s check them out one by one.


Pixelmator is a robust, swift and versatile alternative for Adobe Photoshop for Mac users. The recently released Pixelmator version – Pixelmator 3.6 Cordillera is fully compatible with macOS Sierra. It’s available for download from the Mac App Store at a price of 29.99$.
A large variety of tools – Move Tool, Selection Tools, Painting Tools, Retouching Tools, Vector Tools, Type Tool and more are available in the Pixelmator Tool box. Managing layers is made simple with Pixelmator layers palette. More than 15 colour correction tools and about 160 effects are offered.
Image processing in Pixelmator is powered by the macOS technologies like Core Image, OpenCL, OpenGL and Grand Central Dispatch. All these along with its 64-bit architecture makes Pixelmator incredibly powerful.



GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is an open source graphic editor. GIMP is a cross platform image editor available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Also, its available for free download and thus one of the popular choices for graphic designers working on a limited budget.

GIMP offers various high-quality image manipulation tools for retouching, restoring, Selection editing, HDR, sharpening, colour correction and more. GIMP has excellent colour management features ensuring highly consistent colour reproduction to other mediums.
GIMP also allows scripted image manipulation through its integration with languages like C, C++, Python and more. It supports all the major file formats.


PaintShop Pro

PaintShop Pro by Coral is a popular alternative for Adobe Photoshop for Windows users. PaintShop Pro X9 is the latest professional photo editing software collection offered by PaintShop Pro. A standard version as well as an Ultimate is being offered. The price ranges from 80$-100$ and is one of the economical alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
AfterShot feature helps you to process RAW photos. Corrections and enhancements for photos can be done at once in Perfectly Clear 2 SE. Coral Creative Collection is also included with PaintShop Pro X9 Ultimate which gives access to variety of brushes, textures and backgrounds.


Affinity Photo

Affinity is another professional photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop and is available both for Mac and Windows. A new version Affinity Photo 1.5 has been launched recently.
Affinity Photo offers a dedicated RAW editing workspace, a comprehensive collection of professional photography tools, high end filters and effects, sophisticated selection refinement algorithm, precise photo stitching, effective retouching tools and more.
Affinity Photo can be purchased at a price of 49.99 US Dollars. You can also signup for a free trial of Affinity Photo through their official website.


Pixlr Editor

Pixlr offers various web based photo editing tools that could make photo editing easier than ever before. They are not as powerful as Adobe Photoshop, but they could be really helpful for your regular photo editing needs. It’s available for free and you do not even have to download them as they are web based tools.

Pixlr Editor has various options for selection, resizing, red-eye corrections, filters, effects, layers and more. Another Tool Pixlromatic can be used to add retro effects to your photos. Pixlr Express is another web based editing option that adds filters, overlays, stickers and more to your photos to make them look better.

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is basically a photo manager. Apart from being a photo manager, Lightroom also offer a good number of photo editing tools. So Lightroom is often used, even by professionals as an alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It’s convenient as you do not need to export your photos to a different application for editing.
Apart from the standard tools, Lightroom has various image manipulation tools, photo correction tools, colour adjustments, effects and filters and many more.


Inkscape is a free and open source vector graphics editor available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. It is primarily used for creation of various graphical objects like logos, charts, infographics etc. Apart from object creation, other tasks like object manipulation, fill and strokes, path operations and more are possible using Inkscape.

Inkscape is one of the most powerful designing options available for vector image creation. With a number of flexible drawing tools, text support tools and an extensive file format compatibility, Inkscape is a free and powerful designing alternative for designers. Latest version of Inkscape, Inkscape 0.92 is available for free download in their website.
Sketch is one powerful, versatile and professional digital design option available for Mac users. It’s available for download at a price of 99 US Dollars from their official website. It’s a highly scalable designer software, thanks to its fully vector based workflow.
Sketch is a popular choice among UI designer because of its powerful tools, reusable elements, bitmap editing options, layer and text styles and more. Sketch also has a built-in export option which makes exporting of artboards, CSS styles etc. easier than ever before. With all these options, Sketch is still a light software with high performance.

If you don’t have enough time to fix your pictures in Photoshop manually, use online photo retouching services like FixThePhoto or Weedit.photos. Just for $2 per a photo, they will do all necessary changes you need – from basic color correction to deep photo manipulations.

fix the photowe edit photo


So far, we discussed about 8 different alternative options for Adobe Photoshop. Though Adobe Photoshop is the global leader among graphic designing softwares, these softwares could replace Photoshop to an extent in their own respective ways. I would suggest you to go through each one of them and choose one that suits your budget and needs. I hope they could help you create great artworks at a lower cost.

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Wyatt Gilmore is the co-founder of 4 Directions Media, a full service digital marketing agency aiming to become the best at helping small business in digital marketing, graphic design, web and mobile application development. In his spare time, he is spending time with family or enjoying a round of golf. Follow him on Twitter @4DirectionsM.