9 Best Photoshop Alternatives

Photo by Daniel Korpai on Unsplash

As a photographer, artist and creative utilizing powerful editing software is a necessity for your work. While Photoshop has been the go-to product for creating digital art, there are a number of newly designed products available on the market.

If you are searching for an alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop image editing system, you can seamlessly find a program that fits your editing and creative needs. Here are the top 9 alternatives to Photoshop.


Sketch brands itself as the digital design tool kit. It offers features such as a complete toolkit, non-destructive editing, pixel precision, vector editing, exporting of presets, code export, grids and guides and prototyping.

Additionally, Sketch offers a cloud for sharing and working together with a team. Their selection of plugins extend outside the realm of simple photo editing and into the creation of frameworks, GIFs and more.

Sketch can be purchased for $99/year and requires an operating system of macOS High Sierra (10.13.4) or newer. You can also test out Sketch with their free 30 day trial.


GIMP is a free and open source image editor. The program is used by photographers, graphic designers, illustrators and scientists to create their best work. It offers custom options and various 3rd party plug ins.

GIMP is available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is a free software that allows you to change your source code and distribute any changes. GIMP is known for its high quality photo manipulation tools, original artwork creation and graphic design elements.

Pixelmator Pro

Pixelmator Pro is a program with professional image editing tools that anyone can use.

According to their platform it is, “an image editor designed to make the most powerful professional image editing tools accessible to anyone. And with an extensive collection of tools for editing and retouching photos, creating graphic designs, painting, drawing vectors and adding stunning effects, it’s the only image editor you will need.”

The software offers features such as color tags, filter and search, clipping masks, quick opacity and blending as well as a digital painting experience.

You can test the program for 30 days free and it can be purchased through the Mac App store for $39.99.


Pixlr is an online photo editor. The software has 4 options – Pixlr X, Pixlr Pro, Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express. The program also offers a mobile application for editing images on the go.

You can use the Pixlr X program for free and it is designed with photo editing tools that will help you make professional level enhancements to your images. The upgrade of Pixlr pro is an online HTML5 editor that supports PSD, XCF and Sketch formats. This option is closely comparable to the tools available in Photoshop.

The price of Pixlr X is $5/month.


Paint.NET is an image and photo editing software for PCs that run Windows. The program allows you to create layers, unlimited undo, special effects and a variety of tools.

It has a simple, intuitive interface, fast internal performance, special effects, tools such as the clone stamp or recolor tool and unlimited history that allows you to undo or redo an action.

The program is offered as free download for Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 SPI.


SumoPaint is the “best photo editing and drawing tool online.” It offers unique features and tools such as Sumopaint filters, painting tools and image manipulators.

With over 300 brushes, shape tools and an offline ability that allows you to save your work in your own file format, SumoPaint is a solid option for your creative work. Additionally, it allows you to use gradients, layers, perspective mapping, cube wrapping, linear blur and more.

Sumopaint can be tested offline for 30 days. For Pro members, the program costs $19 per year.


Acorn is an all inclusive image editor. It has features such as non-destructive curves, layer masks, removing backgrounds, combine images, color correction and more.

Additionally, with the program you can use text on a path, circle tool text, photo effects, non-destructive filters and vector tools. The program allows you to export your projects to the web, clone across images, layers, adjust brush softness and smart layer export.

Acorn is an ideal tool for photo editing, yet also contains powerful tools for graphic designers.

Acorn can be used for free for 14 days and can be purchased for a one time price of $29.99. It is compatible on macOS 10.11 or later and can be purchased on their website or through the App Store.

Corel Photo Paint

Corel Photo Paint aims to turn your photos into stunning images. Designed to complement CorelDRAW, the program offers editing tools and support for RAW image files.

With this program you can use features such as HDR, publishing to WordPress, straightening photos, photo perspectives, fill, transparencies and more. It also offers tools such as cloning, gaussian blur, unsharp and liquid.

You can download the free trial for 15 days or purchase the full product for $20 per month.

Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is the fastest, smoothest, most precise professional image editing software for desktop and iPad.

The program offers tools such as RAW editing, HDR merge, Panorama stitching, focus stacking, professional retouching, batch processing, PSD editing, digital painting, 360 image editing and multi-layered compositions.

It allows you to make professional corrections and adjustments, complete retouching, tone mapping and precise selections.

This program is optimized for use on Mac operating systems and is available for a one time purchase price of $60.

As you can see, there is a large selection of valuable editing tools and programs that can be used as an alternative to Photoshop. Whether you are editing your photographs or creating graphic design elements, any of these 9 programs would be a great choice for developing your artistic project.