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Article: 7 Best Adobe Photoshop Alternatives You Should Try

7 Best Adobe Photoshop Alternatives You Should Try

Created by Uran Duo

When talking about graphic design, no doubt people will say Adobe Photoshop. It was one of the most commonly used software works and use today. But aside from being the most industry-standard, Adobe is also known for its expensive pricing. A long time ago, Photoshop was available for one purchase that was priced up to 700 USD. 

However, Adobe has changed its system by using a subscription system. Thus, you can use Photoshop by paying around 10 USD per month. It is pretty cheap, but in the long term, it can get more burdensome. It makes people start to consider using new alternatives to work with digital art projects. And it is not a surprise that the number of alternatives has been ramping up lately. 

But what are the best Adobe Photoshop alternatives that you should use? Considering how solid photoshop is as a digital art software, comparing one to another is not an easy task. So, before judging which one is better than which, be mindful and take your time to try this number of software as alternatives to expensive Adobe programs.  


1. GNU Image Manipulation Program 

GNU image manipulation program, or people call it GIMP, is probably not a bad start. The program has been in the market for a long time, and it keeps on getting improved. So, it is not that bad for the current digital trend. As one of the alternatives, Gimp will be one of the best free options out there. Compared to Adobe, you can start your career with Gimp. 

Furthermore, newbies or learners can use GIMP as their alternative to Photoshop. It is free, and you don't need to pay too much for a short period of usage anyway. Another good point that many people love about GIMP is the lightweight program. If you compare it with Adobe Photoshop, this option is not the comparison. It is just too light that it feels like a bad program. 

However, again it is not one of many worse alternatives for Photoshop. The lightweight program surprisingly can handle the most basic to the mid-level editing control. It captures the most basic Adobe functions such as crop, color edit, local adjustment, correction, removal, and some other things.   


Compared to Adobe Photoshop, GIMP should be on the lowest performance or the most basic options you should check. It does not have frequent updates or online storage, which makes Adobe way more powerful. But if you are looking for the easiest and most common alternatives, GIMP will be good enough. 

It is an open-source program that you can download for free and use in windows, mac, and Linux. Many say that at least it comes close with Photoshop advanced tools, but not many. However, it does lack some functions compared to the paid Adobe software. The latest new tools, such as the healing brush in photoshop, are missing in GIMP. 

So, you can say that GIMP is one of the pretty basic Adobe Photoshop alternatives out there. The User interface also appears as professional as Adobe, which is why some pros out there still enjoy using GIMP. But again, you should try it by yourself to see whether it is on par with Photoshop or not. Maybe the free price tag will work better for your needs.  

Created By Everton Bohnenberger


2. Affinity Photo 

Talking about alternatives to photoshop, Affinity photo will be your next option. It will be one of the best alternatives out there with some solid functions. One thing that makes the Affinity photo in this list is its iPad compatibility. The app also has a free subscription. That is why it wins against the expensive Adobe payment fee. 

The only thing that the Affinity photo loses compared to Photoshop is the package subscription. With Adobe photoshop's lowest price, you get Lightroom and Adobe cloud storage. But in the case of iPad compatibility, Affinity is the winner. The app has a fully-fledged iPad version that makes the UI and UX even better. 

The UI on iPad also looks the same for other media, such as mobile apps, Mac, and windows. It makes the app feel like a perfect unity despite not being on the same platform. It means that even non-iPad users will get the same features from this one of many alternatives. Compared to many other alternatives, affinity also has some close functions, such as Adobe.  

In other words, affinity photo has a lot in common as one of many Adobe photoshop alternatives. The biggest aspect that makes it stand out among other alternatives is the non-destructive layer editing. Photoshop won in many things due to the layering options, and surprisingly Affinity can come on par with the Adobe software. 


Not only the layers, but you can also use CMYK and RGB color spaces for the application. That makes it an alternative that gives the best to be a rival. Many other functions might rival photoshop as well. Some of them are the photo merging for HDR composites, focus stacking, panoramas, masking, layers, and many more.

The good thing that makes affinity better as one of many photoshop alternatives is how it focuses on the mobile app. It knows that Adobe is the industry standard. Thus, they keep adding similar functions but on different platforms. Again, you should try it before deciding if it is better or not compared to Adobe Photoshop. 

The last thing that is worth noting is the price tag. Yes, affinity does not have a subscription price. But it does have a one-time fee of around $50. It means you will get the fully updated version on the purchase. It is the same amount as subscribing to Adobe services for five-month. For that number, the biggest slack of affinity is the inability to support RAW management.  

Created By Leandro Alzate


3. Pixelmator Pro

There are not many people who learn or know about Pixelmator, but it is one of the best Adobe Photoshop alternatives you can ever get. The biggest thing that makes it up to this list is the easy-to-use UI and UX. It looks simple, clean, modern, and probably less intimidating than Adobe photoshop. But is it worth it? Try it and decide for yourself. 

To give you some head up, the application is only for macOS. That fact will make this one of the most limited alternatives. It is unfortunate since many people are starting to consider using smartphones, iPad, or windows for editing. Since it is compatible with macOS, Pixelmator will connect to iCloud. That will be another good point to add. 

When it comes to the alternatives, Pixelmator can go to the professional categories. It has all of the basic and beginner functions that will rise in function over time. But again, it is still inferior when compared to a strong foundation like what photoshop does. So, you cannot make it completely on par with the Adobe program. 


Since it was made for Mac, the simplistic program will feel like part of exclusive alternatives with its compatibility with an iCloud feature. From the performance and functions point of view, Pixelmator is not that bad. You got a plethora of options such as exposure adjustment, cropping, color correction, and some other advanced features as well. 

The non-destructive layers are also in the Pixelmator; that is why it deserves a position as an Adobe alternative. Even though it is one of many Adobe Photoshop alternatives, it supports file extensions such as PNG, HEIF, TIFF, and PSD. Just like what Adobe Photoshop offers for the users. When it comes to age, Pixelmator is pretty much on the younger side. 

It is way too young to compare with the Adobe program. But it also ensures the latest updates and improvisation in the future. The age also shows the capabilities. Pixelmator is still lacking in advanced and complex edits. You can buy it as a one-off with a price tag of 40USD. But if you want a version that can process RAW files, an extra $10 will make it work. 

Created By Egle Plytnikaite


4. Procreate

One of the iPad-friendly alternatives that you can use is Procreate. Procreate got huge attention due to its advanced and intuitive performance for digital painting gigs. It is not like Adobe Photoshop is bad at doing digital paintings. But Procreate compatibility with iPad and stylus will make it easier to work with. 

The biggest problem is the iPad and iPhone-only compatibility. That means that Adobe gains more points since it works with many platforms. However, Procreate still got something to offer. It is pretty low on cost and supports apple pencil. So, the digital drawing with the iPad will give you an extravagant experience. 

The UI is pretty simple and has a layout system that is pretty easy to go around. For iPad users, it is a pretty solid alternative that rivals Photoshop drawing abilities. The intuitive drawing line can create true-to-life pencils and ink models. The layer compositing and other unique digital tools also rival the Adobe functions. 


Currently, Procreate might be one of the most popular alternatives for the internet and iPad users. You got a lot to do with the programs, and it is pretty fun to work with the touchscreen. Not only that, but there are also some new functions such as palm support that prevent users from accidentally drawing over the canvas. It is something that Adobe still has. 

You can also find some basic photoshop functions in procreate. Like how Adobe supports a great range of add-ons, Procreate also has a huge library of brushes. That is why it is part of Adobe photoshop alternatives that mostly focus on drawing or painting abilities. Along with the full support of apple pencils, it is worth it to work with Procreate. 

However, don't expect to get all of the Photoshop features in Procreate. It is pretty much the simplistic version that mostly focuses on the drawing. So, there are not many complex functions in the programs. However, you cannot judge the performance as good or bad only from reading. You should try it along with other Adobe alternatives.  

Created By Meel Tamphanon


5. Rebelle

Rebelle has the same premise as Procreate. Compared to many other Adobe photoshop alternatives, it mostly focuses on emulating traditional painting and drawing. So, expect better traditional hand-drawn action from this software. One thing that makes it better than Procreate is the platform capabilities. The Rebelle 4 is one of the alternatives that work in windows and OS.  

Like how realistic the painting abilities are, Rebbelle will be one of the best alternatives for digital painters. You can use the tilting option to help your drawing process. The price tag is pretty affordable, and you get a free seven days trial as well. When it comes to painting, the painting technique for watercolor tools is pretty solid. It is on par with photoshop. 


At some points, the features and intuitive functions are way better than the Adobe program. The way it works can imitate how a person will paint on canvases. It allows you to drop colors with blown effects, go in random directions, and many more. Rebelle also makes it better in creating drip size and water content in the brush, which is solid for photoshop alternatives. 

That is why the program deserves alternative positions. Since it focuses on drawing and painting, Rebelle 4 (the latest version) has more brush presets. The number exceeds 170 options, and it also includes some other drawing effects such as oil, watercolor, and brush stabilization. You should try it to see how solid it is as Adobe photoshop alternatives. 

Created By Junkyard Sam


6. Corel Paintshop Pro 

The more complex alternative that you can find in the market is Corel Paintshop Pro. The program is pretty unique since it is also tied up with the lightroom alternatives under the name of Aftershot Pro. For professionals or old-timers, the name Corel might sound familiar. Indeed, it has been the biggest rival or alternative for Adobe since a long time ago. 

In this case, Corel created Paintshop Pro to attract beginners. The company tries to fuse the more advanced photo editor function with an easier-to-use aspect. Thus, the answer is to use the essentials panel. That is one of the alternatives mode offered by the programs. You can change it to the advanced mode to give more complex functions and features. 


For Adobe, the rivaling points are some similar tools. In these programs, you can work with later content adjustment, magic fills, and many more. Despite having different names, the functions are mostly familiar. It also makes Corel one of the most familiar Adobe Photoshop alternatives you can use.

Some other great features are the workspace tools customization. It also has a photo editing workflow that comes with specific tools. The newer update also includes a function to create a better selection of the composites. But no matter what, it is still lacking in some points compared to Adobe photoshop. Such as the RAW management or platform compatibility. 

Created By Croter Hung


7. Photopea 

Compared to many other Adobe Photoshop alternatives, Photopea will be the only one that works in browsers. Users can edit images, just like Adobe does, in the browser. Considering it works as a web-base, the program is free and also lightweight. It is also cross-platform. So, windows or mac users can enjoy the programs that give some basic photoshop functions.

If you use it, don't get shocked by the big resemblance of Adobe photoshop UI. From the icons to the layout, they appear similar. It helps former Adobe users get to know the apps easily. However, it does not mean you got all of the photoshop features in these options. Phothopea does offer pro-tools, but it is pretty basic and mostly standards. 

The good things come from the vast file capabilities. It has the same capabilities as other alternative files, such as GIMP, PSD files, RAW, JPG, PNG, Sketch, and many more. So, it can work with many programs made out of Adobe or others. As a pretty simple and basic app, Phothopea has support for layer and layer mask features. 

So, you can taste that fancy non-destructive layer function in this free application. Some other features that are similar to Adobe are selection tools, marquees, quick selection tools, magnetic lasso, and blend modes. It has a solid performance. But, please bear with ads if you are looking for a free browser app. It can get pretty annoying at times. 

For a free or premium option that is comparably cheaper than photoshop, you cannot expect too much for this one. Some advanced tools are missing. But, you can do most of the designer or artist functions as much as you want. That is why Photopea is one of the Adobe Photoshop alternatives that are probably a better fit for newbies or students. 

Created By Giovanna Croce


Final Words

To find the perfect alternatives for the expensive Adobe Photoshop, you will need to try them by yourself. That information mostly captures the general detail of the program. However, you are the one that will use them. That is why trying and experiencing them will help determine the best one that fits your favorites.

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