If you’re looking for photo-editing software but are hesitant to pay Adobe Photoshop’s high price (currently about $700, although you can subscribe to the Creative Cloud for roughly $10 a month), the good news is there are many alternatives to Photoshop out there. Here are a few of our favorites:
Gimp is a photo-editing program that rivals Adobe Photoshop. The newest version of Gimp (2.8) has improved its interface and has become more intuitive and easier to use. As an open-source platform, Gimp is free. It has a variety of plug-ins and scripts, many of which come pre-installed. It has color correction tools, image cropping, cloning, and enhancement. There’s even an animation package.
- Super Affordable
- Offers a nice variety of novice and advanced photo-editing tools
- Has most of the features of Photoshop, a huge array of features for professional quality photo-editing, and even creating artwork from scratch
- Runs on any operating system
- The latest version has menus, palettes and toolboxes together in one window, which makes for a more streamlined interface
- Slightly hard to get used to. It’s user interface has improved recently, but it’s still confusing. Nothing is where you think it should be, and oftentimes there are many steps involved just to get to the same place that just one click takes you to in Photoshop. For users familiar with Photoshop, the learning curve is less steep.
- Extensive tutorials are included with the program, but it may be hard to wade through them.
- Does not have Photoshop’s Adjustment layers, or 3D commands.
People who are familiar with photo-editing software and are willing to put in the time to become comfortable with Gimp will be very happy with it.
Affinity Photo Pro
Affinity Photo Pro is a reasonably priced alternative to Photoshop. It has recently become compatible with Windows (formerly just a Mac program). It has a variety of basic and advanced features. The program is a little complex for beginners with its steep learning curve.
Paint.NET was developed as a replacement for Microsoft’s Paint. It doesn’t have the arsenal of photo-editing software that Gimp does, but it is easier to learn. Beginners with no photo-editing software experience at all still be able to figure it out.
PaintShop Pro has been around for a long time. If you regularly process hundreds of images, consider this program because of its feature that allows you to record scripts and automate repetitive tasks.
Pixelmator Pro is Mac only. At a relatively low cost ($60), it’s a powerful feature-rich photo-editor. It has a wealth of tutorials where it is easy to find the answers you need.
Overall, there are many alternatives to Photoshop. Gimp is a great program with many fantastic features and a built-in tutorial that users can access. Since Gimp is free, it’s definitely worth downloading to see if it can work with your business before spending the money on Photoshop or any alternative photo-editing software.