Photoshop has become the de facto image and graphic editing software. It is the go to choice for the professional designers illustrators as well as illustrators. Photoshop is developed by adobe can have the most extensive features you would need to get any image editing a graphic designing job done. Recently Adobe has packaged photoshop as part of its creative suite which is it’s software as a service offering. You don't need to pay large licensing fee up front and you can pay as you go on a monthly or yearly basis and all the latest software updates will be delivered on a rolling basis so that your photoshop software is always updated. Although the shear number of features that photoshop has sometimes makes it difficult for beginners to learn. Also sometimes designers have very specific task such as touching up a photo or creating a simple design for with using photoshop doesn't make a lot of sense.
So it would be helpful for designers to know what are some of the alternatives to photoshop. Let's take a look some of best photoshop free alternatives.
‘GNU Image Manipulation Program’ or GIMP is one of the best adobe photoshop alternatives in the market. It has a very active and vibrant community and offers cross compatibility across operating systems. Although GIMP has limited number of features as compared to photoshop but still it has enough features to get your work done. Also it is free of cost to use GIMP.
Paint.net is another alternative to photoshop and it is quite similar to Windows paint software. Paint.net was originally developed to become more advanced version of Windows Paint and it draws lot of inspiration from that software. Although the tool is slightly less powerful as compared to GIMP or Photoshop but it has all the features in its kitty to help you edit an image or create basic graphics. There are also lot of plugins available in the market for Paint.net and the best part, it is free.
Krita is another great alternative to photoshop which has very vibrant community and lot of tutorials online to help you get anything done related to designing and editing. The tool comes packaged with KOffice suite and it is targeted for open source platforms like linux and unix. It is a complete creative sketching and painting application and have commercial quality advanced features. It is open source and available across platforms and is totally free of cost.
It is capable of reading photoshop files and has a very stable application and also supports privacy by default. Some users feel Krita to be more intuitive than GIMP from an interface perspective. It also supports animation including opacity curves and also has support for CMYK model out of the box.
Seashore is an open source image editing tool based on MAc’s cocoa framework. It is not as powerful as photoshop or GIMP, but offers all major features such as multiple layers, brushstrokes, gradients etc and it's extremely intuitive and simple to use. Seashor also offers same native file sharing formatting which is available in GIMP.
Sketch is a professional vector graphics application for creative industry and is highly popular among design community and web designers. Sketch offer a very simple ui which is. similar to photoshop/ illustrator and includes features such as layers, gradient, colour picker, style presets etcetera. Sketch also offers large number of community built plugins which can extend the functionality of the core application.
Sumopaint is a free browser based image editor with all the standard features you would expect from a native image editing tool. It is very lightweight in nature and the loads very quickly on modern browsers. Sumopaint is free for use but also offers paid plans. Sumopaint also has a paid ipad application.
Pixlr is one of the best image editing tools when it comes to browser based applications. Pixlr is closest you can get to photoshop if you talk about web based applications. It has very much similar features to photoshop arranged in a similar layout and it is available on android, iOS, web. Also it is free for use. It offers more than 600 effects, overlays and borders. It has some powerful features such as red eye removal and whitening of teeth for image editing.