Top 5 Affordable Alternatives to Photoshop for Every Type of User

If you’re exploring alternatives to Adobe Photoshop for photo editing, whether due to its cost or complexity, there are several excellent options available that cater to both novice users and seasoned professionals.

These alternatives range from completely free and open-source software to more affordable subscription-based models.

photoshop alternatives

Top Alternatives to Photoshop for Photo Editing

1. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

  • Overview: GIMP is widely regarded as the most powerful free alternative to Photoshop. It is open-source and offers a robust set of features that rival those of Adobe’s flagship software.
  • Features: Includes layer support, advanced photo retouching techniques, and a customizable interface.
  • Ease of Use: It has a steeper learning curve but is highly customizable.
  • Cost: Free
  • Compatibility: Available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  • Download: GIMP Official Website

2. RAWTherapee

  • Overview: Ideal for professional photographers who primarily work with RAW images. RAWTherapee offers detailed control over batch editing and color correction.
  • Features: Advanced color handling, multiple denoising methods, and batch processing capabilities.
  • Ease of Use: Not as intuitive; suitable for more experienced users.
  • Cost: Free
  • Compatibility: Available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  • Download: RAWTherapee Official Website

3. Krita

  • Overview: Best known for digital painting and illustration, Krita also provides tools for photo editing.
  • Features: Brush stabilization, pop-up palette, and vector design tools.
  • Ease of Use: User-friendly for artists and illustrators; might be less familiar for pure photo editors.
  • Cost: Free
  • Compatibility: Available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  • Download: Krita Official Website

4. Canva

  • Overview: Highly popular among non-designers for its simplicity and range of templates. Great for quick, basic edits and social media content.
  • Features: Drag-and-drop interface, templates for social media posts, videos, and more.
  • Ease of Use: Very intuitive for beginners.
  • Cost: Free version available; Pro version is €12/month.
  • Compatibility: Web-based, with desktop and mobile apps available.
  • Access: Canva Website

5. Pixlr

  • Overview: A suite of cloud-based image editing tools that blends usability with advanced features.
  • Features: AI-powered tools for quick edits, templates, and effects.
  • Ease of Use: Straightforward for beginners and intermediate users.
  • Cost: Free version available; Premium version at $5/month offers advanced features and AI tools.
  • Compatibility: Web-based, with mobile apps available.
  • Access: Pixlr Website

Editor’s Recommendation: Canva

For users seeking a balance between functionality, ease of use, and cost, Canva stands out, especially for content creators focused on visual content for social media, video editing, and other creative projects. Its subscription model is flexible, allowing users to pay only for the months they need access to premium features.


Whether you’re a professional photographer, a digital artist, or someone who needs to make quick edits for social media, there’s a photo editing tool available that meets your needs without the high cost of Photoshop. These alternatives not only provide flexibility in terms of cost but also cater to different levels of expertise and specific needs in photo editing.