11 Outstanding (Free) Alternatives to Photoshop

I absolutely love Photoshop. It’s by far the best image editor out there but unfortunately you have to pay a premium for it. For those of you who are looking for a cheap alternative to Photoshop, look no further. I have gathered what I think are some great alternatives that will meet most if not all of your photo editing needs and at a great price…FREE.

GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s probably the most robust of the free alternatives listed here. It has support for GNU/Linux (i386, PPC), Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista), Mac OS X, Sun OpenSolaris and FreeBSD.
 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Paint.NET is free a image and photo editing package that runs on Windows only.
 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Krita, while not as robust as GIMP or Paint.net, is still a very powerful alternative to Photoshop.
 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Seashore is more limited than the previous picks however it does a solid job with basic image editing. It only has supprt for Mac OS X
 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Cinepaint is unique that it is used by major studios for editing feature films. It is also a great image editor. No Windows version available.
 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

PhotoFiltre is a small basic image editor Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Active Pixels
Active Pixels has a lot of the same menus and keyboard shortcuts that Photoshop has. In my opinion it is one of the standouts of this list.
 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

The next four are full featured online editors.

Free Alternatives to Photoshop

 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Sumo Paint
Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Aviary’s Phoenix
Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Please let us know your favorite Photoshop alternative.


  1. says

    I would like to know a camera raw alternative. I use adobe DNG to overcome the NEF problem as I am still on Photoshop CS. Are there any other alternatives?

  2. says

    You might want to consider IrfanView as well.
    Although definitely not a full substitute for Photoshop, IrfanView can perform a lot of very useful actions (also in batches).
    It is really worth considering.

  3. says

    I use Photoshop 2.0, a relic to be sure … but, am comfortable with it’s workings. I’m thinking about ‘Seashore’ for my Dad to use on his Apple desktop. Thanks for the above list of freebies!!

  4. Harrison Rose says

    Can any of these open Photoshop .psd files?

    I have a very large collection of Photo CDs from the 1990s. I am looking for a program that can open the pcd images properly. While I am not currently using Photoshop (the old versions supported pcd files), I understand that the current version can not.

    Do any of these free alternatives have this capability?

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