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

Sumo Paint

 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Aviary’s Phoenix

 Free Alternatives to Photoshop


 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Please let us know your favorite Photoshop alternative.

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What Our Readers have to say

  1. Aaron 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. Thierry says:

    Alternatives to Photoshop, you forget PIXELMATOR

  3. Bill Jones says:

    Pixelmator isn’t free is it?

  4. Thierry says:

    @Bill oh sorry, yes it’s not free but very very cheap if you compare the price of Photoshop

  5. Bill Jones says:

    True, if you compare prices it is practically free.

  6. kirpi 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.

  7. Mark says:

    For Windows I recently discovered Photoscape, which has a unique, yet intuitive, interface and quite a few features particularly useful for photography. There’s even a portable version available.


  8. 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!!

  9. richard says:

    What about picasa?

  10. Sharon says:

    Art Weaver is another free option.


  11. 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?

  12. Tadd says:

    Harrison, Gimp I know opens PSD – though if you have a lot of layer effects you may lose some of your design.

  13. hui says:

    Paint.net (http://www.getpaint.net/download.html ) gave me a virus!

  14. kansapa says:

    StylePix Pro is the one of the best alternatives.

    http://hornil.com/en/products/stylepixpro/ (Cheap)
    http://hornil.com/en/products/stylepix/ (FREE)

  15. admin says:

    Nice list, thanks

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