Best Photoshop Alternative For Mac

Posted By admin On 16.02.22

There are plenty of Photoshop alternatives for Mac that you can download or use in-browser to create just the right images and graphics for your projects. And some of them are completely free! None of these are necessarily one-size-fits-all solutions. Inkscape uses a vector-based environment, so it’s a much better option for illustration than most other free alternatives to Photoshop; in fact, it’s almost more of an Illustrator alternative (though it can still be used for basic bitmap edits like photo retouching). While Photoshop is still the king of hardcore image manipulation, the truth is that, in 2015, there are lots of great alternatives available for Mac OS X. Some are completely free, and others cost money, though they're more affordable than Adobe's subscription-based offering in the long run.

  1. Best Free Photoshop Replacement For Mac
  2. Best Free Photoshop Alternative Mac Os X
  3. Best Photoshop Alternative For Mac
  4. Adobe Photoshop Alternatives Mac

Photoshop is such a powerful brand that, like Google, it's become a verb: nobody really talks about editing an image, it's all about Photoshopping these days. It all adds up to great PR for Adobe, but it might make you believe that no other software could possibly do as good a job as the big PS.

In fact, Adobe doesn't necessarily have the market cornered and its move to the Creative Cloud in 2013 actually helped to spur on a wide range of alternatives to Photoshop. These options can be just as powerful, and produce results that are just as professional.

So whether you're looking elsewhere because you can't afford the subscription, you want to support smaller development houses, or you just don't need all the millions of features that come with Photoshop CC, there's a selection of photo editing software open to you. Here are the best Photoshop alternatives.

01. Affinity Photo

  • Platform: Mac, Windows, iPad
  • Price: £48.99/$49.99 (one-off payment)

Fully compatible with Photoshop and other file formats, Affinity Photo is aimed squarely at professional photographers and designers, and although it is hugely cheaper than Photoshop (with no subscription), its creators argue it's actually better. We think it's perhaps the most serious Photoshop alternative we've seen to date.

It comes with a promise of higher speeds, fewer crashes and unlimited undos but in truth, the amount of improved performance you'll get will probably depend what equipment you're using (it's been specifically designed to take advantage of the latest quad core technology).

Available for both Mac and Windows, if you're looking for an alternative to Photoshop, Affinity Photo is definitely worth investigating.

02. Photopea

  • Platform: Web
  • Price: Free, Premium from $9 per 30 days

Thanks to continual advances in web technology you don't always need a discrete app to do much of what you'd use Photoshop for, and Photopea is the latest browser-based image editor that can handle a decent chunk of your workflow.

Designed to be an advanced editor with pro tools, Photopea bears a distinct resemblance to Photoshop and features most of the tools you'll need for everyday image work. It'll open most standard file formats such as JPG, PNG and RAW, and it'll accept Sketch, GIMP and even Photoshop PSD files.

Photopea supports layers and layer masks, lets you use blend modes and features a stack of selection tools, from standard marquees through to a magnetic lasso and a quick selection tool. While it doesn't offer the sort of advanced features you'd expect in Photoshop CC such as content-aware fill, it still has a more than enough going on to keep most designers and artists happy, and it's completely free to use.

However if you don't like ads, there's also the option to subscribe to a premium version which gets rid of them and also gives you extra levels of undo - 60 rather than 30.

03. Sketch

  • Platform: Mac
  • Price: $99/year or try Sketch for free

Sketch is a professional vector graphics app for creatives that has created enormous buzz within the design community, and web designers in particular.

The development team behind Sketch has made it as flexible as possible, with it supporting infinite zooming and vector shapes that are perfect for multiple resolutions. You can build a new graphic from primitive shapes or start a new one with the Vector or Pencil tool.

It has a pleasingly simple UI and has many features similar to that of Photoshop and Illustrator, including layers, gradients, colour picker and style presets. Its popularity means there are also plenty of community-created Sketch plugins you can use to extend its functionality.

04. GIMP

  • Platform: Linux, Windows, Mac
  • Price: Free

A free, open-source alternative to Photoshop that's been around for donkey's years, GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. Today it's available in versions for Linux, Windows and Mac.

GIMP offers a wide toolset, similar to Photoshop in many ways, and is a great option if you're looking for a no-cost image editor. The interface differs somewhat from Photoshop, but a version of GIMP is available that mimics Adobe's look and feel, making it easier to migrate over if you're ditching Photoshop.

The full suite of tools is available here – everything you're accustomed to is within easy reach, including painting tools, colour correction, cloning, selection, and enhancement. The team that oversees development has worked hard to ensure compatibility too, so you'll be able to work with all the popular file formats without any trouble at all. You'll also find a very capable file manager built in, along similar lines to Adobe's Bridge.

Overall, this is a great option whether you've either got a limited budget, or want to move away from Photoshop for other reasons.

05. Pixelmator Pro

  • Platform: Mac
  • Price: $39.99

Pixelmator has been around for a while now, but more recently the team released the Pixelmator Pro. While the previous tool used floating windows, the Pro version has a more usable single-window UI, and offers non-destructive image editing. The team have pared back the interface, which should make it easy to pick up – and there's a 'hidden interface' option you can activate if you just want to see your image, with no distractions.

This Photoshop alternative is geared up especially for use on a Mac, and it supports features like tabs, fullscreen and split view.

06. Pixlr

  • Platform: iOS, Android, web app
  • Price: Free

Pixlr is a free Photoshop alternative that boasts more than 600 effects, overlays and borders. It also lets you do all the main things you'd expect from a basic photo editor, from cropping and re-sizing to removing red-eye and whitening teeth.

And if you're used to using Photoshop, then you'll find Pixlr's user interface easy to pick up quickly, as it's very similar. This free app is available in both iOS and Android varieties, or use can use it as a web app.

07. Corel PHOTO-PAINT

  • Platform: Windows
  • Price: $599.99 / £599.99 (entire CorelDRAW Graphics Suite)

PHOTO-PAINT is a dedicated photo editor in the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. The suite has been updated for 2018 to offer a Corel AfterShot 3 HDR support, as well as interactive tools for straightening photos and adjusting perspective. There's also improved stylus control, with the PHOTO-PAINT responding to different pressures, bearing tilt and rotation.

The suite is geared up to work perfectly with Windows 10, offering multi-monitor viewing and support for 4K displays.

08. Paint.net

  • Platform: Windows
  • Price: Free

Paint.net is a Windows-based alternative to the Paint editor that Microsoft shipped with versions of Windows. Don't let that put you off, though: it's a surprisingly capable and useful tool, available completely free of charge. The software started out life as a Microsoft-sponsored undergraduate project, and has become an open source project maintained by some of the alumni.

The focus is on ease of use, and there's a definite tendency towards photo editing rather than artistic creation. That said, there are a range of special effects available, allowing you to easily create fake perspective, blend and push pixels around the canvas, tile and repeat selections, and so on.

A good range of selection tools, support for layers, and adjustments such as curves and brightness/contrast mean that Paint.net is a great alternative to Photoshop for photo editing, especially if you can do without some of the more recent additions to Photoshop's toolset.

09. SumoPaint

  • Platform: Browser or iPad
  • Price: Free (basic), $4/mo (Pro)

SumoPaint is a highly capable, free browser-based image editor. All the standard features you'd expect from a desktop tool are present and correct. It's lightweight and quick to load, and the free version is very usable. There's also a paid-for Pro version and a paid-for iPad app.

The standard range of tools and adjustments you'd expect are all included. Brushes, pencils, shapes, text, cloning, gradients, etc are all quickly accessed from the Photoshop-esque floating toolbar. It can also open saved documents from your hard drive, making SumoPaint a perfectly viable option for editing and reediting.

Some tools work in different ways to Photoshop, offering possibilities that would be difficult to match in Adobe's offering. There are, however, limitations that will put off some users.

10. Acorn

  • Platform: Mac OS X
  • Price: $29.99

Image editing software Acorn debuted back in 2007 and has provided hobbyists and artists on a budget with a great, affordable alternative to Photoshop ever since. Features of the software include layer styles, non-destructive filters, curves and levels, blending modes and much more.

The most recent edition – Acorn 6 – includes new Scale and Transform options, the ability to use the Clone tool across layers or images, and the ability to use emoji on a path (if you so wish).

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There are dozens of free photo editors out there, so we've hand-picked the very best so you can make your pictures look amazing without paying a penny.

We've spent hours putting a huge range of photo editors to the test, and picked out the best ones for any level of skill and experience. From powerful software packed with features that give Photoshop a run for its money to simple tools that give your pictures a whole new look with a couple of clicks, there's something for everyone.

Many free photo editors only offer a very limited selection of tools unless you pay for a subscription, or place a watermark on exported images, but none of the tools here carry any such restrictions. Whichever one you choose, you can be sure that there are no hidden tricks to catch you out.

1. GIMP

The best free photo editor for advanced image editing

No ads or limitations

GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the best free photo editor around. It's packed with the kind of image-enhancing tools you'd find in premium software, and more are being added every day.

The photo editing toolkit is breathtaking, and features layers, masks, curves, and levels. You can eliminate flaws easily with the excellent clone stamp and healing tools, create custom brushes, apply perspective changes, and apply changes to isolated areas with smart selection tools.

GIMP is an open source free photo editor, and its community of users and developers have created a huge collection of plugins to extend its utility even further. Many of these come pre-installed, and you can download more from the official glossary. If that's not enough, you can even install Photoshop plugins.

2. Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 2019

Fuss-free photo editing with automatic optimization tools

Fine manual controls

If you've got a lot of photos that you need to edit in a hurry, Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 2019 could be the tool for you. Its interface is clean and uncluttered, and utterly devoid of ads (although you'll need to submit an email address before you can start using it).

Importing pictures is a breeze, and once they've been added to the pool, you can select several at once to rotate or mirror, saving you valuable time. You can also choose individual photos to enhance with the software's one-click optimization tool. In our tests this worked particularly well on landscapes, but wasn't always great for other subjects.

If you want to make manual color and exposure corrections, there are half a dozen sliders to let you do exactly that. It's a shame you can't also apply the same color changes to a whole set of pictures at once, but this is otherwise a brilliant free photo editor for making quick corrections.

For more advanced editing, check out Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 7 – the premium version of the software with enhanced optimization tools.

3. Canva

Professional-level photo editing and templates in your browser

Includes free cloud storage

Canva is a photo editor that runs in your web browser, and is ideal for turning your favorite snaps into cards, posters, invitations and social media posts. If you're interested in maintaining a polished online presence, it's the perfect tool for you.

Canva has two tiers, free and paid, but the free level is perfect for home users. Just sign up with your email address and you'll get 1GB free cloud storage for your snaps and designs, 8,000 templates to use and edit, and two folders to keep your work organized.

You won't find advanced tools like clone brushes and smart selectors here, but there's a set of handy sliders for applying tints, vignette effects, sharpening, adjusting brightness, saturation and contrast, and much more. The text editing tools are intuitive, and there's a great selection of backgrounds and other graphics to complete your designs.

4. Fotor

One-click enhancements to make your photos shine in seconds

Batch image processing

Fotor is a free photo editor that's ideal for giving your pictures a boost quickly. If there's specific area of retouching you need doing with, say, the clone brush or healing tool, you're out of luck. However, if your needs are simple, its stack of high-end filters really shine.

There's a foolproof tilt-shift tool, for example, and a raft of vintage and vibrant colour tweaks, all easily accessed through Fotor's clever menu system. You can manually alter your own curves and levels, too, but without the complexity of high-end tools.

Best Free Photoshop Replacement For Mac

Fotor's standout function, and one that's sorely lacking in many free photo editors, is its batch processing tool – feed it a pile of pics and it'll filter the lot of them in one go, perfect if you have a memory card full of holiday snaps and need to cover up the results of a dodgy camera or shaky hand.

5. Photo Pos Pro

Advanced photo editing tools packaged in a simple interface

Beginner and advanced modes

Photo Pos Pro isn't as well known as Paint.net and GIMP, but it's another top-quality free photo editor that's packed with advanced image-enhancing tools.

This free photo editor's interface is smarter and more accessible than GIMP's array of menus and toolbars, with everything arranged in a logical and consistent way. If it's still too intimidating, there's also an optional 'novice' layout that resembles Fotor's filter-based approach. The choice is yours.

The 'expert' layout offers both layers and layer masks for sophisticated editing, as well as tools for adjusting curves and levels manually. You can still access the one-click filters via the main menu, but the focus is much more on fine editing.

6. Paint.NET

Looking a little dated, but still a dependable all-rounder

Best Free Photoshop Alternative Mac Os X

Plugin support

More is not, believe it or not, always better. Paint.NET's simplicity is one of its main selling points; it's a quick, easy to operate free photo editor that's ideal for trivial tasks that don't necessarily justify the sheer power of tools like GIMP.

Don't let the name fool you, though. This isn't just a cheap copy of Microsoft's ultra-basic Paint – even if it was originally meant to replace it. It's a proper photo editor, just one that lands on the basic side of the curve.

Paint.NET’s interface will remind you of its namesake, but over the years, they’ve added advanced editing tools like layers, an undo history, a ton of filters, myriad community-created plugins, and a brilliant 3D rotate/zoom function that's handy for recomposing images.

7. PhotoScape

Raw image conversion, batch processing and much more

Great selection of filters

PhotoScape might look like a rather simple free photo editor, but take a look at its main menu and you'll find a wealth of features: raw conversion, photo splitting and merging, animated GIF creation, and even a rather odd (but useful) function with which you can print lined, graph or sheet music paper.

The meat, of course, is in the photo editing. PhotoScape's interface is among the most esoteric of all the apps we've looked at here, with tools grouped into pages in odd configurations. It certainly doesn't attempt to ape Photoshop, and includes fewer features.

We'd definitely point this towards the beginner, but that doesn't mean you can't get some solid results. PhotoScape's filters are pretty advanced, so it's if good choice if you need to quickly level, sharpen or add mild filtering to pictures in a snap.

8. Pixlr X

A comprehensive browser-based photo editor for quick results

Stylish design

Pixlr X is the successor to Pixlr Editor, which was one of our favorite free online photo editors for many years.

Pixlr X makes several improvements on its predecessor. For starters, it's based on HTML5 rather than Flash, which means it can run in any modern browser. It's also slick and well designed, with an interface that's reminiscent of Photoshop Express, and a choice of dark or light color schemes.

With Pixlr X, you can make fine changes to colors and saturation, sharpen and blur images, apply vignette effects and frames, and combine multiple images. There's also support for layers, which you won't find in many free online photo editors, and an array of tools for painting and drawing. A great choice for even advanced tasks.

9. Adobe Photoshop Express Editor

A convenient way to correct lighting and exposure problems

Stylish design

As its name suggests, Adobe Photoshop Express Editor is a trimmed-down, browser-based version of the company's world-leading photo editing software. Perhaps surprisingly, it features a more extensive toolkit than the downloadable Photoshop Express app, but it only supports images in JPG format that are below 16MB.

Again, this is a Flash-based tool, but Adobe provides handy mobile apps for all platforms so you won’t miss out if you’re using a smartphone or tablet.

This free online photo editor has all the panache you’d expect from Adobe, and although it doesn’t boast quite as many tools as some of its rivals, everything that’s there is polished to perfection. Adobe Photoshop Express Editor is a pleasure to use. Its only drawbacks are the limits on uploaded file size and types, and lack of support for layers.

10. PiZap

A fun photo editor for preparing your pictures for social media

Best Photoshop Alternative For Mac

Templates for social media

Free online photo editor PiZap is available in both HTML5 and Flash editions, making it suitable for any device. You can choose to work with a photo from your hard drive, Facebook, Google Photos, Google Drive, Google Search, or a catalog of stock images. This is an impressive choice, though some of the stock images are only available to premium subscribers, and you'll need to watch out for copyright issues if you use a pic straight from Google Images.

piZap’s editing interface has a dark, modern design that makes heavy use of sliders for quick adjustments – a system that works much better than tricky icons and drop-down menus if you’re using a touchscreen device.

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When you’re done, you can share your creation on all the biggest social media networks, as well as piZap’s own servers, Dropbox and Google Drive. Alternatively, you can save it to your hard drive, send it via email, or grab an embed code. You can only export your work in high quality if you’ve opened your wallet for the premium editor, but for silly social sharing that’s unlikely to be a problem.

Adobe Photoshop Alternatives Mac

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