After the commotion that was mounted with Adobe’s “supposed” gift of Photoshop licenses (no, I did not give them away, it simply offered updated serial numbers to paid users who needed to reinstall), it sure is good to see some free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop.
If we consider that an Adobe Photoshop CS6 license goes up to 940 euros, it may not be a bad idea to look for other options. If you are not a photography professional but still need a decent image editor, here are some options:
Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop completely free
It is one of the best free and free software alternatives. It offers full support for layers, read and write most graphic file formats (jpg, gif, png, PCX, tiff) and has a wide assortment of selection tools (rectangular, spherical, manual loop, magic wand, for color), plus smart scissors, brush, brush, airbrush, fill, textures … A great option for advanced users.
Less powerful than GIMP but at the same time simpler. The interface is very intuitive and if you need to do something simple you will not have a good time trying to find the right function (as it happens in GIMP).
It is quite an acceptable web option. It works with three different levels of editing – basic, intermediate and advanced – which makes it suitable for virtually any type of user. Something that can’t be said about Photoshop.
Like Pixlr, it is a web program, but with much less power and functionality, in exchange for a simpler interface. One of the best options for beginners in this basic image retouching.
Perfect for advanced users. Most notable is that it uses vector graphics instead of bitmaps as a native format. If this is something you like about Photoshop, then perhaps this is the option for you.
It is quite basic, but its interface and design are not bad. In fact try to mimic the Mac OS X interface, which is appreciated. It has a good set of functions, although without text editing layers.
It is the English version of a popular Japanese image editing program. Like Inkscape, it is intended for advanced users. The interface is like a trip to the past to the era of Windows 95, but if we ignore that (complicated), it offers a good range of functions and one of the best supports for working with a digital pen.
Photo Pos Pro (Windows)
Like Pixia, the interface leaves a lot to be desired. Its menu of options is as dense as it is confusing and has something really irritating: constant pop-ups with questions and suggestions that end the nerves. Do not put it high on your selected list.
The Google program does not compete with Photoshop, they are in different leagues, but still, it has several basic functions that we also have in the Adobe program, as a decent half-clone tool. If you are looking for simple and quick corrections, with a couple of tweaks here and there, this is a great option.
It is quite basic but easy to use. It does not have the most advanced features of the other candidates on the list. Nor can you work with keyboard shortcuts and the pop-up that asks you from time to time to buy the paid version also does not invite you to enter. Leave it as an emergency option.