Reading this article you will discover 7 programs as an alternative to Photoshop to download for free. Why should you use them? The answer is really very simple: the Adobe suite software, including Photoshop, are among the best in the respective fields, but have a high cost. Sacrificing a minimum of quality, however, you can take home a program almost as good as this, with basic and advanced features, but without spending a single buck. If you take care of photo editing and you do not do it for work, then for sure you’ll be fine with one of the software we are going to propose.


The first of the best alternative programs to Photoshop to download for free is quite obvious: it is GIMP, one of the most functional free software ever. Specifically, it is one of the most complete and performing alternative options that you can find on the web: it offers a very wide range of features and options, which you can use to carry out very complex editing tasks, without having to spend to do it. Although often paid software is worth the last penny, GIMP is the exception to the rule: it costs zero, but it is worth 100. The developer community is always attentive to the demands of their users, and has made a true masterpiece in the field of photographic post-production.

Of course, even GIMP has its shortcomings: it is not as intuitive as Photoshop, and it does not have a brilliant design. Which means that to get comfortable with its interface, you’ll still have to spend a few more hours of practice. Not bad, because the network is full of official tutorials that will allow you to speed up this phase, so you can use all the most advanced tools with minimal effort. That said, if you do not have to do advanced editing operations, perhaps GIMP is more of a hindrance than a help: in that case, in fact, you should think of something simpler. Finally, consider that GIMP also owns a ton of third-party extensions.

2. Pixlr

Pixlr is another alternative to Photoshop really very valid, although it is diametrically opposed to GIMP: the latter is a real software, while the former is actually a web app. This means that you will not have to download or install any programs, since Pixlr is accessible directly from a web browser. On the other hand, do not think that this could be a disadvantage: in terms of quality and thickness, this program is rather robust and is really full of interesting features, as well as presented with a pleasant and intuitive design.

It should however be specified that it requires the presence of Flash (version 10) on the browser, and that of course is not as advanced as GIMP or Photoshop. Finally, it has the bad habit of “getting stuck” when you load files that are too big. However, Pixlr has several advantages: it has a built-in webcam function on its dashboard that allows you to take live photos and manipulate them, and also has a series of apps that can be used by smartphones.

3. Paint.NET

Among the best programs as an alternative to Photoshop to download for free, we find Paint.NET. This is an application compatible exclusively with Windows, and that very closely resembles the famous Paint software. The similarities between the two are not a coincidence: the purpose of the producers of Paint.NET, in fact, is to provide a sort of enhanced version of Microsoft software.

In addition, the many years of experience in the field have led this program to develop continuously: it has a very simple interface to use, also very suitable for newcomers to editing, and also boasts a very fast and excellent assistance service, as well as an avalanche of online tutorials.

But we talk about a program all in all designed for basic editing: here you will not find particularly advanced tools, but you can still extend its functionality using the installation of the many plugins on the network, and developed by third parties. It is good to underline, however, that Paint.NET is a very fast program that you can use without any kind of commercial restriction.

4. PicMonkey

PicMonkey, just like Pixlr, is a web app designed for photo editing: so you do not have to install anything, but simply launch the browser and visit its online interface. Let’s start immediately specifying that this application was made with a very specific purpose: to meet above all the needs of non-expert users, but without sacrificing some perfect features even for those who have been editing for years. Also in this case you need a browser with Flash to be able to use this web software, but it’s worth it: while not being able to load PSD files due to their weight, PicMonkey is ideal if you have to work with filters or if you want to create really catchy collages. Unfortunately, the best effects and tools are only available in the paid version.

5. SumoPaint

SumoPaint is without a shadow of doubt one of our favorite Photoshop alternatives: this is due to a very simple interface and really resembles this program, which is a plus point. In reality, the two are similar to other deeper aspects: some functionalities are practically identical, and SumoPaint also reasons by levels. In addition you will find a range of features and editing options, brushes and wands never ending, and many other small pearls all at no cost. However, it is a web app, which means that it requires a browser with Flash and that does not allow you to upload files that are too large (PSD files are excluded a priori).

6. Krita

Krita is a very interesting photo editing and open source drawing program, which has a very wide set of features. The program boasts a beautiful palette and a seemingly endless amount of tools, which you can use for all-round editing. It also supports PSD files, and this makes Krita a more unique and rare case. Of course it works on levels, and is certainly an option to try.

7. Adobe Photoshop Express

We are closing our list of the best programs as an alternative to Photoshop to download for free with Adobe Photoshop Express: a lite version of Photoshop, which allows you to retouch photos in many different ways. Although not as advanced as the original, in reality this free version proves to be very useful for some functions: such as red-eye correction, the application of filters and effects and much more.


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