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Top Adobe Photoshop Alternatives in 2021

Although Adobe Photoshop has become referred to as the industry’s leading post-processing software with its powerful non-destructive editing tools, it’s far and away not the sole option available out there.

The Best Overall Photoshop Alternative

Affinity Photo

Price: $50 for desktop, $20 for iPad.
Compatible with: Windows, macOS, and iPad.

Affinity Photo, a bit like Photoshop, is meant for professionals with tools that will support the workflows of photographers, designers, and artists. It comes as standalone software with a one-time fee and not a subscription and may be used both on desktop and on iPad.

Users will find many of the familiar Photoshop tools and features also available on Affinity Photo, like the power to figure with unlimited layers, various blend modes, and smart object support. Affinity is additionally capable of handling large images and RAW files and supports tools which will be used for high-end retouching like frequency separation, blemish removal, liquify, an assortment of brushes, and far more. Basic adjustments aside, Affinity Photo also supports panorama stitching, HDR editing, and focus stacking. the massive library of brushes, support for tablets, and Apple Pencil, make Affinity appealing to both photographers and artists alike.

Top Photoshop Alternative for Beginners

Luminar 4

Price: $89 standalone and available in numerous software bundles.
Compatible with: Windows and macOS.

Although Luminar 4 and its predecessors are sometimes criticized for clunky performance, that has mostly been smoothed out over the years. Additionally, Skylum’s software has historically provided a more simplistic and more visually simple layout compared to other editing software which will work well for beginners who might not want to take a position an excessive amount of time learning more complex post-processing techniques. However, at an equivalent time, Luminar 4 does present somewhat of a learning curve if users want to find out the way to utilize layers in editing and elevate their skills. consider it as easy to urge into, but difficult to master.

Top Photoshop Alternative for MacOS

Pixelmator Pro

Price: $40.
Compatible with: macOS.

Pixelmator Pro is meant to seamlessly integrate with macOS and its Photos app, and now also supports Apple M1 devices. Available as a stand-alone software downloadable from Mac App Store, it offers layer-based editing, basic and AI-powered adjustments, multi-channel curves, and support for RAW photos.

Top Free Photoshop Alternative for Desktop


Price: Free (it is an open-source program).
Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Linux, Sun OpenSolaris, FreeBSD.

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is often the highest pick when it involves free photo editing apps because it’s both powerful and, well, free. It’s why it’s also our top pick for Best Free Photo Editing Apps here. As far as replacing Photoshop entirely, it’s got its perks for the budget-conscious.

GIMP offers layer-based editing, with support for PSD, TIFF, PNG, EXR, and RGBE files, and its dark UI resembles that of Photoshop. it’s color adjustments, object selection tools, powerful retouching tools, like the Heal, Clone, and Warp Transform tool, also as sharpening and blurring filters. almost like Photoshop, it also has Curves, Levels, Dodge and Burn, and a spread of image transform tools. GIMP also has available user-created plug-ins and scripts that add additional features and tools to the workflow.

Top Free Photoshop Alternative for Smartphones


Price: Free.
Compatible with: Android, iOS, iPad

While we recommend Adobe Photoshop because the most suitable option when it involves smartphone editing, this is often about alternatives to Adobe, and for that, it’s hard to beat Snapseed. Snapseed may be a Google-owned mobile editing app that in recent years has brought updates that allow more complex smartphone image editing than it had been originally known for. It can open both JPEG and RAW files, but sadly doesn’t yet support layer-based editing.

Top Free Browser-Based Photoshop Alternative


Price: Free.
Compatible with: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge.

Even though it’s based entirely during a browser , Photopea bears close similarities to Photoshop in its UI and may be best described as a more scaled-back web version of it. Although professionals generally won’t believe browser-based editing, Photopea is an option for those that want quick access to more in-depth manual editing compared to most free web applications that come full of filters and quick solutions. It’s also great for those that have a Chromebook and are using Google’s Chrome OS.

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