18 FREE and Cool Photohsop Alternatives…..


charcoal-drawing-photoshop copy Photoshop is one of the best software ever made – if I may use the superlatives. However, the only problem with photoshop is that Its Too Expensive.

However, for those who are not able to lay their hands on Photoshop, here is a list of some Great and Free Photoshop alternatives . These softwares are almost as good as photoshop and for some functionalities – even better.





  1. Gimp : Everybody seems to know about Gimp as a Free alternative to Photoshop. Hence I would not write much about it except that it works on any platform and is a terrific software to use with a number of free plugins available and a good number of tutorials.
  2. Paint.net : For windows users, it is cool replacement for MSPaint.It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins. With a light size of 1.6mb, it is available in 8 languages besides English and can be downloaded here
  3. Artweaver : Artweaver comes very close to Photoshop and includes layer management, pen tablet support, image cloning, transparency and a number of other filters that we find in Photoshop. It may not be as slick as Photohshop for viewing but its feature set is quite similar to that of Photoshop.Its free to download for windows users and has plugins available for at least 15 languages but a few tutorials here and here.
  4. Pixia : Originally designed in Japanese, this software is a powerful image editor . There are, however, some tutorials available in English as well as some video tutorials.The software was originally created for editing Anime/Manga, but it is quite a capable image editor in itself.
  5. Inkscape : Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.It supports many advanced SVG features  like markers, clones, alpha blending etc. It may not exactly replace Photoshop, but if you are looking for a drawing programme which uses SVG file format, then Inkscape is a good option.Checkout for tutorials here.
  6. Cinepaint : An open source application, it is one of the best image retouching tools available which supports high fidelity color upto 32-bits.Compare this with 8-bits of Gimp and it surely stands out above Gimp. Besides , it has many other features like Gallery quality printing, Color Management System, High Dynamic Range etc which make it useful. Check for Download , Plugins and tutorials.
  7. Picnik : Picnik provides a web based photo editing tool which provides various options to manipulate your pictures online like resizing, removing red eyes, editing colour saturation etc. Since no download or even registration is required, it is quite easy and fast to start with . However, the options to edit the images are not as large as in softwares like Photoshop , Gimp etc  – which is to be expected since limited editing can be done online. You can make use of various tools available with Picnik.
  8. Fotoflexer : Is another cool web based image editor. It can help you to remove blemishes,change skin or hair color, morph photos etc.You can drag and drop photos behind each other thus actually creating layer like effects.For a quick idea, see the demo here. You can edit sample photos also provided on the site to have a feel of the tool before you actually start using your own photographs.
  9. Photoshop  Express : It is a free software from Adobe with many functionalities that you will find in Photoshop – though logically enough you will not find all the advanced features like layers, filters etc. But for a basic user, it is quite useful to edit the photos online and use the Free 2GB space provided by Adobe. However, you need a decent internet connection to use the software as the going is little slow.
  10. Aviary’s Phoenix : This is a very powerful web based image editing programme which you can use by just signing up free. The interface has a great resemblance to that of Photoshop and unlike most other online web editors, you can edit using Layers, Brushes, Filters and lots more. The tool is based on Adobe Flash and hence is reasonably fast even on slow internet connection.
  11. Photofiltre : A French product, but available in English also, it enables application of large number of filters and allows simple to advanced enhancements /editing of the images.Check out the tutorials for some quick lessons.
  12. Magic Extreme : MAGIX Xtreme Photo Designer is a powerful yet easy to use application that allows you to edit your photos quickly and precisely.It enables you to retouch blemishes, scratches or tears on old photos, and use the cloning tool, magix wand, and other pro tools to create impressive collages.In addition to this, you also can select background and objects in a picture  by simply right-clicking on them and add impressive perspective effects. And at 1.43 Mb it is a small software to install
  13. Photo Pos Lite : Photo Pos Lite is a free lite version of the award-wining photo editor Photo Pos Pro(which costs USD 49/-). Photo Pos Lite contains many of Photo Pos Pro’s tools and features. The software provides support for scanners and digital cameras, Various of Image Enhancing and editing tools and functions, Paint Brush Tool, Shapes Tool, Clone Brush Tool, Rich Text Tools, Special Effects, Selection Tools, Simple Gradients and more.
  14. Dr Pic :  A simple web based image editor which just enables you to edit your images by simply uploading and applying the 15 + editing tools that are provided on right panel. This tool is suitable for those who want to quick edit images on the fly.
  15. Pixenate : Pixenate is another web based image editing tool which is simple and easy to use. Compared to some other web based tools mentioned above, it has more options to play around with your images and apply fun effects .
  16.  Phixr : Yet another web based image editor. Allows you to create temporary account without signup and edit your images with over 20 tools to edit the images.Not much different from Pixenate or Dr Pic tools mentioned above.
  17. Evans Image Editor : Evan’s Image Editor (EIE) is a free image editor that allows for editing and creation of animated or still images. It has several advanced features eg having multiple panel layouts – which allow you to see multiple views of your image while working on it .EIE allows you to select multiple layers/frames at once and perform batch modifications . Allows you to edit frames of a video also.See tutorials.
  18. Photobie : Photobie is image editing software that combines features amateurs can use with advanced tools professionals will appreciate. Photobie is free for personal use with no Pro upgrade to pay for — all features are free. Was initially started by the developer (Cheng) for editing the images of his daughter and since then has developed into a full fledged image editing tool.

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Thanks for this awesome list. There are a few here that I haven’t tried out yet, like Artweaver and Magic Extreme. More toys :-)

Thanks for sharing these free things. It is really helpful when there is no photoshop in the computer.

No Matter how much you make sense of this all – if you’re a pro photoshop user, you’ll know this – ‘There is NO match to Adobe’s creative suite’.

That’s because PS is not alone – Adobe caters to the whole bloody 9 yards of creative production. Hence their files work seamlessly between each other.

Add this to a Mac and you’ve got a reason never to look at any other option.

Just my 2 cents though… :)

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