For a long time, Adobe’s Photoshop has been the industry standard for photo editing. So much so that it’s become colloquially interchangeable with editing photos. People often talk about “photoshopping” an image even if they’re not using the actual application to do so. The problem is Adobe’s suite along with Photoshop can be pricey.
Thanks to the socialism of the internet, there are open source and free solutions to help you with editing your photos, without you having to turn to crime or piracy. There’s a litany of good image editors out there. We’ve decided to find and compile a list of the best free photo editing software to make it a little easier for you to identify which one suits you the best.
When GIMP was initially released over twenty years ago, it was essentially a Linux exclusive. Since then it’s found support on many operating systems including macOS, BSD and Microsoft Windows. What makes GIMP so popular are its features and it’s completely open source. It’s even in its name. Gimp stands for GNU Image Manipulation program.
GIMP closely matches and resembles Adobe’s Photoshop in terms of functionality and the way it’s laid out in single-window mode. The standard version of GIMP comes with a wide variety of tools to help you layer, mask, add curves and lines as well as correct any flaws using its healing tools.
It is considered the best free photo editing software in our list. The only unfortunate thing about GIMP is it can be overwhelming for new users. It has a high learning curve but there are a lot of good tutorials out there to help any user become a master.
If you’re looking for an alternative to GIMP that is a lot more user-friendly and easier to use, look no further than Fotor. It has a stunning interface that’s both welcoming and aesthetically pleasing. The tools are well organized and easy to find. The beauty of Fotor is it comes as either a desktop app or an online one. Which means you don’t have to download and install any software to get it working for you.
It’s also got mobile versions so you can do your photo editing on the go. It comes with all your standard photo editing tools such as red-eye removal, cropping and photo de-blurring. It also comes with tools for HDR curve adjustments and custom aspect ratio options.
Fotor allows you to create collages also. The application is free but not completely as it has in-app purchases. You can also sign up for a 7-day trial of Fotor premium.
As the name suggests, Paint.NET was developed using the .Net framework. It was created as a student project originally built as a replacement for Microsoft Paint. It has since seen itself incorporate support for blending, layers, and transparency to become a fully-fledged photo editing program in its own right.
Paint.net is light-weight and completely free. It also supports plugins to further expand and extend its capabilities. Paint.net placed Second in the list of best free photo editing softwares.
Adobe Photoshop Express isn’t as powerful as the paid the version but it packages all the essentials in an easy to use interface. Although it takes some of Photoshop’s best features, it isn’t hard to see all that’s missing. For instance, there are no plugins, no layers and there’s no option to crop your photos.
What it does do is allow you to photo-shop your images i.e enhance them. And the learning curve is low enough to do that. Its the free image editing software listed.
Photos Pos Pro
Photos Pos Pro is a little less known than the previous entries on this list. Don’t let that fool you. It comes packed with a plethora of advanced image-enhancing tools. Its interface is well organized. It allows you to switch between beginner mode (novice) and advanced mode (expert). The application is free but it does come with some limitations and drawbacks.
For instance, you’re only allowed to save files at a maximum resolution of 1,024 x 2,014 pixels. If you want to remove these restrictions, you can choose to purchase the premium version of the application. The free version still stands as one of the best free photo editors.
Much like GIMP, Inkscape is another favorite among the open source and Linux community. It also comes bundled with Ubuntu Studio. It’s basically built on the same platform that GIMP. Although Inkscape is geared more towards illustration and editing vector graphics, it still has some great tools that can be adopted and used for editing photos and other images.
Tools like embedding and tracing allow users to create actual vector images from photos. This is a unique feature. So if you’re looking for graphic design software that can also be used for photo editing, we recommend you try Inkscape. Its the best free image editor software you can use.
Pixlr is a multi-tiered and cross-platform application that offers versions for mobile devices and PCs. It also has a web application. You can choose to use either its express version or its advanced Photo Editor. The full Pixlr editor is similar to GIMP but a lot more comprehensible in design and the way it organizes its tools. Everything is free to use from its web application to its mobile apps. It’s worth looking if you are searching best photo editor for pc.
PhotoScape tries to make editing your photos fun and easy. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s not a comprehensive photo editing tool. It allows you to perform quick edits like cropping, resizing, color adjustments, printing and even GIF animation. It has versions for Microsoft Windows and Mac but unfortunately, it does not have available versions for Linux systems.
A feature that’s unique to PhotoScape is its Raw Converter. It can convert RAW pictures from your digital camera into other formats such as Jpeg. In addition to this, it’s completely free and even comes with a portable version.
InPixio is a free image editor that was designed for simplicity. It has a minimalistic design and gives users a bare-bones editing experience. The user interface is easy to traverse through and has a low learning curve. It provides users with one-click presets and frames. It comes with a useful before and after viewer.
This makes it easier to compare the changes you’ve made to your photos. It also allows you to upload your finished photo directly onto Facebook. InPixio definitely deserves its place on this list.
If you’re looking for a completely web-based & best free photo editing software, FreeOnlinePhotoEditor.com is here to scratch that itch for you. No need to download any software. Just upload your photo or provide the web app with a link to a photo you want to edit. From then on, you can rotate, crop, adjust colors, add a border and create text overlays on your pictures. It’s simple and very easy to use.
It’s a great tool, especially if you’re looking for simple and quick photo editing.
Basically, our mobile devices have turned us all into amateur photographers. Every good photographer needs post production to help them enhance their pictures. If you’re a hobbyist, amateur or even a professional, this list should provide you with some really good picks. If you’ve found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family. As always, thank you for reading.
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