Multi-skill competency is turning into a must-have for creatives. The freelancer industry, for one, is seeing an influx of more “hybrids” or creatives who can cover projects end-to-end. One of the skills that can prove especially useful for any creative is graphic design. You’re probably thinking: how can I do that when I don’t know how to use Adobe Photoshop? You’re in luck because there are plenty of Photoshop alternatives out there!
Whether you’re handling a social media account, making posters for an event, or editing an important presentation for a pitch – it’s a huge advantage to be able to edit images on the fly. Most people associate graphic design with Photoshop because it’s one of the most common tools used by pros.
However, there are many reasons why creatives may feel too intimidated by Photoshop. For one, it can be a bit pricey. If you aren’t going to be using the program to design frequently then you really won’t be able to maximize its worth.
Secondly, Photoshop’s features are robust. While that’s a good thing for the pros, it can get a bit overwhelming for someone who hasn’t had much prior experience with the program. If your goal is to place a logo on a social post, you don’t really need to download a full image editing program with additional post-processing and graphic design features.
Here are 5 Photoshop alternatives that you can use. We’ve arranged them according to skill levels just for you!
Starting this list of Photoshop alternatives is Canva. This is possibly the most user-friendly tool that can cover your simplest visual design needs.
From the get-go, Canva is able to cover basic image editing needs such as cropping and resizing. What sets it apart is the accessible experience it provides people with little to no legitimate experience in graphic design.
Canva has free templates that are categorized and designed according to different needs. The selection includes Facebook posts, Instagram posts, YouTube banners, event posters, business card layouts, etc.
To use Canva, you only need to click their editable templates and maximize the use of its drag-and-drop options.
You can sign up for a free account or purchase premium to gain access to extended features.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) has been around for years — almost as long as Photoshop.
Some people might refer to GIMP as Photoshop lite. This free tool is favored by amateurs and hobbyists who need basic photo-editing tasks but do not need the advanced features of Photoshop.
GIMP offers a comprehensive toolset parallel to Photoshop. The essential go-to’s are there. There are painting tools, cloning stamps, color correction, and enhancement, etc. But as mentioned, GIMP is limited to the basics. For example: while Photoshop may have four healing brush tools, GIMP only has one.
Pixlr the perfect alternative for mid-level users looking for a Photoshop alternative. Some even say it’s the software of choice if you basically want Photoshop but don’t want to pay the monthly Creative Cloud charge.
Pixlr has an interface that mirrors Photoshop, so it’s not that hard to make the leap. It also boasts more than 600 effects and filters, overlays, and borders.
Another perk of Pixlr for those who want to edit on-the-go is that it has an app (available for both iOS and Android) which you can use on your mobile phone! Similar to other Photoshop alternatives on this list, Pixlr also has a Pro version which has an expanded list of tools.
Pro users may be surprised to learn that Photopea — a browser-based image editor that can do most of what Photoshop has to offer.
Photopea can open most of the standard file formats used in Photoshop. From different image formats to files from Photoshop and Photoshop software alternatives (e.g., Sketch and Gimp).
Photopea also has layers, blends, magnetic lassos, and quick selection tools. When it comes to features, Photopea is admittedly not as advanced as the newest versions of Photoshop. However people who grew up using Photoshop CS6 or lower will definitely see this as a worthy alternative.
If you do not like ads, you can avail of Photopea’s premium service.
We’re wrapping up this list with one of the most powerful Photoshop alternatives out there: Affinity Photo. Are you on a tight budget? You can start editing with Affinity Photo for a one-time purchase of US$ 49.99 — much cheaper than an getting an Adobe Photoshop subscription for US$ 239.88 per year.
Affinity Photo is designed especially for professional photographers and designers. It’s creators posit it as a software with fewer crashes and unlimited undos — another edge it has over Photoshop.
Previously only available for Mac OS, Affinity Pro can now also be purchased on Windows.
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