5 Alternatives to Photoshop for Graphic Design & Photo Editing

No Photoshop? No problem!

Image created by Jonathan Wylie

Photoshop is widely regarded as the industry-standard photo editing software. However, it’s not always the most affordable or user-friendly option for everyone.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to Photoshop available that offer similar functionality and features. In this article, we will discuss five apps that are popular among professionals and amateurs alike.

1. Photopea

Photopea is a free, web-based image editor that is very similar to Photoshop in terms of functionality. It supports layers, masks, and a variety of filters and adjustments.

One of the best features of Photopea is that it can open and edit PSD files, making it a great option for those who need to work with Photoshop files but don’t want to pay for the software. It also supports Adobe Illustrator files, XD, Sketch and more.

There are tutorials on the Photopea website where you can learn more about the app, and there is a thriving reddit community you can join.

➡️ Learn more here: photopea.com

Screenshot of Photopea by Jonathan Wylie


GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free, open-source image editor that has been around since 1995. It has a somewhat legendary status because it continues to improve and receive updates year after year.

It has a wide range of features, including support for layers, masks, and a variety of filters and adjustments. GIMP is a great option for users who want a powerful image editor but don’t want to pay for it.

Unlike Photopea, GIMP is a desktop app. It is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows. The interface is not as modern as Photoshop, but it’s still a powerful too for working with images.

➡️ Learn more here: gimp.org

Screenshot of GIMP by Jonathan Wylie

3. Canva

Canva is a popular online graphic design platform that offers a wide range of templates and tools for creating graphics and designs. It’s also one of my favorite apps to use. I created the header image for this article with Canva!

While it may not have all the features of a dedicated image editor like Photoshop, it is a great option for users who need to create simple designs quickly and easily. It has hundreds of templates to get you started and powerful tools that include an AI image generator.


However, Canva is more than just an image design tool. With Canva, you can create websites, presentations, documents, whiteboards, videos and so much more. It’s fast becoming a one-stop shop for anything you do with media online.

Canva offers a free plan that makes it a great option for users on a tight budget, but you can unlock Canva Pro for just $10 a month. Canva Pro unlocks premium features like a background remover, millions of stock images, more cloud storage, and a brand kit to save your favorite colors.

➡️ Learn more here: canva.com

Screenshot of Canva by Jonathan Wylie

4. Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is a professional-grade image editor that offers a wide range of features and tools for advanced users. While it is not free, it is much more affordable than Photoshop and is a great option for those who need a powerful image editor.

It supports layers, masks, and a variety of filters and adjustments, and includes advanced features like frequency separation and live filter layers. You can Retouch with Dodge, Burn, Clone, Patch, and Blemish Removal tools, and remove unwanted objects with the magical Inpainting Brush.

Affinity claims to be the first professional photo editing application to have 100% file format compatibility across Windows, Mac, and iPad, allowing you to work with the same files across any device.

However, perhaps the biggest advantage Affinity has over Photoshop is the lack of a subscription. A one-off payment of $69.99 will buy you the Windows or Mac version, while a universal license for all platforms can be bought for $169.99.

➡️ Learn more here: affinity.serif.com/en-us/photo/

Image courtesy of Affinity

5. Krita

Krita is a free, open-source digital painting software that also includes powerful image editing features. The name “Krita” comes from Swedish, and means “to draw” or “chalk”.

It has a wide range of tools and brushes for creating digital art, but it also supports layers, masks, and a variety of filters and adjustments for photo editing.

Krita is a great option for users who want a powerful image editor that also supports digital painting. In fact, the developers specifically aim this tool at concept artists, texture and matte painters, or those who work with illustrations and comics.

Krita is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux devices.

➡️ Learn more here: krita.org

Image courtesy of Krita


While Photoshop will always have its fans, there are plenty of practical alternatives that offer similar functionality and features.

Whether you’re searching for a free option like GIMP or Photopea, or a more powerful professional-grade option like Affinity Photo, there is an image editor out there that will meet your needs.

Disclaimer: This article contains Canva affiliate links. If you purchase anything from Canva, I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.


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