Best Photoshop Alternatives in 2019

Are you looking for the best Photoshop alternatives?

Perhaps you are put off by the steep learning curve of Photoshop. Or perhaps you can’t afford a monthly subscription for a photo editing software.

No matter the reason, we want to assure you that there are great alternatives to PhotoShop out there.

That is why we are presenting the best Photoshop alternatives. We hope this post helps those that can’t or won’t get into Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription software.

Why Photoshop Alternatives?

Photoshop is a highly specialized, complex piece of software. That is why it is the industry standard for nothing! However, that same complexity is also the reason why Photoshop isn’t the right choice for everybody.

If you are looking to avoid a monthly subscription fee, we have also included both one-time cost and free photoshop alternatives in this list.

So, what are the best Photoshop alternatives? Let’s have a look:

1. Lightroom Classic

A screenshot of Adobe lightroom in action, a great photoshop alternative for photographers.
Adobe Lightroom’s editing tools are quite enough for most photographers, most of the times

Lightroom provides an easy solution for photographers looking to manage, edit, and publishtheir photos. For example, editing tones and colors are easy thanks to advanced controls in the Edit module. Even local adjustments or retouches are very easy to apply. Plus, you can also use readily available Lightroom Presets to save time.


Entire batches can be sorted through, selected, edited, and exported with just a few clicks. You can also post to some social media sites (Facebook, Flickr, Blurb, and Behance) directly from Lightroom. Photoshop and Lightroom go together in Adobe’s Photography subscription plan. However, most photographers will find themselves skipping Photoshop a lot, once you get into Lightroom!


2. Affinity Photo

Serif Affinity Photo - Develop Persona - Best Photoshop Alternatives in 2019
The best commercial Photoshop alternative, by a mile.

Serif’s Affinity Photo is the only true commercial alternative to Photoshop in terms of concept, functions, and interface. Its lightweight yet powerful tools make it the best option for someone not looking to get into the Adobe subscription system, but still need to work at the highest level. Further more, Serif has a YouTube channel with many tutorials, with Affinity specialist James Ritson, to help new users get started with their software. Affinity Photo is also VERY affordable, and users can buy a lifetime license, rather than subscribe to a monthly package. Pretty cool!



A screenshot of GIMP version 2. A free adobe photoshop alternative
For years, GIMP has been the choice for lovers of free, open-source alternative software. Photo: Nightscape, by Filip Bulovic, CC BY-SA 4.0

GIMP is already a staple for all Linux users. Born as an open-source project in 1996, GIMP still stands as the only desktop-based, comprehensive, free Photoshop alternative. Its functions and interface provide a similar experience, despite some limitations (like the lack of native support for AdobeRGB or similar wide color spaces). These may be downsides for working professionals – but GIMP is perfect for beginners or amateurs. Furthermore, GIMP is due for a major upgrade/release (version 3.0) in 2019 (announcement)


4. Paint.NET

A screenshot of a free photoshop alternative for windows platform.
Advanced tools in a simple, lightweight package are Paint.NET’s strength.

Paint.NET has been around for such a long time but the program doesn’t advance any great pretenses, other than being simple, intuitive, and performing.

Born as a replacement for Microsoft Paint on Windows, it has a very similar interface, while adding some more advanced tools (like curve tools, and advanced text tools), and creative filters and effects. It also features layers, and unlimited history to undo edits. Not for the pros, maybe, but worth a shot if you only want to do simple edits to your photos.

Price: Free Platform: Windows

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