Best 3 Free Photoshop Alternatives - Tamil Tech

Jul 20, 2017

Best 3 Free Photoshop Alternatives


One of the most full-featured Photoshop alternatives, GIMP (short for GNU Image Manipulation Program) offers such a large set of features that even the most complex tasks can be achieved without any strain on your budget.  They say that you get what you pay for, but in GIMP's case that idiom doesn't necessarily ring true. With a very active developer community that has historically listened to user requests and feedback, this free option continues to grow as raster editor technology expands. 

While not always as intuitive as Photoshop in terms of functionality and design, GIMP makes up for some of its perceived clumsiness with several in-depth tutorials for both beginning and advanced users that help you use the majority of its components with little or no pre-existing knowledge of the open source application. With that said, if you're only looking for the very basics in a raster-based graphics editor then GIMP may actually be a little too much and you may benefit from one of the simpler alternatives on our list.

Available in almost twenty languages for Linux, Mac and Windows platforms, GIMP recognizes almost all file formats that you'd expect from a paid editor like Photoshop including GIF, JPEG, PNG and TIFF among others, as well as partial support for PSD files (not all layers may be readable).

Also similar to Photoshop, a large number of third-party plugins are available that enhance GIMP's functionality further. Unfortunately the main repository that houses them is outdated and hosted on an insecure site, so we cannot recommend utilizing registry.gimp.org at this time. However, you can also find some GIMP plug-ins hosted on GitHub. As always, download at your own risk when dealing with unverified third-party repositories.

Compatible With:

  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows



A free Photoshop alternative strictly for Windows versions 7 through 10, the Paint.NET interface is reminiscent of the operating system's Paint application; the traditional image editing tool for PC users worldwide. The similarities are no coincidence, as the original developer's intent was to replace MS Paint with something a little better.

That was a long time ago, and Paint.NET has since grown by leaps and bounds to the point where it's comparable in some ways to the more advanced editing software on the market, both free and paid. This includes the ability to use multiple layers and blending, all the while maintaining a fairly simple interface that lends itself to even the most novice user. If you do get stuck, the Paint.NET forums are an invaluable source for assistance where inquiries are sometimes answered in mere minutes. Couple that with the tutorials found on the same website and this Windows-only graphics editor offers a user-friendly experience.

Although Paint.NET does not provide some of the higher-end functionality of Photoshop or even GIMP, its feature set can be expanded upon through the use of third-party plugins. For example, the application does not natively support PSD files but can open Photoshop Documents once the PSD plugin is installed.

The self-proclaimed fastest image editor available, Paint.NET can run in almost two dozen languages and is free to use for both business and commercial use with no restrictions.

Compatible With:

  • Windows 7 or higher 



A browser-based alternative to Photoshop, Pixlr is owned by well-known software developers Autodesk and is quite robust when it comes to available features and allows for progressive editing and enhancing as well as original image design. 

The Pixlr Express and Pixlr Editor web apps will run in most modern browsers as long as you have Flash 10 or above installed, and offer a significant number of integrated filters along with limited layer support.  Pixlr recognizes the main culprits when it comes to graphical file formats such as JPEG, GIF and PNG and also allows you to view some PSD files, although those larger in size or complex in nature may not open. 

The web-based Pixlr even has a handy Webcam feature built right into its dashboard that lets you capture and manipulate photos on-the-fly.

In addition to the browser version, Pixlr also has free apps for both Android and iOS devices that let you perform a number of editing features from your smartphone or tablet. The Android app is so popular, in fact, that it has been installed on well over 50 million devices.

Compatible With:

  • Chrome OS
  • Linux
  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Android
  • iOS


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