12 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Graphic Design

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Do you know how powerful Photoshop is? It allows you to edit images, enhance photos, design graphics, perform photo manipulation, retouch and reduce flaws. Here are some other best photoshop alternatives that work for graphic design.

What does Photoshop do?

Photoshop is ideal for editing photos, creating digital painting, graphic design, website design, making GIFs, and video editing. It can also be used professionally for image enhancement, repairing flaws, and modification. Photoshop is one of the most popular adobe products that is widely used by both professionals and newbies.

What is a Pixel editor?

A Pixel editor alters the image appearance at the pixel level. When used it changes the original image however helps you get the desired image through edits. However, once you alter an original image, it becomes hard to recover it again.

Top 12 Alternatives to Photoshop for Graphic Design



Gimp is a free and open-source image editor that provides you with graphic design tools you can use to make artistic stuff. Whether you are a newbie or professional it can help you out. It is a cross-platform that is available on Linux, OS X, Windows, and other operating systems.

Why is GIMP an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It has ideal photo manipulation capabilities, allows original artwork creation, and graphic design elements.
  • It also supports programming algorithms and features a high-quality framework for image manipulation through language support such as C, C++, Perl, Python, etc.
  • It has a customizable interface, color management, photo enhancement, digital retouching, hardware support, and supports certain platforms.

Cons of GIMP

  • Limited options for 3D designs.
  • It offers no option to export in CMYK format.

2. Rawtherapee

RawtherapeeRawtherapee is a free cross-platform image processing program that is supported on Linux, Windows, and macOS. It is a photo processing system designed for developing raw files from a range of digital cameras. Hence, if you need to provide digital or printed images, this is the best tool for you. It is ideal for both newbies and professionals who are passionate about digital imaging.

Why is RawTherapee an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It is one of the best software you can use to produce high-quality photos/images taken through the digital camera.
  • It has an amazing community you can rely on that can help you learn all the RawTherapee tricks fast. It is also available in 15 languages, hence diversity.
  • It also features demosaicing algorithms on an image, compositing pixel shift raw files, the ability to work with multiple frame raw files, flat field correction, and dark frame subtraction.

Cons of RawTherapee

  • Lags behind at times.
  • Few tutorials on its use.

3. Pixlr

pixlrThis is an online photo editor that allows you to edit photos right in your browser at no cost. It features AI-powered tools that enable professional edits. The image editor can open any image format such as PSD (Photoshop), PXD, JPEG, PNG, SVG, and much more.

Why is Pixlr an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It has AI-powered tools and auxiliary tools that make the editing task much simpler. It allows you to remove backgrounds of images with just one touch and perform advanced techniques.
  • It also has a wide variety of graphics materials that make the work easier to find certain tools for stickers, overlays, text, icons, and much more.
  • It is readily available on mobile devices hence you can edit from anywhere. It is also fast, free, safe, versatile and lightweight,

Cons of Pixlr

  • Doesn’t have as many features as photoshop.
  • Quality is not as fabulous as for photoshop.

4. Darktable

Darktable It is an open-source photography workflow application that is ideal for image customization. It tends to manage your digital negatives in a database and allows you to view them through a zoomable lightable. Hence, you can develop raw images and enhance them from there. It is mostly ideal for photographers.

Why is Darktable and alternative to Photoshop?

  • It allows you to edit images while retaining your original image. You can even use your video card to speed up your workflow.
  • It also has a community that you can get involved in its forum or mailing list. This is either if you want to contribute to the source code or general views.
  • It offers non-destructive editing, GPU accelerated image processing, professional color management, cross-platform, supports 21 languages, and allows filtering and sorting

Cons of Darktable

  • No official Windows version.
  • The modules can be overwhelming.

5. Krita

KritaKrita is a free and open-source painting program that is ideal for concept art, texture, matte painters, illustrations, comics, and much more. It has one the best flexible interface that won't disturb you while working on something. You can customize the dockers and panels to your specific workflows.

Why is Krita an alternative to photoshop?

  • You can create your shortcuts for commonly used tools, has a customizable layout, over 30 dockers for enhanced functionality, and offers dark and light color themes.
  • It has beautiful brushes, brush stabilizers, vector and text, brush engines, offers different textures and patterns.
  • It also offers simple and powerful 2D animation, drawing assistants, layer management, select, transform, full-color management, OpenGL enhancement, PSD support, HDR painting, python scripting, and tutorials.

Cons of Krita

  • Poor touch control.
  • Lack of documentation.

6. Paintstormstudio

PaintstormstudioIt is an ideal software for professional digital painting. It is majorly impacted by the brushes that help to enhance your painting style. It makes estimation easier to ensure you make amazing paintings

Why is Paintstormstudio an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It allows you to have full control of the brushes, bristly brushes and offers different brush capabilities.
  • It also has a dynamic interface, custom panels, a full controlled mask brush, and parameters binding.
  • It also allows fast layer selection, smooth zoom and brush resize, nice stroke stabilizer, usable color mixer, different gradient strokes, and is PSD supported

Cons of Paintstormstudio

  • The presets are a bit wild.

7. Affinity photo

Affinity photoThis design software has the smoothest and fastest photo editing feature. The software will help you make your creativity come to life instantly. It offers professional publishing that will make your artistic side to move to another level. Affinity photo is supported on Windows, macOS, and iPad.

Why is Affinity Photo an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It features high-quality creative content packs such as font bundles, illustration kits, brush packs, and other editing tools.
  • It works towards improving your workflow perfectly with no bloat and gimmicks that will ensure the work is done perfectly.
  • It also pans and zooms at 60pfs, live gradients, real-time blend modes, transformations, live outline view, and supports various file formats

Cons of affinity photo

  • It is not easy to navigate through as an amateur.
  • Limited lens-profile based corrections.

8. Medibang paint

Medibang paintMedibang Paint is an amazing software that allows you to paint from anywhere. It is compatible with PC's, iPad, iPhones, and android. It also allows you to improve illustration by posing and color rough. The different elements will make your drawing much easier for you.

Why is Medibang paint an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It features a color window for mixing the colors to get the gradient you need. It also offers a brush preview window to check your work before concluding.
  • It also features a layers window, allows rotation methods, use of the snap tool, and makes use of the palette.
  • You can use it to make illustrations that you can use on your website, blog, or another platform.

Cons of Medibang photo

  • At times it displays ads when you start it.

9. Paint Net

Paint NetPaint net offers a simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface that you can use to make your designs. The fast image editor is ideal for making creative designs. No matter your device's processing power, paint net will not let you down.

Why is Paint Net an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It is cost-friendly with unique features.
  • Its user interface supports layers, special effects, and other powerful tools.
  • No matter your skill level, it has a community and tutorials you can use to gain more knowledge on the subject. It also supports various languages.

Cons of Paint Net

  • You can only edit one image at a time.
  • You can only view one image at a time.

10. Picmonkey

PicMonkeyYou can use Picmonkey to edit your photos and designs. It also allows you to create images for various social media sites and other graphics. Not only that, but you can also add various effects to your photos. Also, the background remover makes work easier.

Why is Picmonkey an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It allows you to make stylish posts, advertisements, cover images, and much more that you can use on various social media sites.
  • It allows you to use templates from scratch and add color, photos, and graphics,
  • It also offers the best branding materials you can use for your company. This includes logos, fonts, colors, and much more. It also allows you to retouch photos.

Cons of PicMonkey

  • It has a high subscription rate.
  • It has various competitors that offer the same services at no cost.

11. Flying meat – Acorn

Flying meatAcorn is an image editor for macOS that doesn't require any subscriptions or anything for it to function. It allows you to use non-destructive curves, levels, and filters. It allows you to make corrections to your images to make them look better.

Why is Acorn an alternative to Photoshop?

  • Acorn has great text wrapping features, allows you to place your text on a circle, and create great logos and designs.
  • It also has amazing photo effects, non-destructive filters, and vector tools.
  • It allows you to clone images, clone layers, enhance photos, crop, and much more. Also allows you to preview your images before exporting.

Cons of Acorn

  • It has some performance issues.
  • It needs more retouching tools.

12. SumoPaint

sumopaintIt is one of the best photo editing and drawing tool online. Sumopaint is among the funkiest painting apps online. It features filters, painting tools, and image manipulators that make it easier to make image adjustments. Not only does it have the online version but also the offline version.

Why Sumopaint is an alternative to Photoshop?

  • It offers over 300 brushes, shape tools, and a community that can help you get answers for the various queries.
  • If you don’t want to work online, you can use it offline to unleash your creativity. Also, whenever there are updates the software does it automatically.
  • It also allows you to make symmetrical creations, smoothers the drawn lines to curves, has a gradient editor, perspective mapping, cube designer, and much more.

Cons of Sumopaint

  • Some tools while lagging while in use.
  • It has imperfect text management.


Photoshop is one of the best image editing software in existence. Not only does it allow you to make edits, but also makes relevant adjustments needed. All the other Photoshop alternatives also work almost the same as Photoshop but each with some limitations. However, you can always find an ideal software to suit your needs.

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