Free Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Adobe has long established itself as the de facto leader in design tools and software. In fact, Photoshop has become synonymous with graphic editing and design, just like Illustrator in the field of vector graphics.

What if you don’t want to or can’t use Adobe products? Maybe you don’t want to spend money on Creative Cloud, or you find Photoshop and Illustrator too complicated for you? Shouldn’t you look for alternatives to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator?

Whatever the reason, if you don’t want to jump on the Adobe bandwagon, you don’t have to! There are several other equally powerful design tools that you can use, instead of Photoshop and Illustrator.

In this article, we will look at some popular free and premium alternatives to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

01. Affinity photo

Affinity Photois is known as one of the most accurate, fastest and professional photo editing software for Mac. It meticulously focuses on improving the workflow and offers a wide variety of tools to enhance, edit and retouch your images in an incredibly intuitive interface.

Affinity Photo is a professional photography tool at its core and not something you can use for logo design or banner editing. It can absorb a full virtual office space for easy maneuvering. You can switch between Affinity Photo and other applications with a simple swipe, and tools such as zoom control can be controlled with a simple pinch.

Affinity Photo also uses the standard OS X interface to import images from connected external devices.

Main Features

  • Extensive processing of RAW MATERIALS
  • Work in any color space: RGB, CMYK, LAB, grayscale with end-to-end workflow and color management.
  • Unmatched file compatibility
  • Always pan and zoom LIVE with live previews and tools.
  • Professional settings such as exposure, brightness, reflections, etc.
  • Advanced lens corrections
  • Various tools like smudging, cropping, engraving, brush, etc.

If you just want to edit photos or retouch something, Affinity Photo is a great choice.

02. Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is the modern graphic design application for Mac (although it will soon be available for Windows users as well). It is an incredibly accurate vector illustrator program that feels fast and comfortable in the hands of creative professionals. The user interface of Affinity Designer for Mac is everything you would expect from a modern application, more beginner-friendly and very intuitive.

Affinity Designer has special gradient and transparency tools. It allows you to apply several gradients in a few minutes without having to open any dialog boxes.

Main Features

  • You get several personas
  • Draw persona: this is where all your vector tools are located to create your designs.
  • Pixel persona: here you get your full pixel preview and you can edit the image using tools that are not limited, which allow you to cut your design and take snapshots of it.

03. GIMP

The GNU Image manipulation program (GIMP) is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and many other operating systems. It is completely free software, no matter how many times you download it or which platform you choose to use it. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator or scientist, GIMP offers you advanced tools to do your job.

GIMP provides the necessary tools for manipulating high-quality images. From retouching to restoration via creative composites.

Main Features

  • It gives users the power and flexibility to transform images into truly unique creations.
  • It can be used to produce icons and other graphic design elements for user interface components.
    GIMP offers first-class color management features to ensure high-quality color reproduction on digital and printed media.
  • GIMP offers extensibility thanks to integration with many programming languages, including Python, Perl and more.

04. Inkscape

Inkscape is a professional-quality vector graphics software that runs on Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux. It is used by design professionals and amateurs all over the world to create a wide variety of images, such as illustrations, icons, logos, diagrams, maps and web graphics. Like GIMP, it is an open source and free software.

Inkscape has a new user interface that presents the different tools and functions in a very accessible way. It has advanced drawing tools with capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator. It can import and export various file formats, including SVG, AI, EPS, PDF, PS, and offers multilingual support and is designed to be extensible. Users can customize Inkscape’s features with addons and plugins.

The Inkscape project has a growing international user community and many learning materials exist to help you get started with your creations and your imagination. However, as this is free software, one-to-one priority support may not be available.

05. Corel DRAW

Corel DRAW is not only an excellent vector graphics editor, but a full-fledged graphics suite that will satisfy both industry veterans and users who are new to graphic design.

One of the biggest problems with graphical suites is tool overload, as the offer of different tools can lead to an inflated user interface. Corel DRAW tackles this with its pre-packaged workspaces. Apply the workspace you need and the layout of the toolbar changes instantly to better suit your needs. Corel DRAW also has powerful font tools that allow you to define stylistic alternatives.

Main Features

  • Selecting the worksheet
  • Quick adjustment
  • Font playground
  • Multiple document interface
  • Photo editing tools in Photo-Paint (listed below)
  • Integrated content exchange
  • Photo zoom

06. Corel Photo-Painting

Corel Photo-Paint is an advanced image editor with features such as retouching and enhancing professional photos, powerful RAW image editing, advanced bitmap creation and digital painting, as well as simplified web export. This application provides professional editing tools and support for the recent PSD files, as well as extensive support for RAW files for more than 300 types of cameras.

The features are excellent, especially the editing tool dialog that makes it easier to work with different textures. Corel Photo-Paint’s liquid tools can greatly enhance your photos and drawings. Corel Photo-Paint, like Photoshop, offers a plethora of special features, such as support for multiple monitors, 4K and real-time stylus support, new startup tours, options for customizing workspaces, improved editing dialogs, a blurred lens, etc.

07. Pro Painting Workshop

Paint Shop Pro was founded by Jasc Software, but has since been acquired by Corel. It comes with features such as improved layers, more precise selection tools, faster brushes and many productivity-enhancing improvements.

Paint Shop Pro is a versatile software for photo enthusiasts who are looking for software that can act as a photo manager, editor and slider in an easy-to-use package that won’t break the bank.

Paint Shop Pro offers three applications in one: manage, customize and edit, which gives you access to tools specific to that particular task, keeping the interface clean and easier to use and understand.

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