10 Excellent Open Source and Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Feb 27 2009 by Daniel Shain | 189 Comments

Adobe Photoshop is a given in any designer’s wish list, and it comes with a host of features that allow for excellent and professional photo editing. The biggest obstacle to any designer who wants Photoshop is the price, which can be prohibitive. Fortunately there are a number of open source (and completely free) programs out there that do much of what Photoshop can, and sometimes more.

In this collection, you will find 10 excellent examples of open source and free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop.

This guest post for Six Revisions was written by Daniel Shain from LaptopLogic.com. At LaptopLogic you can have a look at the best gaming laptops and go through the latest laptop reviews.

1. GIMP

GIMP stands for “GNU image manipulation program”, and it is one of the oldest and most well known alternatives to Photoshop in existence. Although it doesn’t quite have all of them, you’ll find most of the features included in Photoshop somewhere in GIMP. GIMP is cross platform and supported by a large community.

If just having the feature set isn’t enough for you, there is an alternative based on GIMP known as GIMPShop. It’s the same as GIMP, except the layout has been structured as close to Photoshop as possible, so anyone making the transition should still feel right at home.

GIMP - screen shot.

2. Krita

Krita has been lauded for ease of use and won the Akademy Award for Best Application in 2006. Part of the Koffice suite for Linux, Krita is slightly less powerful than both Photoshop and GIMP, but does contain some unique features.

Krita - screen shot.

3. Paint.NET

Paint.NET has grown out of a simple replacement for the well known MSPaint into a fully featured open source image editor with a wide support base. You’ll need Windows to run Paint.NET.

Paint.NET - screen shot.

4. ChocoFlop

ChocoFlop is a design application designed exclusively for Mac, optimized for Mac architecture. It’s quick and fairly well featured. This program won’t always be free, but until a stable version is released (it’s currently in beta) they are allowing free use. The program works pretty well as is, and if you’re the type who doesn’t mind an occasional bug it’s certainly worth a look.

ChocoFlop - screen shot.

5. Cinepaint

Cinepaint is designed primarily for video often used to make animated feature films by major studios, but it is also a great image editor capable of high fidelity 32 bit color. Currently there is no stable version for Windows.

Cinepaint - screen shot.

6. Pixia

Pixia was originally designed in Japanese but English versions now exist for this rich editor. Although the original focus was on anime/manga, it is a very capable editor in general. Some of the features are a little counter intuitive, but there are plenty of English tutorials available now if you want to give it a shot. The website seems to have changed recently, so be sure to use our link if you don’t want a Japanese error message. Pixia works for Windows.

Pixia - screen shot.

7. Pixen

Pixen is designed as a pixel artist’s dream, but has expanded into a smooth and well featured overall editor. It’s definitely best at animation though, if that’s your style. Pixen is Mac (10.4x or later) only.

Pixen - screen shot.

8. Picnik

Picnik is a web based photo editor that has recently taken off due to a partnership with Flickr. It has all the basic features plus a few advanced ones like layers and special effects. It is cross platform since you only need a browser.

Picnik - screen shot.

9. Splashup

Another web based application, Splashup has a strong set of features (including those layers) and will remind you somewhat of Photoshop. It integrates easily with photo sharing websites and just like the above, is cross platform.

Splashup - screen shot.

10. Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe actually has a free web based photo editor of their own. It has all the basic functionality you’d expect as well as a few advanced features (sadly though, no layers), and interfaces well with a number of photo sharing websites. Again, completely cross platform.

Adobe Photoshop Express - screen shot.

Your favorite open source/free image editor?

There are many excellent open source and free alternative photo editors out there, and if your favorite isn’t on the list – why don’t you tell us about it in the comments?

Related content

Daniel Shain is freelance writer for the Laptop Logic Team – providing news and reviews on mobile technology. He’s also an avid Boston sports fan. Daniel graduated from Union College in ’07 with a BA in English and a minor in Computer Science.

189 Comments

V1

February 27th, 2009

Shouldn’t it be ..

10 Excellent Open Source OR Free Alternatives to Photoshop.

As far i know the web based services are not all open source ;)

Daniel

February 27th, 2009

Great post, but I am really not convinced that you could use a web based editor as a replacement for Photoshop.

Elliot

February 27th, 2009

I can’t believe you’re missing Artweaver
http://artweaver.de/
It’s much better than any of these products. The paint engine it has is superb.

gstratt

February 27th, 2009

Do any of the alternative in the list above supports PS brushes?

JMarin

February 27th, 2009

Great post! Thanks… SUMO PAINT (http://sumopaint.com/web/) is another web based image editor that works on both Mac and PC.

Mark

February 27th, 2009

Aviary (http://aviary.com/) has a growing suite of web-based image manipulation tools including a vector editor as well as a standard Photoshop-type app called Phoenix. It has some really cool collaborative features and the ability to import and open an image from a URL, which is a pretty cool feature It also supports many keyboard commands such as Command+D to deselect, etc. so it’s pretty easy to get used to. It’s by no means a replacement, but a good little tool to do some quick and dirty work if you can’t access Photoshop or don’t feel like waiting for it to load.

Wez

February 27th, 2009

Aviary’s Phoenix is also a great free alternative to Photoshop – http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/edit-images-online-with-the-aviary-web-suite/

Anton

February 27th, 2009

You forgot to mention Pixelmator.

Top Ten Blogging

February 27th, 2009

I’ve used both Photoshop and GIMP and firmly believe that GIMP can satisfy the needs for most people. The heavy graphic designers may need all that Photoshop offers, but most people, myself included, will find that GIMP still does more than what they’ll ever need.

iGadget

February 27th, 2009

what about pixelmator? http://pixelmator.com
ahh, it ain’t free… Okay-okay..

lashtal

February 27th, 2009

The apps mentioned are alternatives to msPaint at best.

Tyler

February 27th, 2009

I’ve enjoyed chocoflop, and haven’t had too many issues.

Claudus

February 27th, 2009

@gstratt
Gimp supports PS brushes

Metapocolypse

February 27th, 2009

I swear by Paint and Gimp

neysan

February 27th, 2009

Don’t call the post “Excellent” if they are not excellent alternatives. There is simply no alternative for Photoshop.

!

February 27th, 2009

LONG LIVE PHOTOSHOP

ridlydidly

February 27th, 2009

How about Picasa

http://picasa.google.com/

I have used it for many years and it sure does the job 4 me and is easy to use

Lonny Eachus

February 27th, 2009

Another glaring omission is Xara Xtreme. Xara has been working on going open-source since 2006. While the project has been taking a long time, version 0.7 is available for download for Linux, and they say a version for OS X will be out “soon”.

This is more an illustration package (vector graphics) than Photoshop, but it does allow bitmap editing, and what it does, it does very well and very fast. It can also use Photoshop plugins.

Flimm

February 27th, 2009

The following are not open source:
- Paint .NET (not anymore)
- Chocoflop
- Pixia
- Pixen
- Adobe Photoshop Express
as well as the web based ones, probably.
I’m tired of people using the “open source” headlines to get more clicks, even if the article has nothing to do with open source. Please stop. The term “open source” has a very strict definition and should not be used lightly. Thank you.

Flimm

February 27th, 2009

Correction to my last comment: Pixen actually is open source, it’s released under the MIT license.

Cowicide

February 27th, 2009

If it doesn’t have an equivalent to Photoshop’s ‘Smart Objects’, it’s pretty much useless to most professionals (who know what they are doing).

krisu

February 27th, 2009

@gstratt: The GIMP supports Photoshop’s brushes nowadays.

Not bad list, but I have already using GIMP and I don’t need others :)

tyroelite

February 27th, 2009

Phoenix from Aviary is an excellent web based tool. Aviary also offers several other image tools.

http://www.aviary.com

TheOldGit

February 27th, 2009

@ gstratt
not sure about the others but the latest version of Gimp does

chad

February 27th, 2009

on OS X you also have Pixelmator… it’s f’in great.

http://www.pixelmator.com/

John Thomas

February 27th, 2009

Cool tools for sure but nothing compares to Photoshop.

http://www.be-anonymous.us.tc

ken

February 27th, 2009

Take a look here for 10 online photos tools

http://kennygunie.online.fr/index.php/2009/01/25/10-editeurs-dimage-en-ligne/

English by Google :

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&langpair=auto|en&u=http://kennygunie.online.fr/index.php/2009/01/25/10-editeurs-dimage-en-ligne/&tbb=1

graphicartist2k5

February 27th, 2009

here we go AGAIN with the “top 10 list of alternative/open source/free/lame ass programs that can be used instead of photoshop! WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT IN THESE LISTS? i’ve tried the gimp, and i wasn’t the least bit impressed, and i’ve tried paint.net as well, with the same results. WHY? because i know that photoshop stomps them ALL into the ground. it’s that simple.

kwer

February 27th, 2009

Pixel Image Editor is also an interesting option, available for Linux, Mac and Windows:
http://www.kanzelsberger.com/pixel/?page_id=12

(not open source though, but still economic)

Ranjeet Walunj

February 27th, 2009

If you’ve GIMP do you need to look for others ?

It pretty much does everything which a designer needs.

I’m not a designer, but it works for me :-)

Daniel

February 27th, 2009

As far as I know, Gimpshop hasn’t been updated since 2006. So it’s fairly outdated.

Janko

February 27th, 2009

Great to see Paint.NET on the list. I am actually preparing a small tutorial on how to do simple manipulations in this editor.

Neil Gilbert

February 27th, 2009

You can add pixlr.com to the list. It’s a completely web based editor.

Marcelo Minholi

February 27th, 2009

@gstratt GIMP supports PS brushes and there is a lot of plugins out there too.

Sudoeste

February 27th, 2009

Pixel image editor.

Cheap, lightweight, powerful and multiplatform
http://www.kanzelsberger.com/pixel/?page_id=12

Dabbler

February 27th, 2009

How about Aviary.com?

Honour Chick

February 27th, 2009

very good alternatives…. makes you wonder why people still buy photoshop :(

Dylan

February 27th, 2009

Thank God you didn’t use the word ‘replacements’ in the title. I might have had to kill you.

SteveM

February 27th, 2009

To go along with the other web-based ones, you really should include http://aviary.com/tools/phoenix. On top of the image editor there is an ever expanding set of tools to go with it (vector editor, font editor, etc.)

Andrew

February 27th, 2009

The problem with all of these is:
1) None are nearly as good as photoshop
2) Most people who buy photoshop need the entire creative suite. Of which, there aren’t really any good alternatives, especially in the design industry.

Until companies are willing to compete against the entire suite, there will be a problem

Doug

February 27th, 2009

I LOVED GIMP also until I had to actually really truly use it. At which point, I realized it was perhaps the worst, most unintuitive Pieces of Software I’d ever used. If you love Photoshop, GIMP will make you want to tear your hair out.

JAC

February 28th, 2009

@Elliot: Artweaver is awesome, but it’s more akin to Painter. It, in fact, will flatten PSDs when you open them. (I found that out the hard way… T_T…)

@gstratt: Making brushes in GIMP is pretty easy, once you get the hang of it. I used it to turn my logo into a sort-of stamp. :D —> http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Custom_Brushes/

… also, Dan, I second that thought. Just how much ram would the safety saves take? And what makes Sumo, Picnik, and Splashup any different from… Tegaki or RateMyDrawings? Madness, I say… -_-;

joe

February 28th, 2009

Don’t forget Pixelmator for Mac.

http://www.pixelmator.com/

Ricardo

February 28th, 2009

Gimpshop is now too old, hasn’t anybody came with a newer version than 2.2? Gimp 2.6 has really good stuff. The only thing missing from Photoshop are layer styles. Other than that you get almost every key feature.

Online, Aviary Phoenix ROCKS!

SadistiX

February 28th, 2009

Adobe Photoshop Express is hardly an alternative to Photoshop cos it’s so limited in features.

Phil Davies

February 28th, 2009

I use gimp as my main tool for all of
my web designs,It works just find for
me.Thanks for the great list.

Cindy Sue Causey

February 28th, 2009

Am seeing GIMP getting some LONG overdue airtime lately.. As an outspoken disability self-advocate, its name, um, [bytes] terribly..

The program itself has worked wonderfully for these Fingertips.. Found it after a computer crash when I couldn’t remember the name of another I had been using.. GIMP turned out to possibly be what the other “free software” one I was using may have come from, *only better*.. :grin:

Thanks for the list.. Opening a couple in other tabs this second to give them a shot, too.. Good to have *CHOICE*.. :wink:

ink

February 28th, 2009

a great web based alternative to photoshop is
pixlr
http://www.pixlr.com/

direct link for the editor:
http://www.pixlr.com/editor/
also has tranlation capabilities

Elliot

February 28th, 2009

Of course it will flatten them JAC, however, it has the most used features implemented in a proper way. It also supports natively PS brushes.

Online Hry

February 28th, 2009

I use GIMP and i think that is best free alternative to Photoshop. If you want use same skin as Photoshop, use GIMPShop.

alfred devanesan sam

February 28th, 2009

great work …carry on your good work… excellent post

Make Stable Money Online

February 28th, 2009

Great post, Photoshop still rules though =)

Moucon

March 1st, 2009

Your list is old news. Sumo is by far the best web-based image editor to date.

Ayub

March 1st, 2009

There is one more software; fast, simple and very light. Known as Photofiltre. Check it out here… http://photofiltre.free.fr/frames_en.htm

Wesley

March 1st, 2009

Although there are some highly capable alternatives, as we can see by some of these posts, nothing will ever have the snob appeal of Photoshop. For many, that alone is worth the price of admission. Even if you don’t use but 15% of its features, nothing says “I know what I’m doing” like CS4.

macobex

March 1st, 2009

Nice List mate.
The most famous among the alternatives is definitely GIMP. But i really don’t like it, because of it’s not so organized workplace. For web-based alternative, I prefer Splashup.. because of it’s simplicity. Thanks for the post..

Rick

March 1st, 2009

The pros are already using PS, and aren’t in the market for an alternative. The rest of us can’t or won’t shell out that kind of dough for image editing software, so this list is a great place to start. For me, it’s GIMP, because it’s so powerful and I’ve taken the time to get familiar with it. I’ve also used Picasa for quick basic editing. I’m going to take a look at Paint.net to see what it can do.

Jamie

March 2nd, 2009

Photoshop has got a large financial backing from Adobe and has had many years of many people working on its development, hence why it is probably the best known image manipulation software out there. The alternatives that do not cost the user to obtain are probably developed by small teams who will probably receive little or no income for creating these tools.

GIMP and the likes do not require the user to part with any cash to obtain them, hence why they are popular photo manipulation programs. CS4 can cost hundreds of pounds and myself like lots of other people do not want to part with such money for computer software nor get involved with illegal copies.

People who want a free equivalent (copy or clone) of Photoshop will probably be disappointed. Photoshop is Photoshop and GIMP is GIMP. They are different programs that have different features and different workflows. Okay so some of the programs will do similar tasks to Photoshop and maybe do them in different ways, but like I said, they are not Photoshop. That is not to say one is “better” than the other, people have a choice of available image editing software and this list shows ones that do not cost to obtain. If you want Adobe Photoshop and can afford it, then by all means buy it. If you want a program to edit images that does not cost you anything, then try something from this list but it will not be Photoshop :-)

Oh and lastly, I’m pretty sure that Gimpshop has been replaced with Photogimp or something with a similar name…

Arnold L. Johnson

March 2nd, 2009

It very easy to say Photoshop is the graphic industry standard, even to the point that you can’t do serious computer art of any vein unless you have it or know it. The truth is that only the file format matters. Can you import and export, can you manipulate, can you send your files to a printer be it desktop or commercial off set.

True artist use whatever is at their disposal. If you are locked into using a commercial graphics software as a company employee, that is your limitation. The audacity of folks to use other software to do what you are doing is not a smirch on your intelligence. I am under no obligation to purchase a Cadillac when the Chevy will do just fine (still GM).

I use GIMP and Inkscape on a Linux platform (Xubuntu). I am quite pleased with the workflows and the outcomes. I have never used Photoshop. GIMP is not a free Photoshop, that is called copyright infringement. While it is great to have one program that does everything, a different program that does things differently is of great value. Maybe Photoshop with GIMP on the side eh? You have the best paintbrushes money can buy but that cheapo brush is all worn out because you really like it. Gee, several hundred dollars vs free, where’s the comparison?

Elizabeth K. Barone

March 2nd, 2009

While I love Photoshop, I still have PaintShopPro X on my laptop as an alternative, just in case. I actually just lost my Photoshop (had a trial version of CS3 design premium) and am currently saving up for CS4. I can’t say enough how glad I am that I kept PSP on hand.

This is a nice list though, and I will definitely bookmark it because you never know when you might need something like this.

ljames

March 3rd, 2009

Ummm, no app has ever come as close to replacing Photoshop as Pixelmator… and not even a mention? Lists like these never fail to shock and disappoint.

Julian

March 3rd, 2009

AIE (Ajax-Image-Editor) http://www.ajax-image-editor.com is free and open source and you can integrate it in your webpage. It uses ExtJS/Javascript on clientside and PHP/ImageMagick on Serverside.

domineaux

March 3rd, 2009

Photoshop is the better tool we all know that.
All the pinkos saying photoshop is the king,etc. have probably pirated the photoshop. Photoshop is a very expensive program, and it sure as heck isn’t a software you would buy without a serious purpose for buying.

I don’t steal software or borrow it. I buy it, so open source alternatives are meaningful to people like me.

Pirating software is bad…it makes a thief out of otherwise honest people. People that normally wouldn’t steal a dime will steal music, videos, software off the web and never think about it. Well, it is stealing and thats a fact.

This posting is about open source tools. I doubt anyone that owns a legitimate copy of Photoshop would ever search or look for Opensource graphic tools to replace the quality of a photoshop.

ScottW

March 4th, 2009

Seeing as the purpose of this post is to refer to alternatives to commercial software in the photo editing realm, I see no reason why those above me and possibly below are acting like such asses over the extreme possibility that some open source software might actually come close to being as good as their costly Adobe is.

Are we forgetting that the whole idea behind FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) is freedom of choice? If some high end graphics artist wants to shell out a chunk of change for his software, that’s his or her choice. In keeping freedom of choice in mind here, it’s also the option of another individual to decide to use an open source piece of software that works for them.

I’ve used both Adobe’s Photoshop and the GIMP myself. Both took time to get acquainted to in order to be able to use efficiently. And both I might add, resulted in very satisfactory images.

Both have their place and each of us has their choice in which one to use. If you can justify the cost of Adobe, by all means go ahead and shell out that money. If on the other hand, you can’t justify it, GIMP or some of the others will do just fine.

It all comes down to how well you know your software and how to use it.

BlackJackTrainer

March 4th, 2009

Gimp are easy to work…

xea

March 5th, 2009

Thanks for the links ;)

gimphoto

March 6th, 2009

if you search for photoshop free alternative then maybe you should consider GimPhoto, afaik this is the most closest to Photoshop than other software.

actually GimPhoto is GIMP 2.4 modification using new PS menu layout and PS shortcuts, packed with many great plugins, such as: CMYK separation, Save for Web, Batch Process, Noise Removal and Photography Filters, and also improved with new brushset, new gradientset, every aspect is tweaked to improve user usability (available for Windows and Linux)

David

March 9th, 2009

I have to question whether a lot of you GIMP haters have taken the time to try the latest version. I used Photoshop for years, from v3 to CS1, and when it became economically nonviable to keep *legally* updated, I switched to GIMP 2.3dev and have never looked back. It was frustrating at first, but I committed myself to *learning* GIMP and am glad I did. Now that I can actually afford to buy PS again if I really wanted to, I choose not to. There’s simply nothing I need to do that I can’t do in GIMP (and probably faster, since I’d have to relearn PS).

The current GIMP 2.6 is incredibly powerful — I’d say the only significant feature lacking is support for 16-bit color, and that is currently being developed by way of GEGL. MOST people using Photoshop do not work in 16-bit color, so this is hardly a crippling limitation for most of us. If you take the time to learn GIMP instead of expecting it to behave exactly like PS, you would probably be surprised to find that it can do 98+% of what PS can do. You just might have to manually perform some operations that PS wraps up in a nice plug-in — then again, many PS plugins are supported in GIMP.

BTW I do NOT recommend GimpShop, as it is abandonware and based on a much more limited version of Gimp 2.2. If you want the most out of GIMP, then learn GIMP and stop trying to force it to be Photoshop. That said, GIMP keymapping is fully customizable and has for a long time shipped with an alternative keymap that mimics most PS keystrokes.

For those contemplating GIMP for serious work, I highly recommend these two books:

“Beginning Gimp” by Akkana Peck (don’t let the “Beginning” title fool you, it gets into quite advanced topics, including writing your own plugins)

“The Artist’s Guide to GIMP Effects” by Michael J. Hammel

Seahawk

March 9th, 2009

Wow!

What an impressive number of comments, even from people who is not pro open source.

I have recently updated my paint.net without any issue. Apparently there are version developed by some people where you now have to buy, but I think they do not stick with open source philosophy.

I have Photo Shop, Paint.net, Gimp, and a number of other commercial and open source software. Each have there strong points and each have there lacks.

So what’s the issue again?

Michael Hendrickx

March 9th, 2009

amazing tips, thank you!

da LLama

March 11th, 2009

I think that most people have very limited requirements when it comes to image editing software and could get things done with the above listed programs. Bluntly put, 90% percent of people who think they need PhotoShop – don’t.

But there is a reason why Photoshop and CS cost as much as they do and why they are so popular. Professional graphic designers and artist (or just those who are very serious about their work ;) will tell you there is no (free) replacement for PS since it combines the possibilities of photo editing, filters, tools for vector graphics (paths) and very good response when using tablets. Also, using CS allows even more tools that are compatible and based on the same concept.

Most freeware programs can replace one aspect of PS well enough (at least when it comes to photo editing – when dealing with tablets and drawing, I still haven’t found anything that can provide both satisfactory response and nifty concepts like layers or photo filters). But if you need to combine more of these aspects – if you can afford it – better buy PS than combine different free software that together will never be as practical (and compatible) as PS and CS.

But like I said, if you’re just interested in photo editing or photo manips, there is enough of free and completely satisfactory software out there. Leave PS for the demanding pros – they get paid for using it ;)

Tom

March 11th, 2009

Picasa is another pretty good editor.

Jacklyn

March 12th, 2009

My favorite editing program that is most like photo shop is
Artweaver. It does have some extra features that photoshop doesn’t have too!
Like a embellish tool. On photoshop you have to select, cut and then go to embellish on the top tool bar. But artweaver has it as a tool. It has several other features as well. And of course, its free!

http://www.artweaver.de/index.php?en_version

Eclectic Eccentric

March 12th, 2009

GIMP 2.6 is a decent program enough, and I would use it still if my computer would actually work when I tried to boot up the program (Instead, it causes my computer to freeze, and I must restart). HOWEVER, I have experienced Adobe Photoshop, from a CS3 trial, to the CS2 avaliable on many computers at my school, and to my own Elements 5. And even if I had a choice between Adobe and GIMP, I’d most certainly go with Adobe. Adobe is smoother and far more organized in structure, and even though my Elements 5 lacks key features, such as the Pen Tool, I still get better results from it than I ever did from GIMP, tablet or no tablet. But then again, the preference all ties in with what the user wants and needs.

Photographer

March 12th, 2009

Great article!
But here’s another great program named PhotoFiltre

ashley

March 12th, 2009

I’ve used GIMP before and I wasn’t impressed… the only image editing/creating programs besides the adobe suite that have held my interest were those that charged a fee unfortunately, which is corel painter x and artrage for its intuitive painting. photoshop is still industry standard and probably will be for a very long time, simply because adobe has the cash resources to constantly improve the program, while the open source developers generally dont get paid much or at all for their work (which, considering that, they do great work).

if someone wants to work in the design industy, adobe suite knowledge is a must, simply put. you can afford photoshop if your a student – they give out academic licenses (which allows full usage even commercial) for $300 for the design premium cs3… i bought that when i bought my laptop for college. all you need is proof that your a student, and you get student pricing on anything adobe. of course, they also sell a super cheap ‘student’ edition ($100 i think, its the full program), which prohibits commercial work… its confusing, but if you plan on making money designing then the academic version is the way to go. you can get these discounts straight from adobe, not some questionable third party.

(by the way, im from the US – the licensing is different in other countries but some form of student priced software is available everywhere adobe is)

Zammy

March 13th, 2009

Here’s a moral question:

You use an open source, free alternative to Photoshop. As a result you don’t need to pay for Photoshop, but have to use applications worse off than Photoshop.

You manage to find a free version of Photoshop [through means I shall not describe]. You don’t need to pay for it, but you get to enjoy the full power of Photoshop.

In both cases you don’t pay a cent. But for the latter, you get to enjoy Photoshop and publicise it as you use it. Right?

Actually I’m just saying so because Photoshop is just so good, nothing comes close. But the latest version is so ex, it’s cheaper to find an outdated Photoshop version through EBay, and yet still have awesome features. They really didn’t change much through the years.

MAID

March 13th, 2009

Thanks for this helpful post.
Thanks also to everyone who commented and recommended other alternatives. You’re all so helpful!
I’ll go check out those….

Hockey Prophet

March 13th, 2009

Nice article.

Photo Shop and Harley Davidson motorcycles have some thing in common: You pay a lot for a label. The only real benefit is the attitude you can project since you can say you have one or the other.

The reality is that there are alternatives which work just as well. Another reality is that most people resist change of any kind. Having to learn how to use a new application is time consuming, the real price tag few are willing to pay.

Leena

March 14th, 2009

Don`t forget to try Photoscape !!

http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php

putude

March 15th, 2009

Yeah, I tired to explore google.com to find another similar software. GIMP and their friend make me confuse. I’m frustrated with this software. But we should appreciate the GIMP creator/community for their great job.

jpcha2

March 18th, 2009

You should take a look at Chasys Draw IES, and see if you like it. I think it gives Photoshop some real competition

indera

March 20th, 2009

wow, thank u.. i love “free”

Moe Shinola

March 20th, 2009

Which of these are the easiest for designing bumper stickers? With Photoshop there’s a forest of GUI and features to wade through so it’s hard to figure anything out.

The YPI

April 2nd, 2009

Thanks
Really something that I was looking for.

T-Law

April 3rd, 2009

Awesome list, thanks ;)

Mel M. M. M.

April 11th, 2009

Fantastic post. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge on this. It’s fantastic to know there are so many options. :O)

prem ypi

April 16th, 2009

Great collection. You are really doing community service by showing the alternatives.. i like specially the ChocoFlop and the pixen.

Mike

June 4th, 2009

Great thread ,
I agree with Hockey prophets’s views. I don’t care if it’s commercial , web based or open source ,I want somehitng thats simple to use and produces half decent results.
I would happily pay for photoshop if i could take it home and use it out of the box. I have tried friends copies as they rave about it but I just don’t have the patience for it. I have also tried abouit half of the programs above also. As an infrequent hobbist I want somehting I can master in days not months because i don’t have the time (or won’t invest it)and I have no real needs for perfection. I do have a few wants, the major one being a one or two click method of removing (or reducing to acceptable levels)the flare on peoples faces from flash photography, I have a good quality compact camera which I just want to point and click for half decent snaps (not quality photos) and yes i coudl get a bettter camera ,but the same philosophy applies, I don’t wnat to invest loads of time learning a beter quality camera , i just want to automatically take half decent snaps (not high quality photos), and be able to easily remove the semi regular problems with them and get on with my life.
If anyone can recommend a program that a hobbyist can use to easily remove skin blemishes liek flash , i’d be obliged , thnaks.

jpcha2

June 14th, 2009

Thought you might want to know -Chasys Draw IES is now free and more powerful than ever. Try it and you’ll never look at Photoshop again

RareHero

June 16th, 2009

I Love GIMP. Too bad I’m not any good at it.

Mary Cook

June 23rd, 2009

i don’t know what a web site is i have a spot on zazzle.com which is http://www.zazzle.com/sugie_sug* .do to a head injury i have a hard time,specially with reading and grasping what i read. what i need is something or someone to show me how to enlarge a image. so is there a spot to go. FREE PLEASE i have no money. thanks.
mary

Naruto

July 15th, 2009

i seriously can never figure out how to do anything in gimp… plus almost all cool tutorials are for photoshop

James

July 22nd, 2009

That’s a great review but there still does not seem to be any real equivalent to Photoshop. Better start checking for the best prices instead.

Jeff

July 23rd, 2009

I was mislead into coming here by your inaccurate title (half of these aren’t “open source”). Please fix it.

alexxie

August 24th, 2009

don’t forget that photoshop is the best image editing software in the world, just check out the tools very well, they are super amazing. (if it can’t be a photoshop definitely is not a photoshop) am from Nigeria. thanx

Kim

September 5th, 2009

I use Irfanview, Paint and Gimp and I’m really surprised no one mentioned Irfanview.com in this post, it’s been around for awhile and it’s better than Paint. I’m not a designer or anything just basic stuff and I find Gimp rather intimidating. I think Irfanview is one of the easiest to learn (aside from Paint because its been around for so long) but I mainly use it to convert personal pics to an icon file so I can “personalize” my desktop folders. Thanks for the post, will bookmark it in case I start getting more adventurous!

Leo

September 22nd, 2009

Questions for all those who swear by Photoshop… How much does it cost? Did YOU pay for it? Would it be fair to say that Photoshop costs about $800 to buy? How much does Gimp cost? For those of us who are living and working on a tight budget. It’s a no-brainer. I understand the cost of software development and everything but why so much for a great product that needs no advertising. It could sell it self two-fold if the cost was much lower.

Soi

November 16th, 2009

THE problem with the PS/CS suite isn’t simply the price one has to pay to “buy in”… it is the price one has to pay to “buy in” again and again and again and again. I wouldn’t mind paying $1000 for a program _once_, with reasonable and inexpensive updates (around $100) every year. But when I have to pay between $500 and $1000 every one to two years to stay current–as happened when I (foolishly?) upgraded to Snow Leopard–I want to look elsewhere. (Either that or pirate a newer copy of software I purchased in the past… which is–despite the assertion some people want to force upon us–isn’t stealing).

Photoshop’s monopolistic prominence as the “industry standard” seems to have given them the right in their eyes to massively overcharge for their adequate product. After all, if you’re a design professional, where’ya gonna go?

(Recall back in the day when there were viable competitive alternatives to Adobe? Recall the price structure then? See?)

It is high time more commitment by users (and for those with the programming skills, new developers) flows in the direction of Open Source alternatives to Monopolyware.

Now you know.

Paul

November 23rd, 2009

Photoshop is great, but its always nice to have alternatives if you can’t afford it. Thanks for the list and thanks to all those who added to it via comments.

Basilio Guzman

November 25th, 2009

FREE is a price anyone can pay. I used to work as a graphic designer and have used The GIMP extensively for paid work. None of my customer have ever noticed it was not made with Adobe Photoshop. When you are an artist, the tools you use do not make any diference necessarily.

Ian Brodie

December 6th, 2009

I must admit, I struggled with GIMP. I could do some basics, but I struggled to select objects. Once I created a shape or object it became uneditable.

In the end I stumped up and got Fireworks.

Ian

Prashant

December 16th, 2009

Nobody mentioned about Photo pos pro, now available free from its maker at http://www.photopos.com
Every single soft is good, unless you make those stuffs to work for you. Gimp is hard to learn. I liked photo pos, just because of its easy interface and learning curve.

Proworkflow

January 1st, 2010

Some people post comments without reading the article… those of you who are complaining about this list excluding Siebel, Salesforce, etc please read the title of the article: “the top 10 OPEN SOURCE crm solutions” …which obviously rules out the above mentioned, as well as Outlook or Excel and similar paid products.

baycrum

January 3rd, 2010

I find Photoshop hard for me at least(not sure why)
And I never used GIMP before.Then I used Gimp and it was easier.Perhaps it was because I used Paint Before.The only way I could use Photoshop was at school or at the library.
Gimp feels better for me.Also You can create your own brushes!
How cool is that?The only problem is that when you say you use GIMP people act like you’re nonprofessional.Just because something costs more doesn’t mean it’s good.It’s just like saying some 100$ pants are better than a pair of 10$ even though they both serve the same function.Just as GIMP and Photoshop serve the same function:To edit photos and images.

jtools

January 4th, 2010

If you know Japanese , I recommend AzPainter or Nekopaint free.

If you know Japanese and you pay the developer the shareware fee , I recommend SAI or Nekopaint , 4thpaint.

Josiah

January 16th, 2010

Chocoflop has been discontinued :(

Paul

January 16th, 2010

no alternative for photoshop? are you serious? if you make a living out of creating and editing images then you won’t mind paying 600$ but for 95% of the people on this planet one (or a combination) of the above software will suit them just fine. I can do anything i want using paint.net and never had any problems. photoshop is definitely better than any of these (after all people get paid to work on it) but it doesn’t make sense for an average Joe to get one to. It’s like getting a bugatti veyron to get to your work and back home.
excelent list. it helped me very much

Netbooks

January 28th, 2010

Photoshop is way too expensive – if they woul dsell it for a reasonabke price they would get a lot more customers – paint.net is fine why pay $800 for photoshop ?

Gord

February 14th, 2010

As a person with 29 years of personal/volunteer computers graphics work, in 2D, vector illustration, and 6 years of extensive 3D artwork (Bryce, TrueSpace), I now KNOW that PhotoShop is nothing but an expensive JOKE!. There are hundreds of freeware graphics plugins that will work with numerous freeware programs. You take out all the effects out of PhotoShop you’ll basically get nothing but a shell. By the way, as far as I’m concerned, Apple computers are also a waste of time and money. I’m a PC user, and really happy that I stuck Windows. There literally hundreds of freeware/open-source programs available for Windows. I now only do digital artwork in 3D and then use the 2D graphics programs for post-processing. A little food for thought for the ones that are dinosaurs and still use 2-dimensional graphics for artwork.

Arturo

February 18th, 2010

I do believe that this whole discussion comes from the fact that Photoshop has two different publics (as in editing and retouching software).
We have the design crowd that would make… I don´t know… 3D flaming lettering or something and the common user that wants to retouch his photos.
In the GIMP we have levels, curves, white balance, focus and defocus tools, color temperature, masks, selection tools, channels, image resizing and I would like to know any specific tool that you use in a daily , in a daily basis, basis that is not there.
On the minus side: raw processing, changing brush size and color profiles.
But if you work with jpgs from your point and shoot, don’t print, and don’t mind limited brush size while making localized correction ¿Why not? As a matter of fact, I would prefer using the GIMP rather than Elements because it has curves and easy to use layer masks. (And you can manage raws with Photoscape which is also free)

camnio

February 23rd, 2010

I’m surprised at the power of some of these open sourced programs.

Cindi

April 10th, 2010

I think the main reason for this article and the suggestions is due to the price of Photoshop. There are very few people that would need the program in their day-to-day life. I have Photoshop, Elements, Paint, Gimp, and Paintshop. However, the program I use for 99% of my work as a photographer is PhotoImpact. It uses objects not layers, but is very comparable and about $400 dollars less!

Duncan

April 20th, 2010

I have just (3/4 days) begun using Gimp. Previous Photoshop user 11-12 years. Its might be time consuming learning a new app but I am yet to find a process that Gimp can’t do…

Greg Lorriman

April 25th, 2010

I’ve used Photoshop and while Gimp may have a lot of power it is destructive and missing too may power features (layer groups, for example, or non-destructive transformations/effects).

The only program that comes close to PhotoShop, in my experience, is Serif’s Photo Plus. But Serif don’t eat their own dog food and so they never fix long standing stupid bugs, have poor UI implementation (lazy programmers: speaking as one), and implement some advanced features so poorly as to make them impractical/unusable. For example batch processing where we must navigate from ‘my computer’ all the way through drives, ‘documents and settings’ etc for both in and out and does not remember and no ability to paste a path (which would have saved the situation)?!?!? And then batch processing again that permits photoshop plugins but you cannot set the plugin settings?!?!?!? The former is a programmers fault but the latter is a feature purely for a features list and not for the end user: ie the management are rotten too.

It’s terrible because this program has serious potential somehow completely unrecognized.

Serif are a company in need of takeover.

(caveat: I haven’t used the latest edition. X2 was such a disappointment that I gave up).

Maxwell

April 26th, 2010

Thanks to those who have contributed their comment for this educative article.l was using phoroshop before my computer got crashed and after reformatting , l lost my beautiful photoshop. Then resorted to GIMP; and l must confess that GIMP serve almost the same purpose – all depends on your experience and capabuility. GIMP teams have really done a great work, more grease to their effort. Finally, please lets join hands and help GIMP teams financially , so that they GIMP can atleast knock photoshop out. Thanks

ram singh mehra

May 15th, 2010

Hey Thx…
nice link…
i am use PhotoPlus X3… nice software… :)
Bcaz I’m surprised at the power of some of these open sourced programs & same featured…

Tony

June 1st, 2010

You know, I’ve used PhotoShop since around version 4. That was back in ’96 or ’97. I’ve also used the Corel Suite since that time. I’m not a “professional” artist, even though I’ve done some things that can be considered “professional” (university portal redesign, comic book art, layouts, paintings, business cards, newsletters, ads for different things, etc.). I’ll be honest with you. I think that most of the people that have posted on here preaching the wonder and grace of PhotoShop simply haven’t even tried any of the alternatives. It’s like somebody saying the Bible has lies and contradictions in it, and when you ask them if they’ve ever read it, they tell you no. In professional graphics and layouts development, PhotoShop and GIMP are very close. Both have limitations and both have strengths. However, GIMP is free. THAT is enough to edge PhotoShop out, in my opinion. Yes, it is true that GIMP isn’t as intuitive, and the workflow in GIMP is a little more difficult to get used to, but everything worth learning and powerful enough to fulfill many tasks in design and editing is going to be a bit complicated. That’s the nature of using very robust programs and applications. There probably will NEVER be an application that will change the color, saturation, and lightness of a photo in one click. These are VERY complicated calculations. So, in completing these types of complicated tasks, PhotoShop, in my opinion, is NOT superior to GIMP. Put in the time to learn GIMP, or even Paint.NET, to be honest, and I’m sure your results will be more than satisfying. If you haven’t ever tried them for a reasonable amount of experimentation (i.e., actually tried to complete a task), then you really shouldn’t be complaining about the inferiority of these programs to PhotoShop. When GIMP (and others) are completely free, and I have to pay an exorbitant amount of money up-front for PhotoShop, and then additional sums every year or two to upgrade, the choice becomes elementary. Have a nice day folks. Happy creating.

Oh, lol. Great article, by the way. :o)

manny

June 7th, 2010

gimp is getting the long waited monowindow mode

will be twice as easy to use and learn.

will have traditional mode and monowindow mode very soon

everyone should be happy :)

Ricardo

June 12th, 2010

Hello. I want to know if any of these art software programs mentioned or any other software out there (preferred Freeware, but also show shareware ones if only) can do 2 of the following things:

1. An art software program that has the ability to edit “Nodes” or pull points on a drawing.

2. Not sure what it’s called, but the ability to “shape shift” a drawn object that the object can be bent slantingly forward or backwards (“|___/”, “|___\”).

I have Paint.Net & it is very good, but does not (as far as I know) have the ability to do those 2 great things.

Basically comparable to “Adobe Illustrator” or much like “Photoshop” in that regard.

Thank you in advance. God bless :) .

leebojammin

June 30th, 2010

I dont know where you got your information from regarding paint.net and its ‘open source ‘license, but its not. I just rechecked the website and its no longer source, so you should update that part of this website .

thanks

Rakesh Narang

July 2nd, 2010

A very nice set of tools, i downloaded the second one, GIMP not working for me i hope this one does.

Thanks :D

John

July 5th, 2010

GIMP does not really support CMYK colors.
GMP is clunky and not intuitive.

Core PhotoPaint is the only real alternative to PhotosShop in terms of being useful for print output.

Mike

July 13th, 2010

I agree with leebojammin. I do not agree that Paint.NET is Open Source. Could you please send me a link to the source code if it is?

anon

July 16th, 2010

#10 would feel right at home to someone who is still stuck using Photoshop 5 LE which came with the Wacom Graphire2, way back in the day.

waka

July 21st, 2010

how about amazing pixlr ?

kmx

August 13th, 2010

Thanks Six Revisions for this article. I just want to do some simple mods but don’t wanna pay $$$ for the privilege.

Lisa Folliard

August 31st, 2010

If you save a file in GIMP, what kind of file is it? Is Photoshop the only program that uses jpep files?

Lisa Folliard

August 31st, 2010

I meant to type jpeg

EW

September 16th, 2010

Years ago, I had an early version of Photoshop and found it rather overcomplicated, and basically unintuitive to use. I started using Paint Shop Pro, followed it through several iterations, and settled on version 8, which has been quite adequate for my needs. Sorry to say, once JASC sold out to Corel, reviews have not been good – it seems to have been dimissed by the company as a basic photo adjustment tool and photo album. Version 8, however, still works fine on my XP machines, although Windows 7-64 rejected it. No, it was never open sourced, but that’s not really the point – neither was Photoshop. The important points are usability and price.

MikeHimself

October 9th, 2010

There is also PaintStar.
http://sites.google.com/site/wangzhenzhou/
This is a sort of stripped-down version of Photoshop.
Takes a while to get used to the minimal user interface, but well worth the effort. Even has perspective control for architectural purists – and morphing for creative types.
I used Photoshop 5.0. LE (magazine cover disk) for many years, but it will not install on updated XP Home. Regret the loss of an old friend, but am not prepared to pay for what I once had for free.

Andrew

November 2nd, 2010

Gimp really has come a long way in the past year its pretty amazing.

Himagain

November 4th, 2010

Greetings all!
Thanks to the all the serious posters for advice. Poo to the religious fanatics of Photoshop! :-)
Photoshop is exactly positioned like Apple. Has little to do with the real world and is a posers dream.
It *IS* a great program, but its main purpose is to impress with its existence, not excellence.
What most people miss is that it is not only EXTREMELY expensive to buy, but even worse to maintain!
ATTENTION ALL AMATEURS:
Go get a copy of paint.NET.
Want to get REAL serious? Get GIMP. (Unless you want to work in a big graphics sweatshop). There, PS is a “rite-of-passage”. They don’t hire for skill, they hire for the “club”.
Then, go get a copy of WYSIWYG (the best website construction program for 99.999% of even commercial work out there) and learn what works – not what is “artistic”.

Thanks for all the fish!

Jane

November 10th, 2010

A few weeks ago I was “forced” to switch to GIMP from Photoshop(new job, new company… new software :(). At first it was really hard but as I worked with it and found where everything is I learned to love it. It’s a great alternative to Photoshop … but I still miss my CS3.

Wintersnow

November 16th, 2010

WELL SAID, ScottW!
If only some of us understood the definition of the word “alternative”…

Aiko

November 20th, 2010

There is also AzDrawing and AzPainter,
both programs are free and are similar to
photoshop and gimp. They were originally
Japanese but there is a loose english translated
version. :)

Saxobay

November 26th, 2010

I would like to Introduce http://www.Fatpaint.com a free, full featured, online graphic design software for doing layered painting, vector drawing, photo editing and page layout. It’s the first Flash based painting program with full support for pressure sensitive Pen Tablets.

Fatpaint has more drawing and painting features than any other online graphics application, and it has built-in thousands of graphical resources.

Linux nerd

December 11th, 2010

GIMP is not an alternative to Photoshop.

kappi

December 13th, 2010

Depends what you are using Photoshop for. If its for the web and general design the GIMP is more than good enough, with filters, layers and plugins it will do exactly the same as photoshop. Lets not forget. . . its free! If you can afford to spend hard earned cash on photoshop and use all it’s power to create fantastic designs then good you. If you don’t then try GIMP, it’s powerful and there are heaps of tuts on the net.

KAMEIR

December 18th, 2010

GIMP does not seem to work under Windows XP. I tried the suggested fixes but it still crashes. So, I had to remove it. Wasted three hours in total. Don’t try until this is fixed.

agung dewo

December 20th, 2010

I have A GIMP what amaizing software open source and I would to say thanks very much for who make this

Oladapo Adeniyi

January 9th, 2011

I must thank you for this article, and thank ALL for their enlightening comments – they were as entertaining as the article was.
As a Nigerian, I will ALWAYS stick with open source anytime or day. I am currently going to try out Photo Pos Pro, Gimphoto and Gimpad.
Thanks!

muslimah

January 13th, 2011

I have heard a lot about GIMP and I have also tried to use it b4. but that time i have no clue on how to use it, but now i am going to try it again

I dont think Paint.net can be relapsed to photoshop that’s…… to far then imagination. if you say you can use paint.net instead of paint, i can agree to that but to photoshop…..no way

kalbadia

January 22nd, 2011

And what about Acorn ?

Scott

January 23rd, 2011

Hello Everyone. I have Irfan View and it does very well with free but great photoshop plugins like Perspective Transformations 8.0 that tilts and bends photos. Irfan View also works with a lots of photoshop plugins that I have that were very cheap but high quality like from Topaz Labs. Sorry for the crappy post but the only internet I have now is on my Razr phone and my thumb is tired now.

jordache

January 25th, 2011

The fact that you listed CinePaint in this list is indicative of the fact that 1. you’ve never tried ANY of these 10 programs and 2. you just Google’d “open source paint software” to get the list.

The only program on that list that’s worth giving any time to is GIMP. CinePaint hasn’t been updated in years and is far from stable.

jesse

February 3rd, 2011

Yea, Gimp and Paint.net are only the two closest to Photoshop, the rest should not had been included at all.

Christian

February 4th, 2011

Some of those applications is NOT open source… Wrong title and we shouldn’t arrive on this page when we google “open source photo editor”…

Andy

February 14th, 2011

I just used your website for my presentation in school. It was really great and awesome. I do think that gimp is the best.

Go to http://ebandit.in for some infographics and just cool graphics

rudraksha

February 17th, 2011

Gimp is very easy to use.

Matthew

February 20th, 2011

Gimp is the most photoshop like but the interface is clunky. Gimpshop crashes easily on my xp machine, but it is Ram poor and slow of memory, so take that with a grain of salt. on my old computer i had ps5.5 and later elements, both came free with upgrades to my system as my computer building freinds had discs they did not need (they had been beta testers). Paint.net has some neat filters, I use some of it’s distortions a lot, but it’s selection tools are disapointing. the tolerece on the magic wand is a pain to set just right and it cannot feather selections. the laso has a tendency to pick things differently than i want, and the square and cirle tools are the only other tools. it is however verry good at it’s blending modes.

linuxer suffering on windoze

February 20th, 2011

The confusion between “better” and “what I’m used to” is very frequent. Even though photoshop has quite a few advantages over GIMP (CMYK being a frequent point), the most frequently complaint is that it’s not a identical clone of photoshops interface. For someone who’s used to GIMPs interface, though, the situation is the opposite. It really depends on where you start and how “fluent” you become, the harder will be the adaptation and the “worst” the software you’re changing to will seem. There are probably things that are more universal, but most of the complaints seem to take that for granted, as if Adobe had somehow invented the perfect GUI in an absolute sense.

The same is true for a great deal with the “linux is harder” complaints. It’s true that it’s not as easy to configure, but once you do it, and once you find a desktop environment you like, Windows suddenly becomes terrible in usability. There are even apps to give some of the common features of linux DEs, like virtual desktops, but it seems hard to really emulate all of the features of a linux DE or a customized set of features.

And it spreads a bit outside just the DE. For changing tabs in web browsers, for example, on linux, you can easily roll the mouse wheel. On windows I cath myself all the time trying to do that, only to not work at all. Webpages on windows load somewhat faster though. Even windows’ firefox running under WINE on linux was faster than linux’ native firefox. But chrome is ok, and even firefox has been improving a bit.

Angelique

March 11th, 2011

I’ve read most of these post. I think it’s wise to learn alternative software in general. It looks like you take your profession serious, and that you are keeping your eyes open to industry trends.

Secondly, Not every developer is going to get a job at Adobe. These talented people are not only taking the time to create these softwares, they are making them free!

Thirdly, if you are new to digital arts, or don’t even know if you are going to stick it out. Why pay $1000 every other year? Unless you are at a PROFESSIONAL stage,(Paid work) and can write it off on your taxes, why bother? Not to mention, these alternatives sometimes “dumb it down” So you will enjoy it and tell other about it. Which is what many of you have already done.So there’s their advertizing done!

Finally, Think Results. Not every software can be your person Jesus; No matter what Adobe tells you. If they had it together there would be no need for Illustrator. Choose the right tool for the job. “Fatboy” software for one task, and “PrissyPixel.com” for something else.

Bobster

March 21st, 2011

Truth is photoshop is more powerful than any of those but unless you’re a proffessional designer you don’t need it. If you’re some random signature artist or something the like you can use gimp for it. Gimp has layers and all that, and it can use photoshop brushes and you can install plugins and scripts into it so you can do basically all you can do in photoshop. I can find only one bad thing about it and it’s that gimp doesn’t have so good brush settings. But you can get all those layer modes and stuff very easily, just look up the net.

Nam Design

March 26th, 2011

Thank Daniel,
I intend to redesign my old banner on my website &
create another ads for our free schemes.
Your guides’re so useful. I will read these carefully.

Nam.

Rodger

March 27th, 2011

OK I know the post i am commenting on was in 2009, but this needs to be said.

@V1,by your comment it is clear, you have missed the point, it says Open Source or FREE, which means you do not have to pay to use it, wether or not it is open source, all these applications are free to use, so the title is more than valid, it is HIRES ACCURATE.

Rodger

March 27th, 2011

I checked out Artweaver it is not really a Photoshop alternative, as Artweaver 2.0 (win7) is a Art Painting program, for painting without paints and canvas, directly into the digital medium. I am sure it could be used on photos, but it’s not made for that,

Rodger

March 27th, 2011

Bobster, for the money one pays, yes Photoshop is much more powerful, but it is also by previous versions, bloated, slow and cumbersome compared to what it used to be, unless you are lucky enough to have at home, a PC so new that only a professional can afford it.
hence the point of the article,
I would look for an old version of Photoshop, relevant to the OS one is running,
Personally I do not like the new Photoshop, alot of the “features” and “Extras” are annoying and unwanted, not what I am looking for in an expensive tool.

Rodger

March 27th, 2011

“Personally I do not like the new Photoshop, alot of the “features” and “Extras” are annoying and unwanted, not what I am looking for in an expensive tool.”

I have to amend this one, it was Paintshop I do not like now, Corel took a fantastic program from JASC and made it into a complete mess,

William

April 12th, 2011

Does any of these have the paint bucket tool that has both the overlay and colour replacement?

Lee-Anne

April 16th, 2011

Hi, I’m new to all this, and I would really like some help. I’m trying to start up my own business and I need to make a company logo and brand logo.

I have most of the graphics and images I need to make the brand logo first, all I want to do is put a back ground picture add images over the background picture,then add stenciling and lettering and finish the edges off with borders.

Whats the best software for this and someone with limited funds and skills.

Xarick

April 19th, 2011

Corel Painter can also be great alternative. It has a variety of brushes to choose from and can let you have your own style of painting. It also supports layers so it’s no problem.

V Rath

May 18th, 2011

Photoshop is costly as they have to offset the price of illegal 1 Million plus illegal copies running in India on the desks of home users. If they even charged 10 USD from each of these people they get 10 Mill USD. But then Adobe has to take up this issue with the Indian Government.

Indians – #1 users of pirated Software.

Hermit

May 30th, 2011

Is there any free art programs that can run Photoshop Action Scripts? Your advice would be deeply appreciated.

send_ok

June 1st, 2011

i need alternative photoshop that can edit *.psd file format it self…

Siddhu

June 2nd, 2011

photoshop is still a king…..no any alternate can replace that……..

Aeomer

June 9th, 2011

Gimp is unintuitive, convoluted, and annoying – as a cross platform product it takes the worst from each platform rather than adjusting. Photoshop is a resource hog and too expensive – but if you work in design you really have no choice :-(

Kobayashi Tamotsu

June 20th, 2011

I Want use.

harlan

June 24th, 2011

according to their own site, choco-flop has been discontinued for mac because the creator thinks PixelMator is better. It is still available for download but may not work on snow leopard.

I came here looking for a GIMP alternative because it is too hard to figure out.
And for all of you who said nothing is better than photoshop you are right, however, if you can’t afford it, you have to find an alternative!

romain

July 25th, 2011

I use photoshop and think it’s the best out there, was looking for alternatives as my niece is very artistic with paper and pencil thought it would be good for her to learn the basic’s of photo editing i’m not spending hundreds on something she may not like, plus she ent touching my pc

Aamir

July 31st, 2011

good list.
has any1 tried Paint.NET ?

Draken

August 6th, 2011

Gimp is amazing, has lots of stuff on it, Also, did you know if you get a free trial of photoshop, then go into the folders, take the cool stuff out, and import it into gimp, gimp would be stronger than photoshop? its hard to do on your own without messing up, but people on the following website have already to save to gimp files including layer effects at:

http://registry.gimp.org/

it has alot of the photoshop tools, ready for gimp, and if your mad at the gimp LAYOUT? then download gimpshop, then download gimp, and update it to its upgraded version, im pretty sure that works, if you know how the program works, as in where all the files are… then just import the photoshop tools into gimpshop, and WALA, the number 1 REPLACEMENT FOR PHOTOSHOP! Now how do you respond to that? GIMP can support photoshop brushes and tools in 2.7.2!!! and even more in the upcoming 2.8.0!!! AND ITS FREE!!! So tell me, how is photoshop better than gimp?

kimmy kim

August 10th, 2011

I truly miss and love Photoshop, any way this list is for people who cant afford Photoshop so they have to find other ways to getting the job done!Any way GIMP 2sucks like crazy and no tomorrow. Dont use it its a waste of space. Repeat dont use it…..lol.

Harshit Singhal

September 25th, 2011

A great set of tools indeed. I prefer using Picnik since it only needs a browser and has various basic & advanced options as well.

Blazing Orchid

September 25th, 2011

I found sumo paint while looking for a free alternative to teach with. Sumo paint is an in browser application as well that’s free its interface is similar to photoshop as well. It is also available in several languages this link opens right up to the application http://www.sumopaint.com/app/ The main website is http://www.sumopaint.com/ For more info about the application and the community etc.

Meghan S. Thomas

October 29th, 2011

I 100% agree with the people like linuxer suffering on windoze and Arnold L. Johnson. Simply put, unless I want to make a career out of art, then Photoshop is a must. Adobe has built a program that supplies THE very best in photo editing and art. It would foolish for you not to invest in it if you seriously wanna make it a career. Much like if I want to do heavy computer aided design work for an engineering or architecture career, AutoCAD is a must.

But if this is just for hobby or entertainment (or even if I want another program on the side) then by all means download FreeCAD or GIMP; 90% of the population won’t need to pay $400/$600 up front for AutoCAD or Photoshop.

I own AutoCAD, as I was once an engineering student, and it’s great. It was easy (when you had an instruction manual) and allowed a lot of features. But even now, I don’t need it and if I even do but lose AutoCAD, I can just use FreeCAD.

I know I don’t need Photoshop because the art and games I will make is just for hobby. So I’ll probably use GIMP because it satisfies my needs.

When we look for these products, yeah we say “We want an free Photoshop alternative”. But what we really mean is “We want a free good photo editor because I can’t afford Photoshop”, or “I don’t need something heavy like Photoshop, just something light to do cool things with.”

EJ

November 12th, 2011

Thanks but still looking. First I installed gimp but couldn’t find a way to show layers. Second I installed gimpshop but couldn’t get the app to work. I’m running 10.6.4 so I don’t think that’s the problem but it could be. Everyone says nice things about gimp and gimpshop. I just can’t find a way to get the bugger to work. Onward and upward with the testing of other products.

Sam

August 29th, 2012

Found this site because I cant afford Photoshop. I will try Gimp and get back to you….Thanks

ayhan

October 8th, 2012

I using PixBuilder 2 Studio and very satisfy.

n

October 10th, 2012

You should not link to GimpShop, immediatly after installing it the installer automatically installed a ton of free games/music/etc. icons on my desktop (even though i declined them during the setup) along with a ton of adware.

Richard

June 5th, 2013

WARNING!
I just downloaded and installed GIMP. It also installed bloatware/adware/malware! I chose to do a custom install so as not to add the offered toolbar but it also loaded SolidSavings and 24/7Help. If an app has to sneak on to my PC, I am 100% sure I don’t want it.

Kimberly

September 16th, 2013

I COULD NOT AGREE MORE w/ Richard & N!! This has actually been Gimpshop’s business model since VERY VERY EARLY ON!! I had downloaded Gimpshop several years ago during a time when I was having MAJOR ISSUES with an OLD version of Photoshop but the New Version of Photoshop was due to come out in just a couple of weeks.

In my case I didn’t really get any malware (at least none that I know of), but it DEFINITELY ADDED TONS & TONS OF SO-CALLED “FREE” APPS which were really nothing more than Free TRIALS that if you wanted to keep you had to purchase. It just added TONS OF SHEER JUNK FILES!! Fortunately this happened to me two laptops ago!!

With the type & amount of work of Graphic Design, Photography & Video work that I do for our small non-profit organization, I NEED EVERY SINGLE KB THAT I HAVE! I don’t have any extra MB to loan or give or share or anything of the like to an app that doesn’t have the decency to declare itself in a proper installer and announce itself and what it’s name, purpose & intent are on my computer!!

***** TO THE MODERATORS OF THIS SITE: I WOULD VERY, VERY, STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU REMOVE GimpShop from your list of recommended applications since it really causes FAR, FAR MORE HARM THAN GOOD!! If you decide NOT to remove it entirely from your list then I would AT THE VERY LEAST, MOVE IT TO THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE LIST AND PLACE AN ASTERISK BESIDES IT WITH A LINK TO ALL OF THE POSTS ABOUT THE PROBLEMS WITH IT. ******

sarah smith

September 18th, 2013

do any of these have a pen tool ?
that’s the only thing i really need!

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