Top Photoshop Competitors and Alternatives in 2024

Adobe Photoshop is widely recognized as the go-to software for professional image editing. However, many users, especially beginners, may find it overwhelming to use, and it requires a Creative Cloud subscription. If you’re looking for alternatives to Photoshop that offer similar capabilities or even additional features, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explore the top competitors and alternatives to Photoshop in 2024, helping you find the best software that suits your needs.

Whether you’re a graphic designer, photographer, or simply someone who enjoys enhancing images, there are numerous options available that can provide the professional image editing capabilities you seek. From powerful free alternatives to budget-friendly options and software with advanced tools, we’ll cover a range of choices that cater to different preferences and budgets.

Throughout this article, you’ll discover alternatives that can be used for various purposes, including graphic design, photo editing, document design, and even marketing asset creation. We’ll compare these alternatives to Photoshop, highlighting their unique features, user-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness.

Whether you’re seeking the best Adobe Photoshop alternative overall, a free alternative, an intermediate-friendly option, an online alternative, a software specifically designed for photographers, or a suitable tool for businesses, we’ve got you covered. Each section will provide detailed insights into the features, pros, and cons of the software, helping you make an informed decision.

So, if you’re ready to explore the top Photoshop competitors and alternatives available in 2024, let’s dive in!

Best Adobe Photoshop Alternative Overall

Affinity Photo from Serif is widely regarded as the best overall alternative to Photoshop. This powerful graphic design software is available for Windows, macOS, and iPad, providing versatility across different devices. Affinity Photo offers a comprehensive range of professional tools, including support for PSD files, advanced masking capabilities, layering options, retouching features, and a variety of filters.

With Affinity Photo, you can seamlessly transition from Photoshop to explore a user-friendly interface and intuitive workflow. The software’s robust features make it suitable for both graphic design professionals and enthusiasts. Whether you need to edit photos, create compelling designs, or enhance your visual content, Affinity Photo has you covered.

One significant advantage of Affinity Photo is its cost-effectiveness. Unlike Photoshop, which requires a subscription, Affinity Photo has a one-time cost, making it a more budget-friendly option without compromising on functionality.

If you’re an iPad user looking for a Photoshop alternative, Affinity Photo’s availability on the iPad makes it a compelling choice. It allows you to work on your designs and edits seamlessly while harnessing the power of a desktop-grade application.

Overall, Affinity Photo delivers professional-grade performance, excellent compatibility, and an affordable pricing model, making it the top choice for those seeking the best Adobe Photoshop alternative.

Best Free Adobe Photoshop Alternative

GIMP, also known as the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a popular and powerful free alternative to Photoshop. Available for Linux, Windows, and macOS, GIMP caters to a wide range of users seeking an open-source photography powerhouse. With its extensive array of features and functions, GIMP provides a versatile platform that rivals Photoshop in performance and capabilities.

One of GIMP’s notable strengths is its support for RAW files and plugins, allowing users to work with a wide range of image formats and expand the software’s functionality through community-developed plugins. While GIMP may have a steeper learning curve compared to Photoshop, its customizable interface and extensive online resources make it an excellent choice for those willing to invest the time to master its features.

GIMP’s popularity among the Linux community is an added advantage for users seeking Photoshop alternatives on Linux-based systems. Its compatibility with Linux reinforces GIMP’s reputation as a reliable and feature-rich free photo editor, providing users with a comprehensive toolkit for image editing and manipulation.

For users looking for a cost-effective solution without compromising on functionality, GIMP stands as a compelling choice. Its open-source nature allows users to access the software without any upfront costs or subscription fees, making it a viable option for those seeking a free alternative to Photoshop.

While GIMP may not offer the same level of refinement and polish as some commercial software, its versatility, extensive feature set, and active community support establish it as a highly adaptable and capable tool for professional photo editing and graphic design needs.

GIMP Feature Highlights:

  • Support for RAW files, ensuring compatibility with professional photographers’ workflows.
  • Cross-platform availability (Linux, Windows, and macOS) makes it accessible to a wide range of users.
  • Customizable interface, allowing users to tailor the software’s layout to their specific needs.
  • Community-developed plugins provide additional functionality and expand GIMP’s capabilities.
  • Open-source nature fosters a collaborative and supportive user community.

Best Photoshop Alternative for Intermediates

For intermediate users seeking an affordable alternative to Photoshop, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is an excellent option. This budget-friendly image editing software provides a comprehensive range of features to enhance your photos and unleash your creativity.

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate offers a user-friendly interface that makes it a suitable choice for beginners who are exploring Photoshop alternatives. The software provides most of the tools needed for photo editing and enhancement, ensuring that you can achieve professional-level results without breaking the bank.

One standout feature of ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is its AI-based tools. These intelligent tools utilize artificial intelligence to enhance your photos automatically. From automatic adjustments to intelligent object removal, the AI-based tools simplify and streamline the editing process, saving you time and effort.

In addition to its AI capabilities, this software also supports batch editing, allowing you to apply the same changes to multiple photos simultaneously. This feature is particularly useful for streamlining your workflow and saving you valuable time when editing large batches of photos.

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate also offers collaboration support, enabling you to seamlessly work with others on editing projects. Whether you’re working on a team project or seeking feedback from peers, this feature ensures smooth collaboration and enhances efficiency.

Whether you’re an aspiring photographer, a design enthusiast, or a content creator, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate provides the necessary tools to elevate your work. This software is available for purchase as a standalone product or through a flexible subscription plan, catering to different budget and usage requirements.

Best Online Adobe Photoshop Alternative

If you’re searching for a convenient online alternative to Photoshop, look no further than Pixlr. This web app eliminates the need for software installation and can be accessed directly from your browser. Although Pixlr is browser-based, it doesn’t compromise on functionality. Users can enjoy robust layer support and a wide range of editing features, including filters and sliders. While it may not offer all the advanced capabilities of Photoshop, Pixlr provides a clean and intuitive interface for basic to medium-complexity photo editing tasks.

To give you a visual representation of Pixlr’s interface, take a look at the image below:

Key Features of Pixlr

  • Accessible web app for browser-based image editing
  • Robust layer support for advanced editing capabilities
  • Wide range of editing features, including filters and sliders
  • Intuitive interface for easy navigation and usability
  • Convenient access from any browser without the need for software installation

Best Adobe Photoshop Alternative for Photographers

When it comes to photo editing software tailored specifically for photographers, Luminar Neo is a standout choice. Powered by AI, Luminar Neo offers a range of tools and features that photographers need to enhance their images and bring their artistic vision to life.

One of the standout features of Luminar Neo is its sky replacement capability. Photographers can easily replace dull or uninteresting skies with stunning, captivating ones, instantly transforming the mood and atmosphere of their photos. This AI-powered tool saves photographers valuable time and effort, allowing them to focus on their creative process.

In addition to sky replacement, Luminar Neo also offers AI-based lighting adjustments. This feature intelligently analyzes the image and applies localized lighting enhancements to create a more dynamic and visually appealing result. Photographers can adjust the lighting in specific areas of their photos, bringing out the intricate details and enhancing the overall composition.

Portrait retouching is another area where Luminar Neo shines. With its advanced AI-powered tools, photographers can effortlessly remove blemishes, smooth skin tones, and enhance facial features for stunning portraits. The software intelligently detects facial features and applies subtle yet impactful enhancements, ensuring that portraits look natural and professionally polished.

While Luminar Neo may not offer the full range of features found in Photoshop, it caters specifically to the needs of photographers with its AI-powered tools and functionality. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an avid enthusiast, Luminar Neo provides the essential tools you need to take your photo editing to the next level.

In summary, Luminar Neo is a powerful and intuitive photo editing software that caters specifically to photographers. With its AI-powered tools for sky replacement, lighting adjustments, and portrait retouching, Luminar Neo offers the essential features that photographers rely on to enhance their images. While it may not have a mobile version or web app, its desktop capabilities make it a valuable tool for photographers looking to elevate their editing process.

Best Adobe Photoshop Alternative for Businesses

When it comes to creating marketing assets and designing documents, businesses need reliable and versatile software that can meet their specific requirements. That’s where Photo Pos Pro comes in. As a feature-rich image editing tool, Photo Pos Pro offers a wide range of functionalities that make it an excellent alternative to Adobe Photoshop for businesses.

One of the key advantages of Photo Pos Pro is its customizable interface, allowing businesses to tailor the software to their unique workflow. This flexibility ensures a seamless user experience and enhances efficiency in marketing asset creation and document design.

Additionally, Photo Pos Pro supports scripts and batch editing, enabling businesses to automate repetitive tasks and streamline their workflows. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses that need to process a large number of images or create consistent designs for marketing campaigns.

Compatibility with RAW and PSD files is another important aspect that sets Photo Pos Pro apart as a valuable alternative to Photoshop for businesses. By supporting these file formats, the software ensures smooth integration with existing workflows and facilitates collaboration between team members working on different platforms.

While Photo Pos Pro may have a limited set of filters and keyboard shortcuts compared to Photoshop, it offers powerful image editing tools that allow businesses to achieve professional-level results. Whether it’s retouching photos, adjusting colors, or adding special effects, Photo Pos Pro provides the necessary tools to bring creative visions to life.

Furthermore, Photo Pos Pro offers a range of functionalities beyond image editing, making it a versatile software for businesses. With its web design capabilities, businesses can create visually striking websites that effectively convey their brand message. And for document creation, Photo Pos Pro provides tools for designing brochures, presentations, and other marketing materials.

To visually enhance your understanding of Photo Pos Pro, take a look at the image below:

All in all, Photo Pos Pro presents a compelling alternative to Photoshop for businesses. Its extensive features, customizable interface, support for scripts and batch editing, compatibility with RAW and PSD files, and additional functionalities make it a valuable tool for marketing asset creation and document design. Consider incorporating Photo Pos Pro into your business’s workflow to enhance your image editing capabilities and creative output.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Adobe Photoshop Elements is a consumer-oriented software that serves as a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop for hobbyists and enthusiast users. It offers many of the features found in the professional version of Photoshop but at a more affordable price point.

With Adobe Photoshop Elements, users can explore a range of editing tools and techniques to enhance their images. The software includes various filters, allowing users to apply different effects and styles to their photos. Additionally, image adjustments such as brightness, contrast, and color corrections can be easily made.

One of the key features of Adobe Photoshop Elements is its layer editing functionality. Users can work with multiple layers and combine images or elements to create stunning compositions. This allows for greater creativity and control over the editing process.

Text overlays are another notable feature of Adobe Photoshop Elements. Users can add text to their images, whether it’s adding captions or creating text-based designs. The software provides various fonts, styles, and formatting options to customize the text to suit the project’s needs.

While Adobe Photoshop Elements may lack some of the advanced tools found in the professional version of Photoshop, such as Neural Filters and cloud-based collaboration, it still offers a comprehensive set of features for hobbyists and enthusiast photographers or graphic designers.

Capture One Pro

Capture One Pro is an exceptional alternative to Photoshop, particularly favored by professional photographers. This software is renowned for its outstanding ability to render raw camera files with exceptional detail and vibrant colors. Capture One Pro offers a comprehensive suite of tools specifically designed for photographers who require advanced editing capabilities.

One of the standout features of Capture One Pro is its robust set of layer editing and mask tools. These tools provide photographers with precise control over their image adjustments, allowing for seamless blending and targeted edits. Additionally, the software offers curve adjustments and deep color editing, enabling photographers to achieve their desired aesthetic vision.

While Capture One Pro may come at a higher price point compared to Photoshop, it justifies its cost with its tailored functionality for professional photographers. The software’s ability to handle raw files and its advanced editing tools make it an ideal choice for photographers who demand the utmost quality and control in their post-processing workflow.

To visualize the power of Capture One Pro, take a look at the example image below:

With its unrivaled capabilities in raw file editing and its comprehensive layer and mask tools, Capture One Pro provides professional photographers with a powerful alternative to Photoshop that meets their specialized editing needs.

Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro is a highly acclaimed alternative to Photoshop that is favored by budget-conscious image editors. This software provides a comparable range of functionality to Photoshop but at a more affordable price point, making it an attractive option for those looking to save on costs without compromising on quality.

One standout feature of PaintShop Pro is its support for PSD files, allowing users to seamlessly work with Photoshop projects. This compatibility ensures a smooth transition for users who are familiar with Photoshop’s file format and workflows.

Furthermore, Corel PaintShop Pro incorporates cutting-edge AI tools that enhance the editing experience. For example, the AI Upsampling feature utilizes machine learning algorithms to intelligently enlarge low-resolution images while preserving detail and clarity. This can be particularly useful for digital artists and photographers who need to upscale their work without sacrificing image quality.

Another impressive AI-powered feature is AI Background Replacement, which simplifies the process of changing or removing backgrounds in images. This tool utilizes advanced algorithms to accurately detect and replace backgrounds, saving time and effort for image editors.

In addition to its robust feature set, PaintShop Pro caters to the preferences and needs of digital artists by allowing them to draw directly on Windows tablet screens. This feature enhances the creative process, enabling artists to express their ideas with precision and fluidity.

Despite its virtues, Corel PaintShop Pro may have some minor inconsistencies in its interface compared to Photoshop. However, these discrepancies are easily overcome with a short learning curve and can be outweighed by the software’s affordability and feature-rich offering.

For image editors who are conscious of their budget but still require professional-grade editing capabilities, Corel PaintShop Pro emerges as one of the top contenders among Photoshop alternatives.

CyberLink PhotoDirector

CyberLink PhotoDirector is a comprehensive software that serves as an alternative to Photoshop for enthusiasts. It combines the features of Lightroom and Photoshop, offering a robust set of tools for image editing and enhancement.

One of the key benefits of PhotoDirector is its workflow organization capabilities. The software allows users to efficiently manage and organize their photo collections, making it easier to find and access specific images. With options for tagging and categorizing photos, users can streamline their editing process and save valuable time.

Pixel-level editing is another standout feature of CyberLink PhotoDirector. Users have granular control over their edits, allowing them to make precise adjustments at the pixel level. Whether it’s adjusting exposure, color balance, or applying sophisticated retouching techniques, PhotoDirector offers the flexibility to achieve professional-level results.

PhotoDirector also incorporates AI-powered features that further enhance the editing experience. For instance, the object removal tool leverages AI technology to seamlessly remove unwanted elements from photos, saving users the hassle of manual editing. Additionally, the denoise feature helps reduce image noise without sacrificing detail, resulting in cleaner and sharper images.

With PhotoDirector, users have access to a wide range of editing tools, including layered editing, filters, masks, and retouching capabilities. This comprehensive suite of features empowers enthusiasts to unleash their creativity and bring their vision to life through their photographs.


In summary, there are numerous alternatives to Adobe Photoshop that cater to different user preferences and budgets. Affinity Photo, GIMP, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate, Pixlr, Luminar Neo, Photo Pos Pro, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Capture One Pro, Corel PaintShop Pro, and CyberLink PhotoDirector are all viable options for professional image editing, graphic design, and photo enhancement. These software options offer a wide range of features and capabilities, allowing users to create stunning visuals and bring their creative visions to life.

When choosing the right software for your image editing needs, it is important to consider factors such as cost, feature set, user-friendliness, and compatibility with your workflow. Take the time to explore these alternatives and assess which one best aligns with your specific requirements and creative endeavors. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a free option like GIMP or a professional photographer in need of sophisticated tools like Capture One Pro, there is a Photoshop alternative out there that can meet your needs and help you achieve your desired results.

Remember, the right software for you is the one that allows you to express your creativity and achieve your artistic vision. So, take advantage of the variety of Photoshop alternatives available in the market and find the perfect fit for your image editing journey. Choose wisely, and let your creativity soar!


What are some alternatives to Adobe Photoshop?

Some popular alternatives to Adobe Photoshop include Affinity Photo from Serif, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate, Pixlr, Luminar Neo, Photo Pos Pro, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Capture One Pro, Corel PaintShop Pro, and CyberLink PhotoDirector.

Why should I consider using an alternative to Photoshop?

There are several reasons to explore alternatives to Photoshop. Some people find Photoshop overwhelming, especially beginners, and it requires a Creative Cloud subscription. Using an alternative software can provide a more user-friendly experience and may be more budget-friendly.

Is there a free alternative to Photoshop?

Yes, GIMP is a popular and powerful free alternative to Photoshop. It offers many of the same features and functions and is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Are there any online alternatives to Photoshop?

Yes, Pixlr is a popular online alternative to Photoshop. It is a web app that can be accessed from any browser, eliminating the need for software installation.

Which Photoshop alternative is best for photographers?

Luminar Neo is a powerful photo editing software that offers AI-powered tools specifically designed for photographers. It provides features such as sky replacement, AI-based lighting adjustments, and portrait retouching.

Which Photoshop alternative is best for businesses?

Photo Pos Pro is a feature-rich software that caters to the needs of businesses, particularly for creating marketing assets and documents. It provides powerful image editing tools and a range of functionalities for web design, image editing, and document creation.

What is a suitable alternative to Photoshop for hobbyists?

Adobe Photoshop Elements is a consumer-oriented software that offers many of the features found in Photoshop at a more affordable price. It is a suitable alternative for hobbyists and enthusiasts who want to explore the capabilities of image editing software.

Which alternative to Photoshop is best for budget-conscious image editors?

Corel PaintShop Pro is a widely recognized competitor to Photoshop that offers similar functionality at a lower price point. It supports PSD files, vector graphics, and layers and includes AI tools like AI Upsampling and AI Background Replacement.

What is a suitable alternative to Photoshop for enthusiasts?

CyberLink PhotoDirector is a comprehensive software that combines the features of Lightroom and Photoshop. It offers workflow organization, raw file conversion, tagging, layered editing, filters, masks, and retouching tools.

How do I choose the right software for my image editing needs?

When choosing the right software, consider factors such as cost, feature set, user-friendliness, and compatibility with your workflow. Explore different alternatives and their specific features to find the best fit for your creative endeavors.
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