5 Powerful Alternatives to Photoshop for 2016

Picture editing is synonymous with Adobe’s Photoshop editing tool, and for good reason too. It is easy to learn and offers functionality for advanced users as well. But Photoshop is not the only one around, there are several photo editing tools that offer similar options for editing (some are even free) and may cost less than Photoshop itself.

Here are five photo editing tools that can be considered when looking for a different photo editing software.


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free to use and open source alternative to Photoshop that’s available for Linux, Mac and Windows. It has all the necessary options when editing pictures that you may be used to from Photoshop. The interface is different from Photoshop but a version of it is available that is similar to it to allow for easier migration from Photoshop to GIMP.


It has a very large library of plugins that allow you to layer, add photo effects and do other things as well. For beginners they have provided tutorials on image editing which are available on their website, these tutorials are divided into categories for beginners and for advanced users.

You can download GIMP here.


As the name suggests, this image editing software is an enhanced version of the original paint tool made by Microsoft. It offers more functionality than the original Paint, but it does not contain all the features available in Photoshop. This one is also free, and is available with Windows.


It lacks some of the features from photoshop, but it suffices for small edits, nothing too big. Very easy to use, anyone can learn to use it and do some daily photo editing.

You can get Paint.Net from here.

Autodesk Pixlr

Pixlr is a web based photo editor which offers a lot of the editing features and tools for free. Claiming to have more than 600 effects, overlays and borders it certainly holds no punches. Some of the advanced features are available for a 15$ per year subscription, but for most people, the free version may have enough options.


It is also backed by Autodesk, which has made one of the best computer aided design tools. You can try it out today here.


One of the best photo editing programs for Mac. It offers most, if not all the options available in Adobe’s photoshop and is comparitively cheap as well. Unfortunately its Mac only so Windows users are out on this one. It can handle large photo sizes easily and is compatible with photoshop file format.


Its healing tool is also very capable that can detect its surroundings and fill up the details accordingly. It has a lot of tutorials available, for new users and veterans alike. This makes it easier to learn compared with some of the others mentioned earlier.

Its available for $30 US dollars (approx. Rs. 3,200) from here.

Affinity Photo

The company that made this tool claims that Affinity photo is better than Photoshop. Its fully compatible with Photoshop and other file formats, has all the features a professional photographer or a professional designer may need and is a lot cheaper than Photoshop at $50 (approx. Rs. 5,200).


They have presently released it for Mac only but are planning to release on windows as well. They’re saying that it will have the same feature set as their Mac counterparts. More and more studios are now using this tool along with Adobe’s photoshop. If you’re in for something to replace Photoshop and are willing to pay for it, Affinity photo is your best bet.

You can get it here.

Did you find one to your fancy? Or do you know of a better (or cheaper) alternative? Sound off in the comments.

A techie, Overwatch and Street Fighter enthusiast, and Sub Editor at ProPakistani.