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The best free Photoshop alternatives – PC WORLD






Retouching, assembling, conjuring up effects: there is image processing software that can easily keep up with expensive programs like Photoshop. Best of all, it’s free!

Regardless of whether a picture taken with a digital camera is to be polished up or a logo is to be created for the website, image processing programs have a permanent place on the hard drive in the age of digital photography. Remove a disturbing element here, a bit of lightening there – quite a few pictures shine in a new shine after a short post-processing.

Adobe Photoshop is usually mentioned as the non-plus-ultra in the field of image processing. However, home users do not need all of the professional features that, by the way, do not make the software easier to use. For most of them, Photoshop’s subscription model and the fact that the program comes from Adobe’s “Creative Cloud” is a deterrent.

In our download special we introduce you to useful Adobe alternatives for image processing. You will find what you are looking for here, not just as a normal user, even as a professional. There is another argument in favor of the programs mentioned: They are all free!

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In the following list you will find all alternatives conveniently as a gallery including a screenshot.

11 Free Photoshop Alternatives:

  • Paint.NET

    – Working with layers

    Paint.NET is particularly interesting for Windows users. The free image processing works with layers, many filters, an extensive history and can be further improved with additional plugins. This program has nothing to do with the comparatively slight namesake Microsoft Paint.

    Download Paint.NET

  • XnView

    – Manage & edit

    XnView is primarily an image management software. But the program also offers a number of editing functions, such as copying, cutting, clipping, resizing, adjusting brightness, adjusting contrast and much more.

    Download XnView

  • PhotoFiltre

    – Retrofit features with plugins

    The photo editor PhotoFiltre from France supports the common photo formats and offers filters and effects as well as selection and stamp tools for editing. As with Adobe Photoshop, you can retrofit functions with plugins.

    Download PhotoFiltre

  • Lightbox Free

    – also masters RAW

    Not all photo programs can handle the RAW image format preferred by professionals. Lightbox Free does. It also has various filters and settings ready to make your photos even more beautiful.

    Download Lightbox Free

  • GIMP

    – the most powerful Photoshop competitor

    GIMP is a classic and arguably the most powerful Photoshop competitor. To list the functions available would go beyond the scope of this article. Some key points: levels, automatic improvement, a number of filters, customizable interface, equalization and so on. Furthermore, GIMP runs not only on Windows, but also on Linux, Mac OS, Sun and FreeBSD.

    Download GIMP

  • DigiFoto

    – expandable with Photoshop plugins

    If you don’t want to dig into the subject so deeply, you can turn to DigiFoto. Its basic equipment includes removing red eyes, enhancing with effects and of course the famous magic wand for clipping. If you like, you can expand the tool with Photoshop plugins.

    Download DigiFoto

  • RAW Therapee

    – RAW support for Linux too

    The name says it all: RAW Therapee supports the professional RAW format. The program also impresses with a visually appealing and tidy user interface. And it runs on Mac OS and Linux too.

    Download RAW Therapee

  • VCW VicMan’s Photo Editor Pro

    – clearly arranged for everyday use

    The program with the somewhat bulky name VCW VicMan’s Photo Editor Pro advertises to support over 30 image formats. The stripped-down free version is completely sufficient for most everyday tasks.

    Download VCW VicMan’s Photo Editor Pro

  • MobaPhoto

    – Free image editing for your pocket

    The portable MobaPhoto tool is ideal as a companion on the USB stick in your pocket. If you want to quickly polish up a few pictures on vacation, this is the right place for you.

    Download MobaPhoto

  • StudioLine PhotoBasic

    – Order for your photos

    StudioLine PhotoBasic is both an administrator and an image editor. The tool changes contrast and tonal values ​​just as easily as it sorts your photos according to certain criteria.

    Download StudioLine PhotoBasic

  • Photoscape

    – little helper

    Where Photoshop is unmanageably large, Photoscape takes a different route. The small program still comes with the most important editing functions.

    Download Photoscape

Once again the free Photoshop alternatives as a gallery:

Tip: Fotojet is a free online image editing program that impresses with many functions. Small downer: It is based on a controversial technology – and of course always requires an internet connection.

Do you know other free alternatives to Photoshop that at least partially do justice to the great model or even surpass it? Tell us about the programs in the comments section below this article!

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