There is no doubt that Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular tools used by bloggers and entrepreneurs alike. There is also no doubt that Photoshop isn’t the easiest program for a newbie to tackle. The learning curve is large and it is more costly than most platforms (requiring an monthly fee). Photoshop is definitely a staple for me, but if you’re new to image editing and haven’t been able to grasp the ins and outs of Photoshop then here are some other programs that may be more user-friendly and cheaper!
Canva is one of the newer image editing apps out right now. What’s great about it is that it helps you produce high quality looking images for your blog or social media in no time. Canva is really easy to use, allowing drag and drop. The app contains wonderful already pieced together design elements as well as stock photos to help you produce a great end product. Most of the elements are free and the costs for the elements that aren’t free aren’t expensive. You can also upload your own images if you want and apply everything from fonts, filters, icons, etc.
Other Info: Web based | Free for most features
The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is probably the closest you will get to a photoshop look alike. It is a open-source software that offers a large set of tools similar to Photoshop. One downside to GIMP is that it can’t handle RAW files, needing a converter to handle those files. It also offers a ton of plugins that allow for cool photo effects similar to Photoshop. Produce high quality graphics with GIMP. If you’ve ever tried Photoshop, you should be able to pick up on GIMP pretty easily. Also, the readily available GIMP tutorials make it easy to learn.
Other info: OSX, Windows, Linux | Free
Pixlr editor is also similar to Photoshop, but can be run from your browser. It has many features and a huge library of effects and overlays similar to Photoshop making it a plus for most. The downside to this program is that it can be a little harder than the other alternatives to learn since there aren’t too many tutorials available. Pixlr Express is available for phones and tablets making fast image editing a reality. There is also a desktop version available for both Windows and Mac incase you would prefer that option.
Other info: Browser, Mobile, OSX, Windows | Free
So I barely use Windows aside from browser testing, but this Windows image editor is probably the easiest thing to use. This image editor doesn’t offer all of the Photoshop features like GIMP or Pixlr, but if you’re a completely unexperienced designer than this is a good starting point. Paint.NET supports layers as well as different text and brush tools. It is great for quick edits and a majority of simple every day editing. You can also download plugins for additional effects.
Other info: Windows | Free
PicMonkey sports a very simple browser based interface allowing for easy use. You can easily create collages and graphics for your blog posts or product photos for your store. Their library of fonts, textures, icons and other features is pretty extensive. Most features are generally free, but they have a monthly fee for the premium version, which gives you additional features.
Browser | Free, Premium package with monthly fee
This is the very FIRST image editor I used, back in high school before Corel even owned PaintShop Pro (ok, too much history haha!). But yes, PaintShop Pro has been around for decades, literally. For one thing, it is a lot cheaper than Photoshop. It also lacks some of the advanced features of Photoshop, but it does have a cool auto-preserve originals tool which when activated, automatically saves an original copy of the image you’re working on in a new folder. All in all, PaintShop Pro serves as a easy to use alternative to Photoshop.
If you’re not yet ready to learn Photoshop or if you are trying to save some money then these programs can be great alternatives to Photoshop. If you are trying to learn how to use Photoshop, check out YouTube for some great step by step tutorials to help you along the way.