Best Photo Editing Software for 2020

Enjoy Softonic staff selections for the best photo editing software apps on the market in 2020. All choices are available on Windows PCs and Mac with some options for mobile devices.

Disclaimer: Softonic receives a commission for purchases made through the links on this comparison.

best photo editing software recommendations
Adobe-Photoshop
10/10

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most widely used software application for photographers, digital artists, web designers, and other creative professionals. And for good reason too: it’s an all-purpose software that’s embraced by hobbyists and professionals alike. If you have a digital art project you’re working on, chances are Photoshop can help.

The Industry Standard

Just in name alone, Adobe Photoshop has become synonymous with image editing and manipulation--not just with professional photographers, but with digital artists of all kinds across the globe.

Photoshop is renown as an all-purpose software program. It works well for any type of project you’re working on including flyers, business cards, and even animated GIFs.

Generally, Photoshop is used to edit 2D images, although it does offer some 3D image editing functionality in recent versions. Photoshop includes an image analysis feature and can be used to prepare images for online or print formats.

Adobe Photoshop CC, the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop available by subscription, is considered to be the professional-level version of the Photoshop products. Photoshop CC is an advanced imaging software program used by designers, web professionals, video editors, and photographers to alter or manipulate digital images.

Version 21, released in 2020, includes tons of exciting new features for digital art professionals. One of these new features is the object selection tool for better automated complex selections. It allows users to make a quick selection of an object in an image or a photo--reducing the tedious tracing around an object required in previous versions--with the click of a button.

Other new features include the remove background tool which can extract the background of an image instantaneously; as well as zoom to layer content, converting text to vector, a new properties panel, and new keyboard shortcuts for paint and brush.

Version 21 also saw the release of Photoshop’s availability on iPad. Although Photoshop’s iPad version does not include all of the features available on the desktop version, users can now save cloud documents and work across Mac, Windows, and iPad.

The full functionality of Adobe Photoshop might not be for all users; its robust, tool heavy interface might prove too much for the novice. For that reason, Adobe offers a simpler, more user-friendly version called Adobe Photoshop Elements that trades complexity in for a more hands-on, intuitive form of image manipulation (see our fifth choice in this list).

Adobe Photoshop CC is available for use on Windows, Mac, and iPad platforms with a $9.99 per month subscription.

Pros
Includes a multitude of top-tier design tools and features
Works well for any type of project
Can edit many different image formats
Works seamlessly across Mac, Windows, and iPad
Cons
Interface can be overwhelming for novices
Requires power graphics card and processor speed for full benefits
Adobe Photoshop
Best Overall Photo Editor Software
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Adobe-Lightroom
9/10

Adobe Lightroom

Designed specifically with photographers in mind, Adobe Lightroom is a powerful, yet beginner-friendly photo editor comprehensive enough for both hobbyists and pros.

The Photographer’s Choice

Simply put, Adobe Lightroom is one of the best software applications on the market. Its clear and streamlined interface makes for an extremely efficient way to catalog, edit, and enhance hundreds of digital photos.

Adobe Lightroom is one of the best photo editing programs for on-the-go photographers. Lightroom automatically saves your pictures to the cloud--allowing you to access, edit, and process your photos on your phone, tablet, or computer.

While Lightroom may lack some of the more creative, design-based tools found in Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom’s nimble simplicity allows photographers to augment composition and color, to correct and edit exposure, and address other similar issues.

Similarly, Lightroom is a powerful tool, but not overwhelming for beginners, as Photoshop might be. Its clean interface is not filled with tools and editing features. Instead, Adobe developed an interface divided into seven different modules, each with its own separate tools. When you start using the program, you only see the simple interface. It only displays the more detailed tools when you need them. For example, the Histogram Module includes cropping and straightening, spot removal, and adjustment brushes.

Like all Adobe Creative Cloud products, Lightroom receives regular updates. This year, Lightroom updated its Edit module by adding the Local Hue tool. Local Hue allows editors to paint selected areas of an image that you might like to brighten--an adjustment brush that fixes exposure, contrast, and color with incredible precision.

Enhance Details is another new function designed specifically to augment the more complex aspects of a photo. A rather subtle effect, photography enthusiasts will find plenty to love about this deep photo editing tool.

Additionally, Lightroom’s most recent updates include the capability to save, compare, and rate different versions of your photos, as well as being able to customize default settings for your converted RAW images. For example, Lightroom’s new features allow users to edit one image from a collection exactly how you’d like it, make a preset, and apply it to your collection. It’s an essential feature that helps photographers and editors create visually interesting work that maintains brand consistency.

Lightroom might not be the best program for digital artists and graphic designers looking to completely manipulate images--it just lacks some of those deep, design-level tools. However, for photography enthusiasts looking to adjust levels and fix compositional issues in vast collections of photos, you can’t go wrong with Lightroom.

Lightroom is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux for a $9.99 per month subscription.

Pros
Great for photographers
Presets allow users to edit hundreds of photos quickly
Simple design is great for beginners
Ability to work across smartphone, tablet, and computer
Sleek design, powerful editing tools
Cons
Lacks the complex design and digital art tools of Photoshop
Heavy image editing is not optimal
Adobe Lightroom
Best For Photographers
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Sony-Vegas-Pro
9/10

Sony Vegas Pro

Sony Vegas Pro is a versatile, fully-loaded video editing program for professional filmmakers and experienced editors. This industry-leading NLE (non-linear editing) package has an extremely diverse set of tools and features that editors can use for their projects.

An industry-leading NLE for professionals and experienced editors

Vegas Pro’s feature-rich, streamlined layout allows for quick editing without compromises in quality. Despite its renown as a professional video editing suite, its massive tool arsenal doesn’t get in the way of small, simple editing tasks like trimming a video or adding audio.

With incredibly efficient editing tools and features, Vegas Pro users have the ability to edit clips directly from their timeline allowing them to overlap clips and apply crossfades to create a gradual transition between one image or frame to another. It’s a technical editing feature sure to please professional filmmakers and editors.

Users are also able to slow down the playback speed of specific frames while adding adjustments and choosing from a vast array of incredible effects to take their video productions to new dimensions in creativity. What’s more, the program also takes advantage of high-powered hardware acceleration technology to allow users to edit video in real time and renders video more efficiently. It’s these highly technical features that make Vegas Pro some of the best video editing software on the market.

In Vegas Pro 18, the most recent edition of this top video editing software, a significant amount of new tools and features have been added to make it even more of a comprehensive editing packing.

One of the most impressive new features includes the introduction of artificial-intelligence-powered effects. These “deep learning” capabilities give editors the ability to easily colorize old black and white footage, and make their clips look like they were created by some of the world's greatest artists.

Other new features include an integration with Sound Forge Pro 14 to streamline audio post-production workflow, as well as noise reduction, flicker and black-bar filtering, and the ability to search for and save favorite effects. These, among other upgraded tools and features make Vegas Pro 18 a workflow dream come true.

Despite being regarded as one of the best video editing programs around, Sony Vegas Pro is only available for Windows PCs at the rather steep price tag of $600. Although Vegas Pro might be expensive for the video editor hobbyist, it’s ultimately a highly professional video package that, when compared to other top editors like Adobe Premier, is actually quite affordable.

All in all, Sony Vegas Pro is comprehensive editing software jam-packed with features and all the bells and whistles you need for professional work. This, along with its fast, efficient interface, makes it the ideal software for serious filmmakers and editors.

Pros
Top video editing software for filmmakers
Edit video projects within the timeline for to help with workflow
Feature-rich with incredible AI powered effects
Powerful, professional editing tools
Cons
Not best for beginners or casual editors
Only available for Windows PC
Sony Vegas Pro
Best For Video Editing
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Cyberlink-PhotoDirector-Ultra
9/10

Cyberlink PhotoDirector Ultra

Cyberlink PhotoDirector Ultra assembles simplicity, power, and value to create one of the top photo editing software programs around.

A workflow “alternative” gets a major overhaul

Originally conceived as a simple workflow substitute to Adobe Photoshop, PhotoDirector Ultra has continually added powerful photo-editing tools and features that give Adobe a run for its money. These added features now include adjustment layers, masks, “deep learning” AI filters, and guided edits, among others.

PhotoDirector’s most recent version includes several new layer features like tethered shooting, soft proofing, AI-infused trickery, the power to separate GIFs into individual frames for multi-sequence images, as well as a robust template pack.

Despite this gradual incorporation of features and tools, PhotoDirector still stays true to its origins as an efficient, usable, and smooth image editing program designed with workflow in mind. One-click photo presets allow users to add deeply creative modifications to their photo collections. Styles like HDR, black and white, and split tone, as well as styles designed specifically for portraits and landscapes can be added at the click of a button.

PhotoDirector also includes fun features including a people beautifier that includes three presets: face tools, skin tools, and body tools. You can do anything from removing eye bags to whitening teeth. A working copy of your image is saved, so that you can undo anything that you edit.

To add to the fun, PhotoDirector’s AI-powered plugin uses “deep learning” AI technology to alter images on the pixel level which keeps users from having to apply multiple external layers to an image. These AI-layering effects allow users to add brush strokes and interesting color tones to their images with ease.

Tethered shooting is a new feature for PhotoDirector that can be extremely useful for both experienced and amateur photographers. Tethered shooting allows users to connect cameras to the app as they shoot. This way you can alter shutter speed and aperture, as well as adjust white balance and ISO directly from the app itself. It can be a great tool, but it only works with specific Nikon and Canon cameras, so make sure your camera is supported before expecting to make use of it.

Cyberlink’s PhotoDirector users have also reported occasional crash and freeze issues when using the video speed adjustment tool.

Available for both Windows (7 and later) and MacOS (10.11 and later), Ultra is available for download at $99.99.

Overall, Cyberlink PhotoDirector Ultra is a lively, engaging picture editor that is among the best photo editing software programs on the market. Its simplicity, power, and value make it a great option for amateur photographers or experienced editors on a budget. The most recent edition of PhotoDirector brings this once stripped-down, workflow alternative to Photoshop up to speed with other top software editing software.

Pros
Great for beginners
Workflow is unparalleled
Added tools and features give Adobe a run for its money
Works across multiple platforms
Cons
Occasional freeze or crash issues
Not enough lens-profile connections
Cyberlink PhotoDirector Ultra
Best For Design and Composition
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Adobe-Photoshop-Elements

Adobe Photoshop Elements

For hobbyists, beginners, and amateur photographers of all kinds, Adobe Photoshop Elements offers a robust selection of photo editing tools and features that bring some of Photoshop’s most amazing effects into an accessible, novice-friendly format.

The coolest effects Photoshop has to offer … in a stripped-down, affordable package

Simply put, Adobe Photoshop Elements brings much of their professional, industry-standard picture editing magic to novices and beginners in a stripped-down, easy-to-use editing suite. With every update, Adobe has focused on making elements as easy-to-use as possible. For example, Elements' sleek, intuitive home screen was developed to guide users toward some of the key features and possibilities of this top photo editing software program.

At the top of the Home Screen is a searchable toolbar that allows users to find what type of features they’d like to use. For added ease, this search bar is directly below the Carousel feature--which handily displays some of Elements’ most used features.

For those interested in quick image editing, Elements’ Photo Editor feature has you covered. The feature has three modes: Quick, Guided, and Expert. Unsurprisingly, the Quick controls are the most novice-friendly option. Users are able to apply different filters and use a robust collection of tools to make selections, and augmentations like teeth whitening and eye enhancing. Users can also straighten images, add text, remove unwanted objects or blemishes, crop and move selected elements around.

For users looking to learn more about advanced editing techniques, the Guided mode gives image editors access to 78 step-by-step editing wizards that walk through skills like resizing, adjusting exposure, and creating monochrome images. It’s great because it allows novice editors to learn more about the advanced editing process.

Advanced editors can use the Expert editing mode to get access to more complex tools than are available in the Quick mode. If they get in a snag, editors can switch from Expert to Guided mode at any point in the editing process. Switching between the Expert and Guided modes allows you to make comprehensive edits quickly and then adjust them to your own personal preferences.

Elements also allows users to share their edited images in a myriad of different formats to online photo sites like Flickr and Twitter. Unfortunately, users still are not able to share photos directly to larger social media outlets like Facebook or Instagram.

Adobe Photoshop Elements is currently available for both Windows and MacOS. Due to its versatility for both consumers and more serious photographers, Elements is the best photo editor for photographers using MacOS. What’s more, Elements’ pricepoint at $99.99 is a much more affordable option for consumers than the monthly subscription rates for other Adobe products.

All in all, Adobe Photoshop Elements contains a surprising degree of range and capabilities for a relatively low price photo editor. For amateurs looking to expand their editing skills, its three-mode Photo Editor feature allows them to learn at their own speed.

With Elements, Adobe knocks it out of the park once again.

Pros
Top editing software for beginners
Three-mode Photo Edit tool allows users to learn more advanced techniques
Incredible editing power for a great price
Best photo editing software for Mac
Cons
Lack of sharing options
Requires lots of disk space
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Best Photo Editor For Beginners
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Corel-Paintshop-Pro

Corel Paintshop Pro

From the novice to the expert photo editor, Corel Paintshop Pro offers layers upon layers of features, tools, and automation that matches all skill levels. Like Adobe Photoshop’s Elements package, this program grows with users’ skill levels and provides deft usability all along the way.

An incredible Windows-only image editing software that also happens to be the best bang for your buck.

Any newbie to photo editing will find Corel Paintshop Pro’s interface simple and easy to use. The interface itself is divided into four workspaces: Photography, Essentials, Complete, and Sea-to-Sky. These divisions allow for a streamlined and more manageable approach for new users, both novice and experienced.

The Photography workspace allows users to quickly add a wide variety of effects and augmentations, including some powered by AI-infused technology. Some of these include AI upsampling for image enlargements, AI Denoise used for noise removal, AI Artifact Style Transfer that works with the pixels themselves rather than working on top of the image.

The Essentials workspace is a more stripped-down version of the Complete Workspace and is a perfect interface for intermediate users looking to learn more about image editing. It’s not the full-featured version of the software--that, of course, belongs to the Complete Workspace--but it’s menus are straightforward enough and the usability of the interface is extremely enjoyable to navigate.

The final workspace, Sea-to-Sky, is the perfect space for users with no knowledge of photo editing who need to add effects quickly and easily. This workspace’s interface is so simple and easy that literally anyone can learn the fundamentals in a very short time.

Just because Corel Paintshop Pro is wonderful for novices and beginners, don’t think that it doesn’t offer much for experts. Within the Complete workspace, users can generate excellent photo quality and incredible levels of control from the advanced tools and filters found here.
Additionally, when users are within the Complete workspace, they are able to utilize the Organizer which offers a fast and simple way to search your computer for images and open them directly in PaintShop Pro.

Unfortunately, Corel Paintshop Pro is currently only available for Windows, albeit at a great price point. Those interested will be happy to hear that the Ultimate version of Paintshop Pro is available at a one-time license fee of $99.99.

The bottom line is that Corel PaintShop Pro is definitely among the top photo editor software programs. Its sleek design, editing power, and affordability is truly remarkable. Even though the software is only available for Windows, it still ranks as one of the top editing software programs on the market. For photo editors of any skill level, you can’t go wrong with Corel PaintShop Pro.

Pros
Photo Editing Workspaces allow for skill-level optimization
Incredible editing power for a great price
Streamlined and simple user interface
Cons
Windows-only
AI features are fun, but lack real utility
Corel Paintshop Pro
Top Photo Editing Software for PCs
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Luminar-3

Luminar 3

A viable challenger to the seat held by Adobe Lightroom, Luminar 3 offers outstanding editing power, versatility, and a multitude of creative options at a great price. It’s no surprise that Luminar is one of the most popular editing programs for photographers.

Lightroom’s worthy challenger

For the uninitiated, Luminar has become one of the go-to programs for photographers and image enthusiasts who take their editing seriously. Luminar 3’s vast processing control and well-rounded functionality truly gives Adobe Lightroom a run for its money.

Right off the bat, one of the most impressive features here is the sleek, customizable interface. You can choose which adjustments appear on the right-hand control panel and in what order you’d like them. Although you can’t remove panels completely, it definitely is a boon to workflow.

Another key feature added to Luminar 3 is a new digital asset management (DAM) system. With this, photos are saved into folders and allow you to create your own organizational methods and label your photos. It’s an essential tool for the prolific photographer looking to get more organized.

Like other top image editing software, Luminar 3 now boasts new AI-juiced tools. Aimed to make processing more streamlined and efficient, these tools don’t take the place of control or individual adjustments to photos. Instead, users are able to integrate these tools when they need them, if they need them.

Luminar 3’s two new AI features--Accent AI Filter and AI Sky Enhancer--help users battle some of the most frequent image issues. The Accent AI Filter allows users to use a slide to improve their image--it’s a great tool to use if there are too many issues to fix individually. The AI Sky Enhancer allows users to bring out more sky details. Like many other “deep learning” features added to programs in recent years, the AI features are fun, but not as useful in practice.

Luminar 3 includes eight workspaces that allow users to use automatic editing tools--for instance the The Quick & Awesome workspace has just four settings. What’s extremely useful here is that Luminar also allows users to pile on edits and additional filters where you can essentially create your own workspace.

To add to its workflow magic, Luminar has a robust library of presets called Looks. Divided into categories like Essential, Street, Landscape--each with its own slider that adjusts the intensity of the enhancement.

Similarly, the Sync Adjustment feature allows users to edit large numbers of images very quickly. Edit one photo just the way you like it and then click on multiple photos to add those same edits or Looks.

In summary, Luminar 3 is one of the top image editing software programs around. Its slick interface, powerful editing capabilities and great workflow functionalities truly offer a worthy challenge to Adobe Lightroom.

Luminar 3 is available for both Windows and MacOS for $69.99.

Pros
Customizable, intuitive interface
Great workflow
Deeply creative editing tools
Cons
AI features are fun, but lack real utility
Luminar 3
Best Budget-Friendly Image Editor
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inPixio

inPixio

inPixio includes an impressive selection of tools and features for both beginners and experts. Although it includes some professional-level image editing tools, InPixio is ultimately a solid image editor especially for the price.

Comprehensive editing package with a beginner-friendly interface

inPixio allows beginner-level users to quickly edit photos and share them on social media. Users have access to a variety of incredible effects, as well as a large number of frames and designs to augment the vibe of their images. InPixio can correct lighting issues by adjusting color, brightness, contrast, and tones. Users are also able to completely remove unwanted objects from images.

For those photographers that want to make serious edits and adjustments to their pictures, but find Photoshop too overwhelming (and expensive), InPixio is a great, easy-to-use option.

inPixio’s Photo Studio allows users to adjust sharpness, clarity, brightness, and to change the orientation of old photos with ease. For those that only need a simple photo editor, users may download a free version of the software that includes the ability to apply effects and filters, and crop and resize images.

InPixio Photo Studio 10 is, in actuality, three different programs: Photo Eraser, Photo Cutter, and Photo Editor. Users might find this an impediment to workflow, but it is overshadowed by the value of the product.

With Photo Eraser, you can crop images to different ratio sizes. Selection brushes allow you to paint the selection area onto an image, whereas Rectangle selection allows you to place a rectangle of adjustable size onto the image.

Photo Eraser also includes the correction patch tab, allowing users to remove an object and then patch the background back in, even when tricky to replicate. Users are also able to use a simple cloning brush and are able to adjust size and hardness with adjustment sliders.

Photo Cutter allows users to cut the background out of any image they want. Users can achieve this by tracing a line on the part of the image they want to cut out--and the program does the rest. It's a simple function that has only one purpose. Although it’s fairly easy to use, the program struggles to differentiate when there isn’t much of a contrast between the background and the subject.

Finally, the Photo Editor program allows users to deftly apply presets, make adjustments, and add effects, layers and textures to their images. There are myriad different frames and textures that can be applied to images to help you get your photo to its fully edited potential.

Ultimately, inPixio is well designed, easy to use and simple to navigate. It’s an extremely well-rounded program that is a great value at $99. Even though inPixio is a great editing tool for beginners and novices, the lack of advanced editing tools make this a photo editing program only for beginners.

Pros
Great value
Simple interface, great for beginners
Three programs in one
Cons
Lack of advanced tools
inPixio
Best For Removing Backgrounds
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Canva

Canva

The web-based Canva program is a top photo editing software program that enables businesses to create graphs, prints, and presentations with professional layouts, templates, frames, and voice icons.

Use Canva to take your business to new creative heights

Although Canva can be used as a simple web-based photo editor, it really shines as a design tool--transforming simple photos into dynamic posters, epic logos, or even a social media post. In this way, the program is probably best suited for business instead of personal use as a photo editor.

Instead of being merely a photo editing device, Canva is centered around templates. Users simply choose the photo and category (social media, poster, invitation, brochure, postcard, etc.) and pick the one that works for their particular project.

Similarly, Canva has a vast library of stock photos, as well as an impressive range of shapes and clipart to choose from.

Most importantly, Canva offers businesses and organizations a very simple design platform to maintain creativity while maximizing workflow. Canva has tools to create professional designs for nearly every purpose. From graphics for presentations, to eye-grabbing charts for your social media accounts, Canva has a template for that.

Canva seems centered around the idea that creativity comes first. Its simple, drag-and-drop design interface allows users to focus on creativity instead of technical prowess. Canva is also designed with teamwork at the forefront. All templates, designs, and documents are configured so that entire teams can collaborate with relative ease. The Team Feature is best for businesses who want to save their teams a lot of time. Canva allows users to create their own team within the program to enhance communication and collaboration between teammates.

Although Canva contains multitudes of ready-to-use templates and preset designs, users are given the ability to tweak, edit, and add elements to these templates for full customization.
Professional designers are able to upload their own designs and images, which really speaks to how versatile this software is: unparalleled simplicity with the ability to accommodate advanced designers.

Whie Canva has unrivaled design functionalities, there are a few minor issues that can lead to impediments to workflow. For example, editing uploaded content isn’t as flexible as one might hope for. Ultimately, users aren’t able to edit elements as much as they can images. Another detractor is the inability to work with video. If designing video is of interest to you and your team, Canva won’t be of help.

All in all, Canva is an excellent design tool for small business and design teams within larger organizations. Its streamlined, simple interface truly puts creativity in front of all else. For web-based design tools, you can’t go wrong with Canva.

Canva is available for Windows and MasOS for a monthly fee of $12.95 per team member per month.

Pros
Great for designing market materials for small businesses
Great workflow and organization
Amazing social media templates
Cons
Lacks video capabilities
Editing uploaded content is limited
Canva
Best Photo Editor For Businesses
GET IT NOW
GIMP
9/10

GIMP

GIMP or the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free and easy to use open-source image editor software that can help in a variety of digital art projects, from manipulating photos, creating high-quality thumbnails, and making high-quality logos.

One of the Best-Known Free Image Editor Software Applications

GIMP is a freely distributed program that specializes in photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring. Although capable of accommodating the needs of advanced digital artists, it can also be used as a simple paint program, a quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, and an image converter.

GIMP comes with a robust selection of tools and features, including various ways to retouch images. It also includes cropping, color and noise reduction tools, and customisable brushes. There’s enough to please advanced users as well, including layer masks and an animation package.

From the amateur photographer to advanced web developer, GIMP’s host of resources can accommodate anyone’s creative digital needs. GIMP includes a full suite of painting tools including brush, pencil, and airbrush. GIMP also has the ability to perform advanced image manipulation through a full alpha support channel, editable text layers and foreground extraction.

It can also host an impressive variety of file formats including bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others.

GIMP is designed specifically to be adaptive to the needs of the user. Its open-sourced architecture allows for a completely customizable interface. It can also be expanded through plug-ins and extensions. Through its easy-to-use scripting interface, even the most complex image manipulation can be easily created.

What’s more, GIMP is a small program. It can run easily without the demand for high-powered graphics and processors. It can fit on a flash drive and can be taken with you anywhere you go. This can come in quite handy for the roving image editor.

For those seeking an alternative to an Adobe Photoshop, GIMP is a high-quality image editor application with a thriving user community full of great advice to help you create the most effective adjustments and augmentations your project requires. Although GIMP’s active community will often provide a helping hand if you get stuck, GIMP ultimately lacks the sheer volume of tutorials that Adobe Photoshop and other image editor applications provide.

All in all, GIMP offers a great, free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Although it lacks the sheer power of Photoshop’s tools and pixel manipulation, GIMP nevertheless provides more than adequate resources to the vast majority of image editors.

GIMP is available for free download for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Pros
Customizable interface
A large number of editing tools and features
Free
A great user community
Cons
Lacks the power of commercial image editing software
Helpful community of users, but lack the volume of tutorials that photoshop has
GIMP
Best Free Photo-Editing Software
GET IT NOW

Our Thoughts

Ultimately, the choice of an photo editing program is a choice between ease-of-use and robustness. If you are simply a photo hobbyist or beginner, then you'll want to go for a program that is easy to use and has many built-in options that fix your photos with a click. If you are a more advanced photographer, then you'll want to choose a program that has the most numerous features to allow you all the fine-tuning you need to get your images looking exactly as you wish.

Photo Editor FAQs

What is photo editor software?

Photo editors are a type of software that allow users to edit or manipulate images, as well as convert images to different graphics formats. Some of the most popular photo editors are Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paintshop Pro. Generally, the most common types of image files used by photo editor software are TIFFs, GIFs, PNGs, and RAW image files.

Photo editing apps are software applications that are designed to edit or manipulate images on a mobile device. Some photo editing apps like Snapseed, VSCO, and Adobe Photoshop Express are free, while other apps including PicsArt and PixLr require a monthly subscription cost for premium features.


What tools & features should photo editor software include?

There are several considerations to keep in mind when looking to purchase photo editor software. Every photo editor should include basic, entry-level editing tools like photo cropping, filters, effects, and red-eye remover.

Photo cropping allows users to augment the framing of their photographs or images by adjusting their composition. Users can also remove any unwanted objects from an image and change a photo from a horizontal aspect to a vertical one, and vice versa. Filters can improve and sharpen the quality of an image without distorting it. Special effects filters can change the appearance of an image by adding texture, distortions, and other stylizations.

For those looking for something more advanced, tools such as manipulating color, change an image’s perspective, and creating 3D images should definitely be considered.

When it comes to photo editing, users have a choice between browser-based editing tools and desktop software. As a rule, browser-based editors are free, but generally provide fewer advanced functionalities. Free, browser-based photo editors offer the basic editing tools listed above and are great for photo cropping and adding filters and effects. While desktop photo editors can be expensive, they ultimately offer users many more advanced functionalities that allow users to apply deep effects, layers, and adjust the minute details of an image.

Photo editing apps are software applications that allow users to edit and manipulate photos on mobile devices. These types of photo editors typically offer tools like adding filters, controlling shutter speed, and cropping.


Is there a built-in photo editor for Macs?

Photos is Apple’s built-in photo editor and it offers a hefty set of editing tools. Apple Photos allows users to intuitively resize, crop, collage, zoom, warp, and convert to GIF.

Apple Photos is an easy-to-use basic photo and video editor and offers a strong selection of basic editing features and tools. Although not on par with full-featured photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, Apple Photos provides a clean and simple interface that can be operated easily by beginners.


Is there a built-in photo editor for PCs?

Microsoft Photos is the built-in photo editing option for Windows 10. This option gives users the ability to crop, rotate, add filters, as well as to utilize more advanced adjustments in color, light, and clarity. With the Windows 10 update, Microsoft Photos received a plethora of image and editing enhancements. Streamlined and user friendly, Microsoft Photos provides easy, basic editing features, as well as more advanced tools like color and noise reduction scales.


What’s the best way to enhance your images, fast?

The most effective way to enhance or edit images on the fly is on a mobile device. Since most images are taken via smartphones these days, using a quick and simple editing program like those offered by social media apps like Facebook or Instagram is a good choice. Both apps offer extremely intuitive editing tools and features like cropping, perspective adjustment, and light and color augmentation. Both apps also host an increasingly impressive variety of filters and effects that can both enhance your photos or distort and manipulate them to your own specifications.


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