Want an alternative to the famous Photoshop without spending anything? Then check out this list of free image editors
Would you like to edit your images, but don't have the money to afford the almighty Photoshop? Do you need more viable alternatives to make your edits? Here is the text that here I will bring some options of FREE image editors!
When it comes to editing images, of course we all remember Photoshop right away, the best and most complete (and most famous!) Editor we have. However, the PS subscription is costing R $ 90,00 per month. Not everyone has this money available every month to maintain a subscription.
We then come to the topic of this text: free image editors. Of course, taking into account that they are free, obviously they will not be as complete as the Photoshop professional, but it is still possible to make some pretty cool edits. Let's go to the list:
Free Image Editors
If you have a photo that you would like to make simple edits, like cleaning the skin, removing red eyes, putting it in black and white, applying fun effects like negative and pixelating, making corrections like adjusting the brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, colors, among others, or if you would like to start a piece from scratch, with collages, drawings or templates, and want to do it all for free, this list is for you.
Here are listed 10 types of free programs to edit, but some have more complete versions to buy or subscribe to, it's up to you, I hope you can find the program that best suits your needs!
Probably the most popularly known free image editor, Photoscape (or Photoscape X, for MAC or Windows 10 users) has in its own description “a fun and easy editor”. And it is really very easy and intuitive.
With Photoscape, it is possible to do simple things like cropping, putting filters and resizing photos, but also more detailed edits such as removing red eyes, cleaning the skin, blurring, placing stickers, making montages, among others. And all with very simple commands to understand and operate.
Some functions, such as black and white, hue / saturation, opacity, color balance, among others, and some tools and effects are only available in the Pro version. To obtain the Pro version, you must buy it, and it costs R $ 147,45.
But 90% of the program is available for free, and it is possible to use it normally in its free version. Only if you are going to make a very specific edition to use the locked tools (like black and white, for example).
|System||For Photoscape X:|
Windows 10 64 bit (version 1709 or higher)
macOS 10.12 or higher
|Size||500mb on Windows|
319mb on MAC
Pixlr is an online editor, which means you don't need to download anything to use it. Want more practicality than that? When you enter the site, it still gives you three options of editors, all free, which you can choose according to your needs:
Pixlr X is a simpler editor, but already allows you to make several edits such as collages, cuts, resize, add text, change the hue, saturation, temperature, put a black and white effect (which is paid in Photoscape), exposure brightness, contrast, among others, the program has several simple adjustments to your image.
With Pixlr X it is also possible to work in layers, naming and editing each one separately.
To save, it offers JPG, PNG, WEBP and PXZ formats, but it is possible to open files of various extensions, including PSD.
Pixlr E is used for more complete and professional editions. With an interface very similar to that of Photoshop, but a little simpler, it is possible to make more detailed edits, with the same tools available in version X, but with more details. If you want to give your edits a more professional touch, this is the place!
Like version X, it opens most extensions (including PSD), but it is only possible to save in JPG, PNG, WEBP and PXZ.
Pixlr AI is a very specific editor that serves to remove the background from images. Through the action of an AI (Artificial Intelligence), the program itself already identifies the background of the image and removes it for you. If you don't like the result, you can retouch with several tools it offers.
And then you have the option to download the new image. It downloads the file in .png format, without watermarks. Very useful, and completely free!
Some tools are not available for the free version, and you must subscribe to the Premium version. It is possible to pay the subscription monthly or annually (in this case with a discount), and the amount to be paid is in dollars (currently a small stab), but it still does not reach the cost of Photoshop. Like Photoscape, however, it is completely possible to make great edits using only the free version.
Ah, subscribing to Pixlr also makes available an app version, for Windows and MAC (for Pixlr X and E).
Android 6.0 or higher
iOS 10.0 or higher
|Size||37mb on Android|
133mb on iOS
Krita is a slightly different editor. That's because he is geared towards artists. So if you want a place to make your drawings, choose Krita!
With it, you can edit raster and vector images, choose from several brush options and create your image from scratch.
Five types of tools are available: painting tools (where brushes and various shapes such as circles and rectangles fit), vector tools (self-explanatory), selection tools (to edit only part of your image), guide tools (which are used to assist you in your creation) and transformation tools (to transform your layer or object).
Stressing once again, this program should be used for those who want to create their images from scratch, making drawings. Options such as black and white, saturation, removing red eyes, among others, will NOT be found in Krita.
Download Krita on official website. Through the website, it is also possible to purchase the program through Steam (R $ 19,99), Epic Store (R $ 18,99) or Windows Store ($ 9,79). In these cases, the money will go towards the development of the program, and the updates will be automatic.
There is a version of Krita being developed for Android users. It is only available for some devices with early access.
|System||Windows 8.1 or higher|
|Size||500mb on disk (Windows)|
Canva is also an editor to create works from scratch. But it is much simpler than Krita, made for those who want to create graphic pieces, such as invitations and banners.
Having chosen the model of the piece to be created, it is possible to choose from a huge library of templates, for options that please you and match your objective. But it is completely possible to also create your own template, as the program offers a library of images, shapes, stickers, it is also possible to insert your own images and create really cool things with what the program has to offer.
It is worth noting the extensive number of sources available in Canva. Seriously, you can spend hours just exploring the sources, it's a source that never ends!
Another interesting option of Canva is that you can register a team, allowing more people to create edits in the same account.
The main editor is free, but if you are looking for more options (bigger team, more templates, bigger image bank, among others), you can subscribe to the Pro or Enterprise plans. The Pro plan is costing R $ 34,90 per month (R $ 369,90 in the annual version). But the subscription option is only for those who work with bigger things, it is perfectly possible to turn around in the free version.
Access Canva from the site.
|Size||n / A|
Fotor is another online editor. Upon entering, you are faced with three options: edit a photo, make a collage or create a drawing, which already shows more features of the editor.
In the option “create a drawing”, it is possible to choose between several image formats that are suggested, ranging from cards or posters to stories and thumbnails from youtube. To access the app, however, you need to create an account.
The option “make a collage” is exactly what the name suggests, you will be able to choose between some templates offered and set up your photo collage, simple and fast. You can create beautiful collages.
The “edit a photo” option takes you to an editor where you can make simple adjustments such as brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, exposure, temperature, crop, resize, make cosmetic corrections such as skin smoothing, reduce wrinkles, correct blemishes, Okay, maybe it’s not that simple, it’s a very wide selection of adjustments to make on your image (including putting on makeup !!).
Some features of the program are locked for Pro users, but unlike the programs listed so far, Fotor allows you to use these functions, while a watermark will appear on your photo (WELL IN THE MIDDLE), but it is possible to use it.
|System||Windows - unspecified|
Mac OS X 10.7 or higher
Android 4.4 or higher
iOS 9.0 or higher
|Size||240.3 mb on the computer|
91mb on Android
267.2 mb on iOS
Polarr starts differently when you open the publisher's website: it takes you through a tutorial on how to use it. Of course, you can just "skip" the entire tutorial, but it is always good to see it at least once, to get a better sense of what is possible to accomplish in the program.
Okay, what does Polarr allow me to do with my images? Come on, you can apply filters, add text and shapes, adjust colors and lights, cut out, and here comes Polarr's main differentiator: touch up a face. In the editor, it is possible to find where the face is in the image, and to make skin touches, smoothing, tone, shadows, highlights, tonality and saturation (oh, no, you can't put the same makeup on Fotor).
The only problem is that, for me, Polarr was locking up a little, nothing too intense, just a little more locked up than the other programs.
Android 8.0 or higher
iOS 12.0 or higher
|Size||47mb on Android|
51mb on iOS
In Befunky's own description, on its website, it is possible to read: “creative online platform all-in-one”. And so it behaves: just like Pixlr, you can choose between three options to start using the editor - edit photo, create collage and create design.
Befunky's functionality is very close to that of Pixlr, only more limited. Most templates and functions are blocked only for subscribers. The subscription is also charged in dollars, which weighs a little more in the pocket, but still, it does not reach the value of Photoshop.
Free of charge, it is possible to remove red eyes, whiten teeth, cut, resize, change the brightness, contrast, shadows, hue, saturation, temperature, increase sharpness and that's basically it.
By subscribing, however, the program is WELL more complete and is much more worthwhile. The Befunky subscription costs USD 8,99 / month (about R $ 48 with the current dollar rate).
It is important to mention that the tools available are different when using the web version of Befunky and the mobile version. I was unable to test the mobile version, so I don't have a lot of information about the app.
Android 4.4 or higher
iOS 9.1 or higher
|Size||28mb on Android|
67mb on iOS
Paint.NET was created by students to be an alternative to the well-known Paint, but with more features. It turned out that the project grew and it became what it is today.
Visually, it is very similar to the original Paint (a few years ago), and has some additional features, such as selecting with lace and recoloring (very useful for dyeing hair!). A very interesting thing about Paint.NET is the access to the editing history, making it easier to go back to a previous point, in addition to the possibility of working in layers.
You can purchase Paint.NET through the Microsoft store for R $ 25,95, but on official website there is also the option to download it for free. You can also download a plugins series to complement your program. There is a huge list of plugins, so check it out, but the forum is in English.
Although the official website is in English, the program supports Portuguese.
|System||Windows 10 (update 1607 or newer)|
Windows 7 SP1 (with platform update)
Ah, the GIMP. It is the most complete program on this list, and it is not far behind Photoshop when it comes to image editing. Want layered editing? Has. Want vector editing? Has. Free selection? Also has. You can make simple color adjustments such as saturation, exposure, contrast, brightness, temperature, among others.
The tools are separated into three groups: transformation tools, painting tools and selection tools and you can find them all easily in the “tools” menu, as well as on the left side of the screen. In addition, a large number of filters are available, very similar to those available in Photoshop.
In terms of alternatives to Photoshop itself, for a user who wants to make more professional edits, there's no mistaking going with GIMP! And it is maintained by volunteers, there is no paid version.
The only problem with GIMP, if one is to name one, is that it does not support CMYK mode, which is used for printing. So it basically only works for digital projects, which use RGB.
GIMP is available for download on the official website, for computers with at least Windows 7. The website is in English, but the program supports Portuguese.
|System||Windows 7 or higher|
macOS 10.9 Mavericks or higher
GNU / Linux
Well, and not to leave out the great inspirer of this list, Adobe has made available a simpler version of Photoshop for online editions, Photoshop Express.
The version is free and has only a few functions available, which are: resize, crop, retouch, adjust image (contrast, exposure, saturation, shadows, temperature, black and white, among others), remove background and artistic effects. I confess that I still didn't understand the “retouching” tool very well (if you did, explain it to me in the comments because I was curious).
It's very limited and simple, but it's free. To use, just enter Site.
Essentially, InPixio offers a user-friendly program that allows those with minimal photo editing skills to create beautiful images to share on social media or with people close to them. The software's most notable features include hundreds of filters, blur effects, creative frames, textures, tone sliders, preset creation and automatic online sharing features.
InPixio's free photo editing software is available for Windows and iOS mobile devices only, however, the premium version of the software is also available for Mac computers. This professional version, known as inPixio Photo Studio 10, offers a wide range of manual editing features as well as restoration tools. professional-grade photos and advanced photomontage features.
|System||Windows 7 or higher|
Wix Photo Studio
O Wix Photo Studio allows you to make small adjustments to your images directly on your website. This saves you the time it takes to select a free photo editor, upload the image, make your edits, export the image, upload it to your website, and do it all over again for each image you want to share. In short, it's a lot of time.
Wix Photo Studio's minimalist approach makes it incredibly useful for users of all skill levels, from those with no photo editing skills looking to improve their images, to professional photographers in need of a last minute fix. In addition to basic tools like cropping, mirroring, brightness, saturation and sharpening, this free online photo editor offers a long list of filters that will enhance any image with a single click. Best of all, any edits you make will be saved as a new image, ensuring your originals are always safe.
In addition, Wix Photo Studio uses face detection to power a cropping feature that will allow you to easily change the background of any portrait. You can use it to enhance the image of the about page, retouch the product photography that will appear on your e-commerce site, or even as a nice addition to your list of family portrait ideas.
If you don't need full photo editing, but simply want to get your images ready for social media or other formats, you can use Wix's free image resizer to easily resize and crop your images without any loss of quality.
Ashampoo Photo Optimizer
If you have a lot of photos that you need to edit quickly, the Ashampoo Photo Optimizer can be the tool for you. Its interface is clean and uncluttered, and completely free of ads (although you'll need to register an email address before you start using it).
Importing photos is easy, and once you've added them to the software, you can select several at once to rotate or mirror, saving you valuable time. You can also choose individual photos to enhance with the software's one-click optimization tool.
If you want to make manual color and exposure corrections, there are half a dozen sliders to let you do just that. It's a shame you can't apply the same color changes to a whole set of images at once either, but on the other hand, this is a brilliant free photo editor for making quick fixes.
For more advanced editing, take a look at Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 7 – the premium version of the software with improved optimization tools.
|System||Windows 7 or higher|
Photo Pos Pro
Photo Pos Pro it's not as well known as Paint.net and GIMP, but it's another high quality free photo editor that comes with advanced image enhancement tools. The interface of this free photo editor is smarter and more accessible than GIMP's variety of menus and toolbars, with everything organized in a logical and consistent way. If it's still too intimidating, there's also an optional 'beginner' layout that resembles Fotor's filter-based approach. It's your choice.
The 'expert' layout provides layers and layer masks for sophisticated editing, as well as tools to adjust curves and levels manually. You can still access one-click filters through the main menu, but the focus is much more on fine editing.
It's a shame that the free version of Photo Pos Pro only allows you to export a maximum of 1.024 x 1.024 pixels. If you're preparing images to share online, this might not be a problem, but it limits the software's usefulness if you want to print your work.
|System||Windows XP or higher|
MAC with Windows application emulator
The free online photo editor PiZap is available in HTML5 and Flash editions, making it suitable for any device. You can choose to work with a photo from your hard drive, Facebook, Google Photos, Google Drive, Google Search, or an image catalog. This is an impressive choice, although some of the stock images are only available to premium subscribers, and you'll need to be aware of copyright issues if using a photo directly from Google Images.
piZap's editing interface has a dark, modern design that makes heavy use of sliders for quick adjustments – a system that works much better than complicated icons and dropdown menus if you're using a touchscreen device.
When you're done, you can share your creation on all major social networks, as well as on piZap, Dropbox and Google Drive servers themselves. Alternatively, you can save it to your pc, email it, or get an embedded code. You can only export your work in high quality if you have opened your portfolio to the premium editor, but for sharing on a social network this will probably not be a problem.
What is the Best Free Image Editor?
Among so many options, which one is the best image editor?
The answer is: depends. If you count as “best”, the most complete, the answer would be GIMP. If "best" is the one that has the most freely available resources, it would be Paint.NET. Or, if in this case you are looking for the “best” in terms of design creation, it would be Canva. If you are the best online editor, Pixlr or Fotor. And so on.
Everything will depend on your needs and goals. So it is interesting to take a look at each one and see what needs it serves. Often, you can even combine the use of two or more programs, to make a more complete and comprehensive edition.
Image Editing Tips
If you are new to the image editing business, and want to do a good job, here are some tips:
- Make tests: it is important to always test the effects that you put on your image, with several options, so that you can SEE which one best fits the photo to be edited. Remember that it is always possible to undo and redo changes, so use and abuse the tests, only then will you be more sure of what is best for the image in question;
- Be careful with the texts! It is important that they are always as legible as possible, without straining the view. It is also worth mentioning that an image with a lot of text is polluted, so if you are not making a magazine cover, keep it in your texts!
- Collages: just as an image with many texts is polluted, a collage with many elements is even worse. Nothing to put “a little bit of everything”, decide only on what is best for your goals, without “hurting your eyes”;
- Beware of copyrights! Use only personal photos or free image banks, such as Pixabay. If you are going to use your edition publicly, know that images have rights, and using other people's images can get you into trouble.
So, did you find what you were looking for? Did you like the suggested image editors? Which of the programs caught your attention the most? Tell us in the comments, they are free too (haha, very funny).