20 Free Photo Editing Tools Beyond Photoshop

If you need to edit pictures, Photoshop is the first free photo editing software that comes to mind. Every blogger, artist, illustrator, designer and photographer knows how Photoshop works. They also understand how helpful it is to their profession. But Photoshop is expensive. If you are a budding professional, a 30-day trial software is all you can afford.

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free photo editing tools

Don’t worry! There are free photo editing programs that are equally effective. Let us look at 20 free photo editing tools and how good are they:


Phoxo is a great image editor with features like that of Photoshop. It is easy to use in terms of loading and navigation. It also has multiple layer support to work on your editing projects. On the bad side, you cannot preview the changes you want before applying it, so editing becomes a trial and error process.

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It lets you create HTML5 slideshows which are compatible with all browsers & devices with the help of free iOS manager.

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Funny Photo Maker

This is a great tool if you want cool frames and effects. This photo maker also features a face swap template. Anyone can use this software because of its user-friendly interface. This tool does not have layer support nor smart selection tools, but no one needs that if you have fun effects to play with.

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GIMP 2.8

GIMP is an open-source project, so if you feel like you have the developing skills, you might try to contribute. It is really powerful and you will find great variety of tools.

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Photo Pos Pro

This software allows you to edit and enhance digital images through various templates and vectors. Like Photoshop, it features dynamic brushes, layers, special effects and masks to make your projects easy. Its latest 1.8 version allows you to build webpages with its HTML webpage wizard tool.

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This program, unlike most of the above mentioned is Windows-only, so if you are using any other platform you will not be able to use it.

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Photo editors can either be powerful or simple. This software falls in the simple category. Because of this, Photoscape is very easy to navigate. It features batch editing, file viewer, slide show creator and more. On the downside it does not feature layer support, which limits possibilities of editing photos.

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Irfanview is not for professional editors but it is good enough for viewing and editing images with quick touches like crop, resize, rotate, and brightness and contrast adjustment.

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Photo Filtre

This is great, easy-to-use software. It is relatively small but extremely powerful tool that equals Photoshop. It can edit large files of pictures in different formats. You can also optimize color palette according to your project. Too bad Photo Filtre has limited filters.

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Pixbuilder Studio

One of the best free editing software, Pixbuilder showcases the same editing buttons that are used in professional editing tools. Buttons like smart selection and color selection makes editing a lot easy. It also has customizable keyboard shortcuts to make editing process quick and comfortable.

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Chasys Draw IES

Use this tool and you’ll question why this software is offered for free. It has advance settings and features that is comparable to high end editing software. It features the usual editing tools along with advance blue-screen effect, alpha channel enhancement, image password protection and more.

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Image Tricks

This simple software lacks a lot of useful editing tools like crop, which is a disappointment. However Image Tricks boasts 77 core image effects and filters, 35 quartz compositions, 13 image generators and 100 unique masks, which make experimenting fun.

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It’s a very simple, fun and reliable photo editing software with collage and touch-up features. This is far from being a professional photo editing software but it is fun to play with its unique filters, frames and texts. Unfortunately, you have to upgrade to Pro to maximize its features.

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Sumo Paint Air

This software is a very comprehensive and reliable editor equipped with precise smart selection tools, layer support and effective color selection tool. This runs on Adobe Air so it does not eat much memory on your computer.


An image editor for Mac OS, Seashore is is based around GIMP, another well known editing platform. That is why this software is reliable as an all-around editing tool. If only it has dodge and burn tools, it will be perfect alternative for professional image editors.


This software focuses on fun filters and effects rather than the usual editing tools. However this is a must try for people who wants quick fix to their boring images.

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This is a powerful image editing software that is perfect for novice editors. It has the usual effective editing tools to create high quality images. It can even be integrated with many photo sharing sites. What pulls Splashup down is its high bandwith consumption due to its flash-heavy programming.

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Fotor offers a quick fun way of editing images for simple color shift effect, Lomo style filters, focus selection style and fun collage applications. Fotor proves that editing should not be limited to sophisticated software like Photoshop.

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Pixlr is one of the go to editing tools when it comes to quick and effective fix. This tool is really efficient since it provides quick filter enhancement and showcases powerful editing features used by professionals. Pixlr has both mobile and online version for convenient use.

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NCH Software

Despite its intimidating name, this is actually very helpful editing software. You can easily apply re-touches and filters the way high end software do. It is compatible with JPEG, GIF, PNG formats. If you are done editing you can easily share it through Facebook and Flickr.

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These are some of the best free photo editing tools that you can use as alternative for Photoshop. Some users still prefer using the professional Adobe software, but if you are a budding artist with no money to buy original software, these free applications are sufficient to help you. Remember, it is not about the tool, it’s how you use it.

Lace Wanders is a writer and a contributor for a corporate newspaper. She has been writing for many years and dreams of creating her own book. She is currently working for bestessays.