The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives for Mac (2018)


You don’t have to use Adobe on your to edit images like a pro. There are plenty of for Mac that you can download or use in-browser to create just the right images and graphics for your projects. And some of them are completely free!

None of these are necessarily one-size-fits-all solutions. Each tool tends to serve a specific purpose; Do you want to edit online or on a desktop? Are you editing photos or multiple file types? Is all the work for web or will images get printed?

Here’s a list of the best Photoshop alternatives for Mac in , but not in any particular order. Have a read through to find the one that’s right for you.

1. Affinity Photo

photoshop alternatives

Affinity Photo is a past Apple Mac App of the Year Winner and the professional tool has everything you’d expect in a premium photo-editing product.

Use it to edit and retouch images as well as create multi-layer pieces. The professional corrections and adjustments tools rival any other app out there and it has a great noise-reduction filter. Retouching options include the usual dodge, burn, clone, patch, blemish, and red eye tools, but there’s also an inpainting brush and liquify feature.

Other key features:

  • Dedicated camera RAW workspace
  • HDR merge
  • Panorama stitching
  • Bath processing
  • 360-degree image editing

Cost: $49.99
Try it: From the App Store

2. Sketch

photoshop alternatives

Sketch isn’t a photo-editing app per se, but you can editing images within the Mac prototyping tool.

The best part of editing in Sketch is that all edits are nondestructive, meaning that any of your changes take effect without overwriting the original image file. (So you can always go back to the original if you want.)

Sketch allows for basic image editing including inverting images, cropping and color fill. It can be described as a basic bitmap editor and for many simple projects is enough.

Other key features:

  • Color adjustment capability – hue, saturation, brightness and contrast
  • Reduce image/file size
  • Replace and change images in projects with one click (Since you are using the same tool)
  • Ability to work in layers
  • Also includes ability to edit vector elements

Cost: $99/year

Try it: From Sketch

3. GIMP

photoshop alternatives

GIMP offers powerful photo manipulation and editing capability in a free, open source package. (You can also download the source code and make changes as you see fit and add more functionality with third-party plugins.)

GIMP is designed for high-quality photo manipulation including retouching images and photo restorations. Users can also use it to create original artwork, a feature that many other non-Photoshop editors don’t provide (or have but it can be difficult to use).

Other key features:

  • Ability to create icons and other elements
  • Use for scripted image manipulation (C, C++, Perl, Python, Scheme and more)
  • Color management tools included with Scribus, Inkscape and SwatchBooker
  • Large number of usable file formats and a customizable workspace
  • Extensive tutorial library on the website so you can learn the tool easily

Cost: Free
Try it: From GIMP

4. Pixelmator Pro

photoshop alternatives

Pixelmator Pro is a nondestructive editor that allows you to make changes to images and draw in the app. It also includes a nifty machine learning auto color adjustments tool to help make color changes a breeze.

One of the best features of Pixelmator Pro is that you can even export images for the web – hello, optimization – so you don’t have to use multiple tools to edit and then shrink image for top website quality production. Pixelmator Pro also includes some workflow tools to help you work more efficiently.

Other key features:

  • Works with Mac’s Touch Bar
  • Live preview option so you can see how changes will look before committing
  • Text editing capabilities
  • SVG editing and export
  • Painting tools so you can draw anything by hand

Cost: $59.99
Try it: From the App Store or try the free demo

5. Pixlr Pro

photoshop alternatives

Pixlr Pro is an in-browser image editing app that’s packed with photo, vector and text editing capability. You can edit like a pro with tools that include layer masks, multiple brush options, curve and level adjustments, color and blend modes, effects and filters, and transform and wrap tools.

What’s different about Pixlr Pro, which also has a free version, is that you don’t have to download anything to use it. All the tools are right in your browser (and it has strong browser compatibility). It also includes a lot of other goodies to help jumpstart projects, such as templates and fonts.

Other key features:

  • Includes access to 1 million royalty-free stock images
  • Comes with more than ,000 photo templates
  • Works with PSD and Sketch image files
  • Smart healing tools for photo correction
  • Refine edge tool make it easy to mask complex objects

Cost: $5/month
Try it: From Pixlr

6. PicMonkey

photoshop alternatives

PicMonkey is a well-known online photo editor and retoucher. It has the most complicated structure of features of all the tools in this list with free, basic and pro pricing plans with different levels of features and tools.

If you plan to use any of the advanced features – save and export, advanced retouching, effects and overlays, fonts – then you are probably looking at the pro level plan. Free plans include ads; paid plans do not. PicMonkey is a pretty straightforward tool that is popular with users creating images for social media and online-only use with a simple photo editor and design tools.

Other key features:

  • Add-ons include filters, overlays and text tools
  • Touch up photos to add more visual interest
  • Watermark and other templates to make projects quick
  • Ability to create a photo collage
  • Simple interface with ready to use buttons in-browser or using the desktop app

Cost: Starting at $5.99/month
Try it: From PicMonkey

7. Fotor

photoshop alternatives

The tool that the BBC called “Photoshop lite” is simple and easy to use. Edit images, add effects and text or tough up portraits like a pro with Fotor.

The photo editor has all the tools you’d expect for everyday editing with shape and aspect ratio cropping, color, saturation and white balance options and ability to straighten and rotate images. You can also create a custom college in the app.

Other key features:

  • Bath processing option
  • Tilt-shirt tools adds focus and blurring for a professional look
  • 13 1-tap photo enhancement options
  • Use popular file formats such as RAW, PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF and TIFF
  • Optimize images for retina displays

Cost: Free
Try it: From the App Store

8. Acorn

photoshop alternatives

Acorn is another nondestructive piece of Mac photo editing software that has a robust set of tools. The company claims that it has “everything you need in an image editor” with the ability to add layer masks and selections to touch up images or make something entirely new. You can also remove backgrounds, combine images, perform color corrections, resize, transform, crop and more.

While Acorn is billed as an image editor, it also includes vector tools as well and a text on a path feature.

Other key features:

  • 100+ photo effects — vignette, drop shadow, gradients, sharpening, color correction, distortions, blurs
  • Web export and scaling
  • Smart layer export
  • Camera RAW image import and editing
  • Ability to import Photoshop brushes

Cost: $29.99
Try it: From The Flying Meat store (other addons also available)

9. SumoPaint

photoshop alternatives

SumoPaint has free and paid version with different options. One key difference is whether you want to edit image on- or off-line (paid only).

SumoPaint is billed as an image manipulator with plenty of options, not all of which are designed for working with photos. The native Sumo file format also provides a nondestructive save option. The tool includes plenty of brushes, shapes and colors and gradients to jumpstart any project. It also allows for use of layers and comes with plenty of filters.

Other key features:

  • Lighting, reflection and mosaic tools
  • Animated and 3D brush options
  • Auto-smoothing feature
  • Text tool
  • Ability to adjust curves and levels with ease

Cost: $4/month
Try it: From SumoPaint

10. DxO PhotoLab

photoshop alternatives

DxO PhotoLab is the go-to for RAW photo editing. It’s packed with features – you might even mistake the dashboard for Photoshop at a glance – and doesn’t get bogged down when working with large files and detailed images.

The tools include the ability to editing using control points to work on just the parts of a photo you want to edit, there are plenty of brushes for precise work, a graduated filter makes landscape photos look great and the auto repair mode can remove unwanted elements from images.

Other key features:

  • Smooth transitions between elements that preserve textures and shadows
  • Fast processing
  • Auto lighting optimization tool
  • ClearView filter removes atmospheric haze from landscape photos
  • 40,000 camera and lens combinations

Cost: $99.99 (Essential Edition)
Try it: From DxO



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