Originally posted on pocket-lint.
Fixing a photo or creating a graphic doesn’t always have to come with the price or learning curve of Photoshop.
Adobe Photoshop is as synonymous with photo editing as a Band-Aid is to a bandage, Kleenex to a tissue, and Ziplock to a storage bag. But while the Adobe software may be responsible for many of the tools and terms of photo editing today, Adobe Photoshop is a professional-level software that comes at a cost. The software is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, which uses a monthly subscription-based pricing system. While the $10 monthly bundle for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom is a worthwhile investment for professionals and some hobbyists, if you want to resize a photo, convert to a different file type, or remove acne from a selfie, there are a few free Photoshop alternatives that will tackle the tasks for nothing but the annoyance of viewing ads.
While Photoshop has more advanced tools than free photo editing apps, as the professional standard in image editing, there’s a learning curve that comes with Adobe’s most popular photo editor. (Photoshop Elements is an entry-level version of Photoshop, but it isn’t free.) Many free Photoshop alternatives also tend to be more beginner-friendly, though that’s not the case with every program.
There are a few different ways to edit photos at a non-existent price point. Some Photoshop alternatives are web-based programs that don’t even require a download. Others are mobile apps for tweaking smartphone snapshots. And yes, if you want to download a program to your laptop, there are free desktop-based photo editors for that, too.
The only way to get Photoshop for free is to download the free seven-day trial. However, there are some great free Photoshop alternatives for simpler photo edits. From the free mobile Photoshop Express designed by Adobe, the makers of Photoshop, to the open-source GIMP, here are the best free Photoshop alternatives.
Adobe Photoshop Express
While Adobe Photoshop Express is mobile-only, the app is an excellent choice for quick photo edits from a smartphone or tablet. The mobile app has fewer tools than the fully-fledged version, making Photoshop Express more beginner-friendly. Inside the mobile app, edits that would typically require complex tutorials in Photoshop are a few self-explanatory taps away, including fixing blemishes and adding makeup.
Users must pay to access its best features, but the free version still includes many photo editing tools. If you want to crop, fix acne, apply filters, adjust color or exposure, that’s all possible in the free Photoshop Express. While Photoshop Express is a good option for editing smartphone photos and creating collages, you’ll want Adobe Express for creating graphics from scratch.