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When you think of editing images, Adobe Photoshop is the first name to pop into anyone’s head. But it costs a pretty penny and might not be worth it What Can You Actually Do With Adobe Photoshop? What Can You Actually Do With Adobe Photoshop? Photoshop can now do a lot more than just edit photos; some of the tools from programs like Illustrator have made their way into the software and vice versa. Read More for a lot of regular folks. Thankfully, there are good free alternatives.

Recently, the world of photo-editing programs has seen several new contenders crop up, both on desktop and mobile. And we don’t just mean apps to turn photos into paintings 5 Free Apps to Turn Photos Into Art on Android, iOS, or Web 5 Free Apps to Turn Photos Into Art on Android, iOS, or Web Turn your selfies into art with these free creative tools and join the new filter craze that is now taking over the internet. Read More .

From open-source creations that mimic Photoshop’s best abilities to simple viewers with basic editing tools, here are five free apps you should check out.

1. Krita (Windows, Mac, Linux): Free Photoshop Alternative, Especially for Artists

For a long time, open-source and free image editing has been about GIMP vs. Photoshop GIMP vs Photoshop: Which One is Right for You? GIMP vs Photoshop: Which One is Right for You? Photoshop is the most popular image editing app out there and GIMP is the best free alternative to it. Which should you use? Read More . But a little while ago, a new contender has entered the ring, called Krita. It’s made by artists and focuses on drawing tools, but includes most of Photoshop’s famed image editing features.

Krita’s user interface will be easy for anyone who has used Photoshop or GIMP, although the keyboard shortcuts are different. The brush gets focus, since this is all about drawing, with several brush engines, brush importing features, and a “stabilizer” mode to counter a shaky hand. The pop-up palette also makes it easy to switch between brushes quickly.

Importantly, Krita supports PSD files, so you can use your existing Photoshop images. With vectors, layers, transformation, and other tools, this might be the free Photoshop alternative you need.

DownloadKrita for Windows, Mac, or Linux (Free)

2. PhotoScape X (Windows, Mac): All-In-One Photo Viewer and Editor

PhotoScape has been around for some time now, but its newest avatar is better than it ever was. The program now looks like a slick image editor with all the features that a regular home user would want.

Its ease of use is the highlight, as a complete newbie can use any feature in seconds. In case you have any problems, PhotoScape offers quick tutorials on its official site. So, you can add stickers or frames, make collages, play with filters or colors, crop, miniaturize, use a spot-healing brush, and all the other things you’d expect in a full-fledged image editing suite for 2017.

We especially liked the batch editing feature which you can check out above, as you can save your settings and load them in the future. And yes, you can play and create GIFs too. It’s truly one of the best free photo editor tools 10 Free Photo Editor Tools To Make The Most Of Your Shots 10 Free Photo Editor Tools To Make The Most Of Your Shots Whatever happened to all the snapshots you've taken in the past? If you've got plans and ideas, here are some great Windows and some cross platform tools to process them with. Read More around.

Download — PhotoScape X for Windows (Free) | Mac (Free)

3. Photoshop Fix (Android, iOS): Adobe’s Best Image Editor for Phones

You don’t usually need the advanced image editing features of Photoshop on your smartphone. But you still need to touch up photos once in a while. Adobe’s Photoshop Fix is the perfect tool for that.

For a long time, Photoshop Fix was one of the awesome iPhone apps you don’t find on Android These iOS Apps Will Make You Want an iPhone Over an Android These iOS Apps Will Make You Want an iPhone Over an Android While many big-name apps are available on both Android and iOS, there are still quite a few that you'll only find on your iPhone or iPad. Read More . But that changed recently, and the app also got a few updates in the process. Photoshop Fix is all about making your pictures look better, whether it’s removing blemishes or simple edits like cropping or adding vignettes.

Importantly, Photoshop Fix works with transparent backgrounds and high-resolution images. No wonder it’s one of the best Adobe apps you can get for free 5 Awesome Adobe Apps That Are Completely Free 5 Awesome Adobe Apps That Are Completely Free Adobe makes industry standard design programs. But it also offers high-quality software and apps that are free. Here are the top five Adobe tools that are all free. Read More .

Download — Photoshop Fix for Android (Free) | iOS (Free)

4. Fragment (Windows, Mac, Linux): Simplest, Fastest Image Viewer and Editor

My parents don’t need the thousand editing options that Photoshop offers. They just want a simple program that lets them view their photos in the easiest way possible. And when needed, they want to crop or rotate the pictures the right way. Fragment is ideal for that.

This free, cross-platform software will surprise you with how good it is. Images open almost instantly, and you can skip back and forward in the folder with great speed. Crop the photo or rotate it, and save it. You want to upload it to Facebook? Fragment can do that as well.

Fragment is also marvelous at handling GIFs, the language of the internet GIFs, The Language Of The Web: Their History, Culture, and Future GIFs, The Language Of The Web: Their History, Culture, and Future Read More . It offers supreme control over individual frames, and even saves them. And it supports other file formats like PSD and HDRI too.

Download — Fragment for Windows (Free) | Mac (Free) | Linux (Free)

5. Picture.st (Web): The Easiest (and Best) Online Image Editor

The desktop is passé, cloud-based online image editors Don't Install An Image Editor: Try These Cloud-Based Photo Editors Instead Don't Install An Image Editor: Try These Cloud-Based Photo Editors Instead If you want to get really good results, you need to download some kind of graphics software or other editing app, and put it through its paces. But now, you can do most of your... Read More are all the rage now. And sure, when you want to edit only one or two photos, why would you install a whole new software? But online editors tend to over-complicate things, adding far too many features into something that should be simple — Picture.st is the solution.

Think of it as the Instagram of websites. Upload a photo and you’ll get a few easy editing options. You can adjust the exposure, contrast, temperature, saturation, and other elements. Or if that’s too confusing for you, click “auto” to magically enhance your photo. Next, add a filter if you feel like it, and crop the image however you want. Once you’re done, download or share it.

Picture.st is the simple, easy online image editor you always wanted but didn’t know where to find.

Which Did You Like?

These new image editing apps do most things right, and can be a serious challenge for incumbents like Photoshop or Irfanview. What did you think about these new contenders? Did any one of them impress you in particular?

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  1. Diane Heim
    February 22, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    I don't need a photo editing program, just need an organizing program. I was a big fan of Picasa, it did what I needed: gave me a catalog of my images and let me print what I wanted.
    What sort of programs do you recommend for just gathering and managing my photos and images?

  2. woodrackets
    February 19, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Pixelmator!

  3. Al
    February 18, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    PhotoScapeX is not free - at least not on Win10 - attempting to download takes you to MS Store where it's listed as $29.95