Adobe Photoshop is the king of image editors and it costs a pretty penny. But don’t worry, there are other online photo editors like Photoshop that work in your browser on any platform and are also free.
No, we aren’t talking about the usual popular online Photoshop alternatives like PicMonkey, Pixlr, SumoPaint, and others. Instead, we’re focusing on relatively little-known image editors that make it easy for anyone to apply basic effects on their photos.
Naturally, none of these apps are going to be as powerful and full-featured as Photoshop itself. Adobe has hundreds of engineers working on a single product, while these online apps are usually labors of love.
But each of these does a great job to become a free Photoshop alternative online.
1. Photopea (Web): The Best Free Photoshop Alternative Online
There is no debate about this. Forget about Pixlr, forget about SumoPaint, forget about anything else you’ve tried. Once you use Photopea, you can’t go back. It’s the best free online editor like Photoshop, even giving you a similar look and feel.
There are detailed tutorials available for it so that you can learn how to use any feature. All the popular Photoshop features are available, like clone stamp, layers, filters, and so on. You can even open a PSD file or save an image as PSD.
Photopea’s best part is that it does all its computation offline, so your pictures are never sent to the cloud. Open the website and that’s it, the rest of the work is happening on your computer. That not only makes it faster than working online but also protects your data.
Photopea has been around for some time, but never really got its due. With its regular updates to add new features, it has been gaining more popularity. Hop on this bandwagon now. Chromebook users should especially give this one a whirl.
2. Mara.Photos (Web): Swiss Army Knife of Tools and Effects
Mara slipped under most people’s radar when it launched, but it’s a brilliant and simple image editing app. If you’re looking for a free online Photoshop alternative, it mimics many of the bigger software’s features through a whole bunch of effects, filters, and tools.
First, you need to select the effect you want to apply. You can find all the options listed on the homepage. There are the common image editing options like Resize, Crop, Rotate, Type, Pop, Vintage, Art etc.
You will also find many other features like Bulge/Pinch, Wave, Splitter, Color Tint, Bump, Palette Extractor, Optimize Palette, GIF Editor, APNG/AWebP Editor, Mirror, Kaleidoscope, ASCII Art, 3D Anaglyph, Glitcher, RAW, EXIF, PNG Metadata, Steganography, ANSI Art, and even a Vector Graphics Editor.
You can then upload the image from your desktop, cloud drive, or share a URL. Each effect has multiple tweaks you can make, choosing how deeply to apply the effect. And yes, once you apply an effect, you can transfer the image to another tool or effect.
The simple interface is great for novices, making Mara among the easiest online Photoshop alternatives for basic photo editing.
3. Remove BG (Web): Automatically Remove Backgrounds of Photos
Remove BG is one of the best single-purpose online photo-editing apps available. It’s almost magical. In Adobe Photoshop, the magic wand tool lets you select the main subject of an image and then remove the background in the picture . Well, Remove BG is the free online Photoshop alternative to do that in any browser.
You have to try it out to see how well it works. Upload a picture from your computer or paste a URL. Remove BG will work on it for a few minutes and then you’ll get a result of the before and after version of the picture. You can download and save it to your computer for free, without any watermark. It’s fantastic.
Remove BG is by far the best free Photoshop alternative online we’ve seen for this feature. Others don’t offer the same accuracy or make you pay to remove watermarks. Bookmark this web app, you’ll need it.
4. Image Toolbox (Web): Easy Batch Image Resizing and Converting
Photoshop’s scripts make it easy to resize a batch of images quickly. If you want a free online Photoshop alternative for that, Image Toolbox has your back.
The web app lets you resize a bunch of images at the same time. You can resize them based on specific resolutions for width or height, or by percentage of the original picture.
At the same time, Image Toolbox can also convert all images to JPEG or PNG, depending on what you want. As always, you can choose the quality of the JPEG or PNG file, which determines the file size too.
One nice feature is that you don’t need to re-upload the pictures if you don’t get it right the first time. There’s an option to “Re-edit and retry”, which saves the time and energy of uploading a huge number of images a second time to get it right. That’s a smart online photo editor offering a key feature of Photoshop.
5. Promo Social Media Image Resizer (Web): Every Social Size, All at Once
Photoshop scripts make it easy to convert one image into several different sizes for different social media uses in one click. Promo created a handy online photo editor like Photoshop to make this free and simple.
It’s surprisingly easy to use. First, upload a picture or add it from a URL. Then scroll down to select the types of image sizes you want. Promo has templates for everything you’d need in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Email and Blog, and Google Display Network. These include every type of profile picture, cover image, story, and other space where you can upload the image.
The downloaded package of zipped files has the image type in the file name, so it’s easy to know what to upload where. It’s a fantastic tool that makes life much easier.
More Modern Online Photo Editors
The multitude of options and features in Photoshop isn’t for everyone. Many people need something simpler. For them, these free online Photoshop alternatives are a much better option as it doesn’t require deep knowledge of image editing.
In fact, the new trend seems to be to make online photo editors like Photoshop but without the confusing interface. You’ll get all the features and tools, but a simpler way to apply them.
The new Pixlr X and Pixlr E and the super-simple Doka are but two examples of such free and modern online photo editors that you should check out.
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