Adobe Photoshop is the most popular and finest software used widely by graphic designers. However, not everyone can afford the paid software. Just count the amount of money you will be paying during a couple of years of using it and you will be terrified. So, what are the best free alternatives to Photoshop?
If you are just beginning to work with graphic design or want to save your money on such programs, the best choice for you will be to use free graphics software. You also have many free photo editors online at disposal.
Summary – Pros & Cons of Free Adobe Photoshop Alternatives
Here we will summarize pros and cons of each of our top picks from free graphic design tools that are alternative to Photoshop. Easily compare these facts before deciding which one works fine for you.
|Graphic Software||Pros – Good Features||Cons – Not so good Features|
|Gravit Designer||– A huge library of vector assets|
– Intuitive user interface and workflow
– The browser and cross-platform versions are connected to the cloud
|– It will become paid in the future|
– Lack of additional functions
|Vectr||– Cross-platform and browser versions|
– Intuitive, easy to use interface
– Easy project sharing
– WordPress integration
|Inkscape||– Completely free|
– Plenty of filters
– Contains new nice effect tools
– A lot of educational content
|– Can be very slow in large projects|
|Canva||– Access from any computers and devices|
– Thousands of templates
– Easy to use
|– You can’t change the size of the image in a free version|
– Requires fast Internet
|GIMP||– Vivid and modern UI|
– Easy to use
– Has single windows usage
|– Contains several bugs|
|Krita||– Contains plenty of illustrations and examples|
– Not difficult to follow
– Bright and interesting
– Shows both basic and advanced methods
|– Plenty of memory is required|
– Tools for text
|Blender||– Free open-source software|
– Possibility to export files to other formats
– Possibility to render with your GPU instead of CPU
|– No appropriate support of motion capture|
– Difficult animation management if you have more than 15 animations
– Complicated learning curve
|Daz3D||– Characters look realistic|
– Offers Morphing Tools, Facial Expressions, Movements
– Provides 3D Content Modeling, Animation, Rendering
– Has 3D Creation Tool
|– Hasn’t had updates for a long time|
– Requires powerful computer
|SVG-Edit||– Simple, fast in use|
– Open-source web code
|– Node management is not ideal|
|Easelly||– Create all the diagrams online|
– Instant upload a finished layout to your website, social network or computer
– To use additional functions of this resource, you have to pay just $3 a month
|– No autosave|
– Might not be useful for advanced users
Detailed Review of Free Programs Like Photoshop
Lets look into our top 10 picks that are free programs like Adobe Photoshop.
Inkscape – Windows / Mac / Linux
This open-source vector free graphics program is widely known as a free analog of Adobe Illustrator. The difference between them is in the fact that Inkscape uses Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) as the main format. Designers, who are familiar with vector graphics, will easily master this program. Here you can create projects of any complexity.
It is a great choice for beginning graphic designers as it provides a large number of modern tools and effects, including complex path manipulations, node editing, bitmap tracing, and path-based text.
As soon as you enter their website, Inkscape immediately shows that it’s a professional tool for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It might be a bit unclear how to download it so you can check the tutorial on YouTube. However, there is a separate page that contains instructions and tells how to download it.
Gravit Designer – Windows / Mac / Linux / Chrome OS / Web
The developers of Gravit Designer software offer many possibilities. This is something between Inkscape and Vectr.
It has more functions than Vectr and is as intuitive as Inkscape. This program allows you to do everything that you expect from a vector software. You can create curves, edit paths, manage layers and use the knife function. It supports SVG, PDF, JPEG, SKETCH and since recently, EPS formats for import and export too. Besides, you can work on your projects on different platforms.
Gravit Cloud provides a smooth transfer of files between desktop and online versions. A portable version of this software is also available. Among other useful functions of Gravit, there are vector assets available. The library of Gravit Designer assets includes badges, forms, emojis and illustrations that can be combined and modified for commercial and non-commercial use.
Vectr – Windows / Linux / Chrome OS / Web
This is a graphic design free software for creating different projects – from t-shirt prints to full-fledged graphics for websites. Vectr has a simple and intuitive interface, allows you to export created files in real-time.
Also, this software provides functionality for exchanging the information between different devices, which makes it convenient for team design.
Their website tells you several times that it’s not difficult to use and the developers can help you any time and with any question.
The Vectr’s learning curve is low. That’s why if you can’t afford to buy more expensive vector programs, this will be a great option for you to start.
It’s very simple to find various tutorials using Vectr software as there are about 30 of them on their website. You can use this software both online and via download. As for your work, it will be automatically saved and synched.
GIMP – Windows / Mac / Linux
Gimp graphic design software is well-thought-out and surprisingly free. It provides a versatile photo editor that can work on all main operating systems. Gimp is for those who are looking for robust software to perform different manipulations with photos, create paintings or mock-ups.
The interface of this free graphics software is similar to Adobe Photoshop. A few tool icons are the same and the layer setup is not worse than in Photoshop.
The developers consider the requests of the users and do everything to enhance the functions of this software. One of such functions is saving and exporting files. It saves your working files in XCF format. But you will have to export other formats.
Canva – Web / iOS / Android
Canva has 10 million users and provides universal tools using which you can design anything you want, including email headers, presentations and infographics for blogs. The design of their website is very intuitive and beginner-friendly. It also has a drag-and-drop function and high-quality templates.
This software is a popular option for non-designers at a last resort. It works well with graphics, however, if you have to create documents with many pages, you will not be able to do it here.
Also, this software doesn’t offer the function of template locking for such brand assets as fonts, colors and logos. Thus, if you are going to work with simple graphics, this is the best free online graphic design software.
Krita – Mac / Linux / Windows
Krita is the best free graphic design software with an open source for illustrators and concept artists. It will be most useful for comic book artists as it has a set of tools, such as halftones and ready-made templates, specifically for these tasks.
However, the software is suitable for other types of drawing as well. Krita offers a large set of drawing tools, including vanishing points, smooth shapes, layer masks and many more.
Blender – Mac / Linux / Windows
Blender is one of the best graphics programs for creating 3D computer graphics. It is used for 3D modeling and visualization in different spheres. Also, Blender will be useful for creating outdoor advertising, print products and web-design.
It is often simpler and faster to model the object from the right angle than to search for it, select it or draw. The result looks more realistic as when visualizing the object, its physical features are taken into account.
If you need to include objects in your design that don’t exist in real life, you can only model them or draw. Since this program is a vector one, you will achieve qualitative images as a result. Even on banners, their quality will win compared to photos.
Easelly | Web only
The next option might seem too creative for those who haven’t worked with info-graphics yet. Especially, if you take into consideration a set of different icons in the form of moving people, various lines and diagrams.
This software allows you to create and edit different infographics and display it in PDF or JPG formats. The basic version is free but additional elements are available for a small fee. However, unlike many other data visualization tools, Easelly is way cheaper.
SVG-Edit | Web only
SVG-edit is one of the free design programs that does exactly what its name implies. It edits SVG and creates its own. This is a free online program that is available in the majority of browsers.
A set of functions is standard. Here you can create shapes, draw with pencil, transform lines into paths, color and add images. The result can be exported to popular web formats, such as WMP, JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and, of course, SVG.
The interface is quite simple and reminds me of drawing programs from the beginning of the 2000s – there is nothing special here.
Daz3D – Windows / Mac
This is the best free graphic design software for animators, illustrators and designers. It can be used for 3D animation, figure posing and rendering.
The software represents a combination of various graphic design platforms, solutions and additions, such as Hexagon, Genesis 8 and Daz Studio. They work together in order to create the possibilities of designing 3D rigged human models.
Also, using Daz 3D, you can create amazing digital locations, animations and illustrations. It’s a universal software that offers a lot of functions that help adjust scenes and characters and make masterpieces out of them. Daz 3D has a figure platform and character engine that enables the creation of detailed characters.
FAQs on Free Photoshop Alternative
You don’t need to be a fine artist to be a graphic designer. While the ability to draw, paint, or create in any of the other traditional artistic ways can help your graphic design career, they’re not requirements.
The open-source program GNU Image Manipulation Program (often shortened to GIMP) comes closest to Photoshop ‘s advanced tools. GIMP is free to download for Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms.
The only place you can download a legal, free copy of Photoshop is through Adobe’s 7-day trial
Let us know which one is your favorite tool and also did you find something good that is not in this list?