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There is much more to photography than simply holding a camera. A good photograph would never have been taken if it hadn’t been for photo editing software In the past years, it was pretty clear either you had just taken a photo and placed it in the frame or you used Photoshop or 6 other apps to touch up your photographs before you showed them to anyone.

And while most photographers still use programs like Photoshop to edit their pictures, more and more of them are now turning towards newer and easier solutions that could be found online or even downloaded off the App store.

Adobe Photoshop is an incredibly powerful photo editing program with a ton of features. It’s easy to get started and the intuitive interface makes learning the advanced features a breeze. Photoshop is expensive and takes a long time to learn, but it’s worth it if you are serious about photo editing.

How to choose photo editing software

Choosing the best photo editing software can be confusing, with so many packages offering similar features for different prices. The key is to find one that suits your needs.

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself before making a decision:

  • How much editing do you plan on doing? If you just want to make minor adjustments like cropping and correcting red eye, any cheap or free program will do. If you want to get more creative with filters and special effects then something with a bit more power will help.
  • Mac or PC? While there are some good, low cost programs that run on Macs, most of the more advanced software is Windows only, which means if you have an Apple computer you’ll have to limit yourself to using cheaper options.
  • Do you need it straight away? If you’re after a program right now then head down to your local electrical store and pick up a boxed version of Photoshop Elements or PaintShop Pro X3. However, if you don’t mind waiting a few days for delivery, Amazon often has better deals on these packages as well as other great photo editing software.
  • How much can you spend? Photoshop CS5 costs a whopping £509.99 but there are plenty of free or cheap options out there too.

Free Photo editing software


Starting at $12/month

Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. It is available on web and mobile, and integrates millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations. Users can choose from many professional designed templates, and edit the designs and upload their own photos through a drag and drop interface.

In order to create its editing software for non-designers, Canva studied how its customers were already using the product. The company found that most people wanted to add text to images or add filters — two elements that were already embedded in the free version of Canva for desktop. With Canva for IOS, Canva added in new tools so you could crop and resize your images; adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and warmth; draw shapes; create text boxes; highlight texts as well as add stickers, frames and more.

Canva photo editor has a number of features that make it stand out among the other photo editing options available online. Similar to Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, Canva is built around layers — a feature that lets you work with multiple images at once. When you upload an image into your design on Canva’s platform, there are no limits to the number of edits.



GIMP is the go-to freeware image editor for many and it’s easy to see why. It has a huge community of users with plenty of support and tutorials available, as well as a wealth of plugins to extend its capabilities even further.

GIMP is a free, open-source photo editing software. Though it’s not as robust as Photoshop, it offers many of the same features and can be an excellent alternative for those who can’t afford to pay for Adobe’s subscription service.

Like Photoshop, GIMP is available for Linux, Windows and MacOS platforms. It’s capable of retouching photos and creating original artwork, such as logos and graphics. But GIMP is also more than that: It’s a full-featured image manipulation program that even has its own scripting language (Scheme) to automate tasks.

GIMP can be downloaded from the project’s website here:



Paint.NET is ideal for those who have a touch more experience with photo editing software but still want to keep things simple, or who are looking to expand their knowledge with the occasional advanced feature.

The free program’s interface is less intuitive than that of Fotor or BeFunky, but it has all of the necessary features you’d expect in a decent photo editor.

Paint.NET supports layers and masks, and there are a wide range of effects, including sharpening and blurring tools, and red-eye removal.

Where Paint.NET really shines is with its selection tools — you can use lasso or polygonal lasso tools, magic wand, and the paintbrush selection tool to make quick work of complex selections.

The program also comes with an active online community where users can share tutorials, tips and tricks, and get technical support from other Paint.NET users

Pixlr Editor


Why Pixlr Editor?

Works well with other programs

Pixlr Editor is a fantastic alternative to Photoshop. It supports layers, masks and has full support for working with PSDs.

Part of a suite

Pixlr Editor is part of the larger Pixlr ecosystem, which includes mobile apps and an online image editor. The programs are cross-compatible, so you can easily import photos from your mobile device or edit images on the go using the web version. It’s accessible from any computer that has an internet connection.

Free and powerful

Perhaps the best thing about Pixlr Editor is that it’s completely free to use without any time limits — there’s no need to pay for Photoshop when you have a full-featured program like this at your fingertips.

Photo editing software for Mac Users

Adobe Photoshop

Starting at $9.19/month

If you’re a photographer or a designer and want to edit your images professionally, Adobe Photoshop is the software you need. This is the best-known and most used photo editing software out there, so naturally it comes with a rather hefty price tag.

The latest version of the software, Photoshop CC 2018, has been updated with some interesting new features, including 360-degree image editing, which means that you can now convert regular photographs into immersive 3D environments.

It sounds fantastic, but ultimately it falls short of expectations. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for an entry level photo editor this isn’t the app for you – try Snapseed instead.

Every year around October time Adobe releases a new version of Photoshop and Lightroom. This year’s update brings a couple of new features to the table. The most exciting one is support for 360-degree image editing in Photoshop. This allows you to open up standard JPEG and RAW photos taken on a 360-degree camera and edit them as if they were any normal still image.

There are also enhancements to existing features in this update like Select Subject – which automatically selects what it thinks is the subject of an image – as well as support for HEIC files coming from iOS 11 devices like iPhones and iPads

Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements 14 is one of the best photo editing programs for beginners and serious hobbyists alike. It has a great selection of guided edits and plenty of tools for adjusting exposure, color, and sharpness. You can use it to organize your photos, share them online, or create slideshows and photo books.

The latest version offers a new guided edit for making selective adjustments to your images. This lets you apply a filter or effect to just part of the photo, like the sky or a person’s face. It also includes an updated Organizer app with better search capabilities, improved facial recognition, and collaboration features.

I’ve tested many photo editing programs over the years, so I was particularly interested to see how well Photoshop Elements 14 would stand up against its competition. For this review I focused on the Windows version of Elements 14, but you can also get Mac versions in both Standard and Premium editions..

Adobe Lightroom

Starting at $9.19/month

Lightroom is a photo cataloging and editing tool with features that range from basic to advanced. It’s available by subscription only, but Adobe makes a version of the software available for free, which I reviewed in 2018. A year later, it’s still one of the best free photo editors for Windows and Mac users, though Google Photos offers more storage space for your pictures.

Lightroom is aimed at photographers who want to quickly import, edit, organize and share large numbers of photos. Once you’ve selected and edited images, you can export them for printing or sharing on social media.

The free version of Lightroom is no longer being updated with new features and works with Android 7.0 Nougat or newer devices; Apple devices must have iOS 10 installed (which means it won’t work on any iPad older than the iPad Air 2). Lightroom Classic is the full-featured desktop app that’s updated regularly. You can also access Lightroom on mobile devices or the web using an Adobe Creative Cloud account.

Lightroom lets you do just about anything with your photos: You can organize them by location (using GPS data embedded in the file), flag them as favorites, set flags or ratings, add keywords to find them later, or create collections to group.


Pixelmator is a budget-friendly, beginner-level photo editing software that provides many of the same functions as Adobe Photoshop. Although its image editing tools are limited compared with the full version of Photoshop, Pixelmator is a good option for those who want to make basic edits to their photos.

The program’s interface is easy to learn and use, and it offers a wide range of professional quality photo editing tools. It supports layers, masks and blending modes and can export layered files in PSD format. However, Pixelmator lacks support for other file types such as CMYK, SVG or RAW.

Pixelmator’s color-selection tool lets you easily select specific colors in an image by using its color wheel. Its repair tool replaces damaged parts of an image with selections from nearby areas that are similar in color and texture.

The distortion correction tool makes it easy to straighten crooked images with just one click, while the clone tool lets you copy areas of an image to cover up unwanted elements. You can also adjust an image’s perspective and crop it to any shape with Pixelmator’s transform tool.

Photo editing software for Windows PC users

Photo editing software can help you convert, retouch, and enhance your photos. It is an essential part of the photo-taking process, especially for those who want to improve the quality of their photos before sharing them online or printing them out. With so many photo editing software available today, it can be challenging to choose one that will best fit your needs.

One way to narrow down your choices is by looking at the reputation of each photo editing software. If you are looking for reliable photo editing software for Windows PC users, here are some options you can consider:

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular image-editing software, and a vital tool for all types of creatives. Whether you’re a professional designer or a hobbyist photographer, Photoshop offers extensive editing features that can help you produce beautiful work.

Photoshop has been around since 1990, and it has evolved into the industry standard for professional photo editing. While there are many alternatives available, including Adobe’s own Photoshop Elements, none of them match Photoshop’s comprehensive toolset.

Adobe offers two ways to purchase Photoshop: either via a subscription to its Creative Cloud service or as an outright purchase. That model isn’t available for the Mac version of Photoshop, which is only sold as part of an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

The company offers several Creative Cloud plans for both individuals and businesses that include access to Photoshop as well as other apps in the Creative Suite.

If you want to use Photoshop without committing to a monthly plan, you can still purchase the software outright with a one-time payment. However, this option is only available on Windows computers — Mac users must subscribe to Creative Cloud if they want access to Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

As is traditional for the Elements family, Adobe has released two versions of Photoshop Elements: the program reviewed here and the simpler Premiere Elements, which concentrates on video editing. Both are available from Adobe’s website, and selected retailers also offer a bundle that includes both programs.

The latest version of Photoshop Elements appears to have had a total makeover with a new user interface, more powerful tools and more effects and frames. However, there have been no radical changes; it just looks different.

The changes are welcome though, as it makes the software easier to use and far more accessible for beginners than previous versions.

One of the biggest changes is that Adobe has ditched its confusing three-panel approach in favour of a single-window workspace. The new interface makes it much easier to use because all your files can be seen at once — a list on the left, details in the middle and an image preview on the right.

ArcSoft PhotoImpression

ArcSoft PhotoImpression is a photo editing software suite that offers a number of different tools for altering and improving your digital images.

PhotoImpression includes the standard tools you would expect, including red-eye removal, cropping, and rotating.

The program also includes some special effects filters that can be applied to give your photos a unique look. The special effects filters are broken down into five categories: Artistic Filters, Smart Filters, Image Filters, Portrait Retouching, and Color Filters.

ArcSoft PhotoImpression can also be used as a basic image viewer as well as a photo cataloger or organizer. You can view your images in full-screen mode, zoom in or out on specific sections of the picture, and even create slideshows with sound tracks.

In addition to working with still images, ArcSoft PhotoImpression also supports video files such as AVI and MOV files.

Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro Photo editing software is a comprehensive set of photo-editing tools that combine photo organization, management, and easy-to-use editing features.

With Corel PaintShop Pro Photo editing software you can quickly organize your images by date, subject, or rating and then get creative with an assortment of creative tools and effects.

What Makes Corel PaintShop Pro Photo Editing Software So Great?

  • Intuitive interface – The workspace in Corel PaintShop Pro Photo editing software has been simplified to make it easier to edit pictures like a pro without having to take a class or read a manual.
  • Enhance photos – One click fixes are great for quick fixes, but you can also adjust color levels, sharpness, brightness and contrast manually for more precise control. Improve your photos even more with Clone Brush, Red Eye Correction, Healing Brush and other touch-up tools.
  • Creative content – Add creative touches to your photos with text, borders, layers and more than 100 special effects including filters like oil paint, watercolor and pencil sketch. There’s also hundreds of brushes and textures available to customize any project.


Artweaver is a full-featured painting tool with a huge set of predefined realistic brushes to paint creatively or just experiment. This is suitable for beginners and advanced users. It is easy to learn and has many tools and custom brushes that allow you to paint and render any type of illustrations you want.

Artweaver Core Features:

  • Realistic brushes
  • Brush stabilizers
  • Mirror tools
  • Layers/Layer groups
  • Clone layer tool
  • Editable text layers
  • Support for PSD and PSD format plugins
  • Historical view


Start with free trial

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2021

ACDSee Ultimate is a powerful photo and image editing software that comes with many advanced tools to edit, resize, share, and watermark your photos. It offers you a bunch of useful features like raw support, color management, non-destructive effects and much more. In addition to this, it also enables you to create a photo album so that you can share your photos with other users.

The software is quite easy to use as there are many tutorials available on its official site which will help you in using the software. It is also known as the best alternative to photoshop as it comes with many advanced editing tools and features that enable you to edit your images without taking any help from a professional.

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2021 is available for Windows 7/8/10 OS platform only.

CyberLink PhotoDirector

Starting at $3.42/month

CyberLink PhotoDirector is a photo editing software that’s powerful and easy to use. It has everything you need to manage, adjust, and edit your digital photo collection. If you dabble in digital photography or shoot it professionally, you’ll find all the tools you’re looking for in this program.

CyberLink PhotoDirector has an easy-to-use interface that looks like it’s from the future — it’s sleek, modern and pleasing to look at The buttons are intuitively placed, and the menus are clear and easy to navigate There is a lot of depth in the software, but even beginners can get started right away without having to read a manual or sit through a tutorial.

Features include:

  • Organize photos into groups by tags so they’re easy to browse
  • View EXIF data such as aperture, shutter speed, focal length and ISO information without having to leave the screen
  • Use presets as starting points for your edits with one click
  • Adjust color by using preset color palettes or by adjusting hue, saturation and luminance yourself
  • Remove imperfections such as pimples or wrinkles with one click or use the spot remover tool for more precise control
  • Add text to your images for custom messages or watermarks

Other photo editing sofware

Affinity Photo is a feature-packed photo editing software designed for professional photographers, designers and artists. It’s one of the most powerful alternatives to Photoshop out there, and is considerably cheaper too.

Serif’s flagship app offers all the tools you could possibly need to edit or retouch your images in great detail – and all at blazingly fast speeds thanks to its Metal 2 optimization. And because of its GPU-powered processing engine, it’s also capable of handling huge RAW files without slowing down.

The workflow is intuitive and customizable; you can create your own panels with your favorite tools so you have everything you need within easy reach. Affinity Photo features an impressive array of brushes that you can tweak to suit your needs – from customizing brush size, jitter and dual brush options to applying textures and patterns. The app’s selection of filters range from tone mapping and black


It might be easy to overlook the importance of being able to edit images in this day and age. It is just so much you can do with an image on your computer that can enhance any experience of a photograph. As technology, in general, becomes more advanced, more and more people are taking advantage of it for their own uses.

This makes the industry a competitive one where businesses compete with each other for their customer’s business, primarily using the power of social marketing. If you have a business that provides photo editing services, it would behoove you to check out some of the information we’ve provided here for you so that you can be sure your services will be top-notch.



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