Top 6 Photoshop Alternatives to Look for in 2022

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

When it comes to using Photoshop on old computers, laptops, and hardware, your system might freeze while loading a file, extracting a file from the software, or during various other tasks. Adobe Photoshop is popular software with graphic designers, visual artists, and photo editors. But with great software comes more significant hardware usage. The hardware requirements to make photoshop run flawlessly are a bit over the top. Besides, the subscription amount to be paid for using it is too much for beginners.

Therefore, beginners are always on the lookout for an alternative that is equivalently powerful and reputable as Adobe Photoshop while still maintaining a low price point. In this article, we are going to list the top 6 Photoshop alternatives. Although you are not getting the full functionality and features that you get in Photoshop still these photo editing software will make sure that you complete the project without any hassle. So let’s see which one of these Adobe Photoshop alternatives suits your work requirement.

1. PhotoWorks

PhotoWorks is a smart photo editor with a perfect balance between ease of use and top-notch functionality. The software is developed keeping in mind the needs of both professional users and newcomers in the field of photo editing. With this software, you are getting all the necessary photo editing tools that you might want from Adobe Photoshop, along with some niche tools. One of the most significant advantages PhotoWorks has over the other Photoshop alternatives is the use of content-aware AI. With the implementation of content-aware AI, the software can simplify your editing process for different types of photographs significantly. It comes with the support of 450 raw formats, so you can use this software to turn your lackluster shots into eye-catchy ones.

When we look at the hardware requirements to run PhotoWorks, we can see it does not have a demanding need to have top-of-the-line hardware. It can run smoothly on any operating system with low-spec hardware. PhotoWorks enables users to make changes to their photos with just a few clicks. However, it also offers the old-school manual adjustments which we are so fond of.

The thing we liked the most about PhotoWorks is the portrait retouching, and it does its job with absolute perfection, all thanks to the advanced face-recognition technology. All your tedious retouching is converted into a one-click thing without affecting the pixel density of the original photo. The few bummers that we have to face are that PhotoWorks is not available for macOS, and the free trial does not allow downloading or saving your work offline.

2. Pixlr

Pixlr is more of a suite that contains three different photo editing tools and merges them so that they can work as one. This tool works great using a web browser, and you can also make it work with iOS and Android devices. The first tool from the suite is Pixlr X which is a pure photo editing tool that works like a charm with single-click edits on your photos. You can use it to add artistic effects to your raw images and make them Instagram-worthy in a couple of seconds.

The user interface is pretty similar to that of Photoshop, so if you learned Photoshop, then using Pixlr is a piece of cake. After Pixlr X comes Pixlr E, which is a more powerful photo editing application. The last one from the suite is Pixlr BG, it has tons of valuable tools, and they are backed by AI. You can also remove the background from the photos using the third software. All three of these tools from the Pixlr photo editing family are free to use. The premium version of all three comes with more advanced features.

Even while on the go, you can easily edit photos from your mobile’s browser and save them on your smartphone. The Pixlr is excellent in many ways, but most importantly, it works on any device and gets the job done in the shortest time. You are free to edit your photo in whatever way you want. Many templates are waiting for you to be used. You don’t need professional hardware to use this Adobe photoshop alternative. Any smart device with a web browser is sufficient enough for you to use this software at its full potential.

3. Affinity Photo

The Affinity Photo graphics editor comes with no slouch. It is at par with Adobe Photoshop due to its longevity and ease of use. Adobe’s creative cloud has tons of photo editing tools to offer, but you are not getting them at an affordable price. If we look at the Affinity Photo editor after its latest update, we can see that a lot of things have been changed under the hood.

Even if you are new to this software, you can quickly make the most of its toolkit by watching online tutorial videos. The whole layout can be set according to your requirements as the entire thing is customizable from the very start. The developers have designed Affinity Photo in such a way that its learning curve remains minimal. There are five persona buttons on the top left that you can edit to match the persona of the task you are doing. The five personas are Photo, Liquify, Develop, Tone Mapping, and Export.

The tools are pretty streamlined and easy to navigate from one to the other. The adjustment studios present on the right are easily accessible. The software offers an unprecedented list of adjustment options that include white balance, recolor, black and white, vibrance, exposure, shadows, highlights, and more. Every adjustment that you make will have its own layer. So you can quickly delete the layers that you don’t need. Moreover, you are free to isolate new adjustments and easily export them without having to commit to final changes to your photo.

All the large-size photos can be easily handled by this software, and you can even use it on slightly older hardware with no noticeable lag or hiccups whatsoever.

4. PicMonkey

PicMonkey is an online application. You don’t need to have high-end hardware to make it run smoothly on your system, this program can run on any operating system. PicMonkey comes with different subscription models. However, the basic functionalities of a photo editor are available for you at no cost at all. The premium version is available at a seven-day free trial.

The very first thing you need to do when you want to use PicMonkey is to get yourself registered. You can still process the photos without using it, and it is better to get it done, so you can save your progress online and don’t have to start over once again. What we like most about this software is its ability to provide a profound adjustment setting to every tool that comes with it.

You can be done with the initial photo editing using the sliders that are located in the necessary tab. The sliders work great, and they do make a massive difference in your photos. So it is best to increase their values slowly. The sharpening tool works flawlessly, and you are not going to lose any pixels while doing so. In the effects section, you can find a long list of effects that you can put on your photo to make it look better. But this long list only comes with a few free options that you can use with your image. For others, you need to make the payment.

The portrait editing of PicMonkey is pretty exclusive. The tab with the name “Touch-up” has a number of tools such as skin, mouth retouch, eyes, the rest, and more. You can use this tab to whiten the teeth in the portrait shot, tint the lips, smoothen the skin, and remove the red-eye effect. Lastly, all the overlays, frames, and textures are customizable. You can move them around and change their transparency, color, and other fields as well.

5. Photopea

Due to the advancement in the field of web technology, now we don’t need a specific app to do much of the work for which Adobe Photoshop is made. Photopea is another online web application that can easily be on any web browser and any Internet-connected system. It has all the pro tools for helping you with advanced photo editing. It has a distinct resemblance to Photoshop, and it does come with all the tools that you will need to make your photo stand out. You can also use Sketch, IMP, and even Photoshop PSD files with this software.

You are also getting layers and layer masks; this makes it possible for you to blend modes. There are standard marquee tools, magnetic lasso, and quick selection tools. There sure is a lack of advanced features that you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop; still, it has more than enough tools in its belt to keep most designers and artists engrossed in their work. One thing we didn’t like about this Photoshop alternative is the presence of ads, you need the premium version to get rid of the ads, and with premium, you are also getting extra levels of undoing that used to be 30 in the free version.

6. Capture One

The biggest rival of Adobe’s Lightroom is Capture One. If you are mostly editing photos through Lightroom and are thinking about an alternative to break away from its monopoly, then Capture One is the right option for you. There is no hefty monthly subscription that you need to worry about, and it is one of the most comprehensive image management software along with a photo editor from the development team of Phase One, the company that is dedicated to manufacturing high-end cameras for photo and video capturing.

Keep in mind that Capture One being the proprietary software for high-end cameras doesn’t fit in the description of user-friendly at first glance. As a new user, you will find it hard to move through different menus. However, you are free to customize it according to your needs. Also, there are several tutorial videos available online to get started.

If we try to discover the core functionality of Capture One, we can find it to be more of an image management tool, and this is the one thing in which it exceeds every expectation whatsoever. You can use it to edit Fuji and Sony RAW files that might not work with Lightroom. Also, it allows you to create your very own keyboard shortcuts and customized user interface, so you don’t have to keep on looking for the tools that you use most of the time. One of the major cons of using Capture One is missing out on the added advantage of layer blend modes.


We know Photoshop and Lightroom from Adobe have become industry standards. But if you are new to the industry, then saving money is the priority after delivering a top-notch photo editing experience. The Adobe photo editing software programs are packed with tons of features to help you make your photos look the best. But since the inception of the subscription model by Adobe, we have seen a lot of people jumping ship and looking for alternatives.

That’s why we have curated this list of Photoshop alternatives; why pay hundreds of dollars for the features that you are not going to use at all? Look at these six recommendations provided in this article and select the one you feel can help you in getting the work done. We hope this article has helped you find the Adobe Photoshop alternative that you were looking for. If you have any doubts, make sure to comment them down, and we will try to resolve them at the earliest.

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