Open Source

Best Free And Open Source Photoshop Alternatives

Photoshop is quite synonymous with Graphics design nowadays, but it is not the only king in the room. Photoshop doesn’t come with a friendly interface for beginners. No doubt photoshop offers you freedom of using features quite independently, but everything comes at a cost.

There are some other options too that are worth considering for users who are looking for open source and free photoshop alternatives. These free and open source photoshop alternatives are not only useful for beginners but also useful for professionals who are thinking of switching from photoshop. And the good thing is that these free applications make no compromise with the quality of work.

So, what to do if you are a bit tight on budget and want to learn to design without paying the monthly subscription as in Photoshop. Well, I have prepared a list of free and open-source applications like photoshop to create awesome designs without compromising quality.

10 Best Free And Open Source Alternatives To Photoshop In 2021

Here is the list of free apps like photoshop that you can use. I have also mentioned the major features that can help you in choosing the best one for you.

Let’s start:-

1. Krita

Krita is an open-source and free tool for users who want to excel in sketching and painting. It has got a clean and user-friendly interface. You can customize your interface by drag and drop and then save it as your workspace. Krita offers various tools, including Beautiful Brushes, Brush Stabilizers, Vector and Texts, and many more. It also supports PSD file formats that all other tools don’t support. Krita also has its own training resources for beginners to get through it. Since it is free for its users, you can extend your support to the Krita foundation by paying donations. The only drawback in Krita that is worth mentioning is that it has no history toolbar.

Notable Features Of Krita

  1. Export Results to a video
  2. Audio import support
  3. Excellent layer management
  4. HDR painting

Download Krita For Windows
Download Krita For MacOsX
Download Krita For Linux AppImage


GIMP is another open-source and free raster graphics tool that can be effectively used for image manipulation and image editing. It is considered one of the best alternatives to photoshop. GIMP can do each and everything that photoshop can do and free. Although you cannot draw in GIMP, you can still create your original artworks here. GIMP offers you access to third-party plugins that help in enhancing productivity. This 25-year-old tool is trusted by a huge section of designers and creative spaces. If you are a beginner at GIMP, then you can explore their tutorials section. Since it is a free application, you can always extend your support via donations.

Notable Features Of GIMP

  1. High-quality Image manipulation
  2. Graphic Design Elements
  3. Integration with many programming languages

Download GIMP For Windows
Download GIMP For MacOsX
Download GIMP For Linux AppImage

3. Pixlr X

Pixlr X is an online image editing tool that can be used as a free photoshop alternative. Basically, Pixlr X is an updated version of Pixlr. It is an online tool that you can use as per your requirements. The user interface is quite clean and comes with various light colors and

dark themes. You can also download the PIxlr app on your Android phones for image manipulation since it is an online tool to use from any modern web browser on any operating system. Pixlr X is more appealing to professional photographers as it provides plenty of features for editing images. No signup is required to access the features.

Pixlr is free for all its users with all basic features. If you need access to more decorative fonts and templates, you subscribe to Premium or Creative pack.

Premium: $4.90/mo
Creative Pack: USD $14.99/mo

Notable Features Of Pixlr X

  1. A good collection of attractive fonts
  2. Multiple Blending Modes
  3. Variety of ratios for cropping images

Edit Your Images Online Using Pixlr X

4. InkScape

Inkscape is a powerful and free design tool that caters to designers’ and illustrators’ primary needs. It is considered the best tool for creating vector imagery. Inkscape is a totally open-source application that means that you can access the source code and contribute to the community if you have relevant skills. The ability to export/import multiple files, And excellent drawing tools make it a favorite to professionals. Inkscape is compatible with major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux distributions.

Notable Features Of InkScape

  1. Flexible drawing tools
  2. Broad file format compatibility
  3. Powerful text tool
  4. Bezier and spiro curves

Download Inkscape For Windows
Download Inkscape For MacOsX
Download Inkscape For Linux

5. Canva

Canva is a one-stop application for graphics designers. It has everything that graphic designers require. The good thing about Canva is that it can be used on Android and iOs devices too. Since it is an online tool, you can access it from any modern web browser from any operating system. Canva has a huge collection of pre-ready templates with decorative texts. You just need to change the texts on the templates, and you are done. The designs you can create on canvas include logo designing, Flyers, Advertisements, and Videos too. You can resize your pictures according to social media handles such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. Canva is free for all the users, as you just need to sign up for that, and you can also work as a team here. Canva also offers a pro version with a premium collection of templates and fonts.

Notable Features Of Canva

  1. 100 GB of storage
  2. Projects can be saved and resumed later at any time
  3. Layouts for every occasion
  4. Drag & drop editor

Create Your Own Designs on Canva

6. Paint.NET

Paint.Net is simple yet powerful image editing software that was developed to replace Microsft paint. The UI of is quite similar to photoshop. The projects in this tool appear in tabs which makes it quite easier to navigate through multiple projects. Special effects that can be used on photos include Sharpness, Blur, Emboss, Distort, and red-eye elimination. There are also many plugins available that help in enhancing productivity. As of now, is available in Windows OS only.

Notable Features Of Paint.Net

  1. Simple and innovative user interface
  2. Fast Processing of images
  3. Access to unlimited history
  4. Active Online Community

Download Paint.Net For Windows

7. DarkTable

Darktable is an application developed for professional photographers by photographers(as it claims). This application is basically developed to solve the challenges faced by photographers. You can develop raw images from your collection and then enhance them. All the images are edited in a non-destructive mode as it never edits your original image. It is a true cross-platform program as it runs on Linux, Mac OS X / macports, BSD, Windows, And Solaris 11/GNOME. Several image editing modules support blending operators making it one of the best free and photoshop alternatives.

Notable Features Of DarkTable

  1. GPU accelerated image processing
  2. Professional color management
  3. Zero Latency
  4. Automated repetitive tasks

Download DarkTable For Windows
Download DarkTable For MacOsX
Download DarkTable For Linux

8. Pinta

Pinta is another open-source and free alternative to photoshop that can be used for drawing

and image editing. Pinta can manipulate and draw over images on any operating system, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. The good thing about Pinta is that you can make unlimited mistakes while editing, as it can undo every step. So, you can perform experiments on your images without any worries. Pinta is available in more than 55 languages, truly a global application. Photo retouching is also quite easy in this tool.

Notable Features Of Pinta

  1. 35 adjustments and effects for tweaking images
  2. Multiple Layer Support
  3. Access to full edit history

Download Pinta For Windows
Download Pinta For MacOsX
Download Pinta For Linux

9. DigiKam

DigiKam is a professional photo management tool for Linux systems. It can handle large collection images, up to 100,000 images at a time. Users can directly publish photos on social media, process raw files, and edit jpeg images.DigiKam is a free and open-source application that respects the freedom of the users. You can also label images according to the progress. The interface of digiKam is quite similar to Adobe Photoshop and also user-friendly. DigiKam has intelligent photo editing features and helps users in the bulk organizing of images.

Notable Features Of DigiKam

  1. Browse, compare and view items in your image collection.
  2. Editing, assembling, and transforming your photos
  3. Digicam supports a variety of image formats

Download DigiKam For Windows
Download DigiKam For MacOsX
Download DigiKam For Linux

10. Pixelitor

Pixelitor is an open-source and free image editor which simple yet loaded with powerful features. The interface is not more complex when compared to GIMP or photoshop. Version 4.2.3 has more than 110 image filters and color adjustments. It has also got some unique color gradients that cannot be found even on photoshop. Pixelitor has its own image format, the “PXC” format. The final image can be saved in Png, Jpeg, BMP, or GIF formats. Good Drawing and sketching cannot be done in this application.

Notable Features Of Pixelitor

  1. Unlimited undo
  2. Text Layers
  3. Layer Masks and unique image filters

Download DigiKam For Windows
Download DigiKam For MacOsX
Download DigiKam For Linux

The Conclusion

So, guys, I have listed the 10 best free and open-source photoshop alternatives available over the internet. Creative Cloud subscription is too costly, and beginners cannot afford that. The applications mentioned above can be used in place of photoshop to get the best results. All of these applications are trusted by a lot of users over the internet. You can choose the right one from the list. If you are a Linux user and looking for a Photoshop alternative, then you can try Krita. You can also check the other ones mentioned above. This was all about this article. In case you feel any confusion regarding the applications mentioned above, then do tell me in the comments section. I will surely revert back to you as soon as possible.

About the author

Vishnu Dass

Vishnu Dass

A Technophile. Learning while writing. Will prefer tea over coffee.