Looking for the best free photo editing software? You’re at a right place! If you wanted to get your hands on a free photo editing program a decade ago, your best option would’ve been Paint. But now there’s tens if not hundreds of free programs available where you can both edit your photos and create graphics. So, which ones are the best? Let’s check out.
We’ll discuss our top 5 best free photo editors that you can get both on Windows and Mac for absolutely free. We’ll cover a wide variety of programs. So whether you’re looking for basic photo editing or graphic design, we’re going to look over the pros and cons of our favorite programs, so you can find the perfect one for you. And with that being said, let’s get started!
Now the first program I want to talk about is my personal favorite, Canva. Canva is a web application where you can make a ton of different graphics or edit your photos. What I really like about Canva is that fact that they have a ton of pre-made templates available. Whether you’re looking to create a YouTube banner, social media post, a brochure or a newsletter. It’s the perfect application for creating publication material, because there are so many templates available, and it’s a very easy program to use.
What’s great about Canva?
It is a completely web-based program, so you don’t need a powerful computer. They also have a mobile application, so you can use it on your phone and tablet as well. Apart from tons and tons of templates they have available, you can also access a lot of the free graphics that they have within the program. So if you’re looking for icons or images, you can find them directly with in Canva as well. So, having all these pre-built templates and icons that you can use, allows you to create a bunch of publication material within minutes.
Honestly, Photopea is my favorite go to option. It is essentially Photoshop, but you don’t have to do any downloads for it at all. It’s completely web-based, and you can use it all directly from your web browser, whether it’s like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge or whatever, it works directly just from that. And I personally think that’s just so awesome, because on the chance that you have like a low end PC, and your computer lags whenever you try to use Photoshop, or maybe you just can’t afford it, then this is like a great alternative for you. It’s basically like a browser-based version of Photoshop, which is like mind blowing to me.
What’s great about Photopea?
The cool thing about it is that it can actually open up Photoshop project files. So, on the chance that you want to download Photoshop templates for thumbnails if you’re a YouTuber, or channel banners, or really whatever you want to do, you don’t need to buy Photoshop to actually use them. You can literally open them up in Photopea, which is really cool.
Next up on the list, we have Kapwing. Kapwing is the simplest editor on this list, but just because it’s simple doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a lot of features. With Kapwing you can do all of your basic edits all completely online. So you can resize your images, add different colors, shapes, and text to your image. And one thing that’s really cool about Kapwing is that you could also remove the background for you photos. So if you’re looking to make one or two alterations to your photos, and you want to do them very quickly without downloading anything, then Kapwing is the perfect choice for you.
So moving on, we have paint.net, which is actually one of my personal longtime favorites. And it’s really cool, because it’s a photo editor, and it’s completely open source. It will have all the functionality and tool available for you to do both photo editing and creative editing. And one of my favorite things about paint.net is that it’s actually overall pretty straight forward and very easy to use. Something cool about it is that you don’t need as powerful of a computer to use paint.net where as you would if you wanted to use something like Gimp.
And the final program on this list is Gimp. And I’m sure you’ve heard about Gimp before, but Gimp continues to be one of the best free photo editing programs available, because of how many features it has. It’s similar to paint.net in the sense that you have to download it, and it has a lot of the functionality that Photoshop also has. But what makes Gimp stand out from paint.net is that it has a lot more advanced features. So if you’re looking to do a lot of creative edits such as masking and color correction, then Gimp is the best choice, because it has a lot more features than paint.net, and it’s also downloadable. Now since Gimp is more feature packed than paint.net, you have to make two compromises. The first one is that you do require more processing power, and you do need a higher end computer to be able to run it really smoothly. So it’s not as lightweight as paint.net, and the second thing is that the interface does take some time to get used to. When you read reviews about Gimp.net, a lot of people say that it’s not a very familiar interface. But if you’re someone that wants to learn just one program that has all of the features, then this learning curve is absolutely worth it, and once you learn Gimp, you won’t need to change programs ever again.