8 Free Photoshop Alternatives To Discover (Part 1)

You’ve done your market research, decided on the perfect theme for your brand, and made plans to take the world by storm! But suddenly—you’ve found yourself in need of photo editing software.
by Yeefu on 11-Aug-2021
4 mins read

You’ve done your market research, decided on the perfect theme for your brand, and made plans to take the world by storm! But suddenly you realize you have to create banners, product photos, and promotional materials to launch and grow your store—you’ve found yourself in need of photo editing software.

If you’ve heard of Photoshop, you’re probably aware that it’s quite an investment. Don’t worry, there are plenty of free alternatives to Photoshop. Together with Yeefu’s graphic team, we’ve come up with a list of options suited for both graphic editing newcomers and seasoned Photoshop users.

But, before diving in, let’s explore Photoshop.

Photoshop and Creative Cloud

Adobe-Photoshop-Creative-Cloud-example-screenshotSource: Adobe Blogs

Adobe Photoshop is an industry-leading raster (pixel-based) image editor used to create unique graphics and edit photos. It’s packed with many useful tools for resizing, color adjusting, and retouching images. Photoshop used to be a program you could buy from Adobe and use to your heart’s content. But since 2013, it’s a part of a monthly subscription-based service—Creative Cloud. Photoshop is included in multiple subscription plans.

Creative Cloud is a marvelous collection of apps for experienced designers and a great investment if you’re planning on expanding your business or employing designers. Creative Cloud offers many useful features like storing and sharing your projects and even working on them at the same time. It’s the perfect graphic design environment.

Creative Cloud could seem overwhelming or impractical. That’s because even the slightest change to an image—like a decoration on a sales banner—or even just opening software-specific files like PSD (Photoshop Data file) requires a subscription to access the editing software.

If you’re testing the waters and don’t want to invest in Photoshop, or just want to try something a little different, you might be interested in these free alternatives.

  • Photopea 

  • Gimp

  • InkScape

  • Canva

  • Pablo

  • Instasize

  • Photo Pos Pro


  • Which option is the best for me?


Use it for: DTG, all-over print, poster & canvas printing, sublimation, UV printing, photo editing, social media graphics

This might be the Swiss army knife of free alternatives to Photoshop. Not only does it look similar to Photoshop, it also has many of its features. Photopea offers pre-made sizes and templates for posters and social media graphics. All in all, it’s the perfect software for both experienced Photoshop users and graphic design rookies.

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows, Browser

File format: PSD, PNG, JPEG, PDF, SVG, GIF

Color space: RGB



  • Multifunctional

  • Multiple languages

  • Pre-sized templates

  • Online and downloadable

  • Same hotkeys as Photoshop

  • Similar to Photoshop in layout and tools provided

  • (transparent background, measuring tool, adjustment layers etc.)

  • Exports files in vector formats

  • Suitable for fixing most common issues with print files

  • Small delay on the Brush tool

  • Ruler provided only in .px

  • Doesn’t include common fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Georgia

  • Online version requires an internet connection – files won’t save if the browser crashes


Use it for: DTG, all-over print, poster & canvas printing, sublimation, UV printing, photo editing

No list of free Photoshop alternatives would be complete without Gimp. This software has established a strong presence in the graphics editing world and has built a strong community. It’s the perfect software for editing small files and creating simple designs.

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

File format: PSD, JPEG, PNG, GIF, PDF, EPS

Color space: RGB, CMYK (only with a plugin)



  • Multifunctional

  • Multiple languages

  • Pre-sized templates

  • Document history

  • Text filters and effects (e.g. Warp)

  • A large community that offers support

  • Many tutorials online

  • A little slow

  • Different UI than Photoshop

  • Different hotkeys than Photoshop

  • White residue around designs with transparent background

  • The Brush tool isn’t very smooth

  • Isn’t suited for professional designers


Use it for: DTG, all-over print, embroidery, poster & canvas printing, sublimation, UV printing

If you want to take your designs to new heights, try vector editing software. As such, InkScape is a handy program for creating print files of any size. That’s because vectors are made of objects such as lines, curves, and polygons, and designs created on vector editors can be resized without damaging their quality. InkScape’s Measure tools also make it a handy program for creating embroidery designs. But, similar to a few other entries on this list, InkScape has a learning curve.

Price: Free

Platforms: Windows, macOS (using XQuartz), Linux

File format: PDF, EPS, SVG, PNG, PNG

Color space: RGB



  • Multiple languages

  • Trace Bitmap tool (transforms pixel-based images to vector designs)

  • Great Measure tool
    (useful when making embroidery designs)

  • Great Brush tool

  • Text effects (Warp, Bend, Distort, Convert to a path)

  • Custom DPI when saving

  • Possible difficulties editing raster files

  • Different hotkeys than Photoshop

4. Canva

Use it for: Social media graphics, poster & canvas printing

Canva might not be the most obvious choice of Photoshop alternatives, yet it’s a useful platform for any designer. Their free toolkit is quite extensive and their paid plans offer even more editing possibilities, but they cost more than Photoshop itself. It’s great for designing posters. It also lets you post your creations straight to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social media platforms. Canva Pro also offers a feature named Brand Kit, which makes branding each graphic exceptionally easy.

Price: Free (Canva Pro is $12.95/month)

Platforms: Online Browser, Also available for iOS and Android

File format: JPEG, PDF, PNG (transparent background only available with a paid plan)

Color space: RGB



  • Easy to use

  • Multifunctional

  • Multiple languages

  • A wide selection of templates, from prints to social media

  • Library for storing designs and photos

  • Canva Pro has a 30-day free trial

  • Useful tools (e.g. Brand kit, Resizing, Transparent background) locked behind a paywall

  • Limited choice of fonts

Read more about it in Part 2 of the article here: https://yeefu.store/blog/59 

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